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Not for everyone. The impressions from season I
The story seems to have been very important for somebody, you can tell by the detail. The art is pleasing to the eye, especially the backgrounds. The structure of an epic adventure! And yet it leaves me cold at the best of times.

Partly this is due to Hype Aversion, I first saw the M.Night creation (which is bad even from an Avatar-virgin's point of view) and after reading up about what could/should have happened decided to see for myself the original. The thing is, it's done in the French pseudo-anime style (same as Totally Spies!), where the (to my mind) excessive amount of twitching is distracting and only serves to remind me of every bad incarnation of anime. Point number two is the Fan Dumb, when all the fans of the show bashed the pronunciation in the film, which to a non-native English speaker raised on Bollywood films and an anime dubhater sounds much more accurate. A side note is that while in the film we can suppose that Nations/Clans are made of (slightly?) different ethnicities and form a Clan on gods know what basis, in the cartoon all the representatives of one Clan look the same so the different accents of the voice actors (most notably Iroh) are more than distracting. Point number three is this: everything comes off as very bright and happy and clean, which makes one wonder if this is not a simple case of white man's Oriental Fetish Fuel, then again YMMV.

This is a solid story and good animation (be the art style your thing or not), if everything else distracts you then it simply wasn't meant to be. I will not bring up my quarrel with the characters and the feminism, since I haven't seen more than the first season. I do recommend it, just don't go into it waiting for your world to be changed. A review on this page praised it equal if not better than the classics of the 90's with which I can't agree, but again, it's a personal view.
I was gonna comment on all the points I disagree with you on because I think the series is better than your review and you can't really judge it based off of one season, but I won't. Really quick I want to say I think you're wrong about the fans being dumb, just because the movie should have pronounced it the way the Tv series did. You're in the minority thinking it was better the other way. I'm not going to try to defend it anymore than that though, because this series really doesn't need defending. Its epicness speaks for itself.

comment #8118 DandelionFire 16th Jun 11

comment #8157 MTI 18th Jun 11 (edited by: MTI)
Shyalaman used the "correct" pronunciation of the names, what they would sound like if an asian person said them. Doesn't excuse him from makinga completely innecessary and distracting change, but it does explain why the reviewer felt they were better than the series pronunciation (a view I completely disagree with). And while he can't really judge the entire series based on Book 1, I believe he won't change his opinion on it based on the other 2 books.
comment #8158 MTI 18th Jun 11 (edited by: MTI)
@Dandelion Fire - the first season (unless dealing with a series like Doctor Who, where the protagonist keeps changing) is exactly how a series should be criticized, after all, the first season exists to tell a story and draw us in. If my not-so-flattering review had been based on the first three episodes (because the first episode is always trick, anyone can tell you that) then it would be a case of Hate Dumb on my part, but a first season is usually created to test the water, so to speak, so all the basic elements, relationships and so forth are introduced to the audience then.

@MTI - thank you. I am not praising the film overall as better in comparison to the series, just this one element about which there appeared to be a big song and dance among the community.
comment #8369 gerjan 30th Jun 11 (edited by: gerjan)
@gerjan It Gets Better disagrees. Also a review of a complete series should review the full series not the first season.
comment #8416 Vyctorian 3rd Jul 11
But the first season is generally enough to understand the feel of a series, if the tone changes dramatically during the say third or so season then it's a case on inconsistent writing and is not really something to praise. If a series takes an entire season until It Gets Better then from where I stand it's not really something to brag about. Also, unless every single character in the series suffered a stroke and woke up with a slight capacity for foreign languages then I will still want to tear my ears off half the time any given character pronounces a name. (I know this is rude and a personal quirk of mine, but I am beside myself, how can you fuck up a name like Momo?)

The review is marked under 'season' so there shouldn't be all that much cause for irritation. At the end of the review there it is also mentioned that it is based on the first one, so am not condemning the series as a whole, there were no lines of "THIS IS COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE" followed by five exclamation marks.
comment #8419 gerjan 4th Jul 11 (edited by: gerjan)
if the tone changes dramatically during the say third or so season then it's a case on inconsistent writing and is not really something to praise

Uh, it's called evolving and growing. There's nothing inconsistent about the tone in the third season being different from the tone in the first if the show has developed the tone in that direction.

Does it count as It Gets Better when the consensus is that the first season was well above average, but the second season just blew it completely out of the water? That's what most people mean when they say It Gets Better with ATLA.

For your original review, I can't see how you can say that "everything comes off as very bright and happy and clean". Maybe it looks that way if you only view snippets, but as the episodes flesh out the world, you get the sense that it's a very messed-up place. Even in the very first episode, we see the wrongness with Sokka and Katara's village being only old women and children and the children training as warriors. Sure, there's humor hiding it, but the wounds are there.
comment #8510 Ayasugi 8th Jul 11 (edited by: Ayasugi)
By "bright and happy" I meant the colour-scheme (colour-coding the tribes for example) and the way the environment is portrayed, since the cartoon wants so badly to ape various Asian cinema then the 'clean' feel on the environment just stresses how badly it manages to grasp the ideas it adores.

Please note that I wrote about the tone changing "dramatically". Evolving and growing is when the changes do not feel forced. Again, I must stress that I can't say whether or not series 2 or 3 did become better (and if it did was it really a case of further development on the part of the writers or not) since I have only seen the first series and it far from titillated my fancy. I'm afraid that if I do give in and watch he rest of this overly advertised creation then I will become more and more annoyed and my frustration will only find outlet in trolling fanforums (to be fair, from the point of view of some die-hard fans this is what I am already doing) because thankfully nobody has heard of this thing round these parts.
comment #8650 gerjan 15th Jul 11 (edited by: gerjan)
@gerjan: It's not that I think you'll like the series any better if you watch anymore, it's just that you have a few misconceptions concerning the show because you didn't watch beyond the first season. I also don't understand why you'd want to review a show you hate - isn't that just a waste of time? You're starting off the review section of a show that the majority of people who watch it love it (or at least like it) with a review that undersells it. That bugs me.

@MTI: *shrugs* It upset me more that Avatar fans were called dumb for that. How's it dumb to want the director to stick with the name pronunciation they're comfortable with, especially when he's already making so many other changes?

comment #8685 DandelionFire 16th Jul 11 (edited by: DandelionFire)
^Please don't ever use the "Expressing your opinion is a waste of time" argument. It's really not a good way to defend anything. Go through a day trying to note everything you did that can be considered a waste of time and then ask yourself why you did it.

