Kataang or Zutara?
This argument has come up a lot, what are your opinions about Kataang and Zutara? Which pairing is more likely? Do you think they're age differences really matter? Everyone's invited! Keep it respectful, though.
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CheesetothePower

Sorry for pointless post. I pressed the wrong link when trying to come from my e-mail & unsubscribed myself to the forum, had to make another post to join again.

9/26/2011 #61
TigerShadow

In the writers' defense, though, Katara had to carry the Smurfette weight throughout pretty much half the show. If they tried to make it to where veryone called her out on things, she would have looked bad because the one strong female character gets called out on everything she does wrong while they're more lenient to the males (Sokka didn't get called on a lot either, if I'm remembering right). That's not an excuse to act like she's the greatest thing in sliced bread, since she's not, but it is difficult with the Smurfette principle so in play.

Some of the stuff she did was pretty cool, and I'm not saying I wouldn't have cheered for her, but something someone on deviantART pointed out--in "The Waterbending Master," it was cool how Katara put up a fight against Pakku, but she was very disrespectful about it. It would have been different if she'd been fighting for thisher whole life, but she saw that she wasn't being treated fairly and immediately started ranting and protesting. You can't just walk in, decide you don't like cultural differences, and then yell at and fight with someone and expect everyone to accept that. It's no wonder Pakku was angry with Aang when he tried teaching her waterbending, since Pakku did have a point when he said that Aang basically just disrespected his entire culture. Of course, this is a Nick show, and teenagers get called out on pretty much nothing, but it's worth mentioning.

10/10/2011 #62
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

Personally, I don't like Katara. I never really have, although I wasn't able to pin down the reason why until much later in the show. Katara is one of those characters who seems to think that she is "entitled" to everything. It's all about her.

The Fire Nation has been terrorizing the rest of the world for years, tearing up families left and right? Well, they took MY mother away from ME! Many children's fathers were taken away or had to go to war, including the fathers of children in your tribe. Well, MY father left ME behind when I needed him! You know, Sokka and Aang are right when they say revenge is wrong, and they both lost someone, too. Well, then Sokka didn't love MY mother the way I did, and Aang doesn't understand!

You get what I'm saying? Besides, I always felt that the creators seemed to adore her too much. Even when she did something wrong, or was clearly in the wrong, most of the time she doesn't apologize, or it isn't even portrayed as being wrong in the show itself. She judges too quick, holds grudges when even the people they wronged MORE forgive them (seriously, shouldn't Sokka and Aang be holding grudges against Jet and Zuko, not Katara?), lashes out unnecessarily when she finds it convenient ... and it's never really called out by the other characters. Or they're ignored. Is it any wonder why she's my least favorite character. At least Ozai is evil. At least Zhao only existed for one season. But we had to put up with Katara for all three seasons, as one of the heroes, rarely seeing her flaws pointed out in the show.

10/10/2011 #63
chromeknickers

Katara is my least favourite character on the show, but I was given some pretty good insight in how to view her by those who like her. One girl I know, who relates to Katara as a teenager, told me that I need to give the same age leniency for Katara as I do for Aang. I admit that's very difficult for me because in my mind Aang can do nothing wrong (except the time he yelled at Toph because he was getting on the "I-love-Katara-so-I'm-gonna-do-and-say-what-she-does" bandwagon). But I try to remind myself that she was a hormonal teenager going through her "It's-all-about-me!" phase.

10/15/2011 #64
Mrs Pettyfer

Entitled! That's the word I was trying to think of with Katara. You're so right, Korean. Katara seemed very much like she was entitled to everything. Sometimes it's a wonder I ship her with anyone as crazy as she made me. Did anyone call her out besides Toph?

See I never went through that "it's all about me" phase as a teen so I'm less sympathetic about it, haha. And if I did, someone should have slapped me.

