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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Fullmetal Catalyst

This seems to come up a lot (as in, "all the freaking time") in every argument related to the shipping war and could use a discussion topic. So, here it is!

11/19/2011 #1
Odekake

Well ... I'm on, and this thread is staring me in the face. So I suppose I'll get a few things down here and wait for people to make an argument.

First of all, EIP. I haven't looked through that many AtLA forums and discussion sites, to be honest, but I've never seen any of the Kataang shippers on this specific forum disagree on this point: Aang was clearly in the wrong. Katara told him that she was confused, and he kissed her. He shouldn't have done that, and I've never seen a Kataang shipper who said otherwise. Let's get that out in the open.

To add to that, however, I've seen a few arguments that look at this argument from a male perspective; that for guys, hearing a girl you like tell you that "she's confused" with no further explanation really hurts. They were about to face the Fire Lord in a few days. Katara may have been confused about whether she liked Aang or not, but we do know that she cared about him. I've heard at least one argument that even if Aang was wrong, Katara wasn't able to tell him that she at least cared about him, instead just saying "I'm confused" with no explanation. The reason I bring up this point is that when I see people decry Aang for this point, it's always about, "he made Katara upset," or "Katara told him he was confused." No one tries to get into Aang's head to see how he was feeling, just WHAT made him kiss Katara like that in the first place. And it's rather unfair. You have to analyze a situation on both sides. Plus, he was beating himself up about it at the end. The way I see it, I think Aang wanted closure before he went off to battle. He didn't know how the battle was going to turn out, and I think he wanted to know for sure whether Katara liked him back or not, and he wanted that closure before he went off to fight.

Now ... TSR. Oh, boy ... where do I start here? Unlike EIP, where Kataang shippers generally agree that Aang was in the wrong, there are some Zutara shippers who use TSR as evidence that "Zuko was right" and "he knows what is the best for Katara." Okay, W**? Talk about your double standard. You think it's a horrible crime that Aang kissed Katara after she told him she was confused, but think it's a good thing that Zuko nearly led Katara down a road that was obviously bad for her? I fail to see your logic. TSR was supposed to give Katara closure, but not in the way that Zuko was suggesting. Also, even Zuko agreed that Aang was right on the whole revenge thing. So ... why is it that the Zutara shippers who think TSR was pro-Zutara disagree with Zuko's own concession that he was in the wrong? Also, I think TSR was to bring up that messy little plot point in the finale: what do you do with the Fire Lord? Remember, Zuko at the end of TSR said to Aang, "What are you going to do when you face the Fire Lord?" And the finale was centered around that question: how can Aang defeat the Fire Lord when he doesn't believe killing is right? So I think TSR existed to give Katara closure and to bring up this point. Not to be pro-Zutarian.

I have nothing to say on CoD at the moment, unless someone wants to argue this episode, except for one thing. I hate using "CoD" for "Crossroads of Destiny" because in one of my favorite video games, Fire Emblem, there is a chapter called "Cog of Destiny" which is abbreviated "CoD." So whenever I see those initials, I want to think the latter instead of the former.

11/19/2011 #2
Amira Elizabeth

Okay, my EIP post comes from a prior post in another comm that I wrote, but it does bring another point to the scene:

There were issues I had and mainly they center around how people view the Aang and Katara scene.

We've gotten to know Aang pretty well at this point in the show. It is pretty safe to say the play bothered him on mainly levels. He was being portrayed as silly and by a woman. Not saying he's sexist or anything because he has never been bothered by girls fighting next to him, taking the lead, teaching him, dressing up as Kyoshi, etc.

But a guy friend who watched this episode with me commented on this: "Why'd they have such a ridiculously silly girl playing Aang? They turned him into a joke, instead of the brave, handsome Avatar he's hoping the girl he loves sees him as. They might as well just cut off his balls in front of Katara. Especially since they then had her actress drooling over every hot guy and referring to the Aang character as being just like a little brother."