@gerjan: Generally, people watch an entire series before making a review of it. You know, so they can actually sound more informed about their subject matter.
comment #8687 eveil 16th Jul 11
@Dandelion Fire: Isn't it normal for any piece of media to have both positive and negative reviews? If somebody comes onto a site looking for information about said media then they will have a chance to hear both versions of a story, to see how different people react differently to it and to know what to expect. In fact, in some cases a large number of similar reviews may cause the prospective consumer to have the opposite reaction to the media.

@eveil: While I admit that there is much I don't know or don't understand about the series and that viewing the show in it's entirety would enlighten me about some things, I still hold my position.
comment #8692 gerjan 17th Jul 11
@gerjan: This isn't about your position. Have you ever considered that maybe it's not such a good idea to do a review on something that you haven't finished viewing yet? If the series is a long-runner with no end in sight, then you might get a pass. Or at least put "First Season Review" in your title instead of having it in a easily missable line near the end of the review.

In case you can't tell, misleading or inaccurate reviews is a pet peeve of mine.
comment #8696 eveil 17th Jul 11
I can easily change the title. Didn't realize that that was all there was to it :D
comment #8702 gerjan 17th Jul 11
And now we're all one big happy family again.
comment #8704 eveil 17th Jul 11
Yay! Now we have a class A example of miscommunication, thought your protests were on some sort of moral grounds when in reality it was all a matter of misleading wording on my behalf
comment #8706 gerjan 17th Jul 11
Meh, happens all the time. People tend to take criticism of something as an attack on themselves and everything they stand for.
comment #8709 eveil 17th Jul 11
I guess I'm just a little confused by what you mean when you say that "everything comes off as very bright and happy and clean, which makes one wonder if this is not a simple case of white man's Oriental Fetish Fuel". Were you expecting, say, Pirates of the Caribbean levels of dirt and grime? In a live action movie like Pirates, you can just smear some dirt on a guy, while in animation, you have to have your animators meticulously draw every little speck. Because of this, I don't think it had anything to do with 'Oriental Fetish Fuel', but more to do with budgets. If that's not what you meant, I'd be glad to be corrected.

Also, when you say "I will not bring up my quarrel with the characters and the feminism, since I haven't seen more than the first season", I would actually be really interested in hearing what you have to say about that. Would you mind just bringing it up in the comments section?
comment #8860 XiVXaV 24th Jul 11
The grime levels were actually in comparison to things like Pirates Of Darkwater, granted it had a big budget for it's time but still, it made good use of colours (I'm assuming that Avatar had more choice when the different shades of green were considered) and managed to make the atmosphere much gloomier. If I was a complete prick I would wave Batman The Animated Series but I won't because I know full well that they actually did special tricks to give it the famous noir feel (which also would feel way off in Avatar).

You know how I mentioned that I watched the cartoon because it was so praised? How Katara was supposed to be this wonderful strong female. Well, the writers tried to make all the women strong and good but they used Sokka for it. Sokka became the imbecile male and that's insulting to everyone. The first series has the ultra-genki child, the imbecile male and the whiny girl, these are our protagonists ladies and gentlemen! They tried to make Katara (and those fan-wielding girls) strong by comparison and by constantly degrading the male lead, that is not feminism. Degrading men to prove your worth is as far from proper feminism as one could get. This makes me feel that Katara is so useless as a character that the only way she can have worth is when paired up with this unbelievably childish, helpless, useless creature that is her brother. This pair made me so angry that I may have very well missed some great moments (which once again resulted in me disliking and giving up of the show).

Oih, I'm ranting again. Pardon.
comment #8864 gerjan 25th Jul 11 (edited by: gerjan)
The question then is: what about Avatar made you feel like it needed a gloomier atmosphere?

I'll preface this part by saying this: when it comes to the feminism, season one is pretty widely considered to talk the talk better than it walks the walk. However, since that is all you've seen, I'll try to stick just to that.

I don't think that Sokka's sexism is supposed to convey "Oh he's just a stupid jerk" so much as "He's a teenage boy trying to assert his masculinity, often at the expense of his sister." Really, this is one of those things that you have to see the other seasons for, as Sokka really comes into his own later, but even here I think it's unfair to call him an "unbelievably childish, helpless, useless creature". Early on yes, he's little more than the comedy relief oaf, but we get to see, for instance, that he has some skill in tracking, has a mind for invention, is really quite intelligent (as well as skeptical) when he lets it show, is fiercely loyal, and can hold his own in a fight, even if he tends to get overshadowed by Aang (and later Katara), all of this in just season 1.

I also don't think Aang's energetic and often loopy nature really has anything to do with him being a boy and more to do with him being 12, so I don't really see how that relates. We also see at some points during this season that when things do go down, he's able to put on his serious face and get things done, so I wouldn't really say there is anything that I see as "degrading the male lead."

And Katara is far from useless. She's the one who can calm down Aang when he gets upset, she too can hold her own in a fight, especially after her training with Pakku (she manages to give Zuko a run for his money in the Siege of the North), has her healing abilities, is probably the most level headed of the group (though not always), and is also willing to do just about anything to help out those around her.

I'll say straight up that Warriors of Kyoshi (The episode with the fan wielding girls) is very heavy-handed, though I do like that they include the "I'm a warrior, but I'm a girl too" bit at the end, because I think that's a good lesson. "The Waterbending Master" I think handles the sexism stuff much better, however, with our introduction to Pakku. With him, the sexism isn't just thanks to immaturity like in Sokka's case, but instead much more sinister institutionalized sexism. The best part is that even though Katara loses her fight with Pakku (it would have been ridiculous for her to win given that he had so many years of experience on her), ultimately what he discovers is that his sexism cost him the love of his life. The lesson being "sexism huts everyone", which I think needs to be said more.
comment #8866 XiVXaV 25th Jul 11
I really have to mention that Sokka gets so much better later on that it's something of a shock to be reminded of the oafish, stupid Sokka of the early part of the first season. He's a loyal, protective brother, an intelligent and quick-witted fighter, inventive and creative, and the most Genre Savvy of the lot. He's the "idea guy", as Aang says - and while he spends the first season insisting that he's the leader and not being as good as he says, in the second and third seasons he takes quiet and implicit command of their whole operation simply by virtue of being the only one who knows what they're doing. This was shown a little bit in "Jet", but "Sokka's Master" really drives it home in Season 3.

