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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Legend of Korra has a release date (Page 7)

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Author Topic: Legend of Korra has a release date
ak
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Finally saw the finale, then went back and reread everyone's thoughts posted here.

I thought it all seemed too tidy and quick. I hated the love triangle with Mako, because it was just sad, and I never saw what either of them saw in him. I didn't really believe in the feelings there, or in several other story arcs. I'm not happy Korra and Mako ended up together.

The Sato father and daughter story didn't ring true to me either. So I always expected something else was really going on, that she was secretly still on his side or something.

I liked Lin. I'm glad she got her bending back in the end, but will Korra restore all the bending that was taken away from all the other benders since Amon came? How did Amon use blood bending to take people's bending away, anyway? That never made good sense to me. The only thing that keeps fantasy from being utter mismash is there are rules about how things work. I felt like the rules were all broken and we're back to total mishmash with this one.

The way Aang came to Korra in the end isn't even anything like the way it would happen in the last series, that Aang would seek out the spiritual world and come there. This was like the spirit world just broke into Korra's real world or something. Sparkling into being like Spock in a transporter beam, and then disappearing just as quickly. Oh hey, maybe they invented spirit-world-transporters. Why not? It makes about as much sense as the rest of this stuff.

I guess they did succeed in making me care, or else I wouldn't feel disappointed, huh? None of these people seem as real to me as Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph did in the last series, though.

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Dan_Frank
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I get the people that hated the Mako/Asami/Korra triangle. It was pretty terrible. Mako wasn't nearly good enough for either of them.

But I'm a little surprised at how surprised people are that it ended up that way. It was telegraphed from very early on. I guess people expected it to be subverted? But that's not really Avatar's style. Look at the romantic relationships in TLA. Aang and Katara were telegraphed from episode one and, frankly, never really impressed me either. Zuko and Mae came sort of out of left field, and also never felt particularly real or poignant.

About the only couple in TLA that seemed remotely cool and actually well matched was Sokka and Suki, and it took a long time for the show to make that happen.

I don't know. I think TLA was great, and I think Korra is great, but to me, their portrayals of romance have never been a big draw. In either case.

Like the complaints of hasty pacing, this feels a little bit like looking at TLA through rose-colored glasses.

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Lyrhawn
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I think some people are reading an awful lot into the moment where she's standing on the cliff. I'd really like to hear what the creators have to say about it.

Dan - I don't think anyone is really surprised by the how the romance ended. We're mostly just annoyed they wasted so much time with it.

ak - I liked the door they opened with the Sato Family story line, but I don't really think they did it any justice. They needed to spend more time showing just how unhinged Sato was, and more time with Asami as well. There was a ton of potential there for a great story. I feel like most of the heavy hitting stories in this were from peripheral characters. Taarlock/Noatuck. Lin/Tenzin. Pabu/Naga. Hiroshi/Asami. They just needed to spend more time on them and less on the love story.

And I agree on how Aang came to Korra at the end...though, they were a little wishy washy with Aang and Roku. In some episodes Roku told Aang he had to get to a certain place on the solstice to chat, but in other situations Roku just showed up and grabbed Aang for a ride-along. So I don't necessarily have a big problem with Aang just showing up, but their explanation for how Korra broke through wasn't really fulfilling for me.

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Marek
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quote:
Originally posted by ak:
How did Amon use blood bending to take people's bending away, anyway?

It also made me wonder why Katara who was not just a master waterbender, and the greatest healer in the world, but also a master blood-bender herself, could not heal damage done by bloodbending. Why not wait till the full moon and try her healing then, when she can use her own bloodbending to fix it?
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Samprimary
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Answer: because bloodbending is not how he was taking powers away. That's spiritbending. The question remains where he got spiritbending from.
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Dan_Frank
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Really, Sam?

I mean I've been of the opinion since the beginning that Amon wasn't really spiritbending, but I thought this was explicitly confirmed in the finale.

He was doing it wrong, for one thing. And then there's the Guru's explanation of the forehead chakra, for another.

Just seemed to me that what Amon was doing was some sort of advanced chi-blocking move. One that somehow required the use of bloodbending (didn't they say exactly this in the finale?)

It's true they never satisfactorily explained what that maneuver was. But then, chi-blocking in general was never thoroughly explained.

What elements of chi-blocking are physical and what aren't? Why does chi-blocking work? There's obviously a physical injury associated with it. Can a waterbender heal it and make it wear off sooner, or not?

Answers to those questions might explain why Katara couldn't help. She's a healer, but she wasn't a terribly good bloodbender (nowhere near as good as Yakone and his kids, certainly), and she knows nothing of chi-blocking as far as we know.

If Amon can use bloodbending to cause permanent injuries, he could have, say, permanently damaged their forehead chakra. That could account for permanent loss of bending, if I understand the Guru right.

But it's definitely still pretty unclear and undefined.

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Tarrsk
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Edit: Dang, beaten by four minutes. This was originally in reply to Sam.

I don't think so. My read was that Amon used bloodbending to permanently chi-block his targets - basically, what Ty Lee did using physical force, he did by pushing tissues around internally.

Katara is unable to heal Korra because she was using traditional waterbending healing techniques, not bloodbending herself. I suspect that even if she knew how to reverse Amon's chi-blocking effect, she wouldn't have the bloodbending skill to execute it - after all, she only really used bloodbending twice, whereas Amon has been practicing it nonstop for decades. And that completely leaves aside the question of whether Katara (who considers bloodbending an abomination) would be willing to use it at all, even for such a noble purpose.

