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Bryke Interview Revelations</u>

This was supposed to be a journal entry but it turned into an essay, so enjoy!

Okay, I have been on a hunt this afternoon for the interview where Bryke says that everything in the show has a meaning, a reason, a purpose. Someone once commented on something that I wrote about this interview and they even gave a great excerpt of it. If you still have that or know where I can find it, oh, I would be so grateful! Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Is it an interview in a Nick magazine? Cuz I've just read all the interviews I could find on the net, and I got nothing.

Anyway, besides that plea for help, I was reading the two most known interviews (the one during Spring Break 2007 and the Toon Zone at the 2008 NYCC), and I came to a few awesome revelations. Wanna get all Zutara excited with me? Okay!

First, let's play CONNECT THE DOTS:

It's really important to Mike and I on the show that these aren't black and white characters. We love stories of redemption. That it's possible for people to elevate to something better than they started out with, or maybe that they fell into. That's really paramount to Mike and I.

It was always our intention to give him (Zuko) the biggest character arc.
He had to go through the most change.

Notice anything? Hmmm…well, I was recently discussing Kataang and Zutara with a great Kataanger here on DA, and we got to talking about the stories we like. Now, I like redemptive stories myself, but being a Kataanger, she liked more of the friendship stories, which is essentially Aang and Katara. But then as I was reading the interviews, I came across this and nearly fainted. Seriously, the smile on my face grew so wide I was afraid that my lips would fall off. Oh, and I’m at work, so I couldn’t squeal or else I would! Ah!

But do you see what I see? Bryke likes REDEMPTIVE STORIES. Hmmm…does this mean Aang? Or Zuko? Well, from where I’m standing, that means ZUKO!!! And of course they go on to say that they ALWAYS (key word there) intended to give ZUKO the BIGGEST CHARACTER ARC. Can you say Woot Woot!!!

Anyway, I looked up redemption and I found two very interesting definitions:

To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences
To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of

Either way you look at it, the story of redemption in Avatar relates to Zuko, not Aang. That is very clear to anyone who watches the show. But what I found interesting was that first definition. Redemption is about being saved from a state of sinfulness and its consequences. That last part is key for I was in a debate with a Kataanger about how Zuko does not deserve Katara because he should pay for what he’s done, but how then could this be a story of redemption if he’s paying for his consequences? And then again, when does anyone ever deserve the love of another? It just happens, and it doesn’t matter how it happens or why it happens, it just does.

However you choose to read into this, one simple fact is still true:

Mike and Bryan LOVE Stories of REDEMPTION</b>.

Now, read this! It was a comment made by Boo-82 here on DA.

BTW, the comparison to Star Wars and Pride and Prejudice has been made frequently but as Mike and Bryan said themselves, they are also heavily influenced by Hayao Miyazaki's movies. The train in Ba Sing Se is a straight tribute to the train scene in Spirited Away. But what makes it more interesting is that movies such as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle are stories of redemption for a boy who starts bad and becomes good by the influence of the girl in the story who becomes the love of his life. LOL.

Again…hmmm…and as I continued reading this wonderful interview (insert “I love Bryke” spazzing here), I also came across this in an interview in the Nickelodeon Magazine from Winter of 2006.

The best anime balances great action sequences with humor and emotion, something we try to do on Avatar. We love all the films of Hayao Miyazaki, especially Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Both movies deal with spirituality and the environment in an entertaining way. Also, there's a lot of great animation.

Well, I officially love Bryke even more now! Seeing as how they are influenced by stories of redemption that end with the boy turning good by the influence of the girl in the story who later becomes their lover, and seeing that they love redemption stories and it is paramount (or epic and dramatic) to them, I wonder, I mean, I really truly wonder how this story could end with anything but Kataang? (Sarcasm ahead) I mean, come on, could it really end in Zutara? Obviously Bryke doesn’t care for those kinds of stories! So, duh! It’s Kataang!

And every Zutarian shouts: NOOOOO! It’s Zutara!

Exactly what I thought! *facepalm*

***Kataangers: Sorry, I was just having a little fun. Don’t take it personally.***

Okay, on a more serious note, who has been the most influential, as far as the Gang, in Zuko’s life? Sure, Iroh is first and foremost the most influential, but in the Gang there is always one person who stands out above the rest and that is the girl. She influenced his decision in Ba Sing Se, making it harder for him to choose sides. Yes, he chose wrong, but the act of her kindness and empathy must have influenced his decision then and even when choosing to join the Gang.

