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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Justice Tokidoki

Aang is the one who has to face the deadliest source of Firebending in a century. Aang is the one who has to defeat him while simultaneously keeping the tenuous balance alive by remaining loyal to the Air Nomads. Zuko has absolutely no idea what he's demanding that Aang do.

Yes, Zuko was (at the time) probably right to believe as he did. But the way he pursued it and challenged Aang was...well, unimpressive. He didn't believe killing Ozai was the best course of action, he believed it was the ONLY course of action. Some of the others followed his lead here.

I completely agree with you on this. It was definately Aang's decision to make!

Yes, Aang. The hero of the world, yet so very fragile (I'm not being sarcastic, btw - he really is quite dainty; as Toph so aptly put it once: "more in touch with his feminine side than most guys," lol). I, too, love that Toph never has an "off" button; but I don't think it would be a good thing for Aang. Remember how when she first started training him, she was so hard on him that he basically just shut down. Of course, eventually he came through that - and Earth was his toughest element, anyway - but still. Katara was his best teacher, I think, out of everyone. She knew how best to deal with him (though I'm sure it also helped A LOT that he had such a crush on her, lol). Aang never reacted well when people were too tough on him.

Very true. Aang never reacts well to people who yell at him. Just like when Jeong Jeong was teaching him. He was kind of harsh, but he was correct in telling Aang that he wasn't ready to firebend at the time.

7/29/2011 #181
Amira Elizabeth
I think the reason Aang responds to kinder treatment is because he wants to be seen as a human boy first. He doesn't want to be treated like this thing that needs to train and later be used to solve all the problems. He doesn't want to lose who he is. What he holds dear.
7/29/2011 #182
TigerShadow

His Dark Materials? :P

Actually, it's The Mysterious Benedict Society series. It's technically a children's book, but they're all about the size of Half-Blood Prince or Goblet of Fire. They're very interesting.

I loved Azula in that episode.

I like the way they fleshed out all the characters...instead of just "Azula, Zuko, and the minions," it turns the characters into "Azula, Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai." I really enjoy stories where characters are actually existing as people, instead of just being there so awesome stuff can happen to them. -coughBellaSwancough-

but Toph doesn't have an "off" button

Which is just totally fine with me. If Toph and/or Sokka are in character, it's guaranteed to be awesome.

7/30/2011 . Edited 7/30/2011 #183
ana001d

I'd like to add a little point that I haven't seen discussed. People are saying that Aang was selfish for delaying his training and being reluctant to kill the final villain. But isn't it even more (a lot, lot more) selfish to expect a twelve years old to save the world, superpowers or not? I hate to make comparisons to Harry Potter but Voldemort would have been dealt with much sooner and without resistance had the wizarding world actually fought back instead of hiding under their beds.

Killing a man isn't complicated. Zuko had an inkling of his father's true nature and could have done away with him much sooner and spare everyone the pain (poison, sneak attack, whatever…), but nobody seems to blame him, because he isn't the hero, and nobody expects him to do anything, so anything he does is seen as a plus, while anything Aang doesn't do is seen as a minus. That's the kind of double standard heroes have to live with.

1/9/2012 . Edited 1/9/2012 #184
TigerShadow

Voldemort would have been dealt with much sooner and without resistance had the wizarding world actually fought back instead of hiding under their beds.

Would he, though? Voldemort was working through the shadows in the early times and then started pulling blitzkriegs, and he proved early on that he was not a guy to mess with lightly. I can see the "much sooner" part; I can't see the "without resistance" part, especially since Voldemort was working with followers who had wanted to accomplish his Final Solution for a good long while.

so anything he does is seen as a plus, while anything Aang doesn't do is seen as a minus.

This.

People are saying that Aang was selfish for delaying his training and being reluctant to kill the final villain. But isn't it even more (a lot, lot more) selfish to expect a twelve years old to save the world, superpowers or not?

Zuko had an inkling of his father's true nature and could have done away with him much sooner and spare everyone the pain (poison, sneak attack, whatever…)

To be fair, I think it was a wise political move for Zuko not to take care of Ozai for the same reasons Iroh provides us in "The Old Masters":

"History would see it as more senseless violence, a brother killing a brother to grab power."

I don't think that he would have predicted it himself that he would be chosen as heir, but that's how it would have looked, that he killed Ozai to get the throne--and even more so should he have done away with Azula, and it is a given that he would have done so. Zuko couldn't do it; that would look like he was attempting to usurp the throne. Iroh couldn't do it for the same reason. None of the Gaang, even combined, could do it; Aang using regular bending almost killed him. The only person who would have the most obviously right motives and fighting credentials to defeat Ozai was Aang, and that's probably an underlying reason why he was so pressured.

3/26/2012 . Edited 3/29/2012 #185
Fullmetal Catalyst

To be fair, I think it was a wise political move for Zuko not to take care of Ozai for the same reasons Iroh provides us in "The Old Masters":

True. He's also simply incapable of doing such a thing. He's honest, forthright, generally believes in doing the right thing. If he'd tried, Ozai would've killed him; if he'd somehow succeeded, Azula would've killed him, because in the time it took for Zuko to plot the assassination, Azula coerced all his allies, told Ozai about it, plotted her own assassination, carried it out, found his mother, banished her again, went to the beach and crashed Chan's party, returned to the palace, and was nearly killed herself because Zuko thought she was Ozai.

As for that scene during Black Sun...apart from pushing against the statement that "Aang was reluctant to kill Ozai OMG WEAK"...Zuko's good, but Ozai's built like a truck. A couple nicks with a sword won't do a thing. A couple well-placed thrusts MIGHT do some damage, but the instant Ozai gets within arm's reach, Zuko dies. It's very much a Luke Skywalker (*chuckles*) vs. Emperor scenario, but with no Darth Vader to intervene.

3/26/2012 #186
TigerShadow

Exactly. That's why I state that Aang is the only character with the right position and the right fighting credentials to take down Ozai. Zuko couldn't match his dad until probably about the time Sozin's Comet rolled around, and even then, politics comes to mind. Iroh has the power, but he couldn't do it, again, for political reasons. The rest of the Gaang has the right position, but there's no way that they'd be able to match Ozai ever since they lost their chance during the eclipse. Aang, with the Avatar State and the role as The Hero, is the only one who fits both roles.