And Season 2 introduces us to Toph Bei Fong, Azula, Ty Lee, Mai, and a more mature, more Bad Ass Katara, and the feminism is shown rather than talked about.
comment #8874 OnTheOtherHandle 25th Jul 11
I'm sure you are both right but my point is: in the first season Katara gets established as a strong, dependable person by the use of Sokka, not to make a too fine a point but season 1 Sokka makes my old slippers looks strong and dependable. This, in my eyes, undermines her as a character because as soon as you think of Katara you see her next to her brother. Especially because of the first few (five?) episodes she is, in a way, tainted, every time she (or any woman) does something I remember Sokka and any competence the character displayed is gone because I keep thinking that it is false and comes at the cost of giving Sokka an ounce of a brain.

I do have to loudly agree that the moment "I'm a warrior but also a girl" was welcome, it was badly handled but still a needed sentiment.
comment #8883 gerjan 26th Jul 11
I realize that that is what you're saying, and I'm arguing that you're exaggerating. Sure, early in the season you have a good point (as I admitted), but, well... things change, and later episodes, especially Bato of the Water Tribe, The Northern Air Temple, and Siege of the North (and in my opinion, The Fortuneteller, but I'm sure many would disagree with me that this was actually a good episode for him)(edit: Forgot to add "Jet" to the list), show us there is much more to Sokka than the oaf we met in The Boy in the Iceberg.
comment #8899 XiVXaV 26th Jul 11 (edited by: XiVXaV)
Agreed that you're exaggerating. You're boiling all three leads down to the worst of their personalities and ignoring their positives and their development, even in just the first season. Sokka, for instance starts out so full of his own male importance that he "makes [your] old slippers looks strong and dependable", as you put it, but as early as the fourth episode he gets the chauvinism knocked out of him (as heavy-handed as "Warriors of Kyoshi" is, it serves its purpose by giving Sokka character development that isn't forgotten), and in Jet, the next episode to focus on him, he's already grown into the role of the critical thinker. Katara in season 1 isn't established as a strong, dependable person, she's established as driven and compassionate, though unskilled and naive. I'd argue that she's not supposed to be especially dependable, as her impulsiveness gets the Gaang into trouble more than once. Katara is held up as a feminist icon in the first season because she's completely determined to master waterbending, to the point of giving the Gaang their goal for the season, for earning her mastery by her own skill and effort, and for combating sexism.
comment #8984 Ayasugi 31st Jul 11
Hey, gerjan, may I ask if you're a male or female? I don't mean to be rude, it's just that I'm curious. I tend to see your line of argument about Avatar's "feminism" issues used almost exclusively by men — not in regards to Avatar, obviously (you're the first person I've seen with that complaint so far)
comment #9263 Pomot 14th Aug 11
Sorry, female (and no offence taken)
comment #9721 gerjan 5th Sep 11
So... are you going to respond to anything we said earlier? Or have you just sort of abandoned this?
comment #10303 XiVXaV 27th Sep 11
There really isn't anything I can say. You exaggerate the good parts, I exaggerate the bad parts. You people like it, that's fine, I don't (that's apparently not). Half the time you justify your positions by pointing to the later seasons and while that as may be I refuse to watch the later seasons because as far as I'm concerned the show is nowhere near as good as the fans make it out to be, I trusted you people once by starting to watch this thing and I felt really cheated. It's not a bad show but it certainly does not live up to the hype. As far as the discussion goes, we are going to go around in circles here (we are already) largely because by now I have forgotten most things about the cartoon apart from the bad taste it left in my mouth.
comment #10396 gerjan 30th Sep 11
You could give examples of other cartoon shows of the same genre (Meaning, an actual continuous plot) that you think did better.
comment #10397 eveil 30th Sep 11
"You exaggerate the good parts"

What 'good parts' would you say I exaggerated?

"Half the time you justify your positions by pointing to the later seasons"

Um, actually, while I did allude to later seasons maybe once or twice, every single episode I listed as having good moments for Sokka to prove he's portrayed as more than just the dumb oaf you seem to see him as are from the first season. As such, I'm arguing that you're being outrageously unfair to him by calling him such things as "[an] unbelievably childish, helpless, useless creature", and by extension, you're being unfair to the show. I know it's hard to avoid Hype Backlash, but I don't think that's an excuse to be unfair.

"You people like it, that's fine, I don't (that's apparently not)"

Please please don't conflate disagreement with attempting to silence. The fact of the matter is, you put your opinion up here for all to see, including plenty of people who have a very different opinion, so you really can't complain when they then try to argue against your position. That's discussion, not censorship.
comment #10405 XiVXaV 30th Sep 11 (edited by: XiVXaV)
{Please please don't conflate disagreement with attempting to silence. }

Please don't be silly, you understand perfectly well that this is not what I meant. I feel a mixture of amusement and weariness from all the energy you spend/(receive?) in demanding that I start explaining to you my positions again.

Of course I am unfair, why would you ever think I or anyone else wouldn't be? It takes a very rare person indeed to see the good and bad parts of anything equally.

I pointed out earlier that I judge others to be like me, so when I think that 'hey, that might be an interesting show' then I read the tropes and reviews. Obviously when I feel that other reviewers have not touched upon a side to the story then I should tell anyone who'd listen what problems I myself found. This show, for some mystifying reason did not even have a lukewarm review so I wrote one and as (again) pointed out slightly later one can see me growing angrier and angrier in the comments.

—-

@eveil

Well, this is where you got me coming and going. As it might have become obvious by now Western animation is not exactly my comfort zone, so to my meagre knowledge a spanning story arc is a rare thing (the only one I can come up with from the top of my head is The Pirates Of Dark Water). I mean we are still excited by the moon from The Tick so even continuity is rather shaky. For these reasons I can bring Pirates and X-Men as examples and even these aren't exactly good seeing as there is a plot but then again there isn't.

I must try and protect my ground though by saying this: just because the show actually has a plot (and not exactly a bad one, at that) does not forgive it it's all other missteps. I mean someone on this site said that it was better than the jewels of the 90's, meaning Batman and the like, and I will never agree with that, look at the style alone! You do not proclaim a mildly polite man as a living Buddha just because you are surrounded by pricks, you acknowledge him for doing something that should be elemental in your society and then get on with your life.
comment #10427 gerjan 1st Oct 11
Hmm, maybe it's a nostalgia thing you have against Avatar. Avatar is like, one of the only popular western animations I can think of that has a true over-arching plot, though there's still a lot of filler.
comment #10428 eveil 1st Oct 11
"Please don't be silly, you understand perfectly well that this is not what I meant"

Your statement was: "You people like it, that's fine, I don't (that's apparently not)", so either that was what you were saying, or instead you're just whining about us disagreeing with you.