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Samprimary
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worth discussing, i'm sure, but anyway let me crosspost my post about why the ending sucked:

______________

Here is what I come up with when I go back and really try to make sense of why I am disappointed with the ending: it comes down to the resolution of character and plot arcs hitting a brick wall of what appears to be a very artificial constraint.

Mako is stuck in a love triangle which has to be hammered out in a fraction of the time, so his character development abruptly stops and he becomes terrible. Asami is thrust off likewise and becomes little more than a spurned, disappointed point in a love triangle.

Bolin is even further hurled off to the wayside, all of his character development halts as well, and he becomes nothing but a series of comic-relief quotes abruptly injected into the story. His interaction on the ridge is a quintessential example of this; he appears, says something overly wacky to remind us all he is the wacky person, then, he literally removes himself off back into the background so as not to waste more time in the precious minutes that the show needs to take pretty much every issue and wrap it all up completely.

It is an overly and fittingly literal and direct version of what we realize we've been witnessing throughout the plot crunch at the end of the season: characters being distilled into an absolute barest and flattest minimum of their concept and personality in order to crunch them into a giant "and it all worked out" — character arcs are abruptly ceased, taking pretty much the entirety of the season's buildup and having to dispose of most of the payoff just in order to desperately fit as much complete resolution into the finale as possible.

It's an abrupt and dissatisfying disposal. Korra's buddies get chumped. Amon and the equalists, the overarching threat and conflict driving the entire season, melt off as quickly as Noahtok's makeup and leave people wondering 'so that's it then? just, boom, done like that?'

The end result of these abrupt end woes shows this off in interesting ways; the characters which benefit the most from the structure of the finale are the ones which HAVE to have their essential introductions fit into the finale, and so they come off the best (see: iroh), and the characters most central to the story and Korra's life so far come off the worst. Mako is the ultimate loser, because in order to wrap HIS part up as fast as everything else, he has to devolve into a pretty unlikable character that people were bound to complain about.

As I understand it, this is not the way the show's makers would have wanted it; it's a network constraint due to waffling on how much they were willing to commit to for this new series. I can see how it ended up this way; it's a little bit sad to watch the central conflicts of the entire season just sort of be burned up in a fire sale, with a number of twists and turns that really honestly should have had entire episodes devoted to them. Korra's conflict with Amon in which she loses her bending but awakens her airbending should have been about three episodes from the end; entire episodes should have been devoted to her struggling with her loss of identity as the avatar but clinging desperately to the hope that she can be healed. The episode immediately afterwards should have been her with Tenzin in the shantytown under the city, going through a role-reversal, where Korra rightfully demands a lesson in airbending which has no room for patience or indirectness, and where Tenzin has to oblige and gain an insight into the way her brashness can be developed as an asset. There should have been an episode in which bei fong and her have to work together while communally dealing with the reality of being Amon's victims. Perhaps the Lieutenant could have been pivotal to Korra's central conquest and revelation of Amon as a foe. Korra's spiritual awakening could have at barest minimum been turned into something which does not require very clever specific reading to figure out in order to figure out why Aang is there to all but say "Congratulations! You have advanced your Spirit level! Press OK to continue." There are literally so many ways to have turned this into an extremely satisfying ending that still fits the requirements of "and it all turned out amazing enough that this works if we don't have a following season!"

Most importantly, Mako, Bolin, & co needed plenty of time to branch and arc their character development satisfactorily.

Perhaps overexplained? I really do feel that these are legitimate complaints and that I did not have unrealistic expectations. The season ending was just a complete abandonment and disservice to the very sorts of character and plot niceties which make the Avatar series worth caring about in the first place.

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Tarrsk
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Not overexplained at all. I can definitely see where you're coming from, especially after rewatching the series over the past week.

I agree that Korra's story was weakened by the rushed schedule, and that she should have lost her bending earlier so we'd have time to absorb the implications both for her character and for the world around her. Plus, as you point out, it would've given us an opportunity to focus on Korra's airbending training, which was woefully underutilized in this season. But I thought her descent into despair and humility, and subsequent healing, were well done.

As for the other leads, I agree that Mako's character arc was severely shortchanged - what we're given over the course of Book 1 defines Mako as, basically, a gender-swapped Ginny Weasley, with all the irritating qualities that entails. However, I actually quite liked where they took the character of Asami. She was always more intriguing to me for her backstory with her father and her position as the non-bender of the group than for her role as the "other woman" in the main romance. As annoying as the Makorra stuff often was, that had nothing to do with how Asami herself was written, and everything to do with the writers' failure to give Mako any compelling attributes whatsoever. Honestly, I was glad they just skimmed over the ending of the Mako/Asami relationship and focused on her daddy issues. She has interesting daddy issues.

As for Bolin... ehh, I was OK with him being glorified comic relief for the latter half of Book 1 (and to be fair, he does get some great action beats in the last several episodes). He just doesn't have the personal investment in the plot that most of the other characters do, besides a generalized fear of losing his bending. I suspect/hope he'll get more to do in Book 2.