3/29/2012 #187
OVER9000noodles
i didnt even read that crap you wrote about aang . freak ,you dont think aang deserve katara aang is not immature person WATCH AWAKENING and u say aang kiss katara 1st which he did u see katara at the end she was puckering her lips out TO of course u must be a zutara fan now wat eva but who cares about zutara KATAANG WON ATLA AND LOK DEAL WITH IT btw dont just say dat about aang cuz of 1 episodes dont focus on 1 episode dang focus on how it turn KATAANG 4 EVA
6/23/2012 #188
Fullmetal Catalyst

Dude, that's a hell of a lot of noodles.

6/23/2012 #189
Narwhalphonse

WE NEED A LIKE BUTTON. NOWZ.

6/23/2012 #190
dayties

Briefly skimmed over a couple of notes about the four pairings (so I'm going to briefly run over Maiko and Taang as well).

Before I say anything though, I'm not even going to mention my opinion on their ages. Zuko, Katara and Aang are 16, 14, and 12 respectively, but Aang is far more mature than both Zuko and Katara. He may goof off, but he is the only one who actually thinks his actions through.

First off: Kataang

The first time I watched the show, I must admit I was a Zutara fan. That's possibly the romantic side of a teenage girl who really likes the bad-boy and the "tomboy" (can I really even call her that? I don't know, Katara's everywhere) being paired off. After rewatching the series, I've realised that realistically, Kataang is a much more understandable pairing. Without looking at Zutara, the main aspect that Kataang has is trust. Katara and Aang from day one seemed to have trusted the other. When at the Southern Air Temple, we see Katara reaching out for Aang (metaphorically) and trying to help him understand the situation. She's the only one who is capable of calming his bouts of rage and she is the only one who understands how to do it. Sokka and Toph are very often on the sidelines when Aang goes into the Avatar State, whereas Katara is first in line to jump to help him.

Now, I'm not particularly fond of Katara. To me, she always seemed a bit whiny, but I let it slide considering her situation. Nonetheless, her distancing from Aang is understandable. Aang is the first boy around her age that she meets that is not her brother (maybe not in her lifetime, but over the course of a couple of years). He is the first boy she begins to understand, and she does it with ease. This is why later on, it becomes easier for her to understand other boys (Haru, Jet, Zuko etc.) She has practiced communication with boys around her age and is becoming fully capable of having feelings for them. Since Aang is the first non-related one she meets though, she subconciously puts him under the same category as her brother. She doesn't realise though that she may harbour feelings for him (this is visible on Kyoshi Island), and becomes jealous very easily.

Throughout the course of the series, Aang has made advances on Katara but she is either obfuscating obliviousness so that neither get attached if the other dies (they are in a war after all) or she hasn't realised her feelings for him yet. Based on the hints throughout the show, I believe the former. She tries to push Aang away because he's the Avatar, fighting against the Fire Lord, and the nation that has held the world in a war for 100years. Many people don't even live that long. Katara is a bit more mature, she understands death, and she realises that she doesn't want that hollow feeling that she had when her mother died, and she doesn't want Aang to feel that way in case she dies. Only at the very end, when the world is finally at peace, does she accept her feelings and Aang's and finally start dating him.

Katara is in fact, the most reasonable girlfriend I have ever met. And she's a teenager for god's sake!

Aang is immature - in the sense that he goofs around - but he's also a kid. People hate him for his final decision of not being willing to kill the Fire Lord. He's a monk! From his birth, he's been raised and taught that murdering someone intentionally is the worst thing you could do. He accepts all things living. If he's not willing to eat meat, why on earth do you think he'd be willing to kill a man? It doesn't matter what Ozai has done, he is still a living, breathing being.

Katara, in fact, understands this. Maybe not to the extent that Aang does, but she understands more than anyone else in the Gaang. She is a very soothing character and is able to help Aang - hence her motherly character - when he is lost, while Aang is able to protect Katara when she is angry. We can tell during the episode "The Southern Raiders" because even if the episode is more Zutara-centric, it does end up with Aang being right and he does fix everything (YMMV, he doesn't do much but talk but I can only guess that his words are at the back of Katara's mind.) They balance each other out, and it works out for the best.

Second: Zutara

As I said earlier, I used to be a Zutara fan. Zuko is one of my favourite characters, and even though I never really liked Katara, she had something about her that used to fit with Zuko.

Now though, I completely disagree.

Zuko is a hot-headed character, and he is very depressive. We can see even during the Promise that he hasn't sorted out his feelings yet, and searches for his father's guidance. Katara is able to help with the depression, I will agree. The two are able to connect with each other based on their pasts and their families being practically mirror images of the other's.

But they lack trust.

Katara holds grudges easily, but eventually she accepts Zuko as a part of the group and he is willing to risk his life for her (to me, the latter was always a sense of duty. Azula was his sister, and Katara dying because of him not being able to complete the Agni Kai properly would be on his conscious.) Nonetheless, Zuko would also do this for Sokka, Aang, or even Toph. He has changed, open his heart up to the group and they have all accepted him. Some would argue you that even though what I'm saying is true, most scenes have Zuko and Katara together and therefore they should be together.

No.

That's not how that works.

1) That's ship-tease and we know that our favourite creators love ship-tease (even more blatantly in LoK).

2) Zuko has similar moments with Sokka and Aang. While Zuko bonds with Katara about their mothers, he also bonds with Aang during his trip to the Sun-Warriors and with Sokka about their girlfriends. Yes, Zuko has a girlfriend. Therefore, I could justify that Zuko should end up with Sokka and Aang because of these episodes. He has many moments where he intensifies his friendships with them even more so than with Katara. In fact, he tightens his bond with Aang because Aang trusts Zuko enough with the dragons in case they're killed right then and there, while Zuko trusts Aang enough to have his back if need be. Also, Zuko and Sokka trust each other enough that they go to the most dangerous prison in the Fire Nation. Zuko is even captured. He's only met this boy a couple of months ago, and Sokka had been willing to kill them less than a few weeks ago. Based on all this, Zuko and Katara have had more time together (Ba Sing Se, for example) and their relationship has developed less than how much it did with Aang and Sokka. Does that mean Zuko and them should be together? No. Just because Zuko and Katara are of different genders and have a strong friendship, does not mean they belong together.