"I feel a mixture of amusement and weariness from all the energy you spend/(receive?) in demanding that I start explaining to you my positions again."

I feel a mixture of amusement and weariness from the fact that you completely dodged my question. I know what your opinion is, I'm asking you to back it up. Not all opinions are created equal: I supported my opinion with evidence in the form of a list of episodes that show that your characterization of Sokka was wrong. You've supported your opinion with nothing but the strength of your conviction.

"Of course I am unfair, why would you ever think I or anyone else wouldn't be?"

Have you ever heard of the Is-Ought Problem? That people are unfair does not mean that people ought to be unfair. Therefore, referencing the fact that people are often unfair does not justify your unfairness.

"Obviously when I feel that other reviewers have not touched upon a side to the story then I should tell anyone who'd listen what problems I myself found."

And once again, you therefore have no justification for getting so angry at people disagreeing with you.
comment #10435 XiVXaV 1st Oct 11
There were so many things wrong with that.

Please don't be silly, you understand perfectly well that this is not what I meant.

That's what it comes as, don't blame others because you failed at expressing what you meant, what do you expect everyone to think when you say I don't like it but that's apparently not ok. ~ You people like it, that's fine, I don't (that's apparently not)

Of course I am unfair, why would you ever think I or anyone else wouldn't be?

Because this is a review, people at least think their being fair, if you yourself think that your review is an unfair one why post it to begin with? in fact if you yourself admit it's unfair how can you even defend your opinion.
comment #10438 marcellX 1st Oct 11 (edited by: marcellX)
@eveil

Well yes, I dislike the style and the characters and the humour but the story itself is by all means a step forward in the business. To tell the truth I had at first thought of watching it because I heard that it had an actual continuous storyline. But is this really the only one? Bit sad that in all this time nobody got around to doing a real story.

@ Xi V Xa V & marcellX

My own damn fault for not being better at words that it came off as whinging.

I was being realistic, not honest, I like to think that am fair (did point out that the show has some strengths) but in retrospect must agree that never am. Because obviously there is not a single impartial creature out there.

This is a work of fiction, it exists so that we would react to it, the way we react depends on two factors: our own baggage and how well it has been crafted so that the creators could manipulate us to feel one or another emotion. People are unfair depending of the former and and how well they feel the latter had been accomplished. If I did not enjoy a work's characters then that means they did not resonate with me, as with anything we try to understand why something (especially a work with high over-all praise) did not work for us in particular. When writing the review (because, again, I really can't remember any details by now) I felt that the characters were poorly constructed and half the things they did were forced.

Of course you can bring examples, by your passionate responses I suspect that this is probably one of your favourite fictions and you have a good portion of it memorised. Unlike you and a fair number of others I have only my impressions and vague memories to go by, which are, to a critical eye, weak tools.

I am not angry at people disagreeing, I am annoyed at having to explain it over and over again (because by now all I can do is repeat myself, I don't hate the show enough to feverishly watch it over and over finding new faults). I thought the responses would be along the lines of "You're wrong, get the hell off the internet" and then we could all go our merry way.
comment #10442 gerjan 2nd Oct 11
After reading a series of certain lines on your posts (for example I thought the responses would be along the lines of "You're wrong, get the hell off the internet" and then we could all go our merry way.) why exactly did you made this review. That line sounded like you didn't wanted people with reasonable criticism posting on your review, just blind fans that you could simply ignore (difference in what you meant and how it came out as). Also read again what Xi V Xa V said and how s/he explained that what s/he wanted you to do (which wasn't repeating yourself over and over which you don't really need to do). All you wrote is nice and all but the matter of the fact is that the ultimate goal of a review made about something you didn't like is for a reasonable person to reach the point of "well s/he's right about that, I still enjoyed it despite that though" were it boils to simply a matter of taste. You stated a problem with the show, and Xi V Xa V challenged that, even using examples. I gotta agree with him/her that you've been avoiding a response to it (because what you said is not something that will always fit by saying it over and over again) unless you think his reply doesn't actually challenge yours, in which case you should explain why. You don't even need to remember examples, just with a quick research on the ones that s/he gave (he even named the episodes, there should be one of two wiki summaries of them). by your passionate responses I suspect that this is probably one of your favourite fictions and you have a good portion of it memorised. I know it wasn't directed at me (at least I think) but I remember scenes and I'm not a huge fan of the show and I wouldn't know if it's one of Xi V Xa V favorite shows based on what s/he said, because s/he just mentioned episodes and scenes, s/he didn't go into specific details you would see on a trivia section, blink and you miss it scenes, or obscure ones. I'm very sorry, but I can't help but feel like you were drawn into a corner and want to get out with your feet clean.
comment #10443 marcellX 2nd Oct 11 (edited by: marcellX)
"Because obviously there is not a single impartial creature out there."

Of course, but you've kind of missed my point. The point was that, yes, people are unfair, but that fact alone does not justify unfairness.

"I felt that the characters were poorly constructed and half the things they did were forced."

And this is an arguable claim, which I was trying to discuss with you, but you certainly seem disinclined to discuss much of anything. I have to echo marcellX's question: If you weren't prepared to defend your opinion, why would you even post it here?

"Of course you can bring examples, by your passionate responses I suspect that this is probably one of your favourite fictions and you have a good portion of it memorised. Unlike you and a fair number of others I have only my impressions and vague memories to go by, which are, to a critical eye, weak tools."

Think of it this way: You seem to enjoy the show The Pirates Of Dark Water (or if not, just insert your favorite show), so if someone posted a negative review of it in which they admitted that they had only watched a small portion of the episodes, they got several things wrong, and they admitted their opinions were unfair and based solely on vague recollections, would you not challenge them?

"I thought the responses would be along the lines of "You're wrong, get the hell off the internet" and then we could all go our merry way."

I think it's here that we get to the heart of the issue: You came prepared for nothing but an angry mob come to crucify you for having a different opinion. Instead of pitchforks and torches, however, we came out with reasoned arguments and evidence, and you just weren't ready for that.
comment #10451 XiVXaV 2nd Oct 11
Ok, I'll set my silliness aside and we will have an adult discussion. Yes, as an impulsive creature I yelled "why hasn't anyone warned me?" and ran off to write the review without giving thought to actually explaining my standpoint.