On a broader level, it's unfortunate that the interesting power dynamics between benders and non-benders were subsumed by the more direct Korra vs Tarrlok vs Amon conflict, but as I said before, I was still quite happy with how that was resolved, at least from a character standpoint. It's sort of like how the battle between the original Team Avatar and the Fire Nation ultimately boiled down to direct personal conflict between Aang and Zuko/ Azula/ Ozai, rather than necessarily focusing on the grander themes of elemental unity vs fragmentation. Though I'll grant that A:TLA did a better job of merging the human drama with the big picture themes than LoK has to date. I'm curious if the showrunners will be returning to the now-leaderless Equalists at all in Book 2. If they don't, then I'd agree with you that tossing the bender vs non-bender thematic elements to the side was something of a missed opportunity.

So yeah, I guess my opinion of the finale (and the season as a whole) has cooled a bit with distance, as there are some deep structural problems in the storytelling. But I still think it was a pretty strong season overall. It established an intriguing new version of the Avatarverse and featured some great characters in Lin, Tenzin, Amon, Tarrlok, Asami, and Korra herself, and did those characters justice in how the story resolved, even if it did so somewhat clumsily. I'm looking forward to see where the writers take the show in Book 2.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

About the only couple in TLA that seemed remotely cool and actually well matched was Sokka and Suki, and it took a long time for the show to make that happen.

You're forgetting Zuko and Katara. [Razz]
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Dan_Frank
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Hah!

Well, they had interesting chemistry the few times they interacted, I'll give you that.

I found Katara to be painfully obnoxious most of the time, so I don't much care who she ends up with.

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Tarrsk
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Oy, Zutara. I'm so glad they didn't go there.
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Xavier
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I would have liked it better than Kataang. That for me fell quite flat. Maybe I just couldn't get past Aang seeming so much younger (prepubescent even). For that reason, I think Aang/Toph would have been a better pairing.
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Tarrsk
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Aang/ Toph might make sense in terms of age, but I don't see it from the standpoint of chemistry. They're too diametrically opposite in personality, and not in the "opposites attract" sort of way.

As for Kataang... well, Katara and Aang were two years apart, just like Katara and Zuko. Although in terms of perception, Zuko always felt to me significantly older than anyone in Team Avatar - he's even drawn like a guy in his early twenties, especially in the latter two seasons. Heck, Sokka is supposedly less than a year younger than Zuko, but he looks five years younger. So the age argument regarding Kataang never really held water for me. If a romance between a 12 year old and a 14 year old is weird, then so is a romance between a 14 year old and a 16 year old who looks and acts like he's 20.

And that doesn't even get into the inherent creepiness of the "oh! You pursued me/ tried to kill me for so long and that drew me to you like a moth to flame!!" stuff. The show itself made fun of that idea in "Ember Island Players."

*shrug* I guess Kataang never bothered me much, since it seemed obvious to me from the first episode that that was where they were going. And I'll take the slow burn romance built on mutual respect and affection over the BURNING HATE-TURNED-LURRRRVE OF MUTUAL A(a)NGST anyday.

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Lyrhawn
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Zutara would have left me totally unsatisfied for a lot of reasons, if not only because the "good girl/bad boy" trope is overplayed...especially when the bad boy in this case BURNED HER VILLAGE DOWN, and at several points not only tried to capture or kill them, but assisted Azula in actually killing Aang after betraying Katara's trust.

If she got past all that because he broods and makes a pouty face, I'd forever boycott the show. And I say that as someone who loves Zuko. He's my favorite character (tied with Iroh maybe) on the show, but that would have been stupid.

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Destineer
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Strongly disagree. After the scene where she almost healed his scar in the S1 finale, I knew they were meant for each other. That was one of the best scenes in the show, because of the chemistry between those two characters. You're right that by the season 2 finale, Zutara was ruined. They'd have had to play some of those events out differently to make a relationship credible. But it would have improved the show if they'd taken those steps and had the two end up together.

The age issue isn't that relevant to me, it's just that Aang isn't an interesting romantic male lead. I might feel that way partly because he's visually pre-pubescent, but it's also for the same reasons that Luke Skywalker wouldn't have worked very well in a romance: the character is spiritually occupied in a way that comes off as androgynous.

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Tarrsk
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Actually, the scene in which Katara almost heals Zuko's scar is in the second season finale, literally minutes before Zuko chooses to side with Azula against Aang and Katara. So the idea that Zutara was "birthed" in that scene and subsequently "ruined" by the Season 2 finale makes no sense, unless your romantic entanglements operate on a ridiculously short timescale.

In addition, the cave scene was one of the best scenes in the show because it showed Zuko at a moral crossroads, and Katara in a position where she, for the first time, understood that her enemies in the Fire Nation weren't all unmitigated evil. Any romantic chemistry between the characters was subtext, at best - the boldface textual interpretation is not that these two people are falling in love, but that they're both coming to an epiphany about the nature of their conflict.

And again, I think you're misremembering the show if you think there were events that could have played out differently to "make a relationship" credible, because that brief cave scene is literally the only moment in the entire series wherein we observe the slightest hint of romantic chemistry between Zuko and Katara. Seriously, I dare you to name another.

In contrast, the Katara and Aang romance is built up starting from their very first scene together. Aang's crush on Katara is obvious, but we see many scenes over the course of the series showing Katara's feelings growing for Aang in return. To name just one from each season, there's her realization that he is a "powerful bender" at the end of "The Fortuneteller," the did-they-or-didn't-they kiss in "The Cave" (which, might I remind you, Katara initiated), and of course, the dance scene in "The Headband" (prior to which we see some pretty obvious jealousy from Katara directed at On Ji, Aang's new Fire Nation friend).