One thing that I find interesting and even symbolic is that when Zuko says, “I know I made some bad choices, but today, I’m going to set things right,” he isn’t talking out loud while looking at a picture of his Uncle who he betrayed and wronged the most in his decisions, but instead he is looking upon a picture of his mother. Why not a picture of his Uncle? This suddenly intrigued me today for it is a portrait of his mother, which could be symbolic of the largest influences in his life. His mother greatly impacted his journey, but so did Katara, the one person he could relate to about his loss. Interesting, yes?

As the stories follow, the ones that Bryke love by Hayao Miyazaki, there is a young boy who seems to be evil or bad at the beginning of the story (Zuko), but as the plot progresses, we see that he isn’t the real hardcore villain we thought he was. Instead, he is shown to be conflicted and only needs to make the right decisions in order to turn his life around. And the one person who influences him the most in making that decision is the heroine of the story (Katara). By the end of the story she helps him make the right choice, and in doing so, they are together as more than just friends, but lovers (Zutara).

Mike and Bryan have said it clearly. They love stories of redemption. They love the tales that Hayao Miyazaki creates. They are even influenced by his tales as shown by the animation of the show as well as the storyline. So…how hard is it to believe that the Avatar story they have set before us will end with the same sort of redemptive pattern as one of their favorite animes ends?

[About Zuko’s Decision at the end of Season 2] When you study Eastern philosophies, the ego is a really tough enemy or antagonist. Again, we like to treat our characters very realistically. In real life, people have moments of great weakness, usually tied in with the ego…I think it was very realistic.

Mike and I and Aaron and the writers...everybody...we want this to be entertaining. We want it to be fun to watch and exciting and emotionally engaging. But we certainly try to stay away from just being tricky just for the sake of crazy twists to fool people. We really talk about these decisions. Even though we're trying to be entertaining, sometimes there are different perspectives.

Bryke has admitted themselves that they want to tell a very entertaining and exciting story but they also want it realistic. Also, they aren’t being tricky for the sake of fooling us as some Kataangers like to claim. All the foreshadowing and symbolism is put in there for a reason. It isn’t just to lead us to a dead end. Bryke even says so themselves that although they like twists, they don’t create crazy twists to fool people.  And as they’ve stated before, Bryke says that everything has a meaning in the story, even the small stuff.

So, from this we can see that they want the Avatar story to be entertaining but also realistic for our world. They also don’t wanna just be pulling our strings. In other words, they aren’t putting in stuff just for the sake of putting it there to fool us. Are they tricky? Yes. But are they leading us on? No. They are creating a lovely tapestry that is the Avatar story where every thread is crucial to the design, making the whole story shine with brilliance.

There are great movies I love where something harsh happens that upsets me, but later you come to understand it really needed to happen for the story they were trying to tell. It wasn't easy to swallow, but it makes for a better story. That's the case here. You know, people have big reactions, but we're unrattled. This is the story we're telling.

At this point in the interview, Mike and Bryan were discussing Zuko’s decision at the end of Season Two and how many people disagreed with it and saw that it needed to be rewritten. I never believed that it needed to be redone. I thought it was done beautifully. Sure, it was harsh as they said, but it progressed the story in a much more dramatic way and in an even more meaningful direction. Couldn’t the same thing happen for Aang and Katara? Read that interview paragraph again, but this time think about Aang giving up Katara and learning that she doesn’t have the same feelings for him. Couldn’t it apply to that situation as well? (More will be discussed on the real purpose of Kataang at the end of this essay.)

"The Guru" was an idea I'd had pretty early on and had pitched to Mike and Aaron during season two. Aang's gone through and done some pretty intense things, especially when he's in the Avatar State. Most series might gloss over that stuff and just move on the plot, but I wanted an episode where he had to stop and think through these things he'd been through. See how they were affecting him, his psychology. I just wanted a mid-point break, but Mike and Aaron really liked the idea of using it as a set-up for the big finale. That made it a little more intense. So Mike and I wrote that one, and he directed 220.

As a fellow Zutarian has been explaining, Zutara has psychology on its side. I don’t know who it was that left this comment, but someone was talking about how the love/hate relationship is the one that tends to happen more and even stays together longer because of that tension and drama. It just happens in life that even though you’ve been with someone for a long time, another may come along and claim your affections much quicker than the person you are currently with. In other words, it’s more likely that you will marry your “enemy” than your “friend.” It’s just simple psychology, and it happens all the time!

And look at what we have here? Not only does Bryke want their story to be realistic, but they also follow the basics of psychology. They know how to draw up a story with conflicts, tension, drama, and epicness. They know what they’re doing. Also, anyone else notice that “The Guru” was a planned episode early on? Hmmm…so that conflict was meant to be there from the very beginning. Notice that Bryan says he had had this idea very early on and only pitched it to them at the beginning of Season Two. So how soon did he know this would happen, huh? Think about it!

