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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secretkp831

I ship Zutara and it always amazes me when I see so much hate around when it comes to both of these ships.

8/22/2011 #1
Amira Elizabeth

Well speaking as a canon shipper and just from my own experiences, it's not so much hate as frustration.

8/22/2011 #2
Mrs Pettyfer

Why is it so hard for Zutarians and Kataangers to ship peacefully?

From what I've gathered, because people tend to think their thinking is the "right" and "best" way. Some people refuse to see the other side of what they believe. That applies to many things, not just two ships in Avatar. When really, it doesn't even matter. I mean do you really care what a bunch of random people on the internet think about what you ship? I don't, haha.

Shipping is always brutal because some people feel so strongly about it.

8/22/2011 #3
secretkp831

I agree shipping is brutal, but I participate in so many ships and arguments about who I ship, and none have been has heated as the ones I see for this fandom. Usually the ship wars I see are quick and to the point and end civilly. I have yet to see a Zutara vs Kataang end on a nice note.

8/22/2011 #4
Mrs Pettyfer

I do have to admit that it's pretty hostile over here compared to other fandoms. Maybe because a lot of people were against the canon ship or didn't want it to happen. So they started shipping a rival hard, and thus the canon shippers had to ship hard back.

I think because people start feeling more strongly to a ship they thought should have happened. There's a difference in wishing a ship would happen and thinking it should have happened. Perhaps that distinction alone makes people ship harder? I know I'd be more angry about a ship I thought SHOULD have happened v.s. one I simply wished would happen.

Am I making any sense at all? lol

8/22/2011 #5
Amira Elizabeth

And I think to that it is also "thinking a ship should have happened" because of faulty reasoning and logic. But also, the creators were pretty adamant about how they wanted their story and what was endgame. Might not agree, but it should be at the very least respected.

8/22/2011 #6
LaynThePurpleRaccoonGirl

Agreed-I think it's a whole lot of pent-up frustation and people thinking along the lines of 'I'm right, I'm always right, and I'll always be right'. People need to relax. Or, maybe we could be the Kataang Kingdom and the Zutara Nation, and do war among each other. =) I think that we should be able to ship in peace-I'm mainly a Kataang supporter, but on occaision I will read a Zutara story, just for the heck of it. I'm perfectly relaxed with either side. It's the people who just go and flame the other side for no reason other than that it was for a pairing that they don't support that really tick me off.

8/22/2011 #7
secretkp831

Yeah it makes sense. I think you're right. It's different when you really think your ship should happen and I guess it makes it harder to let go. I don't think shipping or wanting something different then what the creator wanted is disrespectful. Someone can create the best thing in the world and you can still disagree because everyone's opinion differ, it's just human nature.

8/23/2011 #8
Mrs Pettyfer

^I agree with that. I've disagreed with many decisions of creators of various books, movies, shows, etc. :P And sometimes creators make mistakes too...or make a decision that isn't in the best interest of the project. Sometimes they push for things because they want it so badly to happen, even though it goes against the flow they've created. Not saying anyone specifically..just in general I've seen this problem before. There was a huge uproar over the Hunger Games with Gale and Katniss..with the author doing something that ultimately seemed out of character in order to get rid of one of the characters. (I haven't finished THG yet so I can't say I agree or disagree..that's just an issue I've come across many times online)

EDIT: Oh thank you! *hugs* They're a lot of fun to write. =)

8/23/2011 . Edited 8/23/2011 #9
secretkp831

I agree completely. I know this is random, but I really like your Zutara stories. They're a great read. Anyway I'm proud of everyone who put in their opinion. We managed to get through without someone saying something insulting. At the end of the day I feel everyone has a right to their opinion and they shouldn't be put down because of it.

8/23/2011 #10
Fullmetal Catalyst

Kataang and Zutara are mutually exclusive. You can't ship Katara with both Zuko and Aang -- at the very least, there's no sizable community behind it.

For most fandoms, that's enough to incite some fairly dreadful interaction (see Twilight for details), but AtLA shipping goes further. Zutara began as a crackship, but the fact is that when it started, Kataang was barely a ship itself. As such, it exploded into being. The two relationships are also very different, which leads to a lot of people throwing stones at each other for having different views on what's valuable in a relationship. These particular waters are further muddied when shippers misinterpret the characters of Zuko, Aang, Katara, or any combination thereof. These misinterpretations happen often because, as far as I've been able to tell, the majority of the AtLA fandom is atrocious at character and scene interpretation (or they're all just joking and I can't tell because it's the internet...but I doubt it).

Then you have the fact that Kataang became canon. It became canon much earlier than many Zutarans (and some Kataangers) would admit, but all would agree that by series' end it became canon. This was reinforced by information about Korra.

I hate to throw blame on one ship over the other, and I welcome additions to this viewpoint, but I haven't seen Kataangers deliver the same type of comments that I've seen from some Zutarans. I've seen some vicious gloating, yes. I've seen some rabid comments and despicable behavior. I've seen one or two threads in which Zuko gets bashed, his good deeds ignored instead of balanced with his evil. I've seen Aang's mistakes passed over from time to time. I've seen rather innocent moments turned into something more when perhaps they should be left alone.