So no, the text doesn't indicate at all that Katara and Zuko "were meant for each other." That was pure fanfic-ified speculation from the fans.

Edited to add: Also, I disagree that Aang isn't a "credible romantic lead." We've already discussed the age thing, which I agree is mildly problematic - but again, just as much so for ANY of the pairings on the show other than Sokka/ Suki. But with regards to the monk thing, nah. Aang's characterization is as much "impulsive teenager" as it is "quiet, spiritual monk." The idea that he's crushin' after Katara from the get go matches my experiences as an impulsive teenager who could also be shy and reflective quite well. And it doesn't seem at all weird to me that a smart, strong, empathetic girl might be drawn to a smart, strong, empathetic guy - it's actually sort of regressive, I think, to assume that girls can't be attracted to "effeminate" males like Aang, especially ones who can summon friggin' tornadoes with their minds.

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Destineer
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Wow, weird. I totally remembered that scene as happening in the S1 finale, but you're right, she only got the healing water at the end of that episode. You're right that they would've had to change things way more in order to make Zutara happen. My only claim is that it would've improved the show if they'd done this.

Anyway, I agree that the writers never intentionally set up Katara and Zuko to get together. But they're such a natural pairing. When I first started watching the show, I missed the first couple episodes and I was certain they were going to get Zuko and Katara together, just because they (unlike Katara and Aang) are the kind of couple that works on the screen. (I've never read any fanfic, for Avatar or anything else, except as a joke, so that wasn't my source for the idea.)

There are so many reasons "Zutara" would work better as a source of romantic drama. In a show like this, you want to go with archetypal character arcs that work. Here's one that works: once-bitter enemies are nonetheless attracted to each other and get together. There's a built-in source of tension that the couple's natural chemistry has to overcome.

Here's one that doesn't work: girl doesn't know if guy is "like a brother" to her or not. The attraction has to be lukewarm in order for there to be tension, or else the girl would not have mixed feelings, so the couple is forced to be portrayed as having bad chemistry. But that was the only way to introduce any tension into the Aang-Katara pairing. So of course, the couple comes across as uninspired.

Also, the age difference thing (although again, it's not the biggest deal-breaker for me) is more about Aang's youth in absolute terms than it is about the difference between their ages. I could believe a romance story between a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old, because those are two people who are both old enough to have hormone-driven crushes on the opposite sex. At 12, and a young-looking 12, Aang just doesn't come across as old enough to even like girls that way.

quote:
Aang's characterization is as much "impulsive teenager" as it is "quiet, spiritual monk." The idea that he's crushin' after Katara from the get go matches my experiences as an impulsive teenager who could also be shy and reflective quite well.
You don't think the same goes for Luke? Aang and Luke are very similar characters in a lot of ways. I really think this analogy holds up in a big way, and illustrates why Aang is not a good romantic lead. He's on a spiritual journey. That's the way he's maturing, not the going-after-girls way. His thing for Katara just doesn't fit with that.
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Tarrsk
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Heh. If your argument is going to hinge purely on "this thing feels better to me than the other thing," then I suspect we'll have to just agree to disagree. To me, a Zuko/Katara pairing feels unimaginative and cliche, not "natural" at all.

"Oh, I've hated you for so long! But I just can't resist you now that I understand that you aren't entirely a jerk!!!"

"Oh, I've pursued you for so long! But only now do I realize that the real pursuit was for your heart!!!"

Ugh. It's like the Twilight version of Avatar.

I've seen the "bad dude gets the good girl" thing done too often already, usually with the emotive success of a paper bag (Korra/ Mako falls squarely into this category). About the only time it "worked" at all, in my estimation, was with Buffy and Spike - and that was mostly because Spuffy was explicitly written as an exploration of how completely screwed up such a relationship would be.

In contrast, the canon relationship Aang and Katara feels more natural to me because it more accurately reflects how stable romantic love works in real life. Two people drawn together by circumstance, who develop mutual admiration and a deep friendship and whose feelings for each other derive from that.

It's not just about the "tension" between them - it's about each of them realizing, at varying times, that their friendship has bloomed into something even bigger and stronger. The tension in the story comes from the fact that Aang realizes this sooner and has fewer hangups about expressing it. Katara's more reserved by nature, and more focused on her responsibilities to the group, so she doesn't feel comfortable acting on her feelings until after the conclusion of the war - hence the conversation during "Ember Island Players." Once Ozai is defeated and Zuko is crowned, those roadblocks are removed and she seeks out Aang on her own.

