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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m8696

Don't get me wrong; I know there are plenty of people who saw a Kataang End coming a mile away and just didn't like the idea of it. But there are plenty more, both inside and outside of the shipping fanbase, who were genuinely surprised when Katara kissed Aang in the finale. My question is, how on earth did you get past the beginning of season two without realizing what was going on?

She's the one who brought up the idea of kissing in the first place; she's the one who's blushing beet red and looking almost hopeful; and she's the one who initiates it, even after Aang made a fool of himself.

4/5/2012 #1
Mrs Pettyfer

I will say I was surprised Katara kissed Aang in the finale, but not surprised they ended up together. I kind of figured out in episode one they were endgame, lol. I expected them to talk about the discussion they had on the balcony during the Ember Island Players, for Katara and Aang to apologize, and then Katara give some insight to her feelings. Then I expected them to get together. So yes, I was surprised they just kissed instead.

I'll try to give my two cents on the cave scene.

She's the one who brought up the idea of kissing in the first place.

True, but look at why she suggested it. She wouldn't have suggested they kiss if they hadn't just read the story of Oma and Shu. Kissing was a possible escape option and the motivation wasn't there to imply a romantic interest.

she's the one who's blushing beet red and looking almost hopeful.

You're talking about a 14 year old girl who has never kissed a boy in her life; in my opinion, she's going to blush at the thought of kissing ANY boy, lol. It wouldn't have mattered what boy she was stuck with, whether it was Zuko, Haru, Jet, etc. she would probably still blush if she thought kissing was the way for escape.

My point is that I just don't think her reaction would have been much different had Aang been another boy she was good friends with. She might be more comfortable suggesting the idea to Aang because they're good friends than she would Jet or Haru and definitely Zuko, but again, I don't think her suggesting it or blushing means she's romantically into Aang at that point. I think her reaction was very predicatable for someone with her lack of experience in her position.

I mean if Toph and Zuko had been caught in those caves, and Toph thought kissing him would get them out, don't you think she'd flush beet red too? lol Same with Zuko--he does actually flush when Toph grabs onto his arm when she says "I'm going with Zuko!" in season three. But that doesn't mean they like each other like that.

Anyway, that's just me and how I viewed it at the time. :P

4/5/2012 . Edited 4/5/2012 #2
m8696

So then why would she try to downplay the idea afterward ("Us kissing? *nervous laugh* Can you imagine")? If she had no interest, there wouldn't be any reason to try to seem so casual about it. Not to mention that you don't exactly need to hold someone's hand, fingers interlocked, just to test out kissing as an escape plan.

he does actually flush when Toph grabs onto his arm when she says "I'm going with Zuko!" in season three. But that doesn't mean they like each other like that.

Apples and oranges. That wasn't anything romantic or suggestive about the scene or episode. No one said that romance drama has a monopoly on blushing.

she's going to blush at the thought of kissing ANY boy

Sokka too? She's not going to blush if she thinks of the boy as a brother or just a little kid.

4/5/2012 #3
Mrs Pettyfer

So then why would she try to downplay the idea afterward ("Us kissing? *nervous laugh* Can you imagine")?

I think someone would downplay an idea they are umcomfortable with, especially when they're unsure how the other person is going to react to it. It's a really out there idea, one Katara isn't exactly comfortable with. She's playing the "cool" card, as they say. :P Rejection isn't something people like to feel, and if Katara "acts cool" then rejection won't be as bad. (Rejection doesn't necessarily have to be tied to romance, either)

No one said that romance drama has a monopoly on blushing.

That's sort of my point, actually. Just because Katara blushes doesn't mean it's because she's romantically into it. People typically blush when they're embarrassed. Katara is a bit embarassed and umcomfortable with the suggestion of kissing in general. That's what I attributed to her blush: the embarrassment and awkardness of the situation; the uncertaintly of doing something intimate that she's never done before and has zero experience.

Sokka too? She's not going to blush if she thinks of the boy as a brother or just a little kid.

I'm sure her face would turn all shades of colors if she thought she had to kiss her brother on the lips. But I would say any boy around her age, yes, she'd blush. Not just Aang. If she was stuck in those caves with Jet and came to the conclusion that kissing was an escape, I'd imagine she'd act just about the same way she did with Aang. Maybe a bit more nervous, since she's not as comfortable around him.