Lets look at Jet, starts out with Sokka being the Butt Monkey, then we are shown that He has A Heart! But then again, the Butt Monkey (if on the side of the protagonists) usually does. Yes, he is shown as competent when he is captured by the Peter Pan gang and tricking them into stepping onto traps but it's hardly believable is it? These people have lived and murdered in that forest for some time, maybe even years, so there is no way they wouldn't know about the traps. My thinking is, since the traps are so numerous then obviously this has been going on for some time, you don't set out so many traps so regularly without the certain knowledge that they would work and bring profit, that's just bad business. And by the next episode he doesn't actually learn anything does he, I believe he even manages to become more obnoxious.

Katara is just weird, she is having a girlish crush on Jet and being in total denial, which is fine, most of us have been there, but she takes a shine to him because he is a warrior not because he is a competent leader (she goes all gooey before she even knows he's a leader let alone a good one). A girl raised in a village ravaged by war with a an incompetent brother, who dreams of being a great warrior, and who lost both parents to war. It would make sense if she liked him because he takes care of his own, but being this giddy for a random bloke swinging two fishing hooks undermines her completely.

Aang I can't complain about, he's pointlessly twitchy and meant to make us go "Aww, he has ADHD, isn't that sweet," (because when Goku or Luffy have a better attention span and deeper emotional life then we have a problem on our hands), so he's fulfilling his function just fine.

Overall, nice reds in the forest, hilariously drawn old man and a scene of Apa(?)sleeping on some treetops which was, while not stolen, very obviously inspired by Totoro's Neko Bus (Am I really the only one who thinks that one battle song was nicked from Naruto?).

Mind, about the Po DW, and I'm not being sarcastic here, one could watch either the first five episodes or even a couple from the middle (since only the first five actually have an arc) and get a good portion of the needed info about the series. I'm a Po DW fanboy and I'm the first to acknowledge (granted, not as much as I should) that the show was far from perfect, I mean the Small Annoying Creature alone would cause spasms in a sane man. Please write a bad review, after all there is no such thing as bad publicity.
comment #10458 gerjan 2nd Oct 11 (edited by: gerjan)
...Not quite sure what the complaints are about. Are you complaining about the fact that Sokka's a comedic relief character? That Katara has a crush on a guy for one episode out of the entire season, and she ends up hating the guy by the end? That Aang has a mild case of ADHD?
comment #10470 eveil 3rd Oct 11
"Lets look at Jet"

Lets. First of all, remember that Tropes Are Not Bad. Butt Monkey is not equal to "[an] unbelievably childish, helpless, useless creature". Second, I was not holding up any of the episodes I listed as being perfect episodes, and I would argue that no such thing exists. "Jet", while I think it's enjoyable, does have some serious issues. For instance, it's quite obvious that in their desire to make Sokka the Only Sane Man who saw Jet for what he really was, they entirely ignored the fact that Aang should be outrageously jealous of Jet because of his feelings for Katara. But let's break it down a bit:

Saving an entire village of people? Hardly useless.

Escaping from Jet's cronies all by himself? Hardly helpless.

Doing all of this despite the fact that he's been nothing but abused by the others the entire episode? Hardly childish.

As for Katara, sure it doesn't entirely make sense. It's a teenage infatuation, what do you expect? Especially given they had all of 20 minutes to show it.

"Please write a bad review, after all there is no such thing as bad publicity."

Um... No. It would be incredibly hypocritical of me to do so.
comment #10471 XiVXaV 3rd Oct 11
but she takes a shine to him because he is a warrior not because he is a competent leader - It would make sense if she liked him because he takes care of his own, but being this giddy for a random bloke swinging two fishing hooks undermines her completely.

I thought she liked him simply because he was cool and handsome, she's 14 after all. Which would explain why she defended him so much. The warrior, leader thing is at most a very wild speculation.
comment #10472 marcellX 3rd Oct 11
@eveil

I'm trying to apply my criticism to a specific episode, one that is by some, do not know the exact numbers, hold up as a good examples of Sokka's character(as I got the impression)

@Xi V Xa V

Nonono, I would never demand for a perfect episode, even I'm not that mean and petty.

Well, Aang being jealous... maybe he hasn't gotten that far yet (though I think it did)? Maybe at that stage it only came over him in waves? I don't know.

Saving the entire village? It's skipped over and (I understand, due to the format) rushed to so it's not exactly satisfying. How did he try to explain? For all we know nobody believed him because he was his usual annoying self. The plot convenience granddad is understandable though made me moan a bit.

Escaping from Jet's cronies is, as I pointed out in my earlier ramble, not really believable. If these people were so blind and so easy to escape from then they would have been caught and hanged from the nearest branch. Again, it feels (and I understand that am in the minority) forced, the guys may have been slow but surely they more than made up for it with their fighting abilities and knowledge of the forest. This is actually a criticism that can be easily applied to any plot where it involves escaping from forest bandits (a favourite, if my memory serves me).

Well, he did dislike Jet from the start due to sheer jealousy, but yes, as far as the Scooby Gang is concerned he is much less childish than they.

@marcellX

I usually have far less complaints about one-episode love stories than I do with longer ones, so the love story in itself is not a problem. I dislike how it was handled (if I think about it then it's my complain about most episodes, they want to say much, perhaps even more than they can handle, and then fall flat on their faces). I'm not exactly making this up, I watched the episode two days ago to be able to give less shaky arguments, she goes gooey the second he drops from nowhere. This is not an urban wallflower we're dealing with, because good girl-bad boy is a beloved take and it shouldn't work, it goes against what we know of her as a character. If they had waited two minutes so that Jet would have been established as the leader then it would be fine but no, they go with All Girls Want Bad Boys. I go with the leader theory because seeing how she was raised you'd naturally assume that a warrior without any other qualities to judge him by would leave her lukewarm, being an orphan and having to be "the responsible one" with Sokka (I don't believe it, but that's the official title) she would naturally enjoy men who can take care of not only themselves but others as well.

comment #10498 gerjan 3rd Oct 11
"The plot convenience granddad is understandable though made me moan a bit."

How is he a "plot convenience"? Did you just not notice it's the same guy who Sokka had saved from Jet and the others earlier? It's not exactly a stretch for the dude who was walking down the road earlier to happen to live in the village down the road. As for being rushed, I thought it was handled fairly well given the circumstances. They even had their little cliff-hanger of making it seem like the villagers had been wiped out.

"Escaping from Jet's cronies is, as I pointed out in my earlier ramble, not really believable. If these people were so blind and so easy to escape from then they would have been caught and hanged from the nearest branch."

