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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Sun Kissed and Odin
Idk if this is off topic but it has to do with Zutara so...... Anyway I recently came across an addicting fic, classic rich, j*** Zuko and nerdy, poor Katara. They hate each other she falls for him end of story. Except I realized mid story how annoying it is when Katara is just this innocent, pure, virgin, nerd girl in fanfic. It's soooooooooo annoying. Why don't people ever make her h***? I know she wasn't that tough in the show but she wasn't completely helpless. Just wondering if anyone agrees. Also I have nothing against virgins, btw, I think having morals is magnificent.
8/30/2011 #1
Fullmetal Catalyst

Except I realized mid story how annoying it is when Katara is just this innocent, pure, virgin, nerd girl in fanfic. It's soooooooooo annoying. Why don't people ever make her h***?

You said why. She was an innocent, pure, virgin girl (nerdy is anyone's guess) in the show, and a lot of fanfic writers like to keep her close to that when they write their stories. She wasn't completely helpless, either (for the record, she defeats Azula twice in fair combat), and many writers like to show that while others like to play it down.

8/30/2011 #2
Sun Kissed and Odin
Im fully aware of her defeating Azula I warched the series myself and I said myself she wasn't helpless, however, you can be innocent and pure without being the defenseless damsel she is presented as in many fics.
8/30/2011 #3
chromeknickers

I would never consider Katara a nerd, but that's just my opinion. I think it really depends on what age group you're writing. If the story takes place around the same time of the series, why make her different - she was innocent virgin (at least I hope so) - unless it's an AU. For example, you could have a storyline where instead of being disgusted by Bloodbending, she secretly enjoys it. You could make her much darker then. As for kickarsery (word I just made up), Katara was doing just that - taking Azula one-on-one, Bloodbending when it wasn't a full moon, creating giant twenty foot waves, etcetera. However, if a story were to take place in the future (and it's adequately explained), you could most certainly have a darker Katara.

8/30/2011 #4
heza08

I agree that Katara was young and innocent... maybe not completely naive but certainly not worldly. Katara was less kickass in the beginning of S1 before she came into her bending. One explanation for why she's presented that way is that maybe the author is using a specific version of her: S1 (even pre-Aang) vs. S3. A large portion of my assumption, though, suspects that in these fics where Katara is a virginal, naive, defenseless, simpering girl, Zuko is experienced, worldly, extremely capable, sarcastic, etc. Downplaying Katara's strengths emphasizes Zuko's in those types of fic.

That might be an artistic choice; it might be bad characterization... *shrugs*

8/31/2011 #5
Odekake

Sorry for bumping up such an old topic, but I didn't feel as if any of the responses really answered the question the original poster was asking, if anyone still cares. Personally, I think that the reason why fanfic writers make Zuko a rich player boy - j***-with-a-heart-of-gold, if you will - and Katara an innocent virgin nerd is because of the stupid conceptions that society pushes onto us.

The guy has to be older, more mature, and more experienced. The woman has to be younger and a virgin. The man has to be "in power." For a lot of high school stories (which, to be honest, is the demographic of most Zuko/Katara fans in the first place) that would equal a jock, a rich boy, a popular boy, something along those lines. The nerd, on the other hand, is stereotypically on the lower rungs of high school social life. The woman, initially disgusted by the bad boy's reputation, finds a "hidden, softer side" of him and falls for his charms - something she swore he'd never do. It has all the makings of the love/hate relationship that people seem to rave about.

Personally (and now, I'm sharing my own opinions), I hate it. I am disgusted with the fact that someone thought that the idea that the older, more powerful and experienced man being able to "win over" and "control" the younger, weaker, and naive woman was "so romantic, as long as the guy is hot". I hate the fact that apparently, us nerds cannot ever stay true to ourselves and once a hot popular guy is interested in us, you forget everything you believe in and become swayed by him. I hate that people think that this is a good relationship.

Seriously? If there is anyone on this forum who ships these kinds of relationships and is still not out of high school, please ... I ask you to wait until you're out of high school and live a little. As a first-year masters student, now living out-of-state, I can say with certainty that high school is definitely nothing like the real world. All those "nerds" who were picked on? We went on to college to get our bachelors, our masters, our PhD degrees. All the jocks and popular kids who looked down on us? Some of them didn't even go to college. Who knows what they are doing? A relationship between a popular kid and a nerd BY ITSELF is not a good relationship. Only when they can respect each other and their interests, when it is not a relationship where one has power over the other, can the relationship work.

I really don't care too much about the Kataang/Zutara shipping war, other than that it is entertaining to read up on when I have nothing better to do. But Zutarians ... a lot of your reasons as to why you love the ship are the exact same reasons as to why I despise it. Perhaps, under different circumstances, it could have worked out. There are ways to write a Zutara story with the characters in-character, without bashing anyone, that still doesn't deviate too far from canon. But your reasons ... ugh, I'm sorry, but a lot of the reasons I've seen on this board as to why you think Zutara is a good pairing are poor reasons and reek of inexperience.