I love that they say “The Guru” was a set-up for the big finale. What does this mean? Well, here are my theories about it. Basically, Bryan for sure knew that he wanted Aang to have this conflict. In fact, he had it all planned out from the beginning, probably sometime in Season One or even before that. We don’t know, but we do know that it was an “early” idea. So, if it was an early idea that ties into the Finale, then what, pray tell, is the Finale gonna be about?

Well, another line that intrigues me is: That made it a little more intense. They are talking about the Finale and how creating this conflict only makes the Finale more dramatic! Really? So how was the Finale supposed to play out before? With Aang just nonchalantly moving on from Katara not liking him? Well, now with this bigger conflict, it makes that letting go of her all the more intense. Notice their wording. They said it makes it a “little more” intense. Meaning that adding that conflict makes the letting go of Katara all the more meaningful and dramatic, but them saying that it only made it a “little more” intense only means the adding of a conflict. It could be argued that them adding this only makes Aang getting the girl more intense, but that would make the story extra dramatic (not to mention it would leave a lot of holes in the plot), so when they say that the addition of this conflict makes it more intense, I take it to them referring that the letting go of Katara now has more meaning, more symbolism, more purpose behind it than just learning a lesson. Now this decision to let go of her involves the world! Therefore, that lesson grows in intensity and merit.

Plus, when is the first time we hear “I love her” from Aang’s mouth? Hmmm…was it “The Guru”? Not only did they add in that conflict, but they also added in a scene showing Aang’s serious attachment to Katara. Thus, this one episode makes the Finale “a little more intense” and serves as the set-up for a very dramatic and epic moment in Aang’s journey.

If there's a movie I want to see and a trailer shows up for it, I cover my ears and close my eyes in the theater. I care about the story. I may have a weird personality with this, but Mike and I had the chance to see Spirited Away premier in the US at the El Capitan and Miyazaki was there and he spoke and answered questions. I didn't have any questions to ask. They were all answered in the film. To me, everything I'm concerned with as an artist, as a viewer, it's in the film. That's not to say it might not lead me to do some research, but that's just how I see it. It's nice to have stuff to look forward to.

Remember that book we’ve all been so gung-ho over? Ummm…what was it called? Oh, that’s right! The Dreaded Book of Spoiler Doom! Ok…it’s called Sozin’s Comet, but I like the other name better! =D Anyway, Bryan is talking about how he feels about spoilers for any story he reads or watches. It seems to me that he doesn’t like them. So doesn’t this show even more that they would never let such a book with the REAL ending out before the Finale aired? They obviously believe in patience and waiting for the wonderful ending that is sure to come. Heck, Bryan doesn’t even like movie trailers! And one thing that really interested me about what he said was, “To me, everything I’m concerned with as an artist, as a viewer, it’s in the film.” Hmmm…that’s my view on the BOOK. Everything that matters to me is in the show, not the book, and the show still points towards Zutara. And as Bryan says, that’s all we should be concerned with. (*Hug Bryke Moment*)

MDD: I've been really amazed how people go crazy about entirely made-up stories and names.

BK: We do appreciate that and we know they have a long wait for Season Three.

MDD: If we confirmed or corrected them, they wouldn't have anything to do in the meantime.

BK: While we appreciate their enthusiasm and excitement and appetite, if they could just put themselves in Mike's and my position...everyone here. We have been slaving on these shows for like 9-10 months each and crafting the story in painstaking detail, everything so they get the absolute best we can do in a story unfolding for them. When you're 8 ½ months in and then something is leaked out, it's frustrating. It's like, "If you folks would just have some discretion and wait and not spread this stuff around like wildfire." But people get excited and want to share it.

MDD: (whisper) Just wait.

BK: Yeah, just wait.

Hmmm…could this also apply to the Dreaded Book of Spoiler Doom?

I believe it can, and so should you! Bryke says that they are amazed that we go crazy over entirely made-up stories. And what about correcting us? They don’t like to. Why? Because it gives us something to mule over, to argue, to analyze, to think about, to worry about. Haha. I agree with them. It gives us something to do. If nothing else, it gives us something to laugh about. Come on, they didn’t confirm any of the stuff we argued about before, so why confirm anything now? They aren’t gonna say a word about Sozin’s Comet, and they shouldn’t. I totally agree with them. It gives away the story if they do. Their silence is golden!

Now, another thing they say is that we need to put ourselves in their position. What would you do? I have thought about that many times, and KyokoMari can attest to that. I love getting inside their heads. But, moreover, I love to think like an author with an amazing story. Try it.

You just wrote the first book in say a 10-book series (or you just aired the first few episodes of a TV series), and then you find out that a majority of the budding fans figured out the ending. What would you do? Would you put in MORE about that pairing or that situation that they figured out? Heck no! You’d put in LESS, you’d hide it, conceal it, make it all about foreshadowings and symbolisms, the hidden stuff that is hard to find.