During the trip down south with Katara, they don't really talk much. In fact, it seemed as if Zuko was only their because he had information and because he knew it wasn't safe for her to go alone. It was best that he went because he was the Prince of the Fire Nation, therefore he knew the most about it. If Aang had gone, he couldn't help Katara get the information she needed, and it wouldn't intensify the friendship that Zuko and Katara need if they're going to fight in a war together.

Third: Maiko

I love this pairing. Mai and Zuko seem fitting together (not just because of their intense make-out sessions) but because their personalities fit. Zuko is depressed. His life has been far harsher than anyone else's to date. His father is trying to take over the world and burned half his face, while his sister is a psychopath who is bent on killing him (haha bent.) His mother disappeared and may even be dead and it's heavily implied that it's because of him (wow that must be even more scarring than his scar) and his uncle never really showed up until after he was banished. For the past 6 years of his life he's been under total chaos. The only way to redeem himself is to capture or kill the Avatar.

Now not much is known about Zuko during his children years except his relationship with his mother and sister. He does have a brief scene, but only then is it confirmed that Mai has a crush on him. Zuko may have been harbouring feelings (aka protecting her from his psychopathic sister's firebending) for her as well, but that's not confirmed for sure. Nonetheless, there is enough evidence to say that they could have had feelings for each other since they were little tykes. Some may argue that it's thrown in randomly (I can agree to a certain extent) but the creators couldn't have really mentioned it earlier without it being random or forced. Mai doesn't make an appearance until the second season and doesn't talk to Zuko on-screen until later. The flashback was placed at just the right time for it to make sense.

Now, on to the actual pairing.

Zuko and Mai (and Azula but that kind of makes sense considering she's psycho) are socially awkward, Zuko even more so than Mai. We can tell from when they go to Ember Island. Zuko is also very jealous of guys that hit on his girlfriend. He's protective and it's quite clear that he cares about her dearly. Mai may seem like she's emotionless, but it's justified considering her past. The two are awkward but understand each other better than anyone else does. Zuko confides in Mai, and the only reason he leaves her is for the good of the world. He can't see her face-to-face for a number of reasons (getting caught, not having the courage to leave after that etc.) and when he does see her later on, Mai is hurt. Zuko is apologetic. Neither questions their feelings for another, they just know that now isn't a good time because Zuko has to help save the world. Mai helps him escape the Boiling Rock, and what really made me fall in love with her is when she sticks up for herself against Azula.

It's been previously mentioned that that wasn't a good scene considering Mai only sticks up against Azula because of Zuko. To me, that's the best part of it all.

Mai is rather, damper or emotionless. She's snarky but in her own way. When she sticks up to Azula, the girl that's been mindfucking with her and Ty Lee for their whole lives, it just defines her character. She has feelings for someone so strong that she's willing to put her life on the line. Mai is so in love with Zuko that she's willing to fight and die fighting. She never expects Ty Lee to help her. She knows the consequences against speaking up to Azula and it makes her brave. It's the second time we've seen her feeling something other than her boredom (first being when they all have a life-chat on Ember Island). It sucks that Zuko has to be the reason why she sticks up to Azula, but we learn that Mai, even after having her heartbroken, trusts Zuko enough to be making the right decision and knowing that she won't regret any decision she makes when it comes to him. She loves him more than anything in the world.

Zuko, when talking to Sokka about Mai, is lovestruck. His face when he talks about her, when Sokka calls her the "sighing girl" is the face of a man in love. Zuko's been hurt by many things, but he loves Mai and he opens his heart to her. Even better, he confronts her. Even if they get in a fight, it just makes it all the more real. They talk to each other, in ways that Zuko and Katara or Katara and Aang don't. They try to understand each other, and it's harder because of their personalities, but they make it work and they try to make it work. The fact that they don't give up just proves how much they care about each other.

Four: Taang

This one's going to be brief.

I never really saw this as a pairing. In fact, due to Toph's boyish personality, I always saw Aang and Toph as best friends, or like bros. Toph is harsh on Aang, but we've seen earlier on that Katara's kind and soothing methods work better. Their personalities just don't mesh well romantically, and even the excuse "opposites attract" doesn't fit. They're far too similar and far too different to really work. If anything, Toph seems better fit single (even though the Tokka ship-tease delights me) or with whoever she ends up with to give birth to Lin. Aang is far too dainty to mix with a character so masculine. They have different opinions on a lot of things, so I really can't see them as anything more than good friends.

*despite my constant reminders, I actually don't hate Azula. She's probably one of my favourite characters, just because of her story. I understand why she's the way she is, but it's hard to deny that the other characters probably won't be all too forgiving when it comes to her. Even Zuko, who is seen sad when she almost dies or when she's finally gone insane, will be distant.

This is just my two cents. Feel free to disagree.

6/24/2012 #191
Amira Elizabeth

What a nice post. :)

I'll type more later. But I wanted to tell you that.

6/24/2012 #192
OVER9000noodles
sure is a lot of noodles yummy in my tummy btw im not a dude :)
6/24/2012 #193
TigerShadow

-shrug- It's the Internet. "Dude" is not gender-exclusive.

6/25/2012 #194
OVER9000noodles
gotcha i understand :)
6/25/2012 #195
The.Ocean.Shadow

Lol he did get a wee bit annoying

6/27/2012 #196
grizzlybairparty

Well, I'm gonna give my thoughts on this. No flames back, y'all. And sorry if this comes out like I'm bashing Aang. I'm not.

I think Zutara is more mature and developed than Kataang. And you can't say that Zutara had no hints whatsoever; you and I both saw "The Crossroads of Destiny". And the moment you saw Katara touch that scar, you heard the explosion of crazy Zutara fangirls' heads exploding.