It is no wonder the poor boy was practically beside himself on the balcony with Katara. We have rarely if ever seen Aang's self-confidence and self-esteem shaken that badly. He has usually been confident about who he is, his appearance, and his abilities. The boy on the balcony is not the same boy who suavely offered his hand out to Katara for a dance. Who whispered with confidence: "It's just you and me now." Who just took the initiative and instead of telling the girl he loves how he feels, he just shows her.

He is clearly shaken and afraid that she might not return his feelings and for once he doesn't know how to smile his way out of it. That is I think in many ways what prompted the kiss. I honestly believe he thought her confusion was brought about because of the play. I think he thought she no longer viewed him as a potential romantic partner, that she didn't even see him as a guy anymore, as being handsome, or as someone with any strength or bravery. He was just some silly little brother, a child to her.

And I honestly believe that is why he acted. Why he kissed her.

Also she didn't seem terribly sure of what she was saying. I think there was also a lot of fear hiding in her statements to him. Fear of losing him again. Fear of distracting him. Fear of loving someone so much and having them die (like her mom). Fear of loving someone and having them leave her (like her dad). Fear of committing herself fully before the war's end.

I don't think her confusion was over whether or not she cared about him in that way, but whether or not she could say it to him and take the risk of exposing herself to pain and heartache.

However it is interesting to note that in that scene, she at first is pretty adamant about that NOT being her or her words. She does however pullback when Aang continues to press the matter and finally brings up their kiss in DoBS.

I think when viewing this scene one has to remember that both characters were confused and Aang in particular was hurting. Is that an excuse for his sudden kiss? No. He should have not gone that far, but he wasn't being malicious. He wasn't consciously trying to disrespect her. I think he honestly thought that if he shows her how strongly he feels, how sure he is about her, and to also prove that he is nothing like how he was depicted in the play that she would feel the same.

Again not an excuse, but Aang is viewed as this awful bad guy. People hate on their relationship for this reason alone. And in reality, it is really not this horrendous outrage. In fact, in the very next episode they are laughing so it stands to reason that all was forgiven. Was there a need for an apology scene - I don't think so. Because they are friends first. And friends do incredibly stupid things sometimes. And based on their relationship and based on the fact that it was two confused kids and Aang was not being malicious, an apology scene was not warranted.

I'll share my thoughts on TSR later because that is yet another episode people, IMO, don't get.

11/19/2011 . Edited 11/19/2011 #3
Odekake

Thanks, Amira, I've seen this post before, and this is pretty much how I think Aang in EIP must have been thinking. But I didn't want to steal your credit, so I gave my own attempt at explaining it. But it really bothers me how Zuko is exalted by some Zutarians as "doing what's best for Katara" and "knowing what she needs" in TSR when he was clearly leading her down the wrong path whereas Aang is treated like a horrible criminal for kissing Katara after she said she was confused. Double standard, much?

11/19/2011 #4
Mrs Pettyfer

Here's my two cents firstly on the whole TSR bit. I don't think Zuko was leading Katara down the wrong path; I think SHE was leading the path and he was following without stopping her, while Aang was trying to because he knew it was wrong. Zuko might have known it was wrong but honestly, I think he was more focused on staying on Katara's good side. He also knows what it's like to face the person who took away his mother (Ozai in essence), and seemed to put his own situation into hers. (He thinks Ozai deserves justice so by his logic, this person who killed Kya deserves it, too) When in fact it's not entirely the same. As much as TSR is supposed to be about Katara letting go, I think the episode was more about her forgiving Zuko, not the guy who killed Kya; she was never going to forgive him, obviously. Sokka and Aang had their fieldtrip with Zuko and it was Katara's turn. Plus as Korean mentions, the end sets up the finale. I was sort of expecting something like that to happen, actually. Personally, I feel like The Boiling Rock should have been enough for her to forgive him. I think what Zuko did in that episode was more worthy of forgiveness and trust but ah well.

As for the Ember Island Players: I've seen a lot of people that have problems with Aang forcing the kiss. Katara said she was confused, and he kisses her. My thoughts are he probably kissed her out of impulse, maybe even thinking "does this help clear your confusion" subconsciously. It wasn't the best move but not the end of the world. That's not really my issue, anyway now that I think about it.