10/15/2011 . Edited 10/15/2011 #65
Marius Prime

Expecting maturity from people not old enough to be mature is a bit odd. Even if you don't recall going through a similar period, all teenagers have some sort of issue that would embarrass an adult looking back on it clearly.

10/15/2011 #66
TigerShadow

For someone in her situation and for someone who was supposed to be as "motherly" as she was sold to be, yes, it's quite reasonable to expect that she should handle things maturely. That's not to say she can't make stupid mistakes, just that there should be less of them than there were.

10/15/2011 #67
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

I think the reason why I disliked Katara more than the others, though, was that the others were called out on their behavior. For example, Sokka's sexism was brought into question when the group met the Kyoshi warriors. Zuko repented for his mistakes in the first two seasons in the third, and were a major part in his character. Aang's overly carefree attitude is portrayed negatively and looked upon disapprovingly by certain characters in the show. Toph had Katara blow up at her for her various personality flaws. The rest of the cast (Aang, Sokka, Zuko, and Toph) had their faults called into question. But I feel that Katara's flaws are, in the show, glossed over or never called on. Remember, she accused Sokka of not loving their mother as much as she did; told Aang, who had lost his entire people, that he didn't understand how she felt; and she seems to have no regard for the other people who have lost just as much, if not more, in the war. It's all about her, and I wouldn't have a problem with it if those flaws were called into question in-show. But no, they're never highlighted upon as much as those of the other characters. She never even apologized to Aang and Sokka in the show. TSR was a good opportunity for the other characters to hammer upon her flaws. It would have been like "The Kyoshi Warriors" for Sokka or "The Runaway" for Toph. But still ... it didn't have the same feeling that she learned something, you know?

10/15/2011 #68
TigerShadow

I think the intended--or at least ideal--lesson for Katara to learn in that episode was that violence isn't the answer and that she shouldn't take her hate and anger out on people; instead, she should learn to forgive them. However, that episode made it more of a Zuko lesson than a learning experience for both of them.

10/15/2011 #69
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

That's pretty much the thing. Plus, like I've mentioned, we never see Katara either paying for the consequences of her actions in that episode, nor do we hear HER admitting to Aang and Sokka that she was wrong. It was ZUKO who told Aang that they were wrong. Not to mention that in the episode where Katara stole the waterbending scroll, her last lines in the episode are, "Stealing is wrong ... unless it's from pirates," which seems to tell us that she didn't learn anything, nor does she feel any guilt over what she has done. Which is what bothers me. At least Sokka, Toph, and Aang learned the mistakes of their actions and seemed to regret it or change their thoughts. Katara didn't. She still seems entitled to do what she did, although she put the rest of the Gaang in danger by doing so.

10/15/2011 #70
TigerShadow

"I'm sorry, Aang...this is all my fault!"

"No, it isn't, Katara."

"Actually, yeah, it pretty much is."

Best lines EVER.

10/16/2011 #71
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

It's been a while since I saw "The Waterbending Scroll," so I forgot about those lines. ^_^; But at the end of the episode, Katara still follows up her "Stealing is wrong" with "unless it's from pirates," so I feel as if my point still kind of stands.

10/16/2011 #72
chromeknickers

Leave it to Iroh to state the obvious. :D

10/16/2011 #73
TigerShadow

He has a right to point that out. As Puppet!Sokka says,

"Hey, I'm not gonna argue with you when you're right. It was all your fault."

10/19/2011 #74
GothGeek89

I don't dislike Katara, but like it's been said, the writers tried to shove her down people's throat. She's like the "Wesley" of Avatar(I'm addicted to TV Tropes). If she got called out for her mistakes, I would warm up to her more. I really did want to like her; she had the potential to be a very interesting character. Before season 2, Sokka was my favorite even though I'm a female viewer and female characters are "supposed" to appeal to a female audience(I say that somewhat saracastically since gender doesn't define how you favor/relate to a character though it does make it a little easier).