As the Triumvirate of Doom once pointed out, Season One had all the upfront and in-your-face evidence for Zutara and then after that, it became hidden and harder to find. And what I mean by upfront is in Season One, Jun calls Zuko and Katara “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.” Zuko offers an engagement necklace to Katara. Katara wears a Fire Nation crown and is called “your highness.” The Yin/Yang is most prominent in Season One with the fish that make the symbol no less as well as the fight that Zuko and Katara have where Zuko says, “You rise with the moon. I rise with the sun.” Could it get anymore in-your-face than that?

But then in Season Two, they backed off. Suddenly we don’t have as many references to Zuko and Katara. Now we suddenly have more show of Aang’s affections for Katara, in fact, a lot of show! In Season Two, he declares that he “loves” her!  Where was the quiet kid from Season One who didn’t seem to have such a huge fancy for Katara? He’s suddenly replaced with a kid who’s strongly attached to her. And Zuko and Katara. Well, they fade into the background, and only those with a keen eye can see the hints. But Bryke gives us big gems for Zutara and Kataang in Season Two. And they come in the form of “Zuko Alone”/“Crossroads of Destiny” and “The Guru.” The mother connection is introduced and Aang’s conflict is introduced. Why when this story is supposed to be ending in Kataang is a CONNECTION for Zutara introduced and a CONFLICT for Kataang introduced? Season Two only expands the Zutara spectrum of “evidence” as it were, and it narrows the road towards Kataang.

So what am I trying to say through all of that rambling? Basically that Bryke’s ending was figured out, so what did they do? THEY HID IT. And wouldn’t you do the same? I know I would. They are very careful about even letting episode names out, so why would they make the ending to their story obvious, let alone let it spill before the Finale? Who would? I sure wouldn’t! I would hide that storyline for all its worth and I would make the other side more prominent while still dropping clues for the twisted ending. Isn’t that what they’ve done? Even in their interviews they seem to lean more towards Kataang and yet they never come out and say it. Everything they say is the truth, they don’t lie, but it is in the interpretation that people could say they are lying.

For example, the fabled “Kataang was in the DNA of the show from the start” line. Yes, Kataang was meant to be there, but what sort of Kataang? A sort of romantic relationship or a sort of friendship relationship? Some will say it was meant to be romantic, but was it really? They added in that conflict to make the Finale more intense, to give it more meaning. So what if the plan from the beginning was to have Aang learn a lesson in life from Katara’s lack of return in romantic affection, and adding in the Avatar State to the mix only made that lesson more meaningful?

Think like Bryke! What would you do if the ending to your story was figured out at the very beginning of its premier? Would you make it more prominent or less? Would you hide it? Would you introduce new conflicts as well as new connections? Would you answer questions in such a way that led towards your real ending or the obvious first choice one? What would you do?

You know what I would do, and I believe it is the same thing that Bryke is doing now. Trying to lead us away from it so it remains a surprise. And guess what? They are doing brilliant at that! They said themselves that they like twists, so why not lead your fanbase away from your real ending so that when you do finally reveal it, it comes off as a twist? Some will say that Bryke is not genius enough to do this, but really, it is common sense. It’s what I would do. It’s what you would do. You don’t want your hard work to go to waste. You want it all to be a surprise, a twist, a brilliant ending to a wonderful story. Bryke has provided twists and turns for us before. They’ve led us one direction and then turned around the other way. Right, Zuko from the Season 2 Finale? (Thanks to DaveShan for that! =D)

So, if this is all true, and they are leading us away from the real ending of Zutara so it will be a twist, then aren’t they leading on Kataangers? The answer is no.

Kataang not happening has a purpose and a great one at that. The purpose of Kataang is to show courage, selflessness, sacrifice, and even love. Kataang not happening serves a greater purpose then it actually happening. For if it was to happen, Aang wouldn’t learn a single lesson about life and he would continue to indulge in his selfishness. Yes, Aang is also selfless, that’s been shown many times as well. But when it barrels down to the real issues at hand, Aang puts himself or Katara above his duty to the world and its needs. The prime example is the Season 2 Finale, we all know that. But he also shows it at other times. Like when he needs to find a Firebending Teacher, what does he do? He runs away. He is always running away from his problems it seems, choosing instead to do as he wishes, not caring about what it will cost the world. Even at the beginning of his Avatar journey he was selfish. And I’m talking about 100 years ago when he decided to run away. The truth is, it is time for Aang to stop running and to face the issues at hand. He is the Avatar, he has a duty and a destiny, and it’s time he realize this. And that is the story of Kataang. It’s the story of a boy growing up, yes, but it is also the story of the Avatar. And for both, it requires the learning of a hard lesson. But does that mean he’ll end up alone? No. He will still have Katara and the others of the Gang. He’ll always have their love no matter what. He’ll always have his friends. And he may discover in the end a friend he never knew he had much like Mai did with Ty Lee.