I was one of them. :)

But anyway, Zutara is more mature and developed than Kataang because Zuko and Katara have more of a past to build upon. Sure, Aang lost his whole race and feels deep guilt for that, but I don't think Air Nomads ever really meet their parents. Aang never talks about his Mom or Dad. Just Monk Gyatso. Zuko and Katara have both lost their favorite parent, the one who truly cared for them the most.

Also, Zuko and Katara are much more physically and emotionally grown than Aang. A 12 year old dating a 14 year old is not necessarily weird, but when the 12 year old is still a little childish and immature, it's awkward.

Zuko and Katara seem just right for each other. You saw "The Southern Raiders". You know how well they work together when set on a common goal. The ninja costumes don't hurt either. And even though Zuko had been terrible, Katara finds it in her heart to forgive him. And that's what true love is. Being able to forgive someone, or accept their mistakes. You love them, no matter what happens.

Zuko and Katara have emotional depth. They're people in turmoil and people in turmoil look for others like them to understand. Zuko and Katara found each other. They tried to get to know each other in "The Crossroads of Destiny" but because of Zuko's turmoil, he loses himself and Katara. If Zuko had made the right choice, who knows what would have happened. But I'm sure all of you have pondered this.

And finally, I want to show you a comment I came across when I was on www(dot)digavatar(dot)com. I was watching the epi "The Southern Raiders". This comment sums my thoughts up better than me.

I don't have the time to get into an in-depth explanation of why Zutara is the most rational pairing because it is too complicated and multi-faceted to summarize. What is horrible is how this ship and perspective is misportayed and trashed by Kataangers/Maikoans when they don't have the depth of mind and character, open-mindedness, capacity for insight, life experience, or psychological understanding to understand it and they created an unfounded hatred that is so vile and wrong because Zutara is such a good, deep, complex, and beautiful coupling. The canon couplings ironically created a block/barrier from understanding the characters and themes while making no use of the symbolism. I would say 95% of Kataang/Maiko do not understand , respect, or empathize with Zuko's life, personality, and redemptive arc which is why they do not understand Zutara. For the people who were analyzing Zuko profoundly, it was the most logical to pair him with Katara because you see the most powerful parallels and similarities between them which also flows beautifully when the symbolism and themes of Avatar. It was too complex for most children to understand but there was no reason for such a blind and brutal bandwagon mentality to be launched against Zutara. Zuko and Katara would have balanced each other out. They have the best capacity for challenging, deepening, understanding each other and fulfilling each other needs, desires, and voids. What unites them is stronger than what divides them. In fact what divides them by the end of the story is purely superifical and external because the internal barriers are removed once Zuko understands his life, humanity, and what the right side was by dynamically overcoming years of evil brainwashing from the fire nation and emotional abuse that caused him to make those mistakes. Zuko and Katara also have the greatest access to pain and empathy. You see similarities in their personalities, pain, struggles, reactions, attitudes, and they are the most alike of the characters once you forgive and overcome the prejudice regarding Zuko's past. People don't realize how extraordinary Zuko was to even realize what the right side and right perspective was despite his upbringing. Zutara was epic, unique, and inspirational. What was intriguing is how they seem like opposites in the beginning but you discover that their inner character, motivations, and basic natures are the most alike and they seem made for each other.

That was just such a light summary of why I ship Zutara. It would take a whole book to discuss all of the aspects, reasons, and layers behind why I chose to ship it. It would also take a whole essay to explain why I did not like Kataang/Maiko and why it conflicted with the characters and essence of the show and why Zutara would have enhanced it. The choice of Kataang/Maiko had a destructive mental influence and created such ignorance and foul hatred that the show was preaching against. It did not even realize how wrong of a choice Kataang/Maiko was until the I analyzed all of the commentary. There was a lack of chemistry and an imbalanced dynamic between Aang & Katara mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You also don't turn the big sister-mother-caretaker-teacher figure into the love interest especially since she didn't reciprocate his puppy-dog obsessive infatuation and inappropriate infatuation which he immaturely labeled as true love until the very end because it was what the main protagonist wanted. You don't pair off a kid with a teenager who had the spirit of a woman together. It was also about nuturing his needs, not hers. There were so many ways in which Katara and Aang would not click well romantically. They were better off as friends and as a family-unit. There were many reasons I didn't like Kataang. I just lightly addressed a few of them. Katara need somebody who was far more dynamic, complex, intense, mature, with a far wider emotional and psychological spectrum like Zuko.

Maiko, don't even get me started on it. She was probably the least compatible with Zuko out of all of the main female characters. Even Toph, Suki, Jin, Song, and Ty Lee were more compatible than Mai. In fact, I think even Aang and Sokka were more compatible with Zuko than Mai. Mai was a nihilist and depressive sociopath who reflected no deeper understanding of the evils of the fire nation, showed NO concern or understanding of Zuko's then-internal conflict, struggles, pain, and true character/motivations. Even when they were on the same side on the surface, she did not treat him with respect and blew him off when he tried to communicate and confide with her. It was shallow and dysfunctional, yet he goes back to her? She saved him but it was not for deep reasons. Kataang/ Maiko also felt unnatural and contrived…they lacked even a decent amount of chemistry. Maiko made it seem as if Zuko's reformation and evolution did not matter. It was a consolation ship to pair Zuko off with somebody to remove the threat of a plausible hookup with Katara. The canon couples only made sense to the most superficial who were also the most spiteful about their ships.

I empathized with the boy Zuko was, fell in love with the man he had become at the end of his journey, and was intrigued by the possibly of how he would evolve and shape the world in the future. I wanted him to find true love, happiness, peace, and fufillment with the character who deserved him the most, Katara. Not for him to settle with a dark and depressive character who doesn't understand him and who does not care about the world. I identified the most with Katara and wanted her to end up with her passionate equal, the yang to her ying. Not to end up with her younger best friend who was like a little brother to her out of obligation and misdirected unhealthy emotions.

I don't completely agree with the first paragraph, but that person's not me. I can't complain.