Again, I'm sorry for bumping this up, but I pretty much needed to get this out.

10/1/2011 #6
Mrs Pettyfer

It always amuses me when Zuko is considered the popular kid and Katara the nerd. Because if I had to stick those two in high school, I think it'd be the other way around. Well, kind of. I'd see Katara as the jock, the popular girl with a good reputation that plays sports and gets straight A's at the same time. Zuko is not social enough to be in the "jock" group in my opinion. He strikes me as the silent athlete type, the one who plays on the team but doesn't socially hang out with that group. Maybe a little on the reckless or edgy side. Neither I would consider to be the "nerd" group and completely unpopular.

Though really, movies and stories portray high schools so poorly. I was lucky to go to a good high school. Bullying wasn't an issue. Most fights and picking happened between those in the same "groups." I have never heard of anyone getting shoved into a locker or their head flushed in a toilet. People aren't that mean. At least they weren't at my school. School administration is done poorly in movies/books too. The stuff kids get away with blows my mind in fiction.

10/2/2011 #7
Odekake

Well, I was speaking stereotypically, at least. Even if it is not true in their own schools, a lot of fanfic writers who are in the high school age seem to love this idea of an unpopular nerdy loner girl getting together with the hot popular jock boy. I think it's because subconsciously, they wish that something like that would happen to them. They want the most popular guy in school for themselves. They want to be the one to tame and claim him. But unfortunately, a lot of these stories, when poorly written, end up compromising the girl's strength and making her shallow and foolish.

I went to a good high school as well, from what I know, and while I did have people annoy me during my first year and a half of high school it was nothing drastic. Just annoying words and whatnot. I was never very social, so I don't know if anyone at my school ever got their head dunked in a toilet or ganged up on or whatnot, although one of my friends told me that some guy took a picture of him while he was using the bathroom. (Our school didn't really have lockers.) But the problem is, you can't really say that the situation in schools portrayed in fiction is untrue, simply because your school wasn't. It's true, your school and my school may have been good. We may have been really lucky compared to other kids who were bullied. But unless you've spent a year or two in every high school in your country, at least, you can't really say that fiction is exaggerating. Because I have heard other people online say that they've seen kids get bullied that badly, and faculty who do nothing about it.

Anyway, how does this relate to the Zuko/Katara theme? I'm just saying, especially in modern day high school stories, people try to make Zuko and Katara into characters they aren't to satisfy their own fantasies. Which is why Katara turns into an innocent baby and Zuko turns into the suave guy he's not.

10/3/2011 #8
Fullmetal Catalyst

Nice posts. Personally, I think they're all more than a little nerdy, simply coming in different brands. Maybe not Ty Lee. Or less so with her, anyway.

people try to make Zuko and Katara into characters they aren't to satisfy their own fantasies.

I'm tempted to argue that people unconsciously do that with all the characters, but I don't have anything to back the claim up. It may not necessarily be to satisfy their own fantasies...don't get me wrong, that happens a lot, particularly with a romantic pairing, but it may also stem from difficulty in writing a character. I'll say quite shamelessly that I doubt my ability to write Aang's character, so if I ever reach a scene that must be from his PoV, something will be off. Or it could be accidental, a misread on a scene or trait or something.

High school fics may be in a different boat...may go back only to the fantasies. Don't know. (Oh, and for variety: someone write an undergrad/grad school fic about the AtLA characters. Wonder how that would go.)

10/3/2011 #9
TigerShadow

Bloodbending when it wasn't a full moon

Actually, she didn't bloodbend when it wasn't a full moon. The only two times she did bloodbend were during "The Puppetmaster," where it was obvious that it was a full moon, and "The Southern Raiders," where they didn't outright say that it was a full moon, but the full moon was in several shots (where Katara and Zuko fly past on Appa, above the shot of the ship they trash, et cetera.)

but it may also stem from difficulty in writing a character.

More often than not, this is the case. Characters that have already been established and well-developed are so difficult not to flanderize or turn into Mary Sues or just completely write them incorrectly. Sturgeon's Law is very much in effect with fanfics, but the remaining ten percent is some of the best stuff you'll ever read.

I'll say quite shamelessly that I doubt my ability to write Aang's character, so if I ever reach a scene that must be from his PoV, something will be off.

Haha, I know. It would be very hard, because you want to either make him really serious or solemn like he ended up slipping into (or like Ohng) while ignoring his normal happy-go-lucky nature, or you flanderize him into being about as mature and serious as a kindergartner without paying attention to his character development. To me, now I think about it, Aang is probably one of the hardest characters to write because his nature has changed rather than his alignment, unlike Zuko.

10/10/2011 #10
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