And what about Zutara? It serves a greater purpose in happening than in not happening. It is the story of betrayal, forgiveness, redemption, and love. And as I discussed earlier, Bryke loves stories of redemption, and guess what? Zutara is that story! Zuko betrayed her, he hurt her the most, so that redeeming of himself in her eyes is also a part of his journey, not just the redemption for himself. It all connects to create a beautifully woven story. And even from Bryke’s own mouth we see the truth in it.

Zutara is the redemptive story found in the Avatar tale,
and as Bryke says, they love those stories!
Well, this came out of many talks with KyokoMari as well as a great discussion with Boo-82. I don’t know what compelled me to write this today really. I was actually looking through the old Bryke interviews for one specific piece of information, the part where they say that everything has meaning and purpose to the story. (If anyone finds that, please let me know where it’s at! I’ve seen it before!) And this also came out of a talk with a certain brilliant Kataanger whose name I don’t wanna mention unless she wants me to. But we were discussing the stories behind the stories as it were, and I let her know that I love redemption stories and I know that she likes the more friendship ones as shown by her debates. Well, anyway, as I was reading the old Bryke interviews, I came across some of the tidbits I shared with you. I guess they never popped out before until now. My mind was suddenly on the whole redemption story kick so it just hit me as I was reading it and I just had to share! Plus, the recent talk with Boo-82 helped bring it more to the surface as well.

So, everyone, it is official, not only does Bryke like stories that are EPIC, DRAMATIC, and CINEMATIC but they also like REDEMPTIVE stories that are PARAMOUNT to the plotline! Well, that narrows it down even more, wouldn’t you say? Now if that doesn’t sound like Zutara, then I give up cuz I don’t know what will ever convince you? Well, maybe the Zutara Epic Kiss will! :nod:

Time to change my signature!!!

AVidZktjo aka Kat

With Special Thanks to :iconkyokomari: & :iconboo-82:

Avatar © Nickelodeon & Viacom International Inc.

EDIT: I added in a few paragraphs, well, more than a few, so just read this again! I went more in-depth with stuff and even added some more interview lines to discuss. :D


Avatar Last Airbender Zutara Kataang Aang Zuko Katara Season 3 Finale Bryke Mike Bryan Interview
Add a Comment:
newzutarian Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Student Artist
cool. so its still zutara?
Pweada Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
quite clever! too bad it didnt turn out to be true
ViraReve Featured By Owner May 16, 2012
Not a Zutara fan, but this is very well-written and contains good analysis. Kudos to you for your work!
TheStoryNeverEnds Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
You are my hero!! :w00t: It's funny, because I also have always been a real sucker for a good redemption story. And I always thought Zuko was the best one yet. And now I find out that he was meant to be a good redemption story! Well, no wonder I fell in love with him! :heart:
Despite that fact that it's not canon, ZuTara, I daresay, is more alive than any other ship. It is, according to Urban Dictionary, the most popular ATLA ship. If only BryKe hadn't changed it at the last minute.
Do you know why they changed it? I've heard that ZuTara would have been so very deep and symbolic, that they had to change it for the understanding of the younger viewers; but I've also recently heard that Nickelodeon said that they had to change the story because it wasn't right for a good guy to end up with a bad guy. :iconheaddeskplz:
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2011
How pathetic of them to change it...but whatever. The REAL story lives on in all of us fans! =D
TheStoryNeverEnds Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, yes, yes! :shakefist: As long as I can write fan fiction, my precious OTP will never die!
PEACE-WOLF-FIRE Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2010
ATLA might be over and Zutara didn't happen but the spirit of Zutara lives on! I just love that shipping!
Eatfoodzap Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2010
Wao. This is amazing. It's so convincing, yet it's not prejudiced towards Zutara, not at all! You make many references to Kataang, and why it would be good for it NOT to happen!

And, even though Avatar ended 2 years ago, I believe in Zutara.
I used to be Kataang, completely. But then my friend, and some fanfiction, turned me over. And this? This just made me love Zutara even more! :D
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010
LOL. Thanks. Wow. It's been so long since I wrote that. You should read all my theories. Those were so valid and true but Bryke just couldn't see it. =D
Eatfoodzap Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010
You know, I have a theory of my own (which is probably totally invalid and childish, but I can dream, right?)