It's a more subtle love story than the bodice-ripping passion of a hypothetical Zutara pairing, but one that rings far truer to me, personally.

quote:
You don't think the same goes for Luke? Aang and Luke are very similar characters in a lot of ways. I really think this analogy holds up in a big way, and illustrates why Aang is not a good romantic lead. He's on a spiritual journey. That's the way he's maturing, not the going-after-girls way. His thing for Katara just doesn't fit with that.
I don't see Aang and Luke as being particularly similar. They're both impetuous youths, but Aang has a clarity of spirit from the start that Luke is missing entirely in the first film. Luke doesn't achieve the spiritual monk aspect until the latter two films (and really, not until "Jedi"). He's an impetuous youth who TRANFORMS INTO a spiritual monk, whereas Aang is an impetuous youth who already IS a spiritual monk (and maintains both aspects of that personality throughout his story). Aang's arc is not a spiritual journey - that's Korra's thing. Aang's arc is about growing up and finding the courage within himself to stand strong, like an Avatar, rather than try to dodge around it, like an Airbender. And in that sense, coming to grips with his feelings about this awesome girl and learning to express them effectively is a natural side branch of his main arc.
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Destineer
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I'm definitely not saying the Aang-Katara thing is unrealistic (except for the part about his age). Probably the contrary. All I'm saying is, it doesn't work as drama. Zuko and Katara would work. (Zuko and Mai as drama isn't too bad either, in terms of the set-up, but they kind of put it on the back burner when it needed to be developed further in S3.)

quote:

I've seen the "bad dude gets the good girl" thing done too often already, usually with the emotive success of a paper bag (Korra/ Mako falls squarely into this category).

Cliches like this are archetypal for a reason, and good dramatists can pull them off in a way that feels fresh and fun. There are many successful examples. Good guy/bad girl is perhaps more common these days (Batman/Catwoman, Willow, Helo/Athena from BSG, the recent Miami Vice movie, Knights of the Old Republic). But the arrangement is the same however the genders break down.
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Destineer
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I should add, Korra/Mako doesn't qualify the way I'm understanding the archetype. Mako isn't a "bad guy," not in the sense that he's working for evil the way Zuko is in Last Airbender.
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Xavier
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quote:

So the age argument regarding Kataang never really held water for me. If a romance between a 12 year old and a 14 year old is weird, then so is a romance between a 14 year old and a 16 year old..

Nope. Puberty is a HUGE milestone in development. A romance between a post-pubescent person and a pre-pubescent person is inherently creepy. Katara is a "young woman" and Aang is a "kid". Zuko and Katara would have been "young woman" and "young man", which is way less weird.

IMHO, anyway. That said I was never into Zutara, I just have never liked Kataang either.

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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
I'm definitely not saying the Aang-Katara thing is unrealistic (except for the part about his age). Probably the contrary. All I'm saying is, it doesn't work as drama. Zuko and Katara would work. (Zuko and Mai as drama isn't too bad either, in terms of the set-up, but they kind of put it on the back burner when it needed to be developed further in S3.)

I think where we differ is on the necessity of "drama" in this particular love story. Katara's love life is not the main arc of A:TLA (even for the character of Katara herself). At best, it's a minor side quest. Given that there's plenty of heart-stopping drama elsewhere in the series, I liked that the love story was comparatively low-key. Girl meets Boy, Boy is entranced by Girl, Girl gradually discovers that she likes Boy as well.

Plenty of tension arises from how Katara has to balance her feelings with her naturally "big picture"-oriented mentality, and how this conflicts with Aang's more touchy-feeling, "let's just admit how we feel about each other" approach. Just because it's understated and largely internal doesn't make that tension any less compelling from a storytelling perspective. It doesn't need soaring drama to be interesting or believable.

To me, anyway. Your mileage obviously varies. [Smile]


quote:
Cliches like this are archetypal for a reason, and good dramatists can pull them off in a way that feels fresh and fun. There are many successful examples. Good guy/bad girl is perhaps more common these days (Batman/Catwoman, Willow, Helo/Athena from BSG, the recent Miami Vice movie, Knights of the Old Republic). But the arrangement is the same however the genders break down.
Archetypes can be great! Many a storyteller has mined an existing trope to tell a compelling new tale. But there can also be great value in trying to do something a bit less conventional. Not every romance needs to be Princess Leia and Han Solo. And hell, good guy/ good girl is pretty damn archetypal in and of itself.

quote:
I should add, Korra/Mako doesn't qualify the way I'm understanding the archetype. Mako isn't a "bad guy," not in the sense that he's working for evil the way Zuko is in Last Airbender.
Sorry, I mistyped there - I meant "bad boy," as in the smoldering dangerous type. Going back to the Buffy example, Angel qualifies for this archetype as much as Spike did. Mako and Korra were rote "good girl falls for bad boy," and were thoroughly boring for it.

quote:
Nope. Puberty is a HUGE milestone in development. A romance between a post-pubescent person and a pre-pubescent person is inherently creepy. Katara is a "young woman" and Aang is a "kid". Zuko and Katara would have been "young woman" and "young man", which is way less weird.
Maybe by stated age, but again, Zuko's depiction in the show is far more similar to a 20-year old than a 16-year old. The dude has shoulders and abs that Sokka could only dream of, and he's struggling with existential questions that feel very "college years," rather than "high school years." To me, Zuko/ Katara doesn't feel like "young woman" and "young man" - it feels like "early teenage girl" and "20-year old man." Which is way, way creepier than "early teenage girl" and "pubescent boy" (although that, as I said earlier, is hardly without its own issues).

Again, if you're going to insist that the show adhere purely to age-appropriate romances, Sokka/ Suki is really your only option.

....Well, okay, maybe Ty Lee/ Azula. [Razz]

Edit: Wait, how could I forget? The one other age-plausible pairing is one we got in the show, and a pretty great one, too: Zuko/ Mai. And hey, it's another case of two characters who have a strong personal connection based on mutual respect and eventually take their friendship to the next level. Sokka/ Suki, too! It's like the writers are consistent with how they write romances or something.

