Mako is the brother of Bolin and Fire Bender for the pro-bending team the Fire Ferrets.
Mako and his brother Bolin grew up in Republic City with their parents. However, things took a turn for the worse when his parents were mugged and killed by a firebender when he was eight. Witnessing the deaths of his mother and father, he took Bolin under his arm as he vowed to take care of his younger brother and did what it took to survive. The two of them soon joined the Triple Threat Triads, a bending gang as Bolin did muscle work with his earthbending while Mako ran numbers for the organization. After a few years working with the gang, Mako knew that staying with them would end up making their whole lives filled with crime as the brothers withdrew. It was some time later that they became pro-benders to form the team the Fire Ferrets with then waterbender teammate Hasook and moved into the attic of the Bending Arena.
Mako was created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino to serve as one of the protagonists in the new series The Legend of Korra in the Avatar franchise. He his named after the late actor Mako who voiced Iroh in the first and second seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Mako makes his first appearance in Episode 2: A Leaf in the Wind. He is voiced by David Faustino.
Mako comes off as a cold, uncaring individual who usually brushes other people off. Even though he acts in a tough manner, he is a good person in his core as he has dedicated his life to looking out for his brother after his parents died. He is a hard worker and a level headed individual who prefers to come up with a plan as opposed to rushing in head first. Because of this, he doesn't know how to express certain feelings to show his gratitude or appreciation for other people. Despite this, he knows where respect needs to be given and follows through with anything he commits himself to. As time goes on, he grows to love Korra like a sister while he begins to date Asami Sato, feeling conflicted as he has feelings for both girls. Spending more time with Korra and after her disappearance, he realizes that he does love her.
When Korra begins her training on Air Temple Island, she vies to see a pro-bending match but Tenzin refuses to let her as he deems it a mockery to bending. However, Korra overhears one of Mako's matches on the radio before deciding the next night to travel across the bay to the arena. After running into Bolin, she is introduced to Mako, who gives her the cold shoulder as she watches the Fire Ferrets sweep the floor with the competition. Korra congratulates them but Mako dismisses her once more. At their next game, their waterbending team mate is a no show as Korra fills in. After a few run ins with the rules, Mako tells her to just do nothing as she is able to score a knock out, winning the game.
Making Korra an official member of the team, they run into a problem entering the championship match as they don't have the entry fee. Mako tries to pull extra shifts at the factory he works at and arranges for Bolin to do some work, but is nowhere to be found. Asking Korra for help, they discover that he went back to his partner in the Triple Threat Triads for extra money but arrive to see him and other gang members being kidnapped by the Equalists. They decide to wait at the park for the Equalist spokesperson as Mako reveals his past with his parents and the gang. They decipher a puzzle about a secret meeting that night as they see Amon preach his ways and show that he has the power to energybend. Planning on using the gang members and Bolin to demonstrate this, Mako devises a distraction to rescue him. Running into the Lieutenant, Korra is able to save them and escape.
Still looking for extra money, Mako is almost run over by a motorcyclist who recognizes him from the arena. Inviting him to dinner as an apology, he finds out that she is Asami Sato, daughter of the industrialist Hiroshi Sato. As the two date, Asami arranges a meeting between him and her father where he gains sponsorship for the Fire Ferrets. Asami and Mako become closer, something that Korra is jealous about since she also has feelings for Mako. During the preliminary tournament matches, the team starts off strong as Korra eventually expresses her feelings for Mako. He gently rejects her since he's already in a relationship with Asami. Opting to hang out with Bolin instead, Mako thinks Korra is trying to play games when he is actually somewhat jealous. After kissing, Bolin witnesses it as his brother has to bring him home. Later that night, the two make amends as Korra wins the semi-final match for the team.
As the final match of the tournament approaches, Amon threatens the games as Mako, Bolin, and Korra go to the Council to plead their case to keep the games open. After some convincing by Lin Bei Fong, the Council agrees to keep the games open if Lin provides security. During the match against the Wolfbats, Mako picks up that the referees have been paid off to look the other way on rule violations from them. Trying to play fair, they almost win but are beat at the last minute. It is then that Amon strikes as the Lieutenant uses his kali sticks to shock the pool below the ring, knocking out the three. Bolin provides escape as Korra goes after Amon and the Equalists.
Due to the massive damage that Amon causes, as well as being under investigation, Mako and Bolin are evicted from the arena. Korra invites them to live with her on the island but Asami has already offered them a place at the family estate. When Korra reports her findings on Hiroshi, Mako immediately assumes that she is doing this to get back at the relationship he and Asami have. Getting a tip of a secret warehouse, Mako discovers that Hiroshi was behind the attacks. Bolin tricks Saikhan so that they can go down to the factory, getting there in time to save Lin, Korra, and Tenzin. Hiroshi and the Lieutenant stop them, the former expressing his hatred that Mako is dating his daughter as Asami overhears. Hiroshi again blames people like Mako for his wife's death as she provides an escape. Korra states that Asami can live with them on the island as she tells Mako that she'll need him through this.
After Lin's resignation, Saikhan assumes the duties as Chief of Police as Tarrlok insults Korra's abilities. Mako and the others comfort her as they form a new Team Avatar. They are successful in stopping several Equalist attacks but come under pressure when Tarrlok executes several orders, oppressing non-benders. Mako comes to the aid of those being harmed but he along with Bolin and Asami are arrested; mainly in order to blackmail Korra. Lin frees them the next day, informing them of Korra's abduction. Getting Tenzin to help them, they discover the hidden Equalist bunker as Mako shows more concern than usual for Korra, making Asami suspicious of his intentions. After threatening several Equalists, they discover Tarrlok was behind everything as Korra shows up later that evening.
Watching over Korra, Asami states that Mako has feelings for her as she becomes hurt at his actions. However, they stop their fighting in order to help the police stop the Equalist attacks on the city, saving Tenzin and several police officers from being captured. Mako spots the Equalist zeppelins attacking Air Temple Island as they rush back to the island. Witnessing the birth of Tenzin and Pema's fourth child, Rohan, Korra reminds them of the war. Tenzin advises the group to go into hiding until the United Forces arrive in three days, staying away from the Equalists. During their time in hiding, he and Korra work the streets disguised as Equalists as he does his best to keep her down to earth. After witnessing the attack on the United Forces, he works with General Iroh to come up with a plan to take out Amon and the biplanes. Going to Air Temple Island, they find Tarrlok who reveals the truth of Amon: they are brothers.
Korra decides the best thing to do is expose Amon for a fraud in front of followers but this backfires. When Amon reveals he has captured the airbending family, Mako strikes first as the two head to the stage to free them. They provide distraction so Tenzin can escape as Amon shows off his abilities as a bloodbender. After taking Korra's bending and killing the Lieutenant, Mako is able to shock him before escaping with Korra. When he is captured again, Korra finally airbends as she saves Mako. After Bumi and the United Forces bring reinforcements, he goes with the group to Katara to heal Korra's bending. He tries to comfort her confessing his love for her but she brushes him off, thinking he wants nothing to do with her now that she isn't special. When Korra's powers are given back to her by Aang, she embraces Mako as they kiss, stating their love for one another.
As a firebender, Mako's powers are standard with the ability to create fire from his palms and feet as well as having learnt the skilled ability to create lightning from his palms. As a pro-bender, Mako proves to be more athletic that the standard firebender.