My issue is more with the writers and their timing. Aang has every right to say "we kissed and I thought we would be together but we're not." But the timing was off. That kiss and that talk on the balcony felt really out of place. Like I agree the talk should happen, but not when it happened. Katara and Aang kiss before the eclipse 7 episodes earlier and they're just NOW talking about it? Aang is just now wondering why they aren't together? I know this show isn't modern but I'm thinking if you kiss someone and think you're going to be together (which Aang says that in the EIP), then you might bring it up a few days later if things haven't changed.

If anything, if I was Aang, it'd make me question what the kiss before the eclipse meant to Katara. He obviously thought it meant they would be together but what did she think?

I don't blame Aang for my frustration; I blame the writers. I feel like somewhere in the two episodes of the Boiling Rock could show Aang and Katara talking about it. Bringing it back up 6-7 episodes later makes it seem like the writers forgot about the kiss and thought "Hey! We need to address that so let's throw in a balcony scene." So that scene to me, came off awkward and out of place.

I don't think her confusion was over whether or not she cared about him in that way, but whether or not she could say it to him and take the risk of exposing herself to pain and heartache.

I don't think her confusion was over caring for him either; I think it's obvious she does. But I think the confusion was the typical "Do I like him as more than a friend or not?" Something we've all gone through; that weird are-we-just-friends-or-more stage. And with the war coming, that's probably not at the front of her thoughts. I don't really think it should be Aang's either, but ah well.

More to come later. Must go win some money at the casino..woo!

11/19/2011 . Edited 11/19/2011 #5
GothGeek89

I knew EIP was supposed a joke episode at the fanbase for how they see "canon", but I was very annoyed at Katara for being "confused". I understand she probably was confused, but it was how she expressed it. She didn't bother explaining why she was confused and what she was confused about(which is why I wasn't mad that he forced the kiss). I was feeling as frustrated as Aang was after all the mixed signals she gave him up until then. I felt that she owed him better explanation.

TSR, however, I hate that episode so much that I'm at the edge of discontinuing it from canon(the only thing stopping me was the ending that set up the finale). Everyone was so OOC in the episode just so Katara could have a "field trip" with Zuko that would have her "forgive" him to move the plot(and also another huge example of how Katara never gets called out for her cruelty and has her "lesson" glossed over for the sake of moving the plot). Like it was said, I felt that Katara should have forgiven Zuko for freeing her father(who she thought she would never see again) from The Boiling Rock. TSR was just so unecessary just for the sake of a little more "conflict" and added more hype to the Harmonian-like part of the Zuko/Katara fandom.

Honestly, I have issues with the whole second half of book 3, but TSR was the worst in my opinion. I'm a Zuko fan(who also adores Aang. He's in my top 5 favorites of Avatar characters. He's become the "Shinji Ikari" of the fandom.) and even I feel that his redemption was shoved down viewers throats. I felt that the second half could been about preparing more for the final battle with more subtle character development that tied loose end a hell of a lot better(including finding out what happened to Ursa) instead of the "field trips" with Zuko dedicated to each of the Gaang forgiving him(which could have easily all been done in one episode. Maybe a couple of more for Katara, but as a sort of B-plot).

11/20/2011 #6
Mrs Pettyfer

I was feeling as frustrated as Aang was after all the mixed signals she gave him up until then.

I see this a lot and I feel like it should be explored. What were the mixed signals, exactly? I'm sort of on the fence with it because sometimes a person is aware they're giving them off and sometimes they aren't. I'm not entirely convinced that Katara was aware that she was giving mixed signals OR even if her signals were meant to be taken that way. I think part of how she acted was simply her over protective and caring personality. :P

and also another huge example of how Katara never gets called out for her cruelty and has her "lesson" glossed over for the sake of moving the plot.

Agreed. She definitely should have apologized for how she acted, especially to Sokka. I really didn't like her in that episode. Well, she bugged me in a lot of them, actually, haha. She's not in my top 5 for sure.