I feel like a minority in the fandom, since so many fans treat Katara like a goddess. I understand the appeal though; Katara does seem like the average girl that's easy to relate to for most fangirls(and hot for fanboys). I'm more a Mai type of girl so I guess that makes it kind of worse since they're "rivals" for Zuko(and I say that last part very sarcastically. I'm pro Aang/Katara and Mai/Zuko).

11/3/2011 #75
Mrs Pettyfer

Before season 2, Sokka was my favorite even though I'm a female viewer and female characters are "supposed" to appeal to a female audience(I say that somewhat saracastically since gender doesn't define how you favor/relate to a character though it does make it a little easier).

I always thought this was true..that to an extent female characters are likely to appeal more to females. But one of my favorite writers, Cassandra Clare, actually made a post about female vs male characters. She was told by an editor that most viewers (male and female) actually empathize more with male characters. Then when I thought about it, I realized that was probably true. When I look back at the books I've read, I definitely find that I get more frustrated with the girl characters than the boys. Maybe it's justified, or maybe I'm falling into that group that empathizes more with guys, haha.

Do you guys think girl characters can get away with the stuff guy characters do? Or vice versa?

I feel like a minority in the fandom, since so many fans treat Katara like a goddess.

I'm there with you. Katara isn't my favorite by a long shot. I found Katara more or less annoying depending on who she was around.

11/4/2011 . Edited 11/4/2011 #76
TigerShadow

She's like the "Wesley" of Avatar(I'm addicted to TV Tropes).

Haha, you are brilliant. TV Tropes will ruin your life.

However, I wouldn't call her The Wesley for the simple reason that most of the fans loved her too. The Wesley is defined as someone who is extremely hated by most, if not all, fans and loved to death by the writers. The Scrappy, meanwhile, is usually someone who both the fans and the writers hate.

I understand the appeal though; Katara does seem like the average girl that's easy to relate to for most fangirls(and hot for fanboys).

That explains Zutara. Fangirls latch onto Katara as their wish fulfillment in order to have her be with the "hot" guy, Zuko. I support Zutara, but I don't support the way most fangirls write it.

But one of my favorite writers, Cassandra Clare,

Here you and I differ, Pettyfer. Cassandra Clare wrote The Draco Trilogy. Already I do not like her. Not as bad as Stephenie Meyer, who claims that her writing is better than Shakespeare (because apparently sparkly vampires are better than plays that have been told and retold as classics and timeless works of art for the last, I don't know, five hundred years). But still...

Do you guys think girl characters can get away with the stuff guy characters do? Or vice versa?

Nope. Again, TV Tropes. There's a whole list of things guys can't get away with that no one will bat an eyelash at if a girl does it, and very little vice versa, though said vice versa does happen.

For example, if the Northern Water Tribe were a matriarchal society, Pakku was female (now there's a scary thought), and Katara was male, and "he" challenged "her" to a fight and she beat him and kept telling him to stay in the kitchen, no one would care. But if it's women being treated that way, everyone is in an uproar.

11/4/2011 #77
Marius Prime

I can't believe I'm saying this, but TigerShadow is completely right.

11/4/2011 #78
TigerShadow

Hey, miracles can happen once in awhile.

11/4/2011 . Edited 11/4/2011 #79
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

I always thought it was odd how I tend to like male characters more so than female ones, although I am female. GothGeek pointed it out, that strong female characters like Katara in Avatar or Hermione in HP or Lyn in Fire Emblem are supposed to appeal to the female demographic. And yet, I find something annoying about each of these characters and find the male characters more sympathetic most of the time. It seems kind of odd, and sometimes I wonder if I'm judging a female character more harshly than a male character. But I think it's the way the female characters are written at times that make them annoying. Such as, when the majority of the character cast sing their praises but the character herself doesn't actually show all those virtues, or to the extent that we imagine that she would. Perhaps she is a little too ultra feminist, which can be annoying to women as well ... especially if the woman in question acts "entitled" or freaks out over the littlest things, or if the culture and society in question is a little sexist and the woman just seems WAY too ahead of her time, which is what bothered me about Jasmine in Aladdin. Also, I think women judge other women too harshly, and men judge other men too harshly. I think it's easier to criticize someone of the same gender because that question of, "you're a man, you don't understand what women think and go through" and vice versa isn't in question.

