GuestTitle: Pro-bender
Subject: Mako of Avatar: Legend of Korra
Owner: Jae of

Guest Recommendation: The following recommendation was written by Stefi of I (Todd) am happy to say Stefi is a good friend of mine, but she is also a fantastic shrine maker. I asked her to write a recommendation for The Amazing because she has a unique view and appreciation of shrines. Making shrines since the early 2000s, Stefi has been making and visiting shrines for over a decade. She has had the opportunity to not only watch shrines evolve and change, but experiment and pioneer some of that change herself. Back in the days of Livejournal, she created her own community to discuss video game shrines, which she was and is still clearly passionate about. Her own site, , made a huge impact in the shrine community when it was revamped to its current state, because it showed that shrines don’t need to have certain things to be a shrine, and it encouraged webmasters to put more of their own unique thoughts and insights into their own shrines. In addition to Antihero, you might know Stefi from her other amazing Square-Enix shrines , , and .

What makes this shrine amazing: Let’s all admit it: It is hard making a shrine. Whether it’s 3 pages or 50, every shrine maker puts all their hard work and effort into an entire site that we may or may not be embarrassed about bringing up over Thanksgiving dinner. And with every shrine we make, we try to not only make it different from other sites in some way shape and form, but we also try to give it its own unique character (hah, no pun intended!).

Jae’s Pro-bender features Mako, who is probably one of the more discussed protagonists in Legend of Korra simply because, well, he kind of started off unlikable. But all the more reason to love him! Truth is, Mako eventually made tons of progression throughout the show in terms of development, turning out to be one hell of a character.

Visually, the design of Pro-bender is distinctive and elegantly minimalist, with the newspaper theme a hat-tip to the series’ 1920’s time period aesthetic. The layout is well-balanced and uses all the space accordingly, with no awkward blank areas. In terms of writing style, the site also reads like a newspaper, which is brilliantly appropriate given the way the actual show presents itself. Though it is only one page, it comprehensively summarizes a lot of about the character in the first season while also covering all of Mako’s important relationships.

The content also has tons of personality. Including its journalistic tone, there are tinges humor and sarcasm with underlayers of intelligent insight. Jae hits all the positive points about Mako, but also makes sure to not ignore flaws and criticisms about the character. The “Letter from the Editor” section at the end of the site wraps up and gets to the heart of the character from Jae’s perspective, making evident her genuine appreciation for the character.

Pro-bender hits a lot of what I love about shrines. It’s clever, warm-hearted, well thought out, and it has seriously got a lot of style, both in terms of writing and design. I don’t think there are enough nice things I can say about this site. I am definitely looking forward to seeing more “editions” of Pro-bender in the future!

4 Responses to Pro-bender

  • Todd says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Stefi! It’s always an honor to have you be part of any of my sites or projects, haha.

    Pro-bender really stuck out to me when I first discovered it with this year’s reveal of One Page, One Month shrines at Amassment. I, too, loved the newspaper theme and the unique presentation of the content. Although I’m not familiar with the subject, I enjoyed reading about Mako because of how Jae laid her articles out. The “Letter From the Editor” was a highlight for me, too, where Jae summarized the character from her own view.

    Pro-bender is not a “typical” shrine, in its size or the way it is presented, but I love that about it. I especially love that it was chosen by Stefi, whose own shrines are very uniquely presented.

    Congratulations, Jae!

  • Destinie says:

    I had a lot of fun reading through the site when it was revealed! I love the uniqueness of this shrine as well. 🙂

  • Jae says:

    First of all, thank you for the nomination, Stefi! I’m so touched by everything you and the others have said here and on the Amassment boards.

    The inspiration for Pro-bender’s design came from my journalism class in high school where I worked on the school newspaper. It’s missing a lot of essential elements to a paper, but who’s going to nitpick about that (haha)? Being able to draw from that knowledge was an interesting experience, and I also benefited from using this format as I’d been struggling beforehand. I was and still am pleased with the end result – more so with the warm reception the shrine has received from everyone!

    Brothers who care about their loved ones are my favorites. Mako is exactly this kind of character with a unique strength and real weaknesses. My goal with Pro-bender was to explore both the pros and cons of his actions and intentions to provide a balanced “argument” for the reader; oftentimes, I have found that fandom focuses on his shortcomings without giving credit to his sacrifices and hardships. I love Mako dearly and wanted to be able to articulate my thoughts in my own corner of the vast internet.

    I can’t say when I’ll be able to work on the next “edition,” but I did review book two not that far back and absolutely intend to continue building on this format for Pro-bender. Thank you again for the lovely comments, everyone!

    • says:

      Hi Jae!

      Late reply, but you’re very welcome! I find that really awesome that you incorporated a real-life personal experience into one of your designs. It really worked for this site and it made it super unique!

      Yeah, I know what you mean about the fandom comments. He ended being my favorite character by the end of the series because he was just 1000% more interesting LOL.

      Keep up the good work!

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