But from Zutarans, I've seen some talk about how the writers randomly decided to go Kataang in season 3 or something...as if the writers actually ship (they don't...they WRITE). I've seen some claim that the writers don't know their characters, or that they made mistakes in the shipping. I've seen some rant about how they should have gone with Zutara because it has the biggest fan following (the sense of entitlement BLEEDS through these essays). I've seen Aang-bashing in ways that disgust me (do these people just not like nice guys?), I've seen Zuko's rather interesting character reduced to some ridiculous caricature, I've seen Katara's viewpoint trashed and stomped on in favor of a pairing. I've seen Kataang called a motherly relationship (*rolls eyes*), I've seen it called sibling-like (without supporting evidence, mind you), and I've seen reams of romantic evidence spat on in favor of some sort of "canon Zutara backing" (I'm STILL waiting for someone to debate me on that).

And it's not a few members, either. It's a very large, very vocal...I'm not even sure I can say "minority", but I will because the Zutaran regulars on this forum are generally polite and well spoken. But the rotten portion of the community represents the Zutara community as a whole, overshadowing the civility of the rationals, and many Kataangers do not see beyond that, leading to a general dislike of all things Zutara. Disillusionment (with the community, with the fanfiction) also sets in, creating bitter attitudes on both sides. I've seen some polite, rational discussion, too. But at this point it's so difficult to find that many don't even try to look.

So at the end of the day, it's damn near impossible for the ships to coexist.

At the end of the day I feel everyone has a right to their opinion and they shouldn't be put down because of it.

You're correct that everyone has a right to their opinion, but someone who disagrees with them is under no obligation to withhold from objecting to it (after all, the objection itself is an opinion). Let me clarify, as I have occasionally in the past, that the RIGHT to an opinion is sacred, but the OPINION itself is not.

8/23/2011 . Edited 8/23/2011 #11
Fullmetal Catalyst

And sometimes creators make mistakes too...or make a decision that isn't in the best interest of the project. Sometimes they push for things because they want it so badly to happen, even though it goes against the flow they've created. Not saying anyone specifically..just in general I've seen this problem before.

You'll know about Susanna Collins' moment when you reach it. It's not major, didn't ruin my experience, but it is noticeable, and I didn't enjoy it either. I have to say, it's not worthy of a huge uproar except to shippers, but it's not insignificant either. You'll recognize it immediately.

Mike and Bryan made several decisions that I view were detrimental to the series, particularly in S3. However, I believe that to imply that any of these revolved around shipping (since we're talking about shipping) may do them a disservice. They have expressed explicitly that they were blindsided by the idea of ships, and AtLA was never a romance despite its (rather innocent) romantic subplot. It's less that they "wanted" a ship and more that they wanted to write a story in which two particular characters with attractive personalities find themselves romantically drawn to each other...amid all their other adventures, and amid the struggles for a world, and amid a conflicted nemesis' struggle for acceptance, and amid all that a pseudo-anime kung-fu fantasy epic entails.

Now, it's a different thing to say that perhaps they should have written the story with "Zutara in the DNA". It would be a different story from start to finish, yes...but it would be a Zutara fic I hunger to read. That's the kind of AU that makes me smile by its mere summary. I'd review every chapter of that sucker, stick it in Favorites, and advertise it for the world to see. If it was good, of course :D

8/23/2011 #12
Justice Tokidoki

I'm also surprised by how raw the shipping wars can get. For me it really wasn't a big deal. I'm just a simple kid who watched the show....

I first got a vague sense of the shipping war when I got a nickelodeon magazine that was all about avatar season three. It showed a page where you could vote for either katara/aang or katara/zuko. Being ignorant of the shipping war and coming from someone who simply watched the show(and who based most of zuko's personality points from the first season...) I was like, "zutara! yeah right!"

I guess you can say I'm a canon shipper, but then again I really didn't get into this shipping buisness and didn't realize it's full power until I entered this sight. Then it was all jetara, zutara, kataang, haratara, and other pairs. But for me, it doesn't really bother me though. I can read both kataang and zutara. I really wasn't in to the show for the romance aspects(I was like ten when I first saw it...), I was in it for the action, adventure, and the bending! That's what really made me enjoy the show. I can handle romance, but there has to be some action in there other wise I'll get bored....

Well, besides the rambling I do wish people could just accept people's opinions and move on. It's not the end of the world. I hate to admit this, but I think I've seen more bashing from kataangers then zutarians on this site...

All I say is give Mike and Bryon the credit that's due and live life happy! :) there, that's my opinion...

8/24/2011 #13
Mrs Pettyfer

You'll know about Susanna Collins' moment when you reach it.

Yeah I sort of read a spoiler by accident awhile back, haha. If it's what I'm thinking...it made me frown. I read the end of Mockingjay, being the cheater I am, and don't even want to finish the series now. I never supported the canon ship from the start...I had so many issues with it. But what happens to the "other" guy seemed horribly unfair by the author. I'll force myself to finish it..but I know I'm going to grow angry, haha.