11/20/2011 . Edited 11/20/2011 #7
GothGeek89

I see this a lot and I feel like it should be explored. What were the mixed signals, exactly? I'm sort of on the fence with it because sometimes a person is aware they're giving them off and sometimes they aren't. I'm not entirely convinced that Katara was aware that she was giving mixed signals OR even if her signals were meant to be taken that way. I think part of how she acted was simply her over protective and caring personality. :P

I know Katara's mixed signals aren't intentional(though she really pushed it with when they were in the cave of lovers). I was talking about how she should have been better in explaining her confusion; she tells him she's confused, but doesn't bother to explain the "what" and "why" about. I just felt after everything they've been through and with Katara's sensitive nature, she would have tried explain it the best she could(we all know how overwhelming and complex emotions can be) about it to the clearly confused and frustrated Aang.

I just felt the whole thing was OOC for Katara and whole talk itself out of place when it should have happened right after the invasion, not right before the finale.

11/21/2011 #8
Mrs Pettyfer

Yeah I get what you're saying. I wonder if Aang had said "What are you confused about" instead of "why are you confused" it would have triggered a different response from her other than "because there's a war" or whatever she says along those lines. What really bugs me is that confusion is never explained. I agree with you completely that this talk should have happened after the invasion. Honestly, I think the writers wanted to drag it out to the very end and set it up that way. That convo and her confusion is never resolved though, and one of the reasons why I thought the finale kiss was a bit random. Had that conversation not happened, I wouldn't think that.

11/21/2011 #9
Amira Elizabeth

I just felt the latter half of season 3 was derailed for Zuko fieldtrip episodes. It kind of made his redemption hollow because why did it need to be shoved at us for 4 solid episodes prior to EIP? I think we lost out on some good scenes that would have explained things because it needed to be repeatedly driven home that Zuko was a part of the group.

11/21/2011 #10
Odekake

I think TSR was the only one of the "Zuko redemption" episodes that I didn't like much. The one with Aang and Zuko didn't feel that out of place to me, and it was pretty well explained. Sokka and Zuko's episode I didn't have much of a problem with either, since it brought Suki and Hakoda back. Although I wish that Aang, Katara, and Toph didn't pretty much exist in a void for that entire episode. TSR was a bit more problematic for me. Katara yelling about her mother kind of seemed to come out of nowhere for me, to be honest. And I felt that a lot of her anger was misdirected and that she was just completely out of line. Also, perhaps it would've been better if the rest of the Gaang wasn't left out as well. But then again, TSR's only saving grace in my opinion is its lead-in to the conflict in the finale, where Aang is trying to figure out what to do about the Fire Lord. Aside from that, I felt that it didn't do much.

11/21/2011 #11
moaaa

Zuko nearly led Katara down a road that was obviously bad for her? I fail to see your logic.

I get that TSR was debatable, but I just see it as Zuko giving Katara the choice she wanted and thought she didn't have. Aang wouldn't have done that for her, and if he had, I just think he would have been dead-weight during the mission. Katara is a good person; Zuko didn't really expect her to kill the man, even if she did threaten to murder him in a cinch if he did something to harm Aang.

Zuko was just there to lead her, but I think he knew all along that this was her mission and that when it came down to it, she would guide herself. Sometimes a companion is just nice, especially with something as emotional as that.

Katara yelling about her mother kind of seemed to come out of nowhere for me, to be honest.

I agree. To this day, I still have no reason why she suddenly decided to yell at Zuko for something that he obviously didn't do, and wouldn't have done if he had the choice. Especially after learning about his mother's own fate, why did she decide to yell at him for something he had no control over? (I could see if he had sent the fleet to attack but, he probably wasn't even alive then.) Maybe because their family had been separated again?

That kiss and that talk on the balcony felt really out of place.

I think that was Aang being jealous of something that never happened. Aang was always jealous of Zuko and how close they were, I think. Like, when he narrowed his eyes at Zuko after they found them down in the Catacombs too close for Aang's liking. Was that Aang showing distrust, or jealousy, or both?

xxEchelonAtHeartxx

11/23/2011 #12
Amira Elizabeth

Aang was always jealous of Zuko and how close they were, I think.

