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Bryke is confused ^-^

My fellow avatards, I fear that Bryke, our beloved creators of ATLA and LOK have an extreme case of confuzzlement. You see...

Recently, I watched the ATLA season 4 forbidden love trailer, and I had a bit of a think about the canon relationships, and how bryke views zutara and the zutara fandom. To be honest, I wasn't very offended by the S4 thing (except for the "all women who ship zutara will have doomed relationships", because I feel like that's going a bit far, and also, why are singling out women as zutarians with their doomed relationships?). However, I was kind of disappointed in Bryke, because I actually thought that they were above stuff like that.

The funny thing is though, everything that Bryke said about zutara that they thought would make it a bad relationship, they actually out into their own canon relationships. I'll explain...

(It goes maiko -> Kataang -> makorra -> zutara)

Bryke has described zutara as "just dark and intriguing". In my opinion, this does not describe zutara at all, but it actually describes maiko. For the majority of maiko, Zuko is a very confused and lost teenager, and Mai is generally apathetic and unsympathetic. They are always either arguing or making out. Their relationship seems to be two people that don't really understand eachother feeling attracted to eachother, and becoming serious very quickly. In the S4 trailer, Zuko says "(Katara and me) have nothing in common." To me, this describes maiko as well, because they really just don't get eachother, and cannot connect with anything. Their conversations are mostly bland and unfeeling. An example is when Zuko was going home to the fire nation for the first time in three years, to meet his abusive father who had scarred and banished him, traumatising Zuko, the last time he saw him. Mai asks if Zuko is cold, and Zuko took this oppurtunity to actually open up to her and share what he was feeling, his worries and his fears. Mai replies with a yawn and says, "I just asked if you were cold, not for your whole life story." And kisses him. Yes, you can kiss someone to cheer them up, but Mai does not try to understand Zuko, and shuts him down effectively saying, "yeah, I don't actually care about your feelings, let's kiss." This scene basically describes their whole relationship, which shows to me, that maiko is the definition of dark and intiguing. Actually, no, I wouldn't even call it intriguing. Compare this "aren't you cold?" scene to the "are you okay?" Scene outside Iroh's tent, and you see the true difference between these pairings. While Mai yawns and acts apathetic, Katara offers comfort and support. This also proves that, despite what many mako shippers say, Katara can handle emo!Zuko' and she can handle him better than Mai. Honestly, the only time I saw something in maiko was when Mai saved Zuko's life at the boiling rock. However, one person saying they love the other doesn't mean the feeling is mutual, and seeing that Zuko does not try to get Mai from prison, and does not seem to think about her at all the whole she's in prison, I would say that this just the case for maiko.

Now, for Kataang. I personally, like Kataang much better than maiko, but there are still problems with it. Kataangers say that Katara and Aang have a lot in common, but that's just looking the top layers of their relationship. Katara is a stubborn, head-strong and emotionally driven young woman and Aang is a carefree, spiritual boy. Yes, they care for eachother very deeply, I am in no way trying to deny that, but simply caring for eachother is not the only thing you need to make a relationship work. Katara has been forced to grow up much to quickly, due to the death of her mother and her absent father, and she has the mindset of an adult. Aang, too, has been forced to grow up too quickly, but at heart, he is still a child. He has changed emmensly throughout the series, and he has faced his fears and his responsibilities, but he is still a twelve year old boy who values fun and freedom over responsibility. Katara has not been given the chance to value fun and freedom over responsibility; she is undeniably the mother of the group, and this does not exclude Aang. In TSR, Aang does not understand Katara at all. He is seen to value forgiveness over revenge, which is fine, but he forces his opinions onto Katara when she clearly does not want them. It is obvious that Katara feels strongly about this, but Aang cannot seem to grasp that she isn't agreeing with what he's saying. Aang holds Katara up on a pedestal, and when he sees her doing something that he wouldn't consider morally right, he can't handle it. Zuko accepted all Katara's side, good and bad, because he nobody is perfect; Aang did not want Katara's bad side. Furthermore, Katara sees Aang as either the legendary avatar, the embodiment of her hopes and dreams, or as a boy to take care of and mother. They rarely see eachother as complete equals the way Zuko and Katara do (once she forgives Zuko). Also, as I said before, Katara is very emotionally driven, and her decisions are based off her feelings. Aang, exspecially in season 3, has started to have the detached view of the air nomads. This brings me to the decision that Katara and Aang, like maiko, are actually a couple that don't understand eachother well, not zutara.

I know makorra wasn't endgame, but I consider any pairing who was once a couple to be canon, so I'll talk about them too. I don't have a problem with makorra, I just don't ship it (korrasami!). Makorra is seen by a lot of people as zutara 2.0. I don't agree, simply because korra and mako are very different people from Katara and Zuko. Yes, zutara and makorra both fire x water couples, but besides that, they are totally different. Katara is caring and motherly, whereas Korra is more fiery and strong willed, though they are both quite stubborn and headstrong. Zuko is quite quick-tempered, whereas Mako is more calm and collected. Mako and Korra seem to bicker quite a lot, which has something zutara haters think would happen with zutara. The difference is, Makorra arguments are about pro-bending techniques or just simple personality clashes. Zutara arguments are because they were on opposing sides of the war. In S1 and S2 it wasn't personal, it was "we need to fight because we are naturally enemies if we are fighting for different things. The S2 finale zutara fight was more personal, because he betrayed her, and fights in S3 were very personal, but once she had forgiven him, their is no evidence to suggest that they would constantly argue and clash. Zuko and Katara are actually extremely similar, and the view of opposites attract for zutara is looking at zutara with very little depth.