So, even though the show went the Kataang route, I will always be a Zutara shipper.

6/29/2012 #197
TigerShadow

But anyway, Zutara is more mature and developed than Kataang because Zuko and Katara have more of a past to build upon. Aang never talks about his Mom or Dad. Just Monk Gyatso.

Not really...Zuko and Katara did both lose a parent that they cared about, but when you're talking about a past to build upon, generally that means shared experiences, of which Zuko and Katara have...well, not very much. (I was going to say very little, but that's a bit harsh in my opinion.) Aang and Katara have been together from the beginning, whereas Zuko and Katara have had a fairly rocky relationship. That doesn't mean that it can't possibly ever concievably become a romance, but you can't say that Zuko and Katara have all this experience together just because they both lost parents and Aang and Katara have none because Aang didn't lose a parent.

Which leads to my next point--Katara and Aang did lose parents that they cared about. Aang lost a father-figure rather than a father, but Gyatso's biological relationship to Aang doesn't change what their relationship was. And it was all down to the Fire Nation, too (seriously, what's with all these firebenders running around killing everyone's parents?).

Zuko and Katara have both lost their favorite parent, the one who truly cared for them the most.

In Zuko's case, this is very true (and in Aang's, come to think of it). In Katara's...not so much. She still had her grandmother and her father, both of whom loved and cared about her very much. There is no evidence in the show to suggest that Kya's relationship to Katara was any more or less than Hakoda's or Kanna's. Kya is just brought up more often because it's Katara and Sokka's main motivation for hating the Fire Nation.

Also, Zuko and Katara are much more [...] emotionally grown than Aang.

Not really. I can see this holding true for Katara (maybe), but not for Zuko. Aang didn't have temper tantrums when things didn't go his way. Aang's had to shoulder a bigger burden than Zuko, and as much as he kept running away from his problems, when he eventually faced them, he did it with a lot more grace than Zuko did. I don't denegrate what Zuko's been through, but Zuko's character growth being a turbulent, in-your-face journey in which he made extremely poor decisions does not make Aang's character growth any better or worse. Aang didn't always make good decisions. Neither did Zuko. But Zuko being abused as a child and then reacting the way he is expected to doesn't really make him more "emotionally grown" than Aang.

A 12 year old dating a 14 year old is not necessarily weird, but when the 12 year old is still a little childish and immature, it's awkward.

That's always been my problem with Katara/Aang--not the age differences, but the ages themselves. It's a wonderfully developed pairing, but I'm sick and tired of this idea that twelve-year-olds--teenagers in general, really--need to be running around having crushes and making out all over the place. Perhaps the only reason why Aang and Katara didn't end up breaking up or anything is because of the sake of Twoo Wuv, because starting a relationship that early--no matter how much you've been through--tends not to end well. Not in all cases, but most of the time it doesn't. I'm not saying they'd have a ton of drama and they'd never speak to each other again, but...well, Katara's line in The Promise about how she and Aang realized that they were to be together forever sounded so incredibly cheesy and stupid to me. She is fifteen years old and I do not care how much she's experienced with this kid, neither of them knows that and they can't make that decision this early in their lives.

*whew* All that ranting said, I wouldn't say that Aang is childish and immature. He's a goofy kid who knows how to have fun, and he does have his moments. But he's not necessarily "childish and immature". Maybe he doesn't know how to handle a crush or a relationship. That's okay. He's twelve and hasn't ever done this before. He's not supposed to get it. I won't say that Aang is "ZOMG SOOPR MATUR" or anything, but he's not childish.

You know how well they work together when set on a common goal.

That's what I like so much about it. *hides*

And that's what true love is. Being able to forgive someone, or accept their mistakes. You love them, no matter what happens.

I think Zuko and Katara could have turned into romance in different circumstances. Maybe if he'd taken Aang's offer to be friends in "The Blue Spirit", or if he'd let Katara heal Iroh in "The Chase", or if he'd made the decision to join the Gaang in "The Crossroads of Destiny". But after "The Southern Raiders" would have been way too soon.

I'll say this, though...love--no matter what kind--isn't accepting someone's mistakes. Love, to me, is accepting that they've learned from them.

If Zuko had made the right choice, who knows what would have happened. But I'm sure all of you have pondered this.

Fair enough. I've wondered myself what would have happened if Zuko had gotten himself together during "The Crossroads of Destiny". I don't think it would have taken as long for Katara to forgive him, for one thing; she trusted him. She was being a bit naive by doing so, but she trusted him, and if he'd accepted that bond of trust and gone with her and the rest of the Gaang, it would have been a lot different.

I would say 95% of Kataang/Maiko do not understand , respect, or empathize with Zuko's life, personality, and redemptive arc which is why they do not understand Zutara.

Most of those people absolutely understand, respect, and/or empathize with Zuko's life, personality, and redemptive arc. They just don't see how doing so leads to Zutara.

It was too complex for most children to understand but there was no reason for such a blind and brutal bandwagon mentality to be launched against Zutara.

Please. Don't give me the "kids don't get it" garbage. Zuko and Katara, whatever their relationship may be, is not too complex for kids to get. People--no matter their ships--really need to quit acting like they alone know what's right, and that their pairing is the greatest and that the people who don't see their logic are just too blind and/or immature to "get it".

People don't realize how extraordinary Zuko was to even realize what the right side and right perspective was despite his upbringing.

Not really, seeing as how Iroh had been hammering it into his head for ages and his mother wasn't exactly abusive.

You also don't turn the big sister-mother-caretaker-teacher figure into the love interest especially since she didn't reciprocate his puppy-dog obsessive infatuation and inappropriate infatuation which he immaturely labeled as true love until the very end because it was what the main protagonist wanted.

Let's just put it like this--they both had crushes on one another and they acted. It wasn't "true love" for reasons I've already mentioned, but at least it was developed. I don't agree with Aang labeling his crush as true love any more than this poster, but Katara/Aang, for all its faults, was at least well developed.

You don't pair off a kid with a teenager who had the spirit of a woman together.