There's a bunch of "what ifs" and speculation I could throw around to argue this point, or point out this is just sort of an Idiot Ball moment that people were probably expected to deal with with willing suspension of disbelief, but I don't think it's really necessary. Instead, I have to ask, would a "completely helpless" character be able to manage even this?

Remember I'm not arguing that you're completely 100% wrong. It's true that Sokka gets the short end of the stick in the first season, especially in regards to his fighting abilities, and I don't think anyone would contend that. I'm arguing that your characterization of him was unfair and highly exaggerated, and that your assertion that Sokka is used as a cheap way to prop up Katara is what's really wrong.

"Well, he did dislike Jet from the start due to sheer jealousy"

Sure, and as a 16 year old boy, this probably isn't too far off the mark for how a real 16 year old would behave. Hell, most people far older than that would be jealous in his situation. However, I still think that he handles it quite well and in the end, instead of doing the childish thing and just saying "screw you guys" and going to sulk in a corner, he takes action and in the end saves the day.
comment #10499 XiVXaV 3rd Oct 11
Due to the hype I keep forgetting that this is a kid's show, so of course you had to have the old man live in the exact same village so that little kiddies would see that good deeds come around, but it is awfully convenient.

Instead, I have to ask, would a "completely helpless" character be able to manage even this?

Considering the cronies, yes. Sokka is completely helpless if we take into consideration that he had spent his entire life being trained as a hunter and a warrior (one more than other). He should fare much better than he does, actually much better than Aang even, after all one spent his entire life in real conditions (dangerous ones at that) while the other trained in a monastery so from a certain angle it would be far more believable if Aang would have Sokka's luck and grace.

The jealousy bit was to point out that it wasn't really down to his great intellect to see Jet for who he is, I can't imagine anyone would be in Sokka's position and not notice that three kids with PTSD are harassing a pensioner. Not saying that his reaction or the cause of it are bad, as such.

Look, you (I think, maybe) pointed out this episode as a stronger one for Sokka and I agree, he's much better here than he is in some others but I still find many faults with him, with Katara and with the show. If you want we can look at another one some day.
comment #10500 gerjan 4th Oct 11
I didn't thought I would had gotten so involved once you guys started actually discussing the episodes, but. For starters you're making big assumptions, you already made your own descriptions about the characters and are not happy when the results you came up with aren't followed.

she goes gooey the second he drops from nowhere., If they had waited two minutes so that Jet would have been established as the leader then it would be fine but no

You say Katara has to like Jet because he's the leader, which is even more of a discharacterization as it would mean she likes guys based on the status they held on a group. Girls liked Robin Hood because of the cool things he did, not because he was the leader of the Merry Men, in fact the "the leader's girl" position which is something that is done by the opportunist girl who wants position and or an easy life (Stwe's playard girlfriend, Debbie Grund as seen in the episode Hanky Panky) in fact, word from Katara herself: "Why do all the boys thinks someone has to be the leader". Like I said, you already think that the only reason she should like him is because his the leader and say they should had waited to establish that (which doesn't necessarily would had let her know he takes care of his own unless he saw how he behaved with his men...er boys. Zuko and Zhao and the leaders of their tropes after all), and again I tell you she's 14. she goes gooey the second he drops from nowhere Didn't the older handsome guy came and dispatches more than half a dozen armed soldiers on his own (9 by my count after just re-watching the episode online), even Aang goes on admiring him. It thought Katara the error of trusting and defending someone because you like them (something that all teenagers had to one day learn, or end up like the cast of The Big Bang Theory), it showed how mature Sokka was than Jet, an important thing in leadership, he's also suffered loss from the war but doesn't hate every single fire nationee (fire nationian? fire nationan? people of the fire nation).

I go with the leader theory because seeing how she was raised you'd naturally assume that a warrior without any other qualities to judge him by would leave her lukewarm, being an orphan and having to be "the responsible one" with Sokka

Theory is not a fact, in fact that's not even a theory, a theory would be she liking only him after he said he was the leader, giving you reasons for uniting that with what you said. Like I said that's a description you came up with yourself and didn't liked when it didn't followed, specially since for that to work it would mean that anyone who experienced something similar to Katara's situation has no other outcome that to be attracted to responsible leaders. you'd naturally assume that's a logical fallacy, your opinion is not universal. being an orphan and having to be "the responsible one" with Sokka There's a big flaw in that, their father had been away for 2 years, they still have their grand mother plus all of the other adult women in the tribe. Katara even displays various acts of irresponsibility (after all she's just a kid).

Sokka is completely helpless if we take into consideration that he had spent his entire life being trained as a hunter and a warrior (one more than other). He should fare much better than he does, actually much better than Aang even

All the men of the tribe left for war when Sokka was young, the reason he was quickly dispatched by Zuko in the first episode is because Sokka didn't have any form of real training, he might be a good strategist but still falls short due to lack of combat experience. His real training on the first season is the experience he was gaining from real life threatening combat. The creators used mix of real martial when coming up with bending, *quick research* Airbending is based on Ba Gua with small hints of Hsing Yi. So you're comparing a martial arts monk who had several teachers, competent partners and several forms of training since the early stages of his life to a hunter Eskimo who didn't have much combat training if at all with the only possible sparring partners being small kids and women who also didn't knew how to battle (as it said that female water benders were only thought how to heal), and saying the later should be better than the former.

after all one spent his entire life in real conditions (dangerous ones at that) while the other trained in a monastery

Aang kept talking about the places he's visited, so he also had a more bigger field horizon.

so of course you had to have the old man live in the exact same village so that little kiddies would see that good deeds come around, but it is awfully convenient.

How is that awfully convenient? they're near the village, why would an old man go anywhere else, in fact why would anyone pass a village of their own nation, the events happen the next day.

Look, you (I think, maybe) pointed out this episode as a stronger one for Sokka and I agree, he's much better here than he is in some others but I still find many faults with him, with Katara and with the show. If you want we can look at another one some day.

Then point out some, after all you were the one who choose Jet out of the few episodes Xi V Xa V mentioned.
comment #10501 marcellX 4th Oct 11 (edited by: marcellX)
small kids and women who also didn't knew how to battle (as it said that female water benders were only thought how to heal), and saying the later should be better than the former.