I don't think so. I think the fact that Aang was portrayed as a silly and hyperactive (and played by a girl) and the fact that the Katara character was drooling over every "hot" guy on the stage was the issue. And the fact that they apparently hadn't discussed the DoBS kiss.

I think you are giving Zuko far too much importance. The issue wasn't Zuko per se. The issue was Aang's reaction to himself on stage, reaction to what the Katara actress was saying about him, and the fact they had not talked about the kiss.

As for TSR, well while I don't see Zuko's actions as entirely harmful, I don't see them as entirely helpful either. Especially the way he treated Aang. TSR frustrates me with the fans because people see Aang as the one who wouldn't help her or was holding her back and Zuko is all great.

11/23/2011 #13
moaaa

I think you are giving Zuko far too much importance. The issue wasn't Zuko per se. The issue was Aang's reaction to himself on stage, reaction to what the Katara actress was saying about him, and the fact they had not talked about the kiss

Actually, I was only talking about Zuko during TSR, not EIP. He wasn't important at all in that episode. What I mean is, Aang saw something that never happened and overreacted. You could see it when Aang slightly nodded his head when the actor playing Zuko was all, "I thought you were the Avatar's girl." And then when he pulled something out of the play directly in to the conversation between him and Katara showed he took it far too seriously.

The issue wasn't Zuko, I know. I never said it was, honestly. Zuko was part of a "problem"(if you consider it that) in TSR though.

I don't see Zuko's actions as entirely harmful, I don't see them as entirely helpful either.

He was mainly focused on gaining Katara's trust, not what harm the mission could do. I don't see Aang as the bad guy in that episode, in fact, I always thought what he said made a lot of sense. I mainly see Katara in that episode; who she really is. I didn't care about Zuko or Aang or anything, just what Katara would do when it came down to it. Sure, they were factors, but not the center of the episode.

Honestly, I think it's kind of dumb how Zuko assumed that he would just be trusted after this mission completely and then Katara and the writers gave it to him. She was all skeptical before and then he's good. I understand a level of trust would be earned, but not so easily would it be fully gained.

TSR frustrates me with the fans because people see Aang as the one who wouldn't help her or was holding her back and Zuko is all great.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our ships that we become blindsided; so, I understand what you mean. It happens with Kataangers and Zutarians(or what.ever.) on a lot of episodes -- because everyone wants their ship to be right. I think Aang was right in TSR, while Zuko wasn't really considering all consequences.

xxEchelonAtHeartxx

11/23/2011 #14
GothGeek89

Zuko didn't really expect her to kill the man, even if she did threaten to murder him in a cinch if he did something to harm Aang.

I disagree. Even after his redemption, I still see Zuko as someone who won't hesitate to kill if it's necessary(he was the one who put the most pressure on Aang to kill Ozai). Katara's death threat to Zuko caught me completely by surprise and showed just how dark Katara had gotten during the war(and how much she tried to hide it). I honestly thought she was going to kill her mother's murderer(I know, censorship, but I could see them heavily implying it off screen. I've seen things like that "Getting Past The Radar" plenty of times with shows like Batman: TAS and Justice League).

11/23/2011 #15
moaaa

It's not a matter of could they do it and stay within the ratings. Sure, of course they could. It's a matter of couldKatarado it and still be Katara?

Yeah, Zuko would kill if it's necessary, but I don't think he expected Katara to kill. He knew her enough to make the judgement that she wasn't the type to kill. . He did expect Aang to kill, but I think he figured that was really the only way. Aang saw it that way for a while too, until he found that there was another way. And we all know he was on the brink of doing it, but just couldn't in the end.

I mean, I would kill if it was necessary self-defense. I don't think Zuko would kill out of pure spite, nor Katara, and definitely not Aang.

I didn't think she would kill her mother's murderer because Aang's words has always had some type of effect on Katara, because he is important to her -- and he said some pretty strong ones.

xxEchelonAtHeartxx

11/23/2011 #16
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