I guess I could turn my thought back into a question. In what ways do you think Katara would act differently if she was stuck with Jet or Haru instead? If those blushes and suggestions and reactions were reserved for Aang and how she feels about him...how would she act if that boy wasn't Aang? Would she still blush? Would she still give a nervous laugh? Etc.

4/5/2012 . Edited 4/5/2012 #4
m8696

I think someone would downplay an idea they are umcomfortable with

Aang was doing the exact same thing as Katara, at the exact same time. The scene wasn't supposed to be subtle about it, you know. You can seriously watch them both do the "Ha ha, yeah, that's a really crazy idea" thing, yet think they have completely different motivations?

(Rejection doesn't necessarily have to be tied to romance, either)

It really does, though. Especially in the context of the series, there quite a few instances that show characters more indifferent when they're not interested in someone and more anxious when they are.

People typically blush when they're embarrassed.

Right, but it's a scene about kissing, set in a cave of two historic lovers, in a shipping episode. It's not the same type of blushing that comes from having your pants fall down.

how would she act if that boy wasn't Aang? Would she still blush? Would she still give a nervous laugh? Etc.

She would never have even voiced the suggestion if it were anyone else. They both knew it was a pretty silly idea, and a last ditch one at that. Katara wouldn't have even brought it up if it were someone she didn't have any interest in.

I still find it amazing that you can look at two characters imitating two lovers in an obvious romance episode and assume that it's platonic on one end. It's not like the scenes are told from Aang's perspective. If they had been written with him coming up with the kiss idea and nervously sneaking looks at Katara before suggesting it, that'd be something else entirely.

4/6/2012 #5
Narwhalphonse

You also have to remember how Katara has addressed her relationship with Aang in the past. "Aang's just a good friend. A sweet little guy." *pats Aang's head like she would a child* "Just like Momo!" After watching that, you could definitely be wondering what, exactly, is up with all the blushing in CoTL. Has she mysteriously and coveniently developed a crush on Aang? Or is she just scared of putting herself out there? I personally think it's the latter. Besides her blush at the scandalous word "kiss," I don't see anything in that scene that indicates a crush on Aang. I see a lot of insecurity about herself, not really anything to do with Aang. After all, the last boy she had any sort of romantic fling with was using her the whole time. Not good for a girl's self-confidence.

I don't think it's a matter of watching that scene and knowing they were going to end up together. A lot happened between that scene and the finale. For example, EIP. Katara reminds Aang that an actress, not her, said that she didn't have feelings for Aang, but neither confirms nor denies that it's true. Aang can see that she's dancing around the issue, and asks defeatedly, "It's true, isn't it?" Katara then goes on to rant about confusion, and then Aang steals a kiss and p*** her off. An episode later, Aang fights with everyone else about whether or not he should kill Ozai, and he storms off in anger. Katara tells him not to run away from the problem, and what does he do? Gets kidnapped by a Lionturtle. But does Katara know that? No. All sd a big fight and now he's just gone. Katara yelling at Aang is the very last dialogue they have in the whole entire series.

4/7/2012 #6
Narwhalphonse

(continued from last post, my phone is being an idiot)

I don't think it works well for everything that has happened between them to magically dissolve during the finale without at least talking about it. The kiss was forced, timing-wise. Obviously they were going to end up together, but the execution was far from perfect, and honestly I still wonder about Katara's stance on it. She never once openly told Aang or anyone else that she liked him, and the way she looked away after he kissed her during DoBS looked A Lot to me like she didn't like it. Her actions following that up until the last minute of the show really only confirmed that to me.

4/7/2012 #7
m8696

Has she mysteriously and coveniently developed a crush on Aang?

Well, he had just recently saved the world and her from falling rocks in that very episode. It's pretty clear that last scene in The Fortuneteller got her thinking about Aang as a possible romantic partner.

Besides her blush at the scandalous word "kiss,"

There's nothing to indicate that Katara was ever that shy or reserved. She was a fairly open and affectionate person, and didn't just start blushing every time something romantic was brought up (Sokka telling her she should try kissing Jet or Aang bringing up Stage Katara's dialogue).