[ July 10, 2012, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Tarrsk ]

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Destineer
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quote:
Sorry, I mistyped there - I meant "bad boy," as in the smoldering dangerous type. Going back to the Buffy example, Angel qualifies for this archetype as much as Spike did. Mako and Korra were rote "good girl falls for bad boy," and were thoroughly boring for it.
OK, I think part of what's going on is that we're talking about different archetypes. The one I have in mind is: a couple where the guy and the girl are on opposite sides in a conflict, the resolution being that the one on the bad side ends up defecting to the good side.

In general, I think romance in fiction works best when it's "star-crossed" in some sense. There has to be something external that stands in the way of the couple, or else there will be no surprises or tension in store for the viewer. This is why Zuko/Mai worked (and worked better, IMO, than Sokka/Suki). Because Mai was Azula's creature, she was on the wrong side of the Zuko/Azula feud, and this threatened to come between her and Zuko. Made things pretty interesting for a while.

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Marek
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Korra never seemed to me anymore of a "good girl" then Mako was a "good boy". She is the avatar, and the hero of the piece, but she is also every bit as reactionary and explosive as Mako himself is, even more so really. Mako never seems to be crazy enough to take on the council, the police chief, or other established authority figures. Korra never really listens to anyone's directions, not even Iroh II.
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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
In general, I think romance in fiction works best when it's "star-crossed" in some sense. There has to be something external that stands in the way of the couple, or else there will be no surprises or tension in store for the viewer. This is why Zuko/Mai worked (and worked better, IMO, than Sokka/Suki). Because Mai was Azula's creature, she was on the wrong side of the Zuko/Azula feud, and this threatened to come between her and Zuko. Made things pretty interesting for a while.

Yeah, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this. The idea that a love story requires some external force separating the couple is just bizarre to me. There are certainly great star-crossed lover stories out there, but to say that a love story need to be star-crossed to be interesting? I dunno, man.

Also, Zuko/Mai were plenty of fun even before Zuko switched sides. [Razz]

quote:
Originally posted by Marek:
Korra never seemed to me anymore of a "good girl" then Mako was a "good boy". She is the avatar, and the hero of the piece, but she is also every bit as reactionary and explosive as Mako himself is, even more so really. Mako never seems to be crazy enough to take on the council, the police chief, or other established authority figures. Korra never really listens to anyone's directions, not even Iroh II.

Korra's a "good girl" in the sense that she's a nice person who is presented as friendly and earnest. She's impetuous as all hell, but so was Katara. Mako, as a character archetype, is a classic "bad boy," down to his physical design - except that he's the coooooool bad boy (versus Zuko, who was more the brooding, smoldering type).

That being said, there are more problems with the Korra/Mako love story than just the archetypes they fill, so I'll grant that it may not have been the best counterexample. [Smile]

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarrsk:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
In general, I think romance in fiction works best when it's "star-crossed" in some sense. There has to be something external that stands in the way of the couple, or else there will be no surprises or tension in store for the viewer. This is why Zuko/Mai worked (and worked better, IMO, than Sokka/Suki). Because Mai was Azula's creature, she was on the wrong side of the Zuko/Azula feud, and this threatened to come between her and Zuko. Made things pretty interesting for a while.

Yeah, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this. The idea that a love story requires some external force separating the couple is just bizarre to me. There are certainly great star-crossed lover stories out there, but to say that a love story need to be star-crossed to be interesting? I dunno, man.

Also, Zuko/Mai were plenty of fun even before Zuko switched sides. [Razz]

Fair enough. But on the last point, Zuko and Azula were always enemies in some form. Their opposition just spent a few episodes simmering beneath the surface of a superficial alliance, but it was always there.
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Lyrhawn
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As a side note, you really think that Helo and Athen were the good guy/bad girl pairing of note to pull from BSG? They were the MOST stable family pairing in the ENTIRE show.

There was nothing particular bad about Athena other than what Boomer did that she had to live with as a legacy. She spent the entire show proving that she wasn't a bad girl, and she was right.

I think the example you're looking for is Lee and Kara, and that was the most dysfunctional relationship on the entire show.

Sometimes drama is entertaining. Sometimes it's stupid.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Sometimes drama is entertaining. Sometimes it's stupid.

Often.
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Destineer
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quote:
As a side note, you really think that Helo and Athen were the good guy/bad girl pairing of note to pull from BSG? They were the MOST stable family pairing in the ENTIRE show.
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
OK, I think part of what's going on is that we're talking about different archetypes. The one I have in mind is: a couple where the guy and the girl are on opposite sides in a conflict, the resolution being that the one on the bad side ends up defecting to the good side.


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Lyrhawn
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Ah, fair distinction.

But I'm not sure how many people would agree with that definition of a "bad boy." By itself it has a totally different meaning for me anyway, a totally different character archetype than the star-crossed lovers archetype.

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ak
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Zuko I loathed from the very start. He was so whiny and so angry all the time. Why would he never listen to Iroh who was obviously very wise? I found him completely obnoxious. That time when Azula imitated him and then said "go ahead and laugh, it's funny" made me laugh out loud.

Maybe that's why I love Azula so much, because she was so much more awesome than that whiny spoiled sissy Zuko.