However, I believe that to imply that any of these revolved around shipping (since we're talking about shipping) may do them a disservice.

That I agree with. The issues I'm thinking of don't have anything to do with shipping. Except how Kataang was handled in season 3 from the eclipse to the end. Bleh.

Now, it's a different thing to say that perhaps they should have written the story with "Zutara in the DNA".

That would have made quite a story, haha. Perhaps they'll go with a "Zutara style" romance in Korra. Not enemies going to lovers, but clashing personalities. Not best friend love, so to say.

8/24/2011 #14
Justice Tokidoki

Yeah I sort of read a spoiler by accident awhile back, haha. If it's what I'm thinking...it made me frown. I read the end of Mockingjay, being the cheater I am, and don't even want to finish the series now. I never supported the canon ship from the start...I had so many issues with it. But what happens to the "other" guy seemed horribly unfair by the author. I'll force myself to finish it..but I know I'm going to grow angry, haha.

Yeah, I was expecting a different result at the end as well, and the way they got rid of her friend in the end was kind of annoying...but I liked the ending anyway! Overall, it was a great book series! :)

8/24/2011 #15
TigerShadow

the majority of the AtLA fandom is atrocious at character and scene interpretation (or they're all just joking and I can't tell because it's the internet...but I doubt it).

No; the thing is, most of the Internet portion of the A:tLA fandom is comprised of teenage girls. And teenage girls...get crazy. And a lot of times, they're shipping for entirely superficial reasons--"he's hot, she's hot, let's get them together!"--and ignore all characterization. It's wish fulfillment, really; they see Katara as the character most like them and then decide that, since they'd go for Zuko, she should go for Zuko, too.

8/24/2011 #16
Mrs Pettyfer

It's wish fulfillment, really; they see Katara as the character most like them and then decide that, since they'd go for Zuko, she should go for Zuko, too.

I've never understood that, really. Or why you'd ship a pairing because it's what you'd pick if you were in the characters shoes. Thankfully I'm not like Katara..more like Toph actually. :P Katara isn't even one of my favorites and Zuko is...it's a wonder I ship them sometimes, haha.

8/24/2011 #17
Fullmetal Catalyst

Thankfully I'm not like Katara..more like Toph actually.

Toph's more awesome.

:D

8/25/2011 #18
heza08

Katara isn't even one of my favorites and Zuko is...it's a wonder I ship them sometimes, haha.

If I could ship Zuko by himself, I totally would.

8/25/2011 #19
heza08

Kataang and Zutara are mutually exclusive. You can't ship Katara with both Zuko and Aang -- at the very least, there's no sizable community behind it. Actually... I had a dream--I don't remember the details because I didn't write it down, so it's all fuzzy now--but it was decidedly Kataang. And I gotta say... I'm left with a vague impression seemingly borne of some part I don't remember of the appeal of the couple.... Kataanging in 3... 2... No, must not Kataang... Must r e s i s t.... But yeah, so I'm actually considering trying my hand at some Kataang fic... And actually, that dream might have been inspired by a snippet of fic (which will be weird because I only read Zutara, so something in a Zutara fic sparked it). I'll get tarred and feathered if I don't finish my Zutara fic first, but I might work on it in the privacy of my own home, where they can't find me, and post it in its entirety later. I might be riding the fence now. I still love Zutara, though, so it's not impossible to like both. Zutara began as a crackship... I don't know what you're saying, here, so I potentially, might or might not be offended. "Crack-" anything to me means excessively and ridiculously improbable to the point of complete parody of the source--and maybe that's how h*** Kataangers feel about Zutara. But for the record, I watched the whole series before I even knew there was a community, well before I talked to another living soul about ships, and I was through S1 before I realized they weren't going Zutara. I assumed it would be Zutara and not Kataang (and I have a long essay with what I think is solid reasoning behind my assumption). So, from some perspectives, Zutara is not as improbable (prior to the betrayal) or "cracktastic" as you might think. Maybe it started as crack in some forum, for some people, but that's not its *only* origin--sometimes, it's a default assumption based on what looked like story cues. It became canon much earlier than many Zutarans (and some Kataangers) would admit, but all would agree that by series' end it became canon. You say that as fact, but I still think it's opinion, and Zutarans don't have to admit anything of the kind. You might assume that a relationship is solid the minute you think the creators are setting it up, but for some people it's not solid canon until it actually happens, mutually, in the show, which for me, did not happen until Katara kissed Aang in the finale. I do agree that it's canon at that point and that, imo, there was never anything canon that indicated a Zutaran relationship. as if the writers actually ship (they don't...they WRITE) I guess I'm the only writer who ships. I write original fiction, and I have relationships slated for the storyline... and yet, I'll randomly ship other pairings in my own writing for no apparent reason except that I see a spark there, even if I'm not planning to blow on it. It's not unlike the way I see Zutara: Gee, wouldn't it be nice if... but that's not *this* story. That's a story for fic writers to tackle someday. ;) Maybe I'm weird, though. Maybe that's why I can like Kataang and Zutara at the same time. You're correct that everyone has a right to their opinion, but someone who disagrees with them is under no obligation to withhold from objecting to it (after all, the objection itself is an opinion). Let me clarify, as I have occasionally in the past, that the RIGHT to an opinion is sacred, but the OPINION itself is not.

