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.
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
Amira Elizabeth

I was rewatching AtLA and doing searches on the Internet and while doing so I found that a lot of the blame for season 3 being weak is believed to be largely Aang's fault - weak character, weaker storyline, weaker romance, etc.

Personally I found it rather disturbing that the blame was placed on Aang's character rather than looking at the causes for the weaknesses (if any at all). The problems I had with season three stem from the episodes following The Fire Bending Masters. While it is true that several of the episodes prior to DoBS were filler episodes, they did have two very important things for the most part that I think wereessential and yet mysteriously lacking in the post-DoBS episodes:

1. The episodes featured most of the characters in some fashion

2. The episodes featured A and B storylines.

The Painted Lady to me was probably the least important of the pre-DoBS episodes. The post-DoBS episodes however stalled after The Fire Bending Masters. They had built up a good momentum with DoBS, progressed smoothly to The Western Air Temple, and then continued the importance of Aang and Zuko being on the same page with The Fire Bending Masters. But while The Boiling Rock and The Southern Raiders were certainly entertaining, the problem I had with them is that the other characters were in essence back-burnered in favor of making Zuko fit into the group. The Boiling Rock yes gave us back Hakoda and Suki, but we only saw Hakoda for the mere briefest of minutes and the act of bringing her father back should have taken care of Katara's rage against Zuko for the most part. Suki did come to serve a purpose later, but the episode should not have been two parts without a B story.

And The Southern Raiders was unsuccessful because instead of viewing Aang as being someone who has dealt with rage and suffering and tries to help Katara, he is instead wrongly viewed by fans as being this pain in the butt lording his beliefs over her and showed that until the very end of the episode Zuko was still helping to add to the discord.

The problem I had with these episodes was that they basically stopped Aang's storyline for the most part. They had to fit Zuko into the group. We had to see him working with the others and becoming a welcome addition. The problem is is that he still by the finale was showing he had little respect for Aang's beliefs. Think Aang was right or wrong if you wish, but that still doesn't negate the fact that he is the Avatar. The duty to defeat the fire lord falls on him and his issues should have been explored more, fleshed out more, and respected by the members of him team.

Aang's relationship with Katara should have been explored more other than an awkward moment in The Ember Island Players. And what was basically a weird little filler episode could have provided some of the Zuko integration into the group like after the Zuko betrayal scene during CoD, the intermission could have served as a time for Zuko to apologize for betraying Katara and maybe one day he could help her find her mother's killer. The discussion between Aang and Katara could have had some much needed prior attention so it didn't feel so tacked in there.

I just really feel that Zuko's transition into the group was so heavily emphasized and focused on that other stuff, and possibly more important stuff, was completely put aside. And of course people place the blame on Aang's story arc and the writing of his character. And I find that unfair considering that it was his character that suffered the most from this need to OMG! WE HAVE TO MAKE ZUKO FIT INTO THE GROUP AND MAKE HIM WORK WITH EVERY CHARACTER! And you can see the result - lack of attention to important story points such as Aang's issues with killing, Kataang, etc. Heck even poor Toph's character was shoved aside.

Sorry for the long ramble...

5/23/2012 #1
Fullmetal Catalyst

Sorry for the long ramble...

First of all, no, don't be. Welcome back, it's been a while! Hope AtLA is as fun this time around as in previous watches -- I should do a rewatch myself in the near future. Seeing anything new? Other than those contained in this post, of course :P

The Painted Lady to me was probably the least important of the pre-DoBS episodes. The post-DoBS episodes however stalled after The Fire Bending Masters. They had built up a good momentum with DoBS, progressed smoothly to The Western Air Temple, and then continued the importance of Aang and Zuko being on the same page with The Fire Bending Masters. But while The Boiling Rock and The Southern Raiders were certainly entertaining, the problem I had with them is that the other characters were in essence back-burnered in favor of making Zuko fit into the group. The Boiling Rock yes gave us back Hakoda and Suki, but we only saw Hakoda for the mere briefest of minutes and the act of bringing her father back should have taken care of Katara's rage against Zuko for the most part. Suki did come to serve a purpose later, but the episode should not have been two parts without a B story.

You're much more forgiving than I am toward the pre-DoBS episodes. I enjoy them, hell I think they're great, but with the exception of the first two, the fifth (Avatar and Firelord), and perhaps the ninth, they did little (if anything) to advance the main plot. In the context of being a fun cartoon series, it worked (very well), in the context of tight plot, not as much. Sokka's Master was important, the Beach was important, the Runaway, the Puppetmaster...all very nice for character development and generally great episodes, but with no main plot development it meant that more was crammed into the end -- such as Zuko.

I agree, as I have for a while, about Boiling Rock. Hakoda and Suki...nothing against them, but they play no role in the remaining show (Suki does something with an airship -- tertiary importance in the grand scheme). Zuko and Sokka...cool stuff, but no role in the remaining show and not a relationship that was required to be built. Happy they get a chance to bond, but it was late in the show for that. Azula v. Mai, the Maiko shoutouts, nice, but condensable.

And The Southern Raiders was unsuccessful because instead of viewing Aang as being someone who has dealt with rage and suffering and tries to help Katara, he is instead wrongly viewed by fans as being this pain in the butt lording his beliefs over her and showed that until the very end of the episode Zuko was still helping to add to the discord.

Well, that's fandom for yeh :P TSR also had some nice Zuko vs. Azula, though, and bits of Azula's descent.

Regarding the rest, about fitting Zuko into the group -- I think they really did require several episodes to do it. Not five, but certainly no less than three. As Aang's mirror, he needed more screentime than any other non-Aang character. The problem, I feel, was the late hour at which they played these episodes.