What's this "spirit of a woman" stuff? Katara didn't have the "spirit of a woman" when it came to romance or much of anything. Her idea of romance is to giggle and blush and make hats (nooo, I didn't steal Amira's argument...whatever are you talking about?). She's fourteen. She's an idealistic young girl. There's no "spirit of a woman" in her throughout most of the show. She's a teenager, but there's no "spirit of a woman" in her. Spirit of a doting mother, maybe, and it's perfectly understandable, but not a woman. Katara's got a lot of growing up to do before then.

What was intriguing is how they seem like opposites in the beginning but you discover that their inner character, motivations, and basic natures are the most alike and they seem made for each other.

Aside from the last bit, I will mention this to give that user credit--they didn't bring out the old "opposites attract argument".

Even when they were on the same side on the surface, she did not treat him with respect and blew him off when he tried to communicate and confide with her. It was shallow and dysfunctional, yet he goes back to her? She saved him but it was not for deep reasons.

I...actually agree with this, to a certain extent. I never thought that Mai was really good for Zuko. She doesn't put up with all his angst and junk, but she doesn't really give him advice on how to deal with it--she just tells him to shut up. I just don't think they'd work because Mai doesn't care. Mai doesn't give a flying donkey who's on what side of the war, and which one is right or wrong. She just cares about Zuko. It would have been nice to see her detach herself from Zuko, maybe save him from Azula partly because she cared and partly because it was the right thing to do. I think that, to a certain extent, both Mai and Ty Lee were victims of bad writing in that they could have been developed into so much more than they were. They could have both been really good characters, but they weren't developed as well...ah, well. No time or inclination, I guess.

Mai doesn't do things because she believes in a cause...but Zuko does. I think that this is a fundamental difference in their personalities that just doesn't work. If they plan to be together--and why would you date anyone, unless to marry them?--then they'd have to work out that problem. Of course, with the release of The Promise, Part 2, it's a moot point, but whatever. (I just want to know what happened to Sokka/Suki...it was the only canon pairing I actually liked, and they're taking it from me.)

I wanted him to find true love, happiness, peace, and fufillment with the character who deserved him the most, Katara.

Zuko would have to go a long way before Katara ever felt that she "deserved" him.

It was a consolation ship to pair Zuko off with somebody to remove the threat of a plausible hookup with Katara.

Not really. I don't know why the writers paired off Mai with Zuko, but it wasn't for that reason. The writers are not crazy, Pair-The-Spares-happy shippers. They did it for a reason. I can't tell you what that reason is, obviously, but it wasn't the one given by this poster.

The canon couples only made sense to the most superficial who were also the most spiteful about their ships.

Okay, so this poster is basically saying that Katara/Aang and Mai/Zuko were pathetic, lacking chemistry, consolation prizes, and "for the kiddies"...and then turns around and calls them spiteful?

the yang to her ying

//yin

In conclusion, that whole post you quoted sounds like every argument I've ever heard from Harmonians, and if you've ever seen my responses to such arguments, you'll understand why I cannot really analyze this particular post without coming across as being quite harsh. We've heard this sort of thing--"It's so mature! It's the adult ship!"--countless times, and we've refuted it countless times. And it's getting old. All of those arguments are getting old. The idea that Zuko/Katara is somehow more complex and deep and epic and inspirational and Katara/Aang was just for the kiddies is just plain stupid.

At the surface, I don't care one way or another. I would pick Zuko/Katara, at the surface, because I don't like it when crushes are labeled as "true love", but ultimately, I found Zuko/Katara first and I think that, aesthetically, they look good together. There, I said it. My entire base reasoning for supporting this pairing at all is fairly shallow. But at least I'll tell you that and own up to that fact instead of giving all this garbage about how it's this epic, pure love story. It's not. It could be, and that's what I love about it. But it's not.

FanFiction.Net and its annoying new forum templates and renovations are driving me absolutely bonkers...and my horrible, exhaustion induced keyboarding and occasional computer glitches really aren't helping.

6/29/2012 . Edited 6/29/2012 #198
grizzlybairparty

Thank you for pointing out all of the flaws in that comment. I was a little crazy when I posted that. *shrugs* Whaddya gonna do?

Finally, another mature Zutara fan. *I'm not mature all the time though.*

And yeah, I don't believe the 'opposites attract' garbage either. It annoys me because how many 'opposites attarct' couples do you see out there that are funtional and stable?

Exactly.

But where you say Zuko isn't emotionally grown, I have to disagree. I think he has felt more rage and anger than Aang really has. Not to say that that constitutes emotional growth. It just seems that Aang doesn't have a huge range of emotions during the series. Most of the time, he's happy. Occasionally sad, scared, or angry.

Your definition of true love is much better than mine. :D

And you're very right, what if Zuko had joined the group earlier than that. Like in "The Blue Spirit" or "The Chase". I would have liked that. But I'm not Bryke, sadly.

And to my personal opinion, Mai is a bag of bones with no emtions. She says she loves Zuko in a monotone. I think she smiles once in the whole series. THE ONLY PERSON WHO DESERVES ZUKO'S LOVE IS ME! JK.

And IKR, I'm so tired of hearing "It's the adult ship!" It's just stupid. What kind of adult would even care about the ships? Adults would just watch the show and enjoy it. Which is what I feel some people have lost by arguing, "It's the adult ship!"

Overall, thank you for your reply. It really opened my eyes more.

I stil ship Zutara like you wouldn't believe. :)

6/29/2012 #199
TigerShadow

But where you say Zuko isn't emotionally grown, I have to disagree. I think he has felt more rage and anger than Aang really has.

Most of the time, he's happy. Occasionally sad, scared, or angry.

I was speaking more of maturity, rather than emotional ranges.

The opposite can be said of Aang and Zuko--Aang has felt more happiness and peace than Zuko really has. But Aang is also much more willing to be open with his feelings, and he isn't ashamed to feel. Largely, Zuko feels rage and anger out of arrogance. By the end of the series he got better, but largely Aang has had a wider emotional range ("The Avatar State" and "The Desert" come to mind).