WARNING: I'M CLIMBING UP ON A RANTY SOAP BOX (mostly because I'm bored and because I haven't ranted about anything recently)

Typically, though... unless it's Kataang. The Kataang opinion is sacred. I'm not bashing, I'm just stating that, by virtue of being canon, Kataang is *right*. It's nigh impossible for Zutarans (those who aren't really awesome arguers and can't perfectly communicate their reasoning) to adequately defend their opinions to Kataangers because their opinion is always shaded with an inherent wrongness because Zutara didn't happen--Kataang did. So a Zutaran can argue A, and a Kataanger can argue B, and the Kataanger wins because the two groups aren't even arguing on the same field. When Zutarans argue, they're arguing for why they wanted it to happen, why it possibly could have happened if the writers had gone a different direction, and why it makes for great fic. But Kataangers are arguing what happened; therefore, they're right. And they are--that's totally what happened. Katara and Aang got together. Katara and Zuko never got close to it, in any way. But Zutarans have an "opinion" about why they prefer Katara with Zuko, and whatever opinion they have, as long as they're arguing for why the ship makes more sense to them and not why it was canon, then, they're right too. No one can tell someone else that they're wrong about why they like something. That's asinine. Kataangers can argue why that's not their opinion, but (come on) that's rarely how these "discussions" play out.

Here's the deal: "It's my opinion/preference" is the best argument for why someone likes Zutara, case closed.

I can say: "I like Zutara because their relative ages make more sense to me." A Kataanger can come along and tell me why I'm wrong... except, I'm not. Neither is she. We both have opinions and personal preferences; neither is more correct than the other. So the right to the opinion is sacred... The opinion itself is not sacred in that someone is perfectly within their rights to come offer a different opinion; however, when someone comes along and says "Well, you're wrong," about something that is so obviously subjective and entirely about personal preference, they're not offering an opinion--they're stomping on the right to the differing opinion. And the same thing happens in the reverse. Zutarans stomp on the Kataangers' right to dislike Zutara.

There might be a millions reasons for why they like Zutara, but Kataangers want Zutarans to *prove* why Zutara makes sense in canon, when they can't because it didn't. "It's my opinion" is the only reasonable defense for Zutara, whatever your reasons for it, and it's the only one they have to have because at the end of the day, Zutara *is* a because-I-think-Zuko-is-hot, wish-fulfillment, in-a-different-universe, wouldn't-it-be-awesome-if, because-I-personally-identify-with-it-more, yin-yang, all-about-what-you-just-freaking-*like*, sexually-charged, imaginary ship. Kataangers can certainly think that those are terrible reason to ship, but Zutarans don't have to prove they have the right to like it; that they like it is enough to justify its existence.

[/RANT]

But I'll restate that I'm becoming increasingly sympathetic to the theory that Kataang can be sexy.

8/25/2011 #20
heza08

I think what Kataangers (and even some non-shippers I've run across) want is when someone says "Katara and Aang were awful, Zutara would have made the story so much better if it had been canon." or "Zutara should have been canon. It would have been better than what we got."

Well explain why. Back it up. If someone is going to challenge canon with Aang and Katara were poorly done, a weak ship, not presented well, made no sense, etc. and then claim Zutara is a better alternative (given that it would have been full of issues as well), explain why. And I don't think that is too much to ask from folks who make that statement.

I think that is what frustrates some canon shippers.

I hear what you're saying; I really do. And I'm going to call out some opinions you've expressed elsewhere in the forum in my argument below. I'm not disagreeing with them or trying to attack you in doing so; I'm just trying to give real examples of the arguments I've seen so I can better get my point across... ;)

I think what frustrates Zutara shippers is they actually *do* what you've just said you wanted. In fact, there's a very prominent list of the seemingly almost universal (with exceptions and additions for different people) reasons people prefer Zutara to Kataang. The problem is most Kataangers don't agree with those reasons. And that's what I'm trying to get at about the basic difficulty with this "rights to opinions are sacred, but opinions themselves are not" idea between Kataangers and Zutarans.

Zutara didn't happen in canon. When someone says, "Katara and Aang were awful, Zutara would have made the story so much better if it had been canon," that's a preference. They're saying, "I didn't like Kataang, for my own personal reasons. I would have enjoyed the romantic aspect of the show a lot more if Katara and Zuko had hooked up." (And yes, that's a loose translation--I know part of the problem is most Zutarans don't state it that reasonably--they sometimes just flail into the forum, throw down an absolute with all caps and exclamations, and flail out again.) Kataangers ask for reasons; they want that statement backed up by solid proof. The problem is anything beyond this statement is complete opinion. Maybe for that person (and many Zutarans, apparently), Aang's young age is one of the primary factors that makes them prefer Zutara. They state that as evidence of why they ship.

