Hello Avatar fans, Airspeed Prime here to present Community Opinion 10. Yes we have reached double figures with this unique monthly post. The 9 previous posts have followed the same format of there being a particular topic and I ask people for their opinions on that topic, but for number 10 I changed thing up a bit. I will explain more next.
This months topic is ....
Your Opinion On A Character
This seems like a very simple topic but as I mentioned above, there was a bit of a twist, rather than everyone choosing their own character, their character was chosen by another member of our forum. This meant that people would talk about a character that they may not think about as much. So this topic will be some in-depth character opinions regarding the characters journey, characterisation and levels of involvement.
So there is the introduction to the topic, it is time to begin.
(Super Moderator/Facebook Administrator/Popular Post Writer)
Tracy Choose Toph for me !
My aim when I choose to do this months topic differently with someone else choosing everyone's character was to get people talking about a character they may not have really discussed in depth. So when Tracy choose Toph for me, the topic was a success. Aang is my favourite character and many of the forums discussions involve Zuko and Azula so I have not really let known my in depth thoughts on Toph online. So here I go.
My simple thoughts on Toph is that I think she is an amazing character. The decision of the shows creator to change the character of Toph from a man originally to as we know now of the 12 year old girl, while keeping the same personality of "tough yet sassy" is just stunning. It was either going to work out amazing or horribly, and it is definitely the first. I think the simplicity of the character of Toph is both great and slightly bad for her character. On one hand she is probably the most widely loved characters along with Iroh because she is just epic in nearly everything she does, but as I mentioned before her character is "Tough yet sassy" and the negative of that is that she does not really have that much character development in a show where the character development is amazing especially for characters like Zuko and Sokka. I will elaborate.
Look at Toph's journey throughout the show, including The Lost Adventures. She does not really develop much as a character from her introduction in 205 The Blind Bandit
to the finale, her main development is in her bending powers with Metalbending. In terms of emotional development her story is set up as "Will Toph's parents accept her" it is referenced a few times but the key point is that it is not resolved and if it is it would make Toph such a better character IMO. There is another path of development in "Toph and Friendship", she had never had a real friend before Aang, Sokka and Katara, so she learned that she could depend on them even through the tough times in their relationships, Sokka saving her life in the finale and Toph being so calm is an amazing end to this, she has complete faith in her friends.
I love the way she is introduced in The Blind Bandit
, it is probably the best episode of any show I have seen that introduces a new character, and she has a lot of development in this episode. At first she does not listen to Aang as she has sort of bought into what her parents say about her, yes she is doing the Earth Rumble fights, but she longs to have real friends. Her parents are such a key part of her character, and I really think more was needed about them in the show, they are in the high society and see her blindness as something that means she has to be hidden away. The way Aang and his friends being in her life for a few hours and making little note of her blindness instantly makes her like them and inspires her to finally stand up to her parents, they don't listen, but ultimately meeting them shows her that she can explore the world, so we completely understand her decision to disobey her parents and leave with Aang and co. This episode does an amazing job of showing off every aspect of her character, her toughness, sassyness, amazing Earthbending, her soft side and also how through her bending she can "see". Only negative about this episode is that Toph really needed one final Character focus episode.
My favourite aspect of Toph is when we realise how she learned Earthbending and how much her bending is a part of her, it is another sense. She can see things that the others cannot. She learned Earthbending from Badgermoles, the original Earthbenders who are also blind, and I love this and how because of her disability it aids her as an Earthbender since she has such a deep connection to the Earth, so Toph discovering Metalbending is a huge moment. I love the fact that even though Toph is Blind, the creators never made this define her as a character, but rather add to her character through the way her Earthbending replaces her sight.
I mentioned above that Toph is a big fan favourite, and I can definitely see why. She is such a powerful bender despite her size and blindness and also her snappy comments that are just amazing no matter the situation. I like these aspects too, but for me what I said in the previous paragraph is why I think she is an excellent character. Her toughness often comes to the fore, but some of the more emotional scenes " are her best: Her reaction to having to make a tragic decision to save all her friends, but let Appa be captured, her heart to heart with Katara in The Runaway, her explaining to Aang about how she "sees" .
Overall, my opinion may have come across as more negative than you expected, but Toph is a wonderfully constructed character, but in terms of the series they set up the relationship with her parents as one of her defining character points yet never resolved it. With The Promise we may get a resolution to this and if done well would be an excellent cap on her journey in the series.
Atry chose Ozai for Tracy!
Ozai was a complex character. Sokka was right when he referred to him as the -Baddest man", but one has to wonder how he got that way.
He was the second child, not the crown prince, and we see in -Zuko Alone" that Azulon favored Iroh.
When it comes to Ozai, I do have a lot of questions. Zuko said the family was happy at one time, so Ozai wasn't always driven by power.