If it were just a matter of her blushing, I could see your argument. But then there's the expression on her face, the fact that she even brought it up in the first place, the fact that she initiates it, the fact that she's holding both of Aang's hands as they do it, and so forth.

The kiss was forced, timing-wise.

The kiss was fine. Katara taking the initiative and showing overt interest in Aang was the perfect way to resolve the ambiguity.

Katara yelling at Aang is the very last dialogue they have in the whole entire series.

I don't think it works well for everything that has happened between them to magically dissolve during the finale without at least talking about it.

I agree, but disagree. They needed the last conversation, but not because the romance didn't make sense without it. Their relationship had been pretty well established for a long time since then.

But not having them talk in Sozin's Comet felt strange because they were the central characters, whose dynamic was generally at the forefront. They didn't really need to even have a conversation about each other, as much as just everything that had happened, saving the world, reflecting on past events, or just something positive in general. It felt a bit as if Mike and Bryan seemed to care more about giving you a "will they/won't they" suspense than they did giving them a proper send off.

4/7/2012 #8
Fullmetal Catalyst

*dives into thread*

True, but look atwhyshe suggested it. She wouldn't have suggested they kiss if they hadn't just read the story of Oma and Shu. Kissing was a possible escape option and the motivation wasn't there to imply a romantic interest.

If she is only suggesting it as an escape attempt, as the above quote implies, I find it hard to believe that she would then reject her own idea for any reason. After all, what's the big deal? The alternative is death. Starvation, asphyxiation, or insanity, whichever comes first. D:

Hard to see her as the commanding leader who's "doing what needs to be done". If it's just a suggestion to escape, why not just do it? Why back down for any reason?

There's definitely a big element of that, no doubt about it. But the Oma/Shu story, the statue, and the situation...they're the catalyst of Katara's suggestion, not the entirety. She has emotional stake in this suggestion, tied directly to the kiss, the "love" that will lead them out.

You're talking about a 14 year old girl who has never kissed a boy in her life; in my opinion, she's going to blush at the thought of kissing ANY boy, lol.

Sure (not ANY, but many). I'm not sure the one at the end of the episode fits this, though.

My point is that I just don't think her reaction would have been much different had Aang been another boy she was good friends with. She might be more comfortable suggesting the idea to Aang because they're good friends than she would Jet or Haru and definitely Zuko, but again, I don't think her suggesting it or blushing means she's romantically into Aang at that point. I think her reaction was very predicatable for someone with her lack of experience in her position.

I don't want to disagree because it's hard for me to put other characters into that situation. Apart from the incredibly awesome antics of Chong and Co.™, CoTL really serves no purpose other than to highlight Aang and Katara (and set up future kiss moments, i.e. Day of Black Sun and EIP). The badgermoles, Appa's fear of caves, the conquest of Omashu, nomadic lifestyles, the Octopus form...these all get a nod, but the episode itself is very much about Aang, Katara, and their being trapped in a cave with love as the only way out. There is some minor Zuko development as well, but the focus is on the cave.

Point being, hard for me to put Toph and Zuko in that situation and compare. Just my perspective.

She would never have even voiced the suggestion if it were anyone else. They both knew it was a pretty silly idea, and a last ditch one at that. Katara wouldn't have even brought it up if it were someone she didn't have any interest in.

I want to add to this that it's worth noting that Oma and Shu were in love. If Katara had no interest, the kiss probably wouldn't be love, and so the suggestion would be pretty nonsensical. (And while we can argue endlessly about the current stage of their attraction to each other, it's pretty clear that there is SOME level of attraction on both sides.)

You also have to remember how Katara has addressed her relationship with Aang in the past. "Aang's just a good friend. A sweet little guy." *pats Aang's head like she would a child* "Just like Momo!"

This is true, but as you said it was "in the past". A lot has happened since then, not the least of which being that very episode (which also has very little purpose other than a) comedic value and b) Katara + Aang highlighting). It was in that episode that she was made aware of Aang as a potential romantic interest, as m8 mentioned.