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Raymond Arnold
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In what way was Zuko *spoiled*? (As compared to Azula, anyway). Zuko had his face burned off and then banished from his home forever. That is basically the opposite of getting spoiled.
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Lyrhawn
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Nick ordered 26 more episodes.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Is that 26 more than Season 1, or 26 more than Season 1 and the already-announced Season 2? Are we getting two more 13-episode seasons, or three?
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Lyrhawn
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26 more in addition to the 26 already ordered for a total of 52, making Korra almost as long as TLA.

No word yet on how the seasons will be split up...but I'm betting they'll do two more half seasons instead of one big one.

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Wow... makes me wonder what they can do with Korra's story with that many episodes. Having mastered all the elements and the Avatar state, there can't be any of that mastering-of-the-elements stuff that padded TLA, and Amon is almost certainly gone for good. What conflict will there be now? It would feel like beating a dead horse to keep the same anti-bending revolutionaries as the main antagonists now that Amon's gone, but it would feel like any new conflict not involving the anti-bending faction would come out of left field.

I hope they don't pad it with more probending. As fun as that was to watch, I've had my fill of the quaint sports drama. Having triumphed over Amon's revolution, it would feel regressive for the new Team Avatar to go back to that. Yet at the same time, it would feel cheap to up the stakes out of nowhere.

I think that's what I really hated about the ending of Season 1. It really left the show nowhere to go. I can't get hyped to learn what happens next because they've wrapped up every plot thread in a neat bow. I understand they didn't realize they'd get to make more than one season when they drafted these episodes, but this rushed resolution is coming back to bite them in the rear.

Maybe Cabbage Corp's CEO will be the new bad guy, taking over Future Industries. I'd like to see that.

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Tarrsk
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I actually think there's a lot they can do with Legend of Korra - there's a ton of untapped potential just within Republic City, and don't forget there's a whole new world outside the city that we've barely seen. Future Industries and Cabbage Corp offer the possibility of corporate intrigue, and the bender vs non-bender conflict still has yet to be genuinely resolved. And personally, I'd welcome some more pro-bending - sure, it's a "smaller" story than Amon's revolution, but I think there's a lot of interesting material to be mined (celebrity culture, sports as a cultural replacement for violent conflict, etc), all of which are in line with the more mature thematic bent of LoK in general. As long as the writers don't just endlessly reiterate on the "bad guys coming to conquer Republic City" plotline, I think there's plenty of potential for interesting stories.

Unlike A:TLA, which was conceived around a single long-running plot (Aang vs Ozai) and thus didn't naturally lend itself to story expansion, LoK is constructed in a more open-ended fashion. I think Bryke voluntarily choosing to shut down A:TLA after the completion of Season 3, despite the fact that the show's ratings were strong, indicates that they wouldn't be agreeing to further seasons of LoK unless they had some solid ideas regarding where to take the show.

With regards to the characters, as I mentioned upthread, the "Avatar learning to master the four elements" arc has been done with Aang already, and Bryke don't seem terribly interested in repeating themselves. Korra having completed this part of her journey opens her up to new and different aspects of character development.

For example, just because she can use all four elements doesn't mean her spiritual journey is complete. I can see the writers doing a further inversion of Aang's arc, which started with "spiritual monk" and moved towards "powerful bender." Korra has always been powerful - she started Season 1 with full mastery of three of the four elements, don't forget. But one encounter with her past lives doesn't mean that she's a spiritual guru. She still has a ways to go there.

Furthermore, we've never really explored what a fully realized Avatar does, beyond the occasional flashback. And even those hint at significant differences between how individual Avatars chose to carry out their duties. Kyoshi clearly sought out conflicts to resolve, while Roku seemed more passive and let the conflicts come to him - ironic, given their respective "home" elements. Aang, surprisingly, seemed to embrace more of a Kyoshi style (albeit in a less confrontational manner), actively working to shape the world around him, acting as a diplomat between nations and founding Republic City. I could see Korra being even more confrontational an Avatar than Kyoshi and learning to temper her arrogance over time, as she learns the hard way that geopolitical conflicts can't be solved via her usual brute force approach.

Anyway, that's all obviously just speculation on my part. But it illustrates some cool directions I think they could take the series - and hopefully, the added time will allow future seasons to "breathe" more than Season 1, which sometimes lacked the small moments of character interaction that made A:TLA so enjoyable. Heck, as someone who loves many of the episodes that A:TLA fans often characterize as "filler," I'd welcome a return of pure character stories that have little or no external stakes whatsoever.

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AchillesHeel
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I find it interesting to think about how Kyoshi eventually retreated to her own Kyoshi Island and Roku created an entire island to serve as his home and after his death, a temple of the Avatar. Aang created a city for the world to meet and co-habitate in without heritage and historical claims causing problems, which is something no Avatar seems to have done in the past. So what will Korra do? with the mission statement of "restore and preserve balance in the world" an individual could meet the criteria any number of ways.

Before Aang the power of The Avatar seems to have acted as something akin to a nuclear deterrent, Fire-Lord Sozin waited until Avatar Roku was dead until he started working toward the beginning of his war, then only struck when he had reason to believe he could defeat the Avatar but still spent the rest of his life on the offensive hoping to defend himself from the frightening power of the next Avatar. Aang changed that, yes he did prove himself to be the most powerful man alive but even in the case of Fire-Lord Ozai he was hesitant to take his place as sole judge and jury. His devotion to the preservation of life and justice allowed for people like Tarlok's father to grow powerful, even in the face of all his wrong doing Aang would still let others judge him rather than use his authority via power to rid his city of such an audacious criminal.