He was also a talented Firebender, he could generate lightning quite easily, and the battle with Aang proved that he was an amazing fighter on the whole.
He went from Phoenix King to a jail bird, and we will have to see if Prison life has changed him any in -The Promise".
Kelly choose Suki for Atry!
Suki's character and personality is summed up very well in her famous quote: "I am a warrior, but I'm a girl too."
She's very strong, confident and doesn't let anyone play her. A trait very befitting for her duty as the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, that when you think about it is a great responsibility. Being the leader of a group of warriors is responsiblity enough, but this group is one of a kind which only exist in a small village, has only about a dozen members, and is the cultural heritage of Avatar Kyoshi herself.
Her ability to take action really shows in the events after Aang's visit to her village. Before that time one could argue that she was more focused on protecting her village's cultural heritage believing no one could fight the Fire Nation and win, but inspired by Aang's victory over Prince Zuko she decided it was time to make a difference. This along with her decision to reveal herself to Team Avatar, join them without any second thoughts, fight Ozai's Angels twice and joining in on the final battle really shows that she's incredibly confident, putting all fear and cowardice aside. If you where told that she would be your leader, you would follow her.
Ultimately though she does have a compassionate and soft side. Being very protective of her loved ones and seems to be more concerned with their safety rather than her own. She also has a tendency to develop grudges against her enemies, but unlike other characters in the series with grudges she seems to be able to put them aside rather easily. For even though she treated Zuko coldly when they met again in the prison she was quick to accept him as a part of the group, but one can argue that this was just so that she could focus on the mission and didn't have as much bad blood with him as Team Avatar did. Suki also appears to have a girly side to her as she's never embarassed by Sokka's clumsiness but rather find it sweet.
In many ways she's the typical female warrior; strong, unyielding, protective and caring. The only difference being that she's not as intense or resentful as those we often see in action films. To me this really does make her the right girl for Sokka, cause they have many things in common but at the same time they complement each other. They're both burdened warriors with no bending abilities, but Sokka can learn from Suki to be a better leader as well as she can learn from him to be more fun-loving. If they decide to stay together that is.
This is Atry and Suki saying, never lower your guard"
(Moderator/ Facebook Administrator)
Arthan choose Iroh for Kelly!
Iroh I personally think is one of the most complex and amazing characters in the series. I say this because he has a past we never see, yet we can tell he's changed dramatically throughout his life. I also say this because in my opinion, (and airspeed agreed with me in his episode commentary) his introduction to the show was as if the creators were not sure for his path yet.
His actions in episode 1, 2 and 4 may have seemed like his lazy personality, and caring for zuko, but his pertaining to the avatar was MUCH different that throughout the rest of the series. He attempts to attack aang and even states he is just a kid. I presume that the creators, but also Iroh as a character may not have been too sure of his and zuko's future. No matter the case he was always protecting zuko like a son. His past explains why.
When it comes to Iroh's past, we all know he had life changing experiences. When he was little he had a vision that he sieged Ba sing se. By being raised in the fire nation, his destiny must have looked clear. This is think contrasts to Zuko's situation, and may be why Iroh connects to his nephew. Once Iroh had lost his son, this is where everything changed. I think he felt guilty and upset with himself and was convinced this couldn't be the right path if his own son had to lose his life in the process. Maybe he felt as if he was wrong, and gave up his siege to basically re think his life. After meditating, he did the impossible and went INTO the spirit world. I think he did this to look for his son, but also to start a new. Through his journey he has learned to respect the spirits, and to be his own person, and he would end up being a part and future leader of the White Lotus!
Learning to be more spiritual, he separated from his path as part of the fire nation. All he wanted was to protect the closest one to him, Zuko. As he says in book 1 episode 19, after his son died, Zuko is like a Zuko as his own son. HE feels he NEEDS to protect him; to make sure nothing like Lu ten's fate happens again. It is shown through the whole Avatar series that Iroh is one of the wisest people on the planet. From his metaphors and encouraging words he's turned his life around from such a gloomy situation into starting a new life. He and zuko have a lot in common. From strife and struggle, they learned there true path of right. They needed to suffer and struggle to get away from what hurt them in the first place. Iroh Suffered from losing his son forever, and losing Zuko by being betrayed. He had fallen into despair because Zuko lost his way, like Iroh did when almost destroying Ba sing se. But losing Zuko wouldn't stop him from completing his vision, now realizing he must SAVE Ba sing se he gets himself together for the final fight!
O.G.Sokka choose Sokka for Arthan!
All characters in Avatar the Last Airbender are special, they have different personalities that make them unique. Sokka gives the impression of being a shallow person, but with the time we realize this is not true, as the episodes pass, and setting aside the character's comical aspect (also important certainly) we discover the depth he has, all his weak and strong spots.