Now, you don't agree that Aang's young age should be a factor in the discussion. I've seen good arguments on both sides, and I've seen lousy ones. But it all boils down to a personal preference. Zutarans don't have anything *canon* to back up their preferences because there was never anything Zutara in canon to begin with. They can say "I felt like Katara and Aang's relationship started out as more motherly, so the romance felt forced to me." And they can say, "I didn't notice her ever mothering Zuko, and that's why I feel like they had more romantic potential." That's what they think, but it's not what you think. Aside from the canon evidence that Aang had a long-running crush on a mostly oblivious Katara, the concrete instances of Aang's romantic intentions, none of which (I think) Katara actually returned until the finale, and the fact that Katara is called out by her own group as acting like a mom, the point that Katara mothered Aang can be debated by both sides. An innocent bystander's ultimate decision to side with one or the other would depend on his personal interpretation of the scenes that are brought up in defense of either position.

You don't agree Katara mothered Aang, but it's because that's your opinion based on your interpretation, and you have that interpretation because of all the things in your personality/history/romantic preferences that make Kataang the better ship for you in the first place. To a Zutaran, who doesn't view the relationship (most of the way through the series) as a romantic one, this argument makes perfect sense and they're sort of bewildered that they're repeatedly accused of not backing up their preferences.

Zutarans make a statement, Kataangers ask for support, Zutarans give what they believe to be valid support, Kataangers dismiss support because they don't think it's valid, Zutarans repeat statement, and so on and so forth. It's a very vicious cycle where both sides fail to acknowledge that the entire preference of ships is based on personal opinion and opinion about what you *like* can't be proven and doesn't even really need to be justified--you like what you like. I'm not saying that Kataangers have to agree with the support Zutarans provide for their opinions; I'm only suggesting that it would cut down on frustration if Kataangers were more apt to at least acknowledge that it *is* support, even if it doesn't ring true with them, personally.

ETA: another point in canon evidence in the "for or against" mothering paragraph....

8/25/2011 . Edited 8/25/2011 #21
Amira Elizabeth
I have an answer...lol. Actually I was going to edit my previous post and include more, but I got called out for an emergency (ah the joys of being a supervisor...LOL) and had to leave to go back to work. So it might take a while, but I will post a response and a more concrete example of what I'm talking about.
8/25/2011 #22
Mrs Pettyfer

I'll get tarred and feathered if I don't finish my Zutara fic first.

Yes..by me. Mwahaha. But seriously, I hope you do finish. I actually love capture Zutara fics when they're written well. And yours is very enjoyable. =)

I assumed it would be Zutara and not Kataang (and I have a long essay with what I think is solid reasoning behind my assumption).

I'd like to read that sometime and see if we thought alike because I too thought it would be Zutara before I even knew the term "Zutara" existed or found the online communities. I battled both Kataang and Zutara, seeing how from a writers standpoint both could happen. Best friend love and enemies falling in love are sort of popular trends. lol

I guess I'm the only writer who ships.

You're not. I mean..I guess everyone has different definitions of "shipping" but I just look at as supporting and favoring a certain couple. I'm personally going to center my stories around those ships, because really, I want to write about what I like rather than what I dislike. I don't mind exploring ships I hate, but I'd hope the end result goes the way I want. :P

But it all boils down to a personal preference.

An innocent bystander's ultimate decision to side with one or the other would depend on his personal interpretation of the scenes that are brought up in defense of either position.

What I've been saying all along in these forums..lol. Shipping in general is all about personal preference and interpreation. I mean isn't that how it works in life too? Example: A guy offers me his seat at a cafe so I don't want to wait in line. Do I write that off as general kindness? Maybe he's flirting. Maybe he wants to get to know me. Maybe he's tired of sitting and I'm over-analyzing it. Point being..everyone interprets interactions differently. This is the same with watching movies/shows. We all interpret the character's actions differently, and that plays a part in what we ship.

Heza I agreed with your entire post on opinions/preferences because I'm on the same page as you. I'm too lazy to comment on it all, haha.

8/25/2011 #23
secretkp831

I can't really say I've experienced any of the shipping wars. I was twelve when the show came out and wasn't really allowed on the computer, so I missed them while they were mostly happening. It hasn't been until recently that I've seen a lot of old forums with harsh words being tossed back and forth between shippers. Both sides brought up good arguments, and I'll be honest since episode one it was clear to me that Kataang was going to happen. I've never really liked it canon, because I feel the directors are forcing something on me, so from the beginning I didn't really like Kataang. However I didn't even think Zutara was plausible until the third season. I'll also admit that from Southern Raiders all the way until the last few minutes of the last episode I actually thought Zutara had a chance. I wasn't surprised when it didn't happen, and I don't think anybody can watch the show from episode one and not think Katanng would happen.