Well, while I was watching the episodes with the extra things, one of them, on "The Avatar Returns," said "Zuko was originally supposed to be Katara's love interest." So, obviously, Bryke DID see Zutara-they planned it. I also read someone else's theory, and it said that "Even though there are a lot of adult moments, it's still a kid's show. What kind of kid's show would it be if he saved the world, defeated the bad guy, and DIDN'T get the dream girl?" So, maybe, (just maybe) they were originally planning on Zutara, but they had to change it, since it's a Nick show...?

XD Totally childish, I know. LEMMEH DREAM! XD
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010
Yeah. That would have been nice. It could even be true. Honestly, I just think they screwed themselves over with Season 3. Zuko should have joined earlier. They shouldn't have even had the Mai crap going on. They could have gotten rid of like half the episodes because they were fillers. But basically if Zuko had joined earlier and gotten more ingrained in the group, then things could have turned purple. LOL. I think they didn't know what they were even doing with Season 3. It was just thrown together and at they end they decided..."well, we'll just make it Kataang because Zutara didn't have enough time to grow. Aw, man, we screwed up Season 3." To which we all reply "YOU THINK!!!" LOL. =D
Eatfoodzap Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010
XD But there were some episodes that were effing gold... such as "The Western Air Temple." And yes, it should've come earlier, but...I just really loved Zuko's lines in it.
"Hi, Zuko here..." XD adorkable.
I DO like Mai though. She's awesome. But not with Zuko...
XD "purple." I'm guessing that's like, your code for Zutara?
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010
Oh, yes, there were some definite keeper episodes, but I really think half of the season could have been thrown out and Zuko could have joined sooner.

And, yes, Purple is code for Zutara. Blue + Red = Purple. =D
Eatfoodzap Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010
True, true.
HAH, I AM A GEEENIUS! (No not really.)
Reignbow051 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009   Writer
You wrote all this and it never happened.

MikoChan Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Everytime I see anything about Avatar its about the shipping, lol. I am not very much into Avatar. I think the problem with the Avatar fandom is that they look to much for the creatives to tell them the answers, and not the continuity itself. The creatives may have an opinion, but it is not allowed to destroy the logics of a given story. From what I have seen of Avatar, I've been left wondering why a child raised in the ways of a monk would even feel compelled to persue a girl in the first place. Granted, the authors may have wanted to add an element of romance to the story, but given the logics of the story, I never saw this romance as particularly plausible. I'm not zealous for either pairing mind you. But this part always left me somewhat...puzzled.

People also forget these kids are still teens? They do realize that the book ended with Aang, Zuko, Kataara and all the other characters are in what, their teens? Just because Aang and Kataara ended the series together doesn't they would forever run into the sunset blissfully. They have tons of growing up to do, and who honestly knows what would happen? Aang and Kataara is canon for the show, but the show only covers a small segment of their entire lives. Fans pretty much are on their own to decide how these characters ended up as they grew. Would Aang's desire to be a monk interfere with his relationship to Kataara? The ways of a monk are what have helped to guide him throughout his life. Would he decide to continue be a monk, even if that means leaving Kataara behind? Would he throw that life behind? I think a lot of Avatards should really be happy that they even get the chance to make their OWN ending for their couplings, so to speak.
nepaliguru Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2009
According to Mike and Brian, the Air Nomads weren't celibate and didn't shy away from the romance department (where do you think Aang came from), so Aang's perfectly fine in pursuing Katara.
MikoChan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009
so wait were all the air nomads monks or somethin?
nepaliguru Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009
From what we know, yes, all the Air Nomads were monks and thus, because of their spirituality, all of them were benders. Not all monks take a vow of chastity though, and some Tibetan monks (which the Air Nomads are based off of) are like that.


use ctrl + f to find "chastity" in that link and you'll see where I'm coming from.
godofwarlover Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2008
Bryke are assholes.
PrettyInPurpleness Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008
*sighs* Look, I read your essay about how debating is pointless and everything. But can I ask something?

How has Aang mostly put down the world for him and Katara? Can you please tell me when he's been incredibly selfish, besides that ONE time when he tried to save Katara's life in The Guru? That's a far cry from Zuko's actions in Ba Sing Se, and in most episodes (stealing from people who have helped him, burning down villages, attacking the water tribe, etc.), all for his honour (for himself). But somehow, Zuko's actions are downplayed, and Aang looks like the bad guy. How does that happen?