I would find it neat if in the end Korra takes the role of lonely wanderer, let the tyrants of the world worry about where she is every moment of every day rather than sit in the ivory tower like Aang.

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ak
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
In what way was Zuko *spoiled*? (As compared to Azula, anyway). Zuko had his face burned off and then banished from his home forever. That is basically the opposite of getting spoiled.

He treated his uncle, who was going to great lengths to guide and help him, with disdain and disrespect. He insisted that his ship captain take unnecessary risks to satisfy his (Zuko's) pride and vanity on several occasions. He naturally assumed that his honor and his accomplishment of capturing the Avatar took precedence over any other concerns of those around him. He whined constantly. Yes, he was a spoiled brat.

Azula kicked ass and did what needed to be done without fanfare. She was a bending prodigy and developed lightning bending on her own without any apparent instruction. She was by far Zuko's superior.

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Dan_Frank
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So, you got an impression of Zuko during the first season, and decided that you were going to stick to that impression indefinitely, come hell or high water?
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Azula kicked ass and did what needed to be done without fanfare. She was a bending prodigy and developed lightning bending on her own without any apparent instruction. She was by far Zuko's superior.
1. She purposely pulled the other two girls into the fight so she could have her own little court to abuse and be praised by, even going as far as threatening to burn down a whole circus just because Mei didn't want to get in the middle of a war.

2. Azula was shown being instructed by the two creepy old ladies at least once, they seemed to be her personal nannies most times but they may as well have been a part of the Fire-Nation religion and thus well trained in fire-bending.

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ak
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Azula kicked ass and did what needed to be done without fanfare. She was a bending prodigy and developed lightning bending on her own without any apparent instruction. She was by far Zuko's superior.
1. She purposely pulled the other two girls into the fight so she could have her own little court to abuse and be praised by, even going as far as threatening to burn down a whole circus just because Mei didn't want to get in the middle of a war.

2. Azula was shown being instructed by the two creepy old ladies at least once, they seemed to be her personal nannies most times but they may as well have been a part of the Fire-Nation religion and thus well trained in fire-bending.

1. I think you mean Ty Lee at the circus, don't you? Azula assessed the job that needed to be done, and picked the right team to accomplish it, giving them the incentive they needed to motivate them properly. Her methods were decisive and effective, if not always endearing. [Wink]

2. The nannies were awesome, too, and of course Azula would have been trained in fire bending from a young age. But the blue lightning type of fire bending stuff was quite uncommon. From what we know, only Iroh and Azula were able to do it. Iroh learned by watching water benders. We don't know how Azula learned it. She was apparently just a prodigy.

Seriously, all she wanted was to kill all her enemies and take over the world. Is that so unseemly in a girl? We admire men like that! She's my hero!

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Jeff C.
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Good news everyone!

The Legend of Korra was renewed or an additional 2 seasons, which means it will go for a total of four seasons, 52 episodes!!!!

Everyone get excited!

On a side note, the second season will delve heavily into the Spirit World. In fact, book two is actually called "Spirits". As the show develops, Team Avatar will venture outside of the city and explore the rest of the world, little by little, town by town. We'll start to see familiar places as well as entirely new areas.

It looks like everyone's complaints have been addressed. I don't know about you guys, but I'm very happy about this news.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Good news everyone!

The Legend of Korra was renewed or an additional 2 seasons, which means it will go for a total of four seasons, 52 episodes!!!!

Everyone get excited!

Yep, we know. [Wink]
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AchillesHeel
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I just watched a panel video of a live read from SDCC.

David Faustino (Bud Bundy) is Mako. I don't know if I can separate the two now, I certainly have watched far more Married With Children than I ever will Legend of Korra.

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ak
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
So, you got an impression of Zuko during the first season, and decided that you were going to stick to that impression indefinitely, come hell or high water?

Did he ever quit being a whiny brat? If so, I didn't notice it. I remember Iroh taking great delight in serving wonderful tea in Ba Sing Se and Zuko grumbling and being miserable and hating everything. I seem to remember even after he changed sides he was still a major wet blanket and buzzkill. Wasn't he? His declaration of love for Mai was "I don't hate you". I thought both of them sort of had as the bedrock of their character that they hated life, the world, and everyone, didn't they?

I've only watched the series twice, so I could have missed it, but I would think I would have noticed if Zuko suddenly transformed into a non-whiny non-brat. Did he?

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Dan_Frank
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Is "broody" the same thing as "whiny brat" in your universe, ak?
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Jeff C.
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I thought Zuko did a pretty good turnaround. He still kept his drive, but he lost his anger. He was always so obsessed with getting his father to accept him again that he couldn't see how much of a father his uncle had become or how futile his mission was. By the end of the show, he had thrown off the burdens of his insane family and accepted team Avatar as his new family, along with his uncle.

You might not like the fact that he was only 14 years old, and thus acted like a child at times, but he still had a character arc.

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Blayne Bradley
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For an anime that has a similar animation style and design aesthetic there's always "Sword of the Stranger" Slightly more violent than Avatar.
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