What irritates me though is that people use the fact that Kataang did happen as a way to call our ship unreasonable and obviously wrong. I honestly don't get why people think Zutara would be incompatible. Sure they didn't become friends until late in the series, but they didn't argue a lot or act annoyed with each other. I've seen the argument of them being incompatible so many times but never an explanation as to why they would be incompatible. Either way I've seen ugly words from both sides, and it makes me wonder why people feel the need to change others opinions, when it's perfectly normal for someone to feel however way they feel.

8/25/2011 #24
heza08

I've seen the argument of them being incompatible so many times but never an explanation as to why they would be incompatible. Either way I've seen ugly words from both sides, and it makes me wonder why people feel the need to change others opinions, when it's perfectly normal for someone to feel however way they feel.

It's human nature, I suppose, to react very defensive of your position; to sometimes assume that to support one thing, you must rip down another; and to mistake what someone else states as their opinion is being touted as unproven fact...

I won't argue against what you say you've seen... I will, though, say that those who hate Zutara here are actually very good at providing reasons for why they hate it. I've seen many, many arguments, vehement arguments, for why Katara and Zuko are incompatible... I don't agree with them, but they've been provided, in this forum at least.

8/25/2011 #25
Mrs Pettyfer

It's funny because both fanon and canon shippers get very frustrated in this forum.

For me, what bothers me a little isn't so much people saying Zuko and Katara could never amount to being more than friends, but implying that Katara and Aang are incompatible for anyone but each other. It's one thing to believe that Aang is the best choice for Katara, but it's also possible to see that she could work out with another guy too. One we've met in the show, or one she might meet in the future. (Yes, Korra proves that they do marry, so arguing over fact is silly. I'm implying for the sake of writing a story) Same with Aang.

I guess what I mean is sometimes it's a little frustrating to see canon shippers that are completely unable to even consider the potential of anything else. That these characters are boxed in to only one fate and ship. I do support Zuko and Katara. But I can see how Katara and Aang work. I could see how Aang and Toph could work. Maybe even Ty Lee and Aang.

There is a yes or no answer in asking "Which ship is canon." It's Kataang. But when asking "which ships could be compatible" doesn't necessarily merit a canon response only.

8/25/2011 . Edited 8/25/2011 #26
Fullmetal Catalyst

I still love Zutara, though, so it's not impossible to like both.

Oh, I meant at the same time, haha :)

Zutaraang. In which polygamy wins out over any couple.

I don't know what you're saying, here, so I potentially, might or might not be offended. "Crack-" anything to me means excessively and ridiculously improbable to the point of complete parody of the source--and maybe that's how h*** Kataangers feel about Zutara.

I should have clarified that my information was gathered from hearsay. I gleaned from a discussion (from a longtime Zutaran, so don't taze me) that Zutara began without any evidence, merely in Season 1 as the villain hooking up with the heroine or something. Purely based on "oh, hey, let's hook those two up". I took that to mean "crackship". Apologies for any offense given.

Also, I am not a Kataanger as well a non-shipper (well...frack, there's always Toph...alright, I ship Toph with everybody, but as far as this forum is concerned I'm a non-shipper). If Zutara had been canon, I'd be cheering for it. I don't know if I ever cared about a particular ship, but I sure as s*** don't anymore. I care about the integrity of the writing, whatever that happens to call for at the time.

You say that as fact, but I still think it's opinion, and Zutarans don't have to admit anything of the kind. You might assume that a relationship is solid the minute you think the creators are setting it up, but for some people it's not solid canon until it actually happens, mutually, in the show, which for me, did not happen until Katara kissed Aang in the finale. I do agree that it's canon at that point and that, imo, there was never anything canon that indicated a Zutaran relationship.

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure why I phrased that as I did. It's less that the relationship was canon (because, as you clarified, it wasn't until the kiss) and more that the romantic feeling was there (for one party, then another, then the first, then the second, in classic teenage form) for longer than simply the finale. It's not opinion at all, merely misinterpretation.

I guess I'm the only writer who ships.

Gah, I'm having a hell of a day :p

I meant that Bryke specifically don't ship, they write. They had Kataang slated from the beginning, but they tried hard not to make it anything but natural in the flow of the show. I didn't mean to imply that writers in general don't ship...but unless you're writing a romance, the storyline will tend to take precedence over shipping. That's just how most stories turn out.

You bring up a really solid point in your soap box, but I do want to respond to a couple things.

When Zutarans argue, they're arguing for why they wanted it to happen, why it possibly could have happened if the writers had gone a different direction, and why it makes for great fic. But Kataangers are arguing what happened; therefore, they're right.

A Kataanger (and I'm going to throw myself among them for convenience, despite having just begun to write a Zutara-flavored oneshot) will argue . When a Zutaran argues for why they wanted it to happen...I mean, so be it. And a Kataanger is just as welcome to respond with their own opinion on how hot Zuko is or isn't (he has pretty damn fine facial structure, tbh). However, the other two will provoke a different response. The arguments for why Zutara could have happened had the writers gone in a different direction...believe me, if it was possible given the arguments that are put forward, I would have no issue with it, but the problem is that it would have taken a markedly different direction to even get a love triangle going. The vast majority of arguments put forward by Zutarans for your second example...they just don't nudge the story far enough. Call it purely my opinion if you'd like, but then give me an argument for how the story could have progressed or we won't get anywhere.