Finally, another mature Zutara fan.

I am a Zuko/Katara shipper, not a Zutara fan. -shakes head in denial- I'm more or less trying to distinguish myself from the militants when I say that, like the difference between a Harry/Hermione shipper and a Harmonian.

Your definition of true love is much better than mine. :D

Love can hardly be defined, in my opinion; I was pointing out simply a part of what it is to love someone. But thanks; I appreciate it. Most people think I'm nuts. :)

Mai is a bag of bones with no emtions. She says she loves Zuko in a monotone.

I think she cared about him a great deal, but I'm not sure if it was love or not. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But I think Mai is a very interesting character. She and Ty Lee were both grazed on the surface, but they were never really explored as characters. I think it'd be interesting to explore just what makes Mai the way she is--it's one thing to say, "My parents' regulations made me that way" and another to actually show us what happened. Because Mai is emotionally layered; it just takes a lot to get there.

Overall, thank you for your reply. It really opened my eyes more.

You're welcome. And welcome to the forum. :)

6/29/2012 #200
grizzlybairparty

Thanks for the welcome! I was feeling chatty today, so I picked a random forum that wasn't roleplay. Roleplay confuzzles me.

Very true, the opposite can be said of Aang and Zuko. Aang is much more happy and peaceful than Zuko. That's one of the reasons I love both guys! :)

6/29/2012 #201
dayties

I have so many things to say to all this. Sorry if I may come across as harsh or rude. Sometimes I have to intensify my statement to prove a point. Moving on...

I won't be mentioning the things that were previously mentioned by TigerShadow. Just my two cents.

You saw "The Southern Raiders". You know how well they work together when set on a common goal.

I can agree with this to a certain extent. They do work together well, but I believe Katara and Aang (or even Katara and Sokka really) work together even better. The former pair work exceptionally well when it comes to Waterbending. They have a very similar mindset when it comes to these things and are quick on their feet, already knowing the other is probably thinking the same way. Zuko and Katara, as I have mentioned before, are simply working together well because Katara needs Zuko at this time because he has all the knowledge. If she had already known everything as well as he did, she could've accomplished the same way she did with him. They're people in turmoil and people in turmoil look for others like them to understand.

Eh.

No, they definitely have their emotional issues. I could definitely say that Zuko is going through a phase of harsh turmoil (book 2 is especially hard on him when he leaves his uncle). I can say the same for Aang, who has the burden of the world on his shoulders and the thought of having to kill a human being is on the back of his mind.

Katara, not so much. She is definitely going through some unsteady emotions, but turmoil? If you don't mind telling me what you thought by this, I'd be glad to hear it. She's having a rough time still coping with her mother's death, but that's not turmoil. Her feelings on the matter are set. She wants the murderer dead. That's not turmoil.

The choice of Kataang/Maiko had a destructive mental influence and created such ignorance and foul hatred that the show was preaching against.

Let me try to hold back my bouts of frustration.

Okay, arguably, the main themes of the show are this: making your own destiny, growing, staying true to yourself while doing the right thing.

Feel free to disagree, but these are the most important themes I have seen throughout the series.

That being said, I can very easily explain why both Kataang and Maiko are wonderful examples of these themes. The making your own destiny part: Katara leaves her village because of Aang, deciding she doesn't want to hold back anymore and she wants to master her ability. If it weren't for him and his encouragement, her Waterbending wouldn't be anywhere as good as it is now. The same can be said vise-verse. For Mai and Zuko, Zuko leaves the Royal Palace to do the right thing, and Mai is hurt. I can't emphasize this enough. She is not bland, she has a very wide range of emotions, but they are very limited to us as viewers. As I was saying previously, she is hurt, but she eventually accepts that Zuko has his own life and his own destiny to fulfill, and she'll do what she can to help him. They both understand the concept pretty well.

For the second theme: growing. Mai and Zuko are like the epitome of this theme. They have known each other since they were little tykes, and have grown into the people they are now. Despite Zuko's much more fiery personality, Mai still sees the same parts of him that she fell for. He has grown into the man he is today, with his heart in the right place but his one-track mind and Mai accepts all of this. She stays by his side and is growing with him. She is much more emotional than how we first see her. She is able to demonstrate anger and courage and sadness. She is able to demonstrate all of this in the course of ONE EPISODE. Please tell me how she's emotionless. I dare you. Katara and Aang on the other hand, are completely different people now than they were at the beginning of the series. Aang was a runaway, afraid of facing his destiny, now a boy who is standing up to this world's equivalent of a Hitler and doing it his way. He has his own mindset and is not pushed around by the thoughts around him, and he has the courage to stand up to the man that is part of the family that people have been fearing for over a 100 years. Katara, on the other hand, has left her small village in the Southern Water Tribe and travelled across the world and fought in a war that she's been fearing of since birth. Without the other, neither Aang nor Katara could've achieved this.

Finally: staying true to yourself while doing the right thing.

I don't need much to say about Maiko on this one. Zuko would've only been able to do the right thing after returning to the Royal Palace. Iroh teaches him not to follow what others say, but Zuko would've been incapable of learning that he had to help the Avatar if he had not returned home. If he had done it before hand, he would've been listening to Iroh, the man who just taught him to do otherwise. This is Zuko's staying true to himself by following his own means. Mai is unforgiving at first when he leaves, but risks her life against a ruthless psychopath who is breaths away from killing her, for the sake of her boyfriend who left her. She knows that Zuko has to do this, and she can only come to terms with this when she sees the dire circumstances. This is her staying true to herself, while doing the right thing.

Aang and Katara on the other hand, are much easier to settle on. Aang fights the Firelord his way, not following what anyone else says. Although Katara is harsh on him previously, she doesn't want to see what may be her best friend getting hurt. She is motherly and cares for him, but that does not mean that she can't love him romantically. She is quick to chase after Aang when he runs off, because she wants to help him do the right thing, but not force him to do something he doesn't want. They are both settling the final fight in ways that are still true to their character but doing the right thing.