As I've said, Sokka's humor is one of his main characteristics, he made us laugh a lot (Cactus Juice LOL), this is very important since that is one of the best lures from the Series. He is an ingenious and intelligent person, with a great capacity for leadership and who know how to overcome the difficulties he face up.
One of his best moments for me is in episode 304 -Sokka's Master", when he feels inferior with the others in the Gaang because of not being a bender, and then we can see how he get over that showing the other talents he has, the greatest exponent of this can be seen in episodes 310 and 311 -The Day of the Black Sun" when he takes the command of the invasion.
Another aspect is his inventiveness and his ability to design artifacts and conceive plans, he has a lot of resources, despite his constant bad luck, it seems all stones end up falling on his head."
Regarding the relationships in the series his ship is the more mature, the fact of losing Princess Yue makes his relation with Suki something serious. Even Toph shown some interest in Sokka (when she thought the person who saved her from drowning in episode 212 -The Serpent's Pass" was Sokka).
Something I would love to see is Sokka's reaction viewing Aang and Katara's exhibitions of love, but for what I have seen the comic-book -The Promise" will show us something of this.
Airspeed Prime choose Katara for O.G.Sokka!
Wow Katara eh Hmm perfect choice for me. I am an Azula fanboy at heart so Katara is a toon I would have never picked"
OK though Let's do this!
Kats is the nurturer, the "Adult" of the GAang, the quote on quote "good girl" and that has it's merits for sure. Should she have ended up with Aang?.. Of course. Was Katara made of sugar and spice and everything nice? Only on the surface.
She Hussled with Toph in the Runaway,
she manipulated Hama by reaching inside of her very being, And looked almost like Chuck Norris in the Southern Raiders.
Kat is that girl you almost find boring and naggy until you annoy her and find out what she really stands for. And if your silly enough to disturb her agenda or her loved ones you just end up
chained to a sewer crying out for your only hope "Mommy" ..oh Wait a minute She hates you too.
Admin/Jordash choose Jet for one of our facebook fans!
Jet is like Peter Pan with his lost boys. He has a one track mind and a deep seated hate for the Fire Nation (Hook) and all that might get in his way. I am not talking about Disney's version of Peter Pan with rosy-red cheeks and laughter; I am talking about the blood thirsty character J. M. Barrie invisioned. Jet had all taken away as a very young child: his family, his village, and most importantly his dreams. He lives for one purpose. Revenge. And how could he know this was the wrong thing to feel for what the Fire Nation did to him? He had no parents or adults around to redirect him. Later in the series we see a turn in Jet's character, but only after he had been "reformed" at Lake Laogai (by adults). And maybe that was enough (to be sit down by adults and given a stern talking to ;)) or maybe he would of had a relapse. But regardless I always cry when he gets crushed by that rock and he tells them he will be fine, and as they walk away Toph says: "he's lying." Maybe he could have been a good character in the final battle but we will never know. But what we do know is he did give his life for the Avatar. Redemption should be his.
(Site Administrator/Facebook Admin/Popular Post Writer)
Airspeed Prime choose Long Feng for Admin/Jordash!
[caption id="attachment_4069" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Long Fengs desire for power eventually led to him turning on his own kingdom, treachery, and murder."]
Long Feng was a really deep and interesting character that has largely been mis-understood." I think Azula's description of him is best, he clawed his way to power without any noble birthright (which I think is commendable)." However his rise to power severely corrupted him and he let his desire for power consume him, to the point of allowing the disaster of letting his Kingdom (the Earth Kingdom) fall into decay by feeding the Earth King with lies about what was actually happening (he hid the entire war from the Earth King)." He also corrupted the Dai Li (originally created by Avatar Kyoshi with good intentions.), who were modeled after a real life secret Military Police Force in China.
When his treachery was revealed, he sided with his Kingdoms enemy (Azula) and helped enslave his kingdom from the inside out." Under estimating Azula's charisma he even lost his own group, the Dai Li, to her." In the end Long Feng killed Jet during the Avatar's escape from Ba Sing Se, making him a notorious villian.
Long Feng was based on many real life tyrants and I think he's an interesting example of how letting a desire for power consume you will lead to tragedy, betrayal, and ultimately sadness." A very deep character storyline indeed.
Our Communities Thoughts
So there you have the post, the aim with this was to get people talking about a character they usually don't talk about too much, I think the members of our community choose each others characters very well in that way. I think everyone who participated learned a bit more about the character they wrote about and saw them in a different light.
Please feel free to comment below about a character you don't think you have really discussed to much.
See you next Month for Community Opinion 11, if you want your Opinion in the next post then just be active on the forum, I am always looking out for new members who are very active. I will PM those whose opinions I want near the Start of January. Also if you are a fan of the sites Facebook page there is a chance to get your opinion in there a few days before the post is put up on the site.