It's also not necessarily true that men can get away with more than women can. What men can get away with are different from what women can get away with. For example, one of my friends in my group is a guy who ... ends up getting quite a bit of a hard time from the rest of us. But if it were gender-flipped, so that the girls giving the guy a hard time were guys giving the girl a hard time, people would freak out and say that the guys are terrible people and "that poor girl". Whereas people think it's funny when it's girls giving a guy a hard time. Likewise, men in stories are generally able to be more "shallow" and "perfect" and not get as much grief as a female in the same position. So ... it's not that one gender can get away with stuff that another can't. It's just that the things they can get away with are different.

11/4/2011 #80
GothGeek89

I definitely find that I get more frustrated with the girl characters than the boys. Maybe it's justified, or maybe I'm falling into that group that empathizes more with guys, haha.

I'm the same way. Nice to know it's not just me. I'm kind of a tomboy so I've always felt I thought more a like guy and never knew how to deal with other girls since I never seemed to have anything in common with them; like my username implies, I'm a geek which is considered a "masculine" trait, I'm practical, and just plain found most feminine interest to be boring or just plain stupid. While I like a lot of female characters, it's sad that I can only relate to a handle full of them.

I also never got into characters like Hermione. Before book 5, I preferred Harry and Ron. I'm so glad Luna was created; she's the only female in HP that I like and can relate to. I'm just different I guess because female characters who are supposed to be "role models" for the female audience ironically turn me away. Another example that comes to mind is Wonder Woman who never interested me and I ended becoming a fan of Black Canary and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman instead. I guess it's because they scream "trying too hard".

Well, Katara is the closest thing to The Wesley then. There are still some tropes I get confused on. My mistake.

11/5/2011 #81
Mrs Pettyfer

Here you and I differ, Pettyfer. Cassandra Clare wrote The Draco Trilogy. Already I do not like her.

Haha well, I haven't read that. :P I've only read her published works: The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. I think I'm in the minority that didn't like Shakespeare or any of the classics I've attempted to read. *hides* Not my cup of tea, I suppose.

Korean, I agree with you completely. Perhaps you're right that genders tend to judge their own gender more harshly. I usually get more annoyed with female characters. I read a lot of YA and a lot of heroines are kind of generalized to being the "average, plain girl that gets the attention of the gorgeous, perfect guy and needs saving constantly." Thank goodness Richelle Mead wrote Rose Hathaway. :P Loved her as a heroine.

Favorite heroines, anyone?

It's just that the things they can get away with are different.

That's true. I also find it interesting that almost every love triangle I've read consists of one girl and two guys. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with one guy as the main character, deciding between two girls. Granted I only read fantasy/paranormal romance mainly in YA but still.

11/5/2011 #82
TigerShadow

Favorite heroines, anyone?

Toph and Ginny. Toph because she's...well, she's Toph. Ginny because she had to put up with a lot and because she's a really strong character. I think that she really proved herself worthy of being Harry Potter's love interest, because she's not the type to get apprehensive or blind-sided by the fame anymore. She can deal with the star power, and she knows Harry probably even better than Hermione or Ron.

almost every love triangle I've read consists of one girl and two guys.

And the ones that aren't, it's obvious who will win.

"Won-Won!"

11/5/2011 #83
Mrs Pettyfer
Thank heavens someone else loves Ginny besides me. :P I think she's perfect for Harry too. Refreshing that Rowling pairs the lead guy with a minor character and not the leading female. Won-Won..lmao. Does that really count as a love triangle? Lavender never stood a chance, haha. Brooke/Peyton/Lucas is the only one I can think of and that's from the TV show One Tree Hill. Not a book..so it doesn't count. Hm.
11/5/2011 #84
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

Shakespeare can be annoying if you don't understand what on Earth he's trying to say. I think that his works are classic, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I have to like them. So ... I'm more or less indifferent on Shakespeare.