Are we talking about the finale now? Fun times.

Oh, and afaik, EIP really only makes any sense in the plot if Katara has that budding crush on Aang in Cave of Two Lovers. Otherwise it's just unnecessary recap/comedic filler that none of the characters themselves actually like (and if they thought it was a waste of time, why shouldn't I? :D).

She never once openly told Aang or anyone else that she liked him, and the way she looked away after he kissed her during DoBS looked A Lot to me like she didn't like it. Her actions following that up until the last minute of the show really only confirmed that to me.

Depends on how you view the DoBS kiss. On why you think she doesn't look so happy. I mean, the guy who kissed her just told her he may not come back (i.e. he dies, something she's experienced very viscerally already). She can't do anything to help him -- absolutely nothing. She can't even resurrect him this time if he fails. For all she knows, he and Ozai are off to play Pai Sho in a volcano, winner kills loser, except Aang is playing blindfolded. On top of that, she's just been kissed -- unless I'm misremembering, that's her first kiss right there (barring any possible unseen contact in Two Lovers). Her first kiss with someone she definitely has a crush on at that point, someone she's lost before and may yet again. On top of THAT, she's already been told (in Two Lovers, even) that he probably won't kiss her unless death seems likely. While it's unclear if that would cheapen the kiss for her (EIP suggests it does), it DEFINITELY reinforces, once again, that he doesn't have confidence that he'll win.

On top of THAT, there's all the business with his being the Avatar, the last hope and really the only reason they're here. Doesn't matter how successful everyone is -- if he fails (aka dies), the mission is a failure, and they're all captives or worse (save the few who escape via Appa). That doesn't hit home until the departure, as it shouldn't (given the mood in the camp versus the mood on top of the sub).

I'd be concerned for her sanity if she looked happy. Or I'd hate her as a character. I don't know.

If anything, her reaction in EIP should indicate exactly how she reacts when she doesn't like a kiss. DoBS is very, very far from that.

4/8/2012 #9
Fullmetal Catalyst

I don't think it works well for everything that has happened between them to magically dissolve during the finale without at least talking about it. The kiss was forced, timing-wise. Obviously they were going to end up together, but the execution was far from perfect, and honestly I still wonder about Katara's stance on it.

I think the execution was fine (that entire scene from Comet's departure on...still has me grinning like an idiot), but the setup was more than rushed, and it starts with the beginning of Season 3. Before DoBS, I would argue (rather convincingly, I think) that only three episodes are actually main plot(1, 6, and snippets of the others), and that the rest are by definition "filler". Three out of NINE. This is followed by the epic Invasion, then five episodes related to Zuko, of which only the first two were absolutely necessary (the last, Southern Raiders, was also probably necessary to tie up some important loose ends). Then a filler. Then four episodes to a finale that probably could have used seven.

That's fine if the end result doesn't look rushed, but there were things that took a backseat that should not have. Katara + Aang is one of those things. Boiling Rock was cool and all, and I love Mai and Azula in it (that faceoff...), but I can't even try to argue that it was necessary other than the last four minutes of Part 2.

All comes down to, there were things that could've been done to make the final kiss more palatable for some, but changing that particular scene might not be as crucial as changing aspects of the show leading to it (namely, the sheer number of filler episodes. Good thing Korra's cut down). There didn't have to be a final kiss, technically, but I can't think of another way to clearly cement the Kataang relationship, which the writers wanted to do from the get-go (or close to it).

4/8/2012 #10
TigerShadow

In answer to the topic question: they just didn't care. (To be honest, neither do I, but for a different reason. I'm neutral on the whole shipping thing; when push comes to shove, I'll choose Zuko/Katara, because I don't care for Katara/Aang that much, but it's not that big of a deal for me anymore.) The fact of the matter is that the shippers will do anything to ignore blatant canon evidence in pursuit of a non-canon pairing. It's not that they don't realize that Katara has feelings for Aang, it's just that they deny it for their ship.

Good thing Korra's cut down

Yeah, I think I read somewhere that Mike and Bryan are going to be personally writing all of the episodes of Korra so as to avoid filler episodes. Those will be the job of the fanfic writers, methinks.