Poor Aang, he's lost his people and his home, yet somehow he hasn't given up anything, according to ya'll. *hugs Aang in his little corner*
swfan13 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2008
Zuko never did it for his honor. That was just a cover story; something he didn't even believe. Zuko did everything for his father, every single bad thing in an effort to capture the Avatar was for his father. Ozai was the parent Zuko had left after his mother disappeared. Wouldn't you try to gain the love of your Dad when he was the only source of parental love left your life? It dominated Zuko's mind, and in Ba Sing Se he was given the option of finally achieving what he had strived for, for years. The chance to earn a place in his Father's heart.
swfan13 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2008
You have to look at 'burning down villages and attacking the water tribe' thing from a Fire Nation citizen's perspective. They believe that they had a right to do that because they were the super power; no one was their equal. It's was like that with segregation between whites and blacks. Everyone believed that white people were better than black people. Most believed that since they were better than them they had a right to bad things to them. In ATLA Fire Nation= whites, rest of the world= blacks. The whole story is in the perspective of the rest of the world, but if the story was told in the perspective of a Fire Nation citizen then you would see the GAang as a bunch of trouble makers that need to be jailed.
EnvySkort Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008
Some people don't see faults in Zuko. Any faults in Aang are multiplied by 1000.
RayeofSunshine Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2008
True, but background is important. Aang knows good from bad. Hence forth, he does something wrong, It's like superman shoplifting. But, let's say a kid that grew up in the rough side of town, with mudering parents, and drug dealer cousins, and he's wondering what is right and wrong.

Besides, We didn't think the betrayal was too bad, becaus we knew that was because Bryke was saving the redemtion for later. And, besides, Kataang lovers should like that zuko betrayed them, because if he turned good, katara probably would get too friendly with him.
PrettyInPurpleness Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2008
Ain't that the truth? D:
TheWistfulWild Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008
Such a great essay! It made me feel so confident in zutara! Great job :dance:
I especially loved your discussion on the purpose of Kataang. I always thght too that Kataang was there to show Aang's struggle, development and sacrfice in order to fulfill hois destiny, but you said it so well! :clap: *squees*

Can't wait until the Sourthen Raiders tonight!
Miyuki-chan-7 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2008  Student General Artist
D8... I've said this before but I love you.
SifuKimmy Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2008
Holy crap first of all let me say i wait in total anticipation for all of the Zutara evidence videos i absolutily love them and of course ZUTARA!!
Innocent-Blood10367 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008
wow! I've never read any of the interviews, so I wouldn't know. I'm like Bryke, I don't like to spoil myself. You really thought into this! man, you're making me all giddy with excitement... again... like you always do! lol!
zevlene Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
Nice essay! I found out that at 11pm Avatar will air! But b4 we can see the episodes we've been waiting on, we are ahead of everyone who HAS been patient(my spelling sucks). So keep your eyes open at 11 pm!
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
What do you mean at 11pm? Where do you live? Canada? Are they airing them so soon?
zevlene Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2008
lol no not at all! For one I'm in Fl. Two I double checked, I have satillite so I was going by what the sattlite gave me. I didn't see it on Nick Est but I did see it Nick west. Nick west is airing it 11 pm.
Darkhymns Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
But redemption doesn't automatically equal romance though. Romance never seemed to be such a huge factor in Zuko's life, but instead his connections and conflicts with his family and nation.

Also, it's much, much more realistic for a person to fall in love with their friend than with their enemy. Interesting in fiction, but why would you want to get together with a person you hated? That kind of tension can actually be pretty unhealthy. o-o
Blu3paint Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2008
That essay was perfect. you forgot something though, aang is a monk, therefore he cannot get married. true he can have children, but he won't raise them, he would have to raise the first few, but that's just to revive the air nomad civilization. he would train hes first few children airbending, but then he would have to let them go so they can do the same.
Danny-Q Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2008
You know, he is the LAST airbender, what's to stop him from reforming the original system to whatever he wants it to be?
MissAshPYT Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2008
I can't tell you how excited about Zutara I am. :clap: I'm all spazzy :dance: You do a good job of analyzing things. As a Zutaraian I must say give lots of hope and insprition :nod:
Olbladele Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008


So I can finaly start debatting with you on a more regular basis Kat.


They gave Zuko the gratest charecter development and "arc" meaning he has changed the most from the beggining of the show to the end. They "Love" redemptive stories, this is bordering on the drawing connections to "Epic" in the season finalies, OF course there going to love the redemptive stories because they are EPIC, but nothing in the redemptive deffinition said anything about love, and the person who said that Zuko dosn't deserve love as punishment for what he's done is flatly wrong.

The only thing in that argument that struck me as your best point made on an Interview annalisis that I can't just flatly refute or play down is, their influences stem from movies were the bad boy turns good AND gets the girl. Those are almost intirely movies I haven't wached so I don't have an oppinion on them...

Alright that's my "Downplay"/ "+Point Notiffication" I'm Off to explore all the custimazation options on DA and get my self a good signature and maybe a better journal entry cause my first one kinda suxed and it popped up on my main page O.o


~wonders if you'll come up with an argument for my "Protective"
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008
Hey! I'm so glad you did make one cuz I truly don't check YT that often. I'm bad at that. Hehe.