As for why it makes a great fic...my only concern with fics is first and foremost that it makes sense. I think it makes great ideas...and there are a couple stories out there that prove Zuko and Katara can be very compelling in a story together. Perhaps even romantically. But if it's going to be great fic (and I'm not talking oneshots, I'm talking long stories), it better follow the internal logic that the writer is building on, whether that be the entire show or just Season 1 or just the existence of the world or even less than that.

The Kataang opinion is sacred. I'm not bashing, I'm just stating that, by virtue of being canon, Kataang is *right*.

I'm not sure what goes on with the Kataangers' opinion, but I pity the ship. It gets bashed as much as Zutara, and it gets bashed hard. It gets bashed 80% of the time a Zutaran defends his/her own ship. And when you say Zutarans who can't "perfectly communicate their reasoning"...when I, a non-Kataanger, ask, I don't get ANY response. ALL I ask is to start a debate, to exercise the f***ing mind...and silence is all I get. And I toned down the language to such an extent that I encouraged a debate, to the point where a poster or two who identify as Zutara shippers seemed pleased to watch or join in...and still silence.

I can say: "I like Zutara because their relative ages make more sense to me."

And in the interest of a balancing viewpoint, I might tell you that, "Over the course of the show, Bryan and Mike tried to show that age doesn't really matter all that much", and we might continue the discussion or just leave it at that...or, because of the reasonable way you phrased your "like", without saying that Aang is too young to like a girl when he clearly is not, I might not answer at all because I would agree with you -- you do like Zutara because their relative ages make more sense to you. Why would I disagree with that?

because-I-think-Zuko-is-hot, wish-fulfillment, in-a-different-universe, wouldn't-it-be-awesome-if, because-I-personally-identify-with-it-more, yin-yang, all-about-what-you-just-freaking-*like*, sexually-charged, imaginary ship.

I think those are lovely reasons to ship with the exception of yin and yang, and I only have trouble with that one because I have yet to see an explanation for why it applies to Zuko and Katara. I see one that convinces me, I'll accept it forever.

The thing is that far too many Zutaran arguments carry the little addendum of "Aang is (blank)". As if to justify. As if to poke at people who like Aang, Kataanger or not. As if to simply not know when a good reason is good enough and feel they must add something.

And given the average age of many on this site, the "justification" is extremely believable as their reason for putting Aang down.

There might be a millions reasons for why they like Zutara, but Kataangers want Zutarans to *prove* why Zutara makes sense in canon, when they can't because it didn't.

And all I want is for Zutarans to stop trying to prove why Zutara makes sense in canon or why Aang isn't capable for whatever reason...or to actually *prove* it instead of saying it and running when I ask, "Would you like to debate me about that?".

On fanfiction: I don't WANT to assume that when I see "Zutara" next to a fic I should read "AU", because I think Zuko and Katara have incredible chemistry canonically and deserve stories that pursue that. After all, Aang and Katara also had incredible chemistry, weren't an item for three seasons, and look at how much awesomeness their story had.

EDITs:

I assumed it would be Zutara and not Kataang (and I have a long essay with what I think is solid reasoning behind my assumption).

I would love to read this as well, if you'd like to share it. It would provide a very interesting perspective.

I honestly don't get why people think Zutara would be incompatible.

I don't think the characters themselves are generally incompatible. I think that within the show, they became incompatible rather quickly. It's a combination of actions within the show and the history behind their backgrounds, hopes, dreams, deeds, etc. that makes them incompatible. Are they incompatible forever? I'm not arguing that because frankly I don't want to.

Aside from the canon evidence that Aang had a long-running crush on a mostly oblivious Katara, the concrete instances of Aang's romantic intentions, none of which (I think) Katara actually returned until the finale

I would be happy to debate that with you. :)

I could see how Aang and Toph could work.

You know it!

Example: A guy offers me his seat at a cafe so I don't want to wait in line. Do I write that off as general kindness? Maybe he's flirting. Maybe he wants to get to know me. Maybe he's tired of sitting and I'm over-analyzing it. Point being..everyone interprets interactions differently.

Yes, everyone interprets interactions differently...but how many of them are actually correct? What we interpret and what was actually the reality may not be the same...and just because there *could* be multiple interpretations of an action does not mean that all possible interpretations are correct. The person did the action for this reason, and that reason is the correct interpretation.

8/26/2011 . Edited 8/26/2011 #27
Mrs Pettyfer

Yes, everyone interprets interactions differently...but how many of them are actually correct?

Which was my point. :P So often the interpretation we get is incorrect. Communication in general is very oftenly misinterpreted. We are constantly jumping to conclusions.

The person did the action for this reason, and that reason is the correct interpretation.

That is true..but my point was that only ONE person knows the reason behind their action--the sender. Unless the sender communicates very thoroughly, there's a chance that message is misinterpreted by the receiver. There is a correct interpreation always..but the correct one is not always understood by the one it's intended for. Now more specifically in the show: Katara touching Aang while helping waterbending.