4/14/2012 #11
m8696

It's not that they don't realize that Katara has feelings for Aang

That's true for a lot of them, but for just as many, it was a actual surprise. The people who bought into the ZEFID stuff, for instance, were convinced that they were logically quoting legitimate evidence from the show and didn't understand how they were mistaken until the end of the finale.

4/15/2012 #12
TigerShadow

The people who bought into the ZEFID stuff

Haha, yeah, I actually believed that junk for a while until I grew up. I still don't support Katara/Aang or Mai/Zuko, but the stuff in ZEFID was just ridiculous.

I think we need to make a distinction in this fandom, much as has been done in the HP fandom. I think that there should be a difference between Zuko/Katara shippers and Zutarians. Zuko/Katara shippers are the ones who acknowledge that it's a long shot by canon but enjoy it anyway; Zutarians are the crazy militant shippers/designated fandom whipping boys who don't let anything, canonical or otherwise, get in the way of their OTP. (Really, it should be the same all around; Katara/Aang and Mai/Zuko shippers can be just as militant as Zuko/Katara shippers.)

4/15/2012 #13
ImaRocketDog

Lol yeah. I guess that makes me a Zuko/Katara shipper then, but I still tend to call myself a Zutarian because it's quick textspeak and rolls off the tongue nicely. I'm completely non-militant when it comes to shipping, and I find that h***, militant shippers of any pairing canon or otherwise can be pretty frightening. I understand that Zutara was never canon, but it's still my favorite fanon ship, simply because there always seemed to be potential between the two of them, even if nothing more than mere potential ever existed in the show (that, and I never liked Maiko. Never really understood what Zuko and Mai saw in each other).

4/15/2012 #14
loves2readandwrite

From the start, I knew that Aang and Katara would be together. And I guess people love the other pairings so much (ex. Zutara, Taang), they refuse to believe that Aang and Katara are going to end up with each other.

4/15/2012 #15
Justice Tokidoki
I'm pretty neutral when it comes to shipping. Honestly, I really didn't think of it until I saw something about it in a nick magazine. I think the main thing is that I honestly didn't care. I saw the kataang ending a mile away because of the set up and.....lets face it, I have a soft spot for the soft guys. what I really don't like is how the militant zutarians bash aang and other characters to make their ship work. Aang has fone through more things than anyone on the show, the difference is he has a better attitude about it. I can already see the same thing happening with korra. All the zutara fans are now makorra fans, and don't get me wrong I know shipping is fun, but I'm starting to feel sick just thinking about all the bragging militant zutarians who are going to bash and boast about makorra! (which I can already see signs of in the show. That doesn't bother me, its the fans that bother me....) Anyway, to actually answer the question, most zutarians probably don't care.
4/21/2012 #16
ImaRocketDog
I agree that the Kataang ending was pretty obvious and predictable; as much as some of us would like to believe, the nature of the show simply wouldn't have allowed them to turn the tables on us and NOT have the hero and main heroine (who he's been crushing on since day one) end up together. I consider myself a Zutarian and I can clearly see this and understand the reasoning behind it. In the context of the show, Zutara never stood a chance. And as for the Makkora thing, I must admit that since I've been a busy college student lately I haven't actually watched Korra yet, but from what I've heard from some people the only real similarity between them and Zutara so far is the fire/water thing, and their relationship doesn't have quite the same dynamic as the one between Zuko and Katara; their personalities simply aren't similar enough. So I really don't understand why there's this claim that "Makkora is Zutara, only canon", although I guess I have to actually watch the series to understand.
4/21/2012 #17
Mrs Pettyfer

"Makkora is Zutara, only canon", although I guess I have to actually watch the series to understand.

I think people started this because of the physical resemblance, to be honest. Or the whole water tribe girl and firebender boy. I think that notion is beginning to lose it's steam, and will continue to, since the character's are shaping up to be quite different from Zuko and Katara. In some respects, Mako is almost opposite to Zuko. And Korra is far more brash than Katara and certainly doesn't mother/baby anyone. Not to mention their relationships are totally different and have different vibes. Like..Mako and Korra didn't start off on opposite sides of war, lol.

4/21/2012 #18
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