You also don't turn the big sister-mother-caretaker-teacher figure into the love interest especially since she didn't reciprocate his puppy-dog obsessive infatuation and inappropriate infatuation which he immaturely labeled as true love until the very end because it was what the main protagonist wanted.

I've mentioned this previously. There are signs from the fourth (I'm pretty sure it was fourth) episode that Katara has some sort of feelings for Aang. She gets jealous when girls are all chasing after him. She, to a certain extent, wants Aang to herself. I have also previously summarized why I believe Katara held off her romantic gestures for Aang. This is not "turning a mother-figure into a puppy-dog obsessive infatuation (where does this person come up with this stuff?)", considering Aang is seen to have some feelings for Katara even earlier than the fourth episode. He blushes in her presence, he tries to impress her, and he is first to protect her. He is far from "puppy-dog obsessive".

I won't continue on this, because gaah, this is so frustrating.

One more thing: Mai.

I have addressed briefly what I see on her. I've come up with a vague idea as to why she acts the way she does (other than the whole, you know, parents thing). She is seen to be very emotionless and detached from the political standings of the world. This could also very easily attribute to her personality. Mai is detached from everyone, and her emotions go along with it. Although she may be friends with Azula and Ty Lee, neither understand her to the extent that Zuko does. To those who find her depressive and not fitting for Zuko, I strongly disagree, because their maturity towards each other (as cheesy as it is "I don't hate you" is definitely a great way of expressing their feelings for each other) is what makes them click. I'm sure I've skimmed this over briefly, so if anyone has anything to argue, I'm all ears :)

Once again, I did NOT mean to come off as rude. I am a fan (to a certain degree) of Zutara simply because, yeah, they look cute together. Other than that, I don't see many reasons at all as to why they should be put together. I just can't stand when others aren't accepting of other pairings simply because they're not their "OTP" and when they bash other people mindlessly with no respect for their opinions.

6/29/2012 . Edited 6/29/2012 #202
Amira Elizabeth
Thank you to TS and ToW for their defense. I am sure i will have something to say but you guys covered everything for now... Except... Adults ship Kataang. A lot of adults cared about the romances because we cared about the characters and the story. I'm an adult in a happy relationship and Kataang appealed to me because it exhibited some of the things I find crucial to a relationship - friendship, communication, strong bond, respect, mutual interests, etc. Yes it doesn't have the sexiness but I don't need every ship I like to possess that aspect in abundance. Obviously the sexiness in Kataang came later...LOL. Also, it is perfectly acceptable for fans to not see any romance between Zuko and Katara in the series. I saw no hints or signs. The only thing I saw was some creative marketing ploys by Nickelodeon in the form of trailers and such.
6/29/2012 #203
Amira Elizabeth

And to be quite honest Zutara baffles me on some level because rarely have I found an argument for the ship that focuses on its postivies. Arguments for the ship seem to be far more based on bringing down Mai and Aang and making Zuko that all mature prince. And that long winded comment that was quoted in that digavatar site was just off putting on so many levels. At one point I was questioning why the author of it just didn't bypass Katara all together and claim Zuko for themselves. The post was laughable. There was little to no grasp of the story or the characters beyond making Zuko the golden child of the series. Believe me person on the digavatar post - we get you like Zuko. Alot of canon shippers whether they like him or not get him and understand him as a character. We just don't worship him to the extent you excuse all his issues and warp other characters in favor of him,

6/29/2012 . Edited 6/29/2012 #204
TigerShadow

Thanks for the welcome! I was feeling chatty today, so I picked a random forum that wasn't roleplay. Roleplay confuzzles me.

Eh. Roleplay doesn't confuse me as much as it annoys me; it's hard to find a decent discussion forum these days. The Harry Potter forum selection is low on decent population and discussion, and neither Percy Jackson nor Avatar fare much better.

Arguments for the ship seem to be far more based on bringing down Mai and Aang and making Zuko that all mature prince.

Like political robo-calls--it's all about bringing down the opposition instead of building up your side. And like political robo-calls, it's rather irritating.

The post was laughable. There was little to no grasp of the story or the characters beyond making Zuko the golden child of the series.

This. You summed up every feeling I had about that post in two sentences.

7/1/2012 #205
grizzlybairparty

I totally just realized that person might be insane.

"And she's a crazy person, and I'm an idiot."

Just me manipulating Mako's line from LoK when Bo brings Korra to their platform-thingie. He says, "And you're the Avatar, and I'm an idiot."

Did that Amira Elizabeth person scare you too?

7/1/2012 #206
TigerShadow

Not at all. Amira's actually quite sane. It's the rest of us you gotta watch out for.

7/1/2012 #207
Amira Elizabeth

I scare? What? I tell it like it is and that post Casket quoted is an abomination. I'm sorry, but it is a prime example of why I can't stand Zuko and how the fandom has essentially ruined his character for me.

7/1/2012 . Edited 7/1/2012 #208
grizzlybairparty

Good to know. :)

Do you have a DeviantArt profile?

7/1/2012 #209
Fullmetal Catalyst

So much I wish I'd been able to respond to...shouldn't be so late to the party. (Welcome to the forum, Caskett! And a belated welcome, Ivy, I'm not sure I got you when you first posted...sorry D:)

But this I found interesting:

Mai was a nihilist and depressive sociopath who reflected no deeper understanding of the evils of the fire nation, showed NO concern or understanding of Zuko's then-internal conflict, struggles, pain, and true character/motivations.

Zuko crashes his ship into a village, threatens its people with fire, nearly burns a civilian village to the ground, holds a girl hostage as Avatar-bait, enables the death of the Moon by stealing Aang from the pool, steals from a family that helps him, more or less ignores his uncle's help and love (not entirely, but in large swathes), aids in the murder of a kid, and trusts his manipulative lightning-shooting insane sister over both the compassionate girl who promised to heal his defining scar and the doting uncle who showed him nothing but love and support throughout his entire journey...and MAI is the one who has problems?

:D

Although I suppose it's partly true she was a nihilist, in a sense...WAS...before Zuko's passion rubbed off on her...she's no angel, though, that's for sure.

7/1/2012 . Edited 7/1/2012 #210
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