Now for zutara. I will admit, "dark and intriguing" isn't completely inaccurate (I find the couple very intriguing), but "just dark and intriguing"? Definitely not. Yes, zutara is darker than Kataang, but it's not much-too-angsty maiko. The thing about Zutara is, as I said before, Zuko and Katara are both very accepting of eachother, and they do not hold anything back from eachother. Because Zuko was first Katara's enemy, she did not mother him. In CoD, she yelled at him, and did not hold anything back, because she didn't have to be nice to him. As the mother of the group, she has always held back her more negative emotions from her friends because she is the person that keels them together. If she broke, they would follow. She actually does this the most with Aang. However, with Zuko, she has no need to hide things from him, negative or positive. That has why, in TSR, she did not hold anything back just because he was there (which I'm sure she would have done with Aang, Toph or Sokka), and he accepted it. Zuko has been seen to open up to Katara in CoD, when he talks about his scar. "I used to think this scar marked me, the mark of the banished prince..." This is more about his scar them he has ever said to anyone, and he has said this to the girl who was yelling at him, at the most, half an hour earlier. Kataangers say that he only let her touch his scar because she was going to try to heal it, but there is no explanation for him telling this to her (it was before spirit water was even mentioned). The only explanation is that they had a geniune bond in the crystal Catacombes.


So, my dearest Bryke, you seem to have mistaken our lovely zutara with your badly-written canon pairings that you love so much. If you'd like to remind yourselves of the beauty that is zutara (so you stop mistaking it for Kataang and maiko), please talk to the voice actor of Zuko and the captain of our ship Dante Basco. If he's not around, you could always speak to Mae Whitman, the voice actress of Katara (she also ships zutara btw). I would appreciate if you don't bash my ship and just admit that zutara is awesome. Thank you.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
hoot0wl
Feb. 4th, 2016 04:46 am (UTC)
i believe i wrote a drabble addressing things in your rant. i'm of the opinion that mai and zuko have an unhealthy relationship for many of the reasons you've listed. i also think aang and katara have more of a puppy-love type of relationship than anything. it also never sat right with me that aang "gets the girl" in the end.

i am going to disagree on one point (minor as it is), i don't think aang grew that much throughout ATLA. he was still running away from his problems up until almost the last episode. i hated the dues ex machina lion turtle thing (i realize it's a kid's show so he couldn't really all out kill the fire lord and still keep it a kids show). he also forced himself on katara when she clearly wasn't receptive (korra did the same thing to mako and it really annoys me). sexual assault is never okay.

it really comes down to this: zuko is a complex character. aang is not. at least that's my opinion.

Edited at 2016-02-04 04:47 am (UTC)
bricat_fangirl
Feb. 4th, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Aang could've been developed so much more, but Katara mothered him and basically softened the blow of any situation that he could've gained character development from.

I was talking to a maiko shipper, and apparently she ships maiko because it's an unhealthy relationship, which baffles me. She sees it as a kind of relationship that's bad for both of them bug they can't break it off. The problem is, ATLA is a nick show. They're not going to be able to properly write a relationship like that on a kids show. Then again, Bryke is not known to be very good at romance writing in general...

Katara never wanted to talk about the Kataang day of black sun kiss, and to me (I have recently turned 13 so I'm barely older than Aang), that right there is a sign to back off. However, overreacts to a stupid play and demands to know why he and Katara aren't together yet. When she says she's confused? Oh, must be a sign to force a kiss on her. AGAIN. This stunted any devlopment of the detached air nomad views that Aang had begun developing, and just gave me a really bad taste in my mouth. Katara's feelings for him are confused at best, and she hasn't blushed for him since probably early season two, but of course, when the finale comes around, they kiss and somehow it's happily ever after and they call eachother sweetie and live in a never ending honeymoon phase. U G H .

Zuko is SUCH a complex character, and Katara has been a personal point in almost all of his main character arc stages. 1) pirate thing...ok this isn't super personal but that necklace means a lot to her so...
2) crystal Catacombes. Of course. They realise they are not so different, they start seeing eachother as people instead of just part of the enemy group. Zuko opens up about his scar (as I said) and Katara flippin presses her fingers on that scar and her thUMB IS ON HIS LIP AND ITS SO BEAUTIFUL AND THEN AANG COMES IN AND THEY JUMP AWAY LIKE PEOPLE DO WHEN THEY ARE ABOUT TO KISS AND SOMEONE INTERUPTS AND OOOOOooooohhhhhh
3) okay, nothing for the fire nation, but he's in a palace so obviously not. Mai was there, and...she was not very supporting. At all.
4) Zuko comes full circle and their relationship is finally healed and she forgives him and and!!
5) annndd then he is at the most important battle of his life which will decide basically his whole future and she is there and thE LIGHTNING AND HE JUMPS ON FRONT OF IT WITHOUT EVEN THINKING AND AHAHAKSN AND HES LIKE NOOOOO AND ALL SHE CAN DO IS WATCH IN SHOCK AND THEN SHES LIKE ZUKOOOO AND SHE HEALS HIM AND SHE STARTS CRYING AND IT IS EQUAL BECAUSE HE SAVED HER AND NOW SHE SAVED HIM AND AND NSKSNDOSNS

Yeah. I got a bit carried away with my answer XD. Thx for commenting!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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