Anyway, I had the thought that perhaps we are harsher on characters that are the same gender as us during a discussion I was having with a guy on the FE boards. We were talking about the two characters that make up one of my favorite pairings in FE, and I remember that he was saying that the male character was - I can't remember exactly - kind of brooding even when the girl in front of him (Lyn) has suffered more. Whereas I disagreed and said that it's arguable that the guy actually went through more than Lyn did, and that being quiet and having nothing to say doesn't equal brooding and that I found it annoying how Lyn kept on bringing up her clan's destruction all the time. Especially in a series when a good majority of the characters have suffered some hardship or drama. I think we're a bit harsher on our own genders because they represent ourselves to a degree. A female protagonist is supposed to have an effect on female readers, whether it is to give them a role model or to tell them what they should be like in society. So if we don't like the message or disagree with what they're telling society women are/should be like, then they're going to get a lot of hate.

In the case of Katara, it really seems to be a case of "the writers tried too hard". As for Hermione, however, while she was never my favorite I actually think that what I don't like about her is how the fans overhype her. She has many faults in the actual books other than being a know-it-all: she's hypocritical (she berates Harry and Ron for being disrespectful to Snape, but is much more disrespectful to Trelawny) and she seems to think that she's always justified. The problem is that Hermione's fans virtually erase her flaws or make them not-flaws or justify them, whereas they magnify Ron's flaws to the nth degree. And the movies seem to do the same thing, where they gloss over her flaws and make her "too" great. Considering that I didn't like her much in the first place, I suppose that's why I like her less now. As for the Lyn character I keep on talking about - I just don't like characters who whine about "their" hardships when most characters in that universe have suffered just as much. Which is why Katara bugs me, and Zuko initially bugged me too.

11/9/2011 #85
chromeknickers

As for Hermione, however, while she was never my favorite I actually think that what I don't like about her is how the fans overhype her. She has many faults in the actual books other than being a know-it-all: she's hypocritical (she berates Harry and Ron for being disrespectful to Snape, but is much more disrespectful to Trelawny) and she seems to think that she's always justified. The problem is that Hermione's fans virtually erase her flaws or make them not-flaws or justify them, whereas they magnify Ron's flaws to the nth degree. And the movies seem to do the same thing, where they gloss over her flaws and make her "too" great. Considering that I didn't like her much in the first place, I suppose that's why I like her less now.

^THIS.

As for Katara, I sometimes felt the loss of her mother was her justification to be a woe-unto-me slash bossy betty. Sokka lost his mum, too, but you didn't see him acting the same way as his sister. Honestly, I think Katara's attitude stems from her guilt over her mother's death.

Is there is a way to create a likeable, sympathetic character without making it all about the character's losses (unlike Katara and Zuko)? Of course. Iroh and Toph are great examples of this. Iroh lost his son and his wife; although he never talks about it much, can anyone here claim to have been dried-eyed when you watched the end of "Iroh's Tale" in Tales of Ba Sing Se? Toph, while she never lost a family member, makes for a sympathetic character and not because she's blind. It's her understated non-relationship with her parents and everyone's inability to treat her as a normal person instead of some fragile doll (gaang excluded, of course).

Personally, I've always felt very sympathetic for Aang. Aang lost his parental figure and his entire race - and he had the responsibility of being the Avatar constantly dangled over his head like the Sword of Damocles. Pressure, loss, guilt - that makes for one sympathetic character for me. Katara, though, by focusing on her loss and seeming to blame everyone but herself, made her annoying. I'm not saying that Katara is to blame for her mother's death, but she did need to admit that her guilt over her mother's death is what has clouded her judgement over people (not just Zuko, how about her initial views of Jet and Toph and Hama?) and other nations (i.e. "Fire Nation and everyone in it: BAD!").