Some people will interpret this action as nothing more than friendly instruction while others will write it off as flirting. (There are others, I'm just going with two lol) What was the correct intpretation Katara meant for Aang to receive by that gesture? We don't know for sure..because she doesn't say. So we interpret the action ourselves as viewers. And those interpretations are what helps us shape who we ship. That was really my point..in that we sort of..judge these actions by the characters. We measure what we assume the real reason behind the action and probably to an extend, compare it to the reaction of the receiver.

Whoa. Too much communication talk to me tonight. haha

8/26/2011 #28
secretkp831

I think interpretation has a lot to do with shipping. It's probably why the ship wars get intense. Someone provides an example and its written off as stupid, when really it's just that the two people interpret the scene differently.

Call it purely my opinion if you'd like, but then give me an argument for how the story could have progressed or we won't get anywhere.

I think the whole series could've moved forward without any romance. At the end of the day it's a story about good vs evil with some romance as a bonus.

I'm also proud that Zutara shippers didn't abandon ship as soon as Kataang won. A lot of Zutarians get criticized as being immature, but I think it would've been immature to switch ships just because canon won. I know some arguments for Zutara seem shallow and don't go beyond "the look cute together", but staying with your ship no matter what shows that you actually believe in what you want.

8/28/2011 #29
Fullmetal Catalyst

What was the correct intpretation Katara meant for Aang to receive by that gesture? We don't know for sure..because she doesn't say. So we interpret the action ourselves as viewers. And those interpretations are what helps us shape who we ship. That was really my point..in that we sort of..judge these actions by the characters. We measure what we assume the real reason behind the action and probably to an extend, compare it to the reaction of the receiver.

This is very true. It's also rather annoying to me as a viewer that Katara is so reticent about some of her motives. Aang isn't always an open book, but at least he tends to make his thoughts clear. Katara almost goes out of her way to close off.

The question as I see it then becomes, how do we interpret the action? There are numerous ways, of which I'll list only a few. We can interpret the action based on what we'd like it to mean...we may be right sometimes, but it's generally not a great way to go about it. We can decide the action's motives based on the vibes we get from the scene...subjective, of course, but not always wrong. We can interpret the actions based on what the other characters think...but then, they can only give us a secondary viewpoint.

I prefer to interpret first on the context surrounding the action. It's hardly foolproof, but it suits my style of thought, so I go with it. Take your first example, for instance. A man offers you a seat in a coffee shop...well, that could mean any number of things. But if he's well dressed, carrying a briefcase, looks a little harried, and checks his watch before offering it to you, he's probably not flirting with you. On the other hand, if he gets up for you despite the laptop before him, flashes a quick smile, stammers a bit...he's probably not concerned about his work. Further things -- eye contact, body orientation, tension (or lack), time of day, whether or not you've seen him around before, your own body language toward him -- will help clarify. For all this, there may yet be multiple interpretations...but it makes it easier to narrow down to a certain range. Maybe he's flirting with you because he finds you attractive or maybe he wants to meet you because he likes your fashion sense, but in either case it says quite a bit about both him and his motivations (he's at least superficially courteous, he's interested in getting to know you, he takes the initiative, etc.). Then the events that follow...well, if you quickly end up dating him, it's a fair bet that he was flirting. Not set in stone, but perhaps the most reasonable read.

To apply myself to your AtLA example: Katara touching Aang while helping him Waterbend, which I believe occurs in Cave of Two Lovers (that's the one to which you're referring, right?). It's as annoying as everything else she does. Katara is teaching Aang the Octopus form of Waterbending. She shows him the move, he enters his stance, and it's not too good (I thought it was fine, but she's the master, not me). She comes over to him, walks over behind him, and moves his arms into the proper position. He blushes, she goes on, he outmaneuvers her in their little duel, then he goofs around with the Octopus form.

There's plenty of information, some more relevant than others, that we can apply. I'd be happy to go into a detailed compilation (with no "agenda", mind you...I'm not presenting any conclusions) at a later time, and am willing to debate if there's disagreement.

I'm also proud that Zutara shippers didn't abandon ship as soon as Kataang won. A lot of Zutarians get criticized as being immature, but I think it would've been immature to switch ships just because canon won. I know some arguments for Zutara seem shallow and don't go beyond "the look cute together", but staying with your ship no matter what shows that you actually believe in what you want.

I'm also proud of Zutara shippers who didn't abandon ship as soon as Kataang won. It would've been cowardly to switch for that reason alone. That said, there are a handful who don't accept the canon, and I'm not sure what to do about them except roll my eyes.

I don't see why shallow reasons for Zutara are considered such a problem. A reason is a reason. A shallow reason doesn't make you shallow unless you let it define you. Do people feel a clawing need to be "deep" over this? Deep works much, much better for writing, but for the shipping aspect alone...if you like them because they're hot, I'll tell you I don't think they're hot, you'll tell me "tough", and we can part as friends.

8/29/2011 . Edited 8/29/2011 #30
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