Also, the Internet is going to blame Aang. How weaker storyline and romance are in any way, shape, or form HIS fault...that's beyond my ability to comprehend (I mean, he's the only character, Zuko aside, who even HAS a real storyline in Season 3). Weak character...meh. Compared to Season 2, yeah, I guess he was weaker.

It was tough, in twenty-one episodes, in a series where (unlike Korra) not every episode is intended to advance The Legend of Aang, as it were. Tough for them to know where they desired to end up until they'd already set the pace, and at the same time they never could have made it too dark. Eight to twelve episodes in the tone of Sozin's Comet might've been a turn off for much of the Saturday morning crowd (if it was on Saturday mornings, I have no idea when they showed it).

5/23/2012 #2
Amira Elizabeth

I'm at work, so I will touch on this point for now...

Regarding the rest, about fitting Zuko into the group -- I think they really did require several episodes to do it. Not five, but certainly no less than three. As Aang's mirror, he needed more screentime than any other non-Aang character. The problem, I feel, was the late hour at which they played these episodes.

The this is that that I do agree with 3 episodes needing to be there, but they had achieved two of those episodes right off the bat (The Western Airtemple and The Fire Bending Masters). The problem I felt is that by basically back-burnering (LOL I make up words)the other characters and issues, it made Zuko's integration into the group almost forced. They had to repeatedly hammer it in with these sideline trips rather than seeing him actually working with the group as a whole and working with Aang. And they did it to at the expense of much-needed development in other areas that are often considered lacking.

The problems of season 3 are heaped on not developing Aang and Kataang as well, but no one ever seems to address a large and glaring reason for it - the episodes before the finale. And perhaps they don't want to because it is Zuko. I think that was the final straw for me with Zuko's character and the fandom. Things were left under-developed and unresolved because THEY HAD TO FIT HIM IN IN EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE! Even when it did nothing for the storyline other than to offer some tension. They resolved Hakoda being in prison, but failed to use that as a perfect opportunity to have Katara lighten the rage toward Zuko. And then Hakoda was not seen until the last few minutes of the finale. And yet those episodes took up up two slots with no B-storyline.

5/23/2012 . Edited 5/23/2012 #3
Mizu-Rose

I got too tired for this last night, but now I'm ready. Season 3 was not my favorite season, but it wasn't so bad to declare discontinuity(I rarely do that anyway). I disliked it for 4 reasons:

1. Too much filler. Unlike most fans(I say this in general), I like filler if it's well done. The only filler episodes I liked were "Nightmares and Daydreams"(does it count since it did set up for the invasion?) "Sokka's Master", and "The Beach". It just made the season drag compared to season 1 and 2's pacing(the hiatus it was on made it seem even longer).

2. The way Katara was written. I felt that the writers made Katara into this canon sue who was shoved down viewers' throats. This was part of the reason I started to kind of-sort of dislike Katara for a while. I've recently warmed back up to her, but that is a pet peeve of mine when writers do that to a character.

3. The way Aang and Katara's relationship was written. I'm a Aang/Katara fan(and all the other canon couples) and I was extremely annoyed at the inconsistency(sp?) of their development. They seemed to be on the verge of confession at times in the beginning, kiss during the invasion(which left the impression that they had become official since Katara didn't seem to reject him), then find out right before the finale that Katara's suddenly "confused" to an equally confused Aang(and the audience) who believed they were a couple up until then, and they suddenly kiss at the end of the finally with no build up(I had waited since episode 1 for that kiss and ended up disliking it for seeming forced).

4. Zuko's "field trips". Zuko is my favorite character from the original series and even I felt his redemption was unnecessarily hammered into the audience's heads. It could have easily been a subplot while focusing on others like preparing more fighting Ozai and tying up more loose ends with other characters, especially the ones who got ignored and could have used the development(instead of dumping half them off after reappearing for only an episode or 2 and even then some of them were what TV Tropes calls Living Props at times).

The excellent finale made up for most of it(and yes, even the so-called "a** pull" of energybending), but not enough for me to change my opinion of it being the weakest season.

5/25/2012 #4
m8696

which left the impression that they had become official since Katara didn't seem to reject him), then find out right before the finale that Katara's suddenly "confused" to an equally confused Aang(and the audience) who believed they were a couple up until then

This, so much. I really just figured that they were an item after the kiss in Day of Black Sun, all the way until Ember Island Players. I just figured that the show was just playing it subdued, not that I really expected them to act much different after they were a couple.

I felt that the writers made Katara into this canon sue who was shoved down viewers' throats.

Maybe in her episode, but not really in any other. It was business as usual in The Runaway, and her outburst in The Southern Raiders wasn't exactly meant to be portrayed as positive.

It could have easily been a subplot while focusing on others like preparing more fighting Ozai

No, I completely disagree with this. Zuko's time as part of the Gaang was precious. We needed not only to show him bonding with each member, but for him to take part in the lighthearted, comedy episodes. Having those episodes be too plot-intensive would have been robbing us of something that we'd been anticipating for years. I, for one, was looking forward to Zuko joining up and training Aang ever since Katara became his teacher at the beginning of the second season.

On the subject of season three as a whole, the main problem is that season two set the bar to high. If you compare season three to season one, it's better for the most part. But we had just gotten out of the second season, where everything was tightly written and connecting, without losing any of the humor or character building. Post DOBS was fine for the most part, but the first half could have really been more serialized.

5/31/2012 #5
Forum Moderators: LadyLore3 ScatterSunshine50, moaaa, TheLadyBlackhawk
Rules:
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member