Anyway, I'll add you as a friend as soon as I reply.

So...since you haven't seen the movies, then you can't argue. :evillaugh: Basically, I just started watching them myself and there are things that Avatar has clearly taken from them. Like in Spirited Away. NoFace = Koh. They are one and the same pretty much. That's what struck me first. Oh, and also, since these are Bryke's fav stories, they all have a guy who's basically bad and then gets influenced by a girl who believes in him and then he turns good and they fall in love. Sound familiar? Hmmm...and how does redemption fit in with Zutara? Easy! I should have put this in here, but basically Katara has been hurt the most by Zuko so he has to redeem himself the most in her eyes, therefore it adds that romantic flavor to the redemption story, plus, as seen by Miyazaki's films, the girl goes with the redeemed guy. So far, Bryke is following along that same pattern. Just watch some of the movies, it's pretty much the same. And I love it! :D

:wave: Welcome to DA! :wave:
uhlease Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008
I really like this essay, it gives me so much hope :)
And I was thinking about the Miyazaki film allusions and after thinking about zutara and a lot of his films I totally can see the resemblance!

But I got an awful thought (that I'm hoping you can disprove or see something that I missed) after rewatching Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind for zutara hints. At first I thought Nausicaa was like Katara and the guy she likes was Zuko, but it occurred to me that Nausicaa is exceedingly similar to Aang (the peace loving, the air glider, the "let's all get along", and losing control and killing people) and the waring Princess that sees the light and becomes sorta good at the end was like Zuko.

Also in Princess Mononoke, the main guy is a prince who gets exiled from his town and cuts his hair (sound familiar?) and Princess Mononoke is from the wolf tribe (sokka's wolf tail ;) ) and they do end up liking each other, but they go their separate ways. Also I read somewhere that the finale would be one that everyone is happy with, but I will be very disappointed if Zuko and Katara like each other but agree to go separate ways and visit now and then with Zuko running off with Mai and Katara with Aang.

I don't know, it's just making me worry. Please make these bad thoughts go away :(
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008
Katara will end up with either Aang or Zuko.

That is one line that my friend told me when I started thinking that way. Basically, the creators have said that she would end up with either or. Only one side can win. But since the development is what counts, if everyone sees the development of Zutara on screen and really sees the beauty in it, won't it make them all happy? Plus, notice that when Bryke said this, they were talking to a room full of a majority of Zutarians. Hmmm...everyone implies majority, and the majority is Zutara! :D
uhlease Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008
Thank you.
ZutaraKid Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008   Traditional Artist
oh you are a saint!!!! you understand the authors mind so much!!!


so you thing the Dreaded Book of Spoiler Doom could be a cover up so the ending will be "unspoiled"

im telling you that makes sence...even so i agree

i personally dont have the book and i dont plan on buying it until the season is over. so that way i can be more excited.

but i do know about the kataang ending and personally...if its going to be kataang i would really want it to be more epic then what ive heard.

keep up the awsomness youve created XD
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2008
zutara-is-tru-luv Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
Awesome analysis once again. I have to agree with some points, about Miyazaki's films. Now I really understand why I like Zutara. and it's all thanks to Miyazaki...who knows...maybe for Bryke, Miyazaki is their Iroh...and Iroh supports Zutara as we all know it!
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2008
Whoo! Yes! I just recently watched Spirited Away for the first time and I loved it! :D
SomeGirlNamedJhenne Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
This is an excellent analysis!!!
rose-girl-18 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
There was a time when I was shippingless...then became attached to Zutara...then wavered, and wavered some more. But then I became convinced, and now, after this, I am utterly solid.
I am totally ready to strut through the nearest mall with a T-shirt that says ZUTARA on the back. I am so convinced! Thank you so much for renewing my fire for this couple! This piece is beautifully constructed with numerous, in-depth analyses. Fantastic. More than I could ever ask for. Absolutely convincing. Thank you, thank you!
AVidZktjo Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008
You're welcome! I'm so glad this helped you! It sure helped me. Where before I was 100% sure of Zutara, now I am 110% sure of it. I see no other option for the story really. If Bryke wants to make the story meaningful and believable, it will be Zutara. There would be too many plotholes if it were to end in Kataang.
sue119 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2008  Professional Artist
From a non shipper,I'd say those are very good points.Another odd thing is that in sozin's comet, there is an episode called 'The dark side of the moon' which doesn't exist, which leads me to think that the interview in sozin's comet is very old, and also most likely altered, because in a paragraph it states that there were several illusions that Katara was Zuko's girlfriend or something like that, and that it was dark and intriguing but I think they replaced 'mai' with 'katara' there.Just an observation, I don't really know much about zutara and sozin's comet, this is just from my memory :D
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