11/9/2011 #86
Amira Elizabeth

I never found her annoying. I was frustrated by her at times, but I think the fact that she evoked those feelings is what makes her a good character. I do have to agree with Incognito on the issue of her mother. I found episodes like TSR to be completely pointless. I thought that helping others, trying to stop war, helping the Avatar, becoming a fighter and a master Waterbender was more than enough payback to the Fire Nation. And something that would have made her mother proud of her. I don't see Hakoda or Kya being particularly pleased that their daughter spoke horribly to her brother and and friend and let a former enemy speak horribly to her friend over the issue of revenge. And I have to say that was the one episode (and perhaps EIP) when I did find Katara kind of awful.

I've always had sympathy for Aang. Perhaps him more than anyone else because he did smile, did try to soldier on, did try to make amends for wrong-doings, and did try to make a life for himself. And he is open and loving and just wants to make friends. His tragedies did not make him closed off and he rarely took out his feelings about the loss of the air benders on others. And he himself is responsible for trying to keep his people alive through maintaining their culture and beliefs. And ultimately he would have to try to bring them back through procreating. That's a tall order. One that we know happens because of TLOK, but still when AtLA was on Aang always made me smile with his drive and ability to go on.

11/9/2011 . Edited 11/9/2011 #87
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

I think that Aang is my favorite character in AtLA, perhaps second to Toph but not entirely sure, mostly because he doesn't let the tragedies that happened to him become the center of his focus. I've never particularly liked characters like that. For example, I've always liked Naruto better than Sasuke because Naruto can hide his pain behind a smile and look forward to the future, whereas Sasuke is stuck in the past and shuts off everyone around him after his tragedy happens. I like the character Rath in Fire Emblem because despite the fact that his own tribe threw him out when he was less than four, the only time he ever mentions it is when someone else asked him about his past. Neither does he act angry at the world or brood about his past. He's just quiet. It always bothered me how Katara (and Zuko) couldn't seem to accept that other people had been torn apart by the war and acted as if they were justified in their actions simply because of what they went through. Like I've mentioned earlier, it's mostly the fact that Katara's flaws are never pointed out in-series that bothered me the most about her.

11/9/2011 #88
Amira Elizabeth

pBut they were pointed out - Toph called her out on her mothering and bossiness, Sokka called her out on her stealing and being nasty to Aang in the Waterbending Scroll, Aunt Wu cut her off when she was getting ridiculous over fortune telling and refused to predict for her anymore, Sokka called her on her behavior in "The Painted Lady", etc. She has been called out. Her flaws have been brought to light. The thing is the show doesn't dwell on them. It honestly doesn't dwell on flaws that much and part of what the shows does is that it uses those flaws to teach them lessons or they become quirks like Iroh's obsession with tea. /p

pAnd that is one of the many things I liked about the show. Flaws were shown to be things that could be made in positives. Like Katara's behavior in the Painted Lady - yes it did jeopardize them, but it was for a good cause and ended up being a positive./p

11/9/2011 #89
Korean Boron-Paper Stars

Even if they were called out, I don't feel as if they really "affected" her as much. For example, Sokka was portrayed as being rather sexist before he met up with the Kyoshi warriors. After Suki kicked his butt, he pretty much dropped the sexist attitude. Toph was rather brattish after she first joined the group, and in "The Runaway". She stops being nearly as much of a brat after it's called into question. Katara ... doesn't, not as much as the others did. Or she exchanges those flaws for flaws or personality traits that are even more annoying. Or the writers try to "justify" what she did. Your example of how Katara's behavior in "The Painted Lady" jeopardized them but was for a good cause and a positive is what I mean when I say Katara's faults and misdoings are "justified". I just don't feel as if she learned from her flaws and grew nearly as much as the rest of the cast.

11/9/2011 #90
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