Actually, I don't think there were any female water benders besides Katara in the village.
comment #10503 eveil 4th Oct 11
^ True, that was my bad, I think it was said she was indeed the only waterbender left (since her father couldn't find a teacher for her in the tribe)
comment #10505 marcellX 4th Oct 11
Girls don't like Robin Hood because he's the leader (well, most girls), they like him because he's heroic and just and brave and all of that nonsense. I said she'd like him for being the leader as a way of saying that she'd like him for being responsible and taking care of his... people (now he sounds like a tribe leader, damn). As for being "the responsible one", the first minute we see her on-screen she screeches a list of all the things she has to do for Sokka and it doesn't exactly get any more subtle from there, most episodes has the two doing a routine about how Katara is thinking it through and being more mature (sort of) and Sokka is this brash creature (which again makes me feel that they tried to show Katara as being mature simply by clumsy contrast with Sokka). Also, I hate to point it out, but Aang is easily impressed, I know that's very childish of me but I felt it had to be said.

I'm not saying it's a bad Aesop, I'm saying it's badly handled thus hurting Katara's character.

On Sokka: look, there was a flashback in some episode as their father went off to war, Sokka was 10 maybe 12, we know that there is a shortage of men in the village and I assume he has been taught quite a bit about hunting, so for the past 4-6 years a cocksure boy has been hunting, a lot, in extreme conditions. Yes, it's not specific martial training but it is regular and strenuous physical activity. Ahha, I hear you silently say, talked yourself into a hole there. The thing is, he should still be far more competent than he is and while making him out to be better than Aang is a stretch it is possible, after all he's older and I imagine a great deal of time Aang spent learning scriptures, especially after the elders learned that's he's the next theocrat.

The episodes: I did point out some, you didn't agree with them but that does not mean that I didn't point anything out. I chose the episode at random, if you wish we can go through all of them
comment #10507 gerjan 4th Oct 11
Girls don't like Robin Hood because he's the leader (well, most girls), they like him because he's heroic and just and brave and all of that nonsense. I said she'd like him for being the leader as a way of saying that she'd like him for being responsible and taking care of his... people (now he sounds like a tribe leader, damn). As for being "the responsible one", the first minute we see her on-screen she screeches a list of all the things she has to do for Sokka and it doesn't exactly get any more subtle from there, most episodes has the two doing a routine about how Katara is thinking it through and being more mature (sort of) and Sokka is this brash creature (which again makes me feel that they tried to show Katara as being mature simply by clumsy contrast with Sokka). Also, I hate to point it out, but Aang is easily impressed, I know that's very childish of me but I felt it had to be said.

I'm not saying it's a bad Aesop, I'm saying it's badly handled thus hurting Katara's character.

On Sokka: look, there was a flashback in some episode as their father went off to war, Sokka was 10 maybe 12, we know that there is a shortage of men in the village and I assume he has been taught quite a bit about hunting, so for the past 4-6 years a cocksure boy has been hunting, a lot, in extreme conditions. Yes, it's not specific martial training but it is regular and strenuous physical activity. Ahha, I hear you silently say, talked yourself into a hole there. The thing is, he should still be far more competent than he is and while making him out to be better than Aang is a stretch it is possible, after all he's older and I imagine a great deal of time Aang spent learning scriptures, especially after the elders learned that's he's the next theocrat.

The episodes: I did point out some, you didn't agree with them and they might not be made of granite but that does not mean that I didn't point anything out. I chose the episode at random, if you wish we can go through all of them
comment #10508 gerjan 4th Oct 11 (edited by: gerjan)
What I was trying to tell you is that you were so feed up that the only reason she should had liked him is because he's a leader (even if a taking care of his men leader), ignoring the fact that she can like him for other reasons, and I'm sorry but taking 9 armed men on your own is an admiring feat, you don't have to be impressionable to see it that way (and besides Aang is an impressionable kid but usually not by fights).

On to Sokka the problem is that it's been said that as the Avatar Aang learns bending somewhat easier than usual, in the Storm episode we saw that his training was rushed because of the war (even when air nomads as monks train since very early ages), and he's been said to be a airbending master, my issue was with you saying that it would had made more sense for Sokka to be a better fighter than him. My complain was that that claim was a big stretch. Also like I said, Sokka pretty much had the same skills of a regular Eskimo, he should be better than an average boy physically but Sokka doesn't have any skills or techniques to fight against someone who knows how to fight. Fire soldiers (at least basic military martial arts training), Freedom fighters (experienced in fighting fire soldiers who have at least basic military martial arts training). To be honest to me Sokka does better than he should and I'm beggining to see how you are exaggerating the negative, just because Sokka is a comic relief doesn't mean he's a unbelievably childish, helpless, useless creature

I'm not saying it's a bad Aesop, I'm saying it's badly handled thus hurting Katara's character.

How was it badly handled? It saves her from being a Mary Sue by showing humanity (aka flaws), it makes her behavior believable for a 14 year old girl, and she learns from her mistakes.

I did point out some, you didn't agree with them but that does not mean that I didn't point anything out

Your going down the road pretty fast, now you're making stuff up. I'll admit that I don't remember you pointing out episodes, but I'm pretty sure the you didn't agree with them claim is utterly false, since except for my latest posts, all I've been arguing with you is your reasons for doing a review you didn't intended to back up (initially), the logical fallacies, etc. and in the ones were I did talked about the show, we've only talked about the episode Jet. (EDIT: ok maybe I looked bad but I couldn't find where you pointed out episodes were your point can be discussed).
comment #10513 marcellX 4th Oct 11 (edited by: marcellX)
"if we take into consideration that he had spent his entire life being trained as a hunter and a warrior"

The problem is, he hasn't. The beginning of a later episode, "Bato of the Watertribe", shows us that because of his father leaving to fight in the war, Sokka missed out on the tribe's "coming of age" ritual, so never got to join the men in the fighting. Throughout the first season, we see that his "warrior" persona is just sort of a front and that he really doesn't know much of anything about fighting, though he learns through the season, becoming something of a Combat Pragmatist.

As for the old man, I'll just quote myself: "It's not exactly a stretch for the dude who was walking down the road earlier to happen to live in the village down the road."

I think the main problem here is that you're mis-blaming the problem of Sokka's... "issues" in the first season on a deliberate attempt to dumb down the male character so the female character can look good in comparison. I don't think this is true, and that it has more to do with the fact that Sokka is the "Normal Guy" that has to live in a World Of Badass. It seems that, especially early on, the writers simply didn't know what to do with him. "Jet", I think, is a first, perhaps clumsy, effort at bringing Sokka out of the others shadows, so to speak, by developing his character as the "clever one".
comment #10518 XiVXaV 4th Oct 11
@marcellX

Sorry, miscommunication on my part, though you meant that I didn't point out the faults. To me episodes are basically all the same in their worth, I don't particularly care for the show thus I don't bother sorting the episodes into the stronger and the weaker ones. I'm biased, so I can find basically the same flaws in every episode.

We're talking about the same thing and not making a connection. What I mean is that if the creators would have waited until Jet told that his family died or until he made the speech at the dinner for Katara to get her crush it would have been much better (in my opinion). I wouldn't even have minded if the soap opera would have continued for an additional episode or more, I just protest at the moment the crush begins because I don't see it as logical (which isn't the best word here but the only one I can think of at the moment).

@Xi V Xa V

I don't think this is true, and that it has more to do with the fact that Sokka is the "Normal Guy" that has to live in a World Of Badass. It seems that, especially early on, the writers simply didn't know what to do with him.

That may very well be true and can easily explain why he seems kind of pointless most of the time. It's probably just me but I never got the impression that it's a World Of Badass, though that seems to be the most likely case, so I never thought of Sokka as a lone normal amid these powehouses. Maybe it's down to me not being overly familiar with Western Animation and thus not getting the hints.
comment #10540 gerjan 5th Oct 11
"It's probably just me but I never got the impression that it's a World Of Badass"

Really? I mean, the main character is essentially a Physical God and the villains shoot fire from their fists. If that's not a World Of Badass I don't know what is.

I think that as you look down the line of episodes, you can see that over time they do manage to, to use my own phrase, "pull him out of the others shadows" by making him the "plans guy".
comment #10565 XiVXaV 5th Oct 11
I know, now that I mention it, it's a bit odd not to say strange. But there are so many of them, basically every third person or so, and I never got the impression that it's that special, even the existence of the Avatar after a hundred years of absence is accepted without question (I mean how likely is it that he would have been sleeping under the Arctic all this time? But most people seem fine with it and the Fire nation had been paranoid all this time). Half the time they use their gifts in such mundane tasks as well. I hate to advertise my fandom again but it might be down to me lately re-watching Harvey Birdman and Po DW where (in different ways) no comment is ever made on how or why something works because everybody in that universe knows.
comment #10590 gerjan 5th Oct 11
even the existence of the Avatar after a hundred years of absence is accepted without question (I mean how likely is it that he would have been sleeping under the Arctic all this time? But most people seem fine with it and the Fire nation had been paranoid all this time).

The Avatar have existed for a long time making him world wide historic figure, and every time he or she dies s/he reincarnates (most likely why Zuko started his search on the South Pole, since the next element in the reincarnation line is water). And it's not accepted without question, it's usually after Aang performs airbending. The air nomads were almost completely eradicated a century ago (aka the last Airbender) and the Avatar is the only one who can use all elements, or more than 1 element for that matter, so when they see someone control the wind, plus other elements while on the avatar state (though I guess the glowing like Jak's light eco form should tip people off too) the figure it most be him. As for the iceberg thing, most people recognize Aang as an airbender, but not as an air nomad (most people still alive have never seen one). As for the fire nation's paranoia, the avatar state gives him the combined power of all his previous lives (an example is Kyoshi separating islands), if he survived, it meant he would have had over a century to master it, and if he died the next one having at least 84 years (they're usually told they're the Avatar at 16). It's the biggest thread to them.

basically every third person or so

Actually we see a lot more regular people than benders (several entire villages without one), I say about 3 in every 10 people are benders (except for the air nomads). You gotta remember that for example there are a lot of different martial arts, and a lot of people that know at least one, but when you compare them with the entire population is not that much.

Half the time they use their gifts in such mundane tasks as well

They don't have a limited time or quantity of bending, so like wizards in Harry Potter (books), alchemists in Fullmetal Alchemist (anime), witches in Sabrina The Teenage Witch (TV series) heroes in Marvel and DC (comics), they're just constantly using it, not just for battle. Specially since you need to train to be proficient in bending, but it's an ability they're born with, plus they live in an ancient world. (EDIT: found the trope: Mundane Utility. You know you really are not making a case, in your earlier post I was gonna list several normal people in other mediums who fare well in a World Of Badass when you said you didn't notice because you weren't familiar with Western Animation, couldn't find a definite trope but several Badass Normal, Combat Pragmatist, Badass Bookworm, David Versus Goliath and Weak But Skilled examples cover it well)
comment #10597 marcellX 6th Oct 11 (edited by: marcellX)
No, right now I'm not trying to make a case, I'm just fascinated by the idea that this is a World Of Badass, I honestly never got it. If compared to both the animated and the liveaction versions of The Tick, where one could really get an alien feeling either from the protagonist or how separated the superheroes are from the civilians, then this one seems very relaxed. I was exaggerating when I say 'without question' but I felt that it went along those lines anyway.
comment #10610 gerjan 7th Oct 11
If the movie was an adaptation of the show, they should have stuck to the show's pronunciations, regardless of pronunciations in the real world.
comment #10847 Xacebans 15th Oct 11
I realise that but (again) the pronunciation in the show rubs me in so many wrong ways. The film was probably targeted at a larger audience (some of whom might very well tell the difference between honestly being bad at languages and simply not trying), which, technically isn't a bad thing, pretty sure some people went and watched the original after hearing the fans howling. I know I did and am certain that unlike me a lot of people actually liked the source material so in the long run the fandom might have actually won.
comment #10848 Xacebans 15th Oct 11 (edited by: gerjan)
Good thing I had popcorn.
comment #11525 VeryMelon 25th Nov 11
It really should be pointed out that there is no set "Asian" pronunciation for words or even names. There are dozens of Asian nations with hundreds of peoples, cultures and languages, so there certainly are people named Aang who pronounce it as "ayng" rather than "ong".

As for the rest of your review: get off your high horse and admit that you're judging something that you really don't understand. People far more articulate and knowledgeable than yourself have discussed your points and proven that you either reading too deeply into them or just wrong.
comment #12873 BlueMoonMario 18th Feb 12
Alternatively, you could let the guy have his opinion.

This review (and flame war) is from 2011. Let it go.
comment #12884 MrMallard 19th Feb 12
If gerjan didn't want anyone disagreeing with her opinion, she should have kept it to herself. Instead, she put it up in a public place with a comment system specifically designed for discussing opinions.

And I take exception to the notion that this was in any way a flame war. A flame war is "You disagree with me, so go die in a fire retard!" That's a lot different than pointing out that the reviewer is drawing sweeping conclusions about the show after only seeing one season, and to top it off, that they (admittedly) were basing their opinions on nothing but vague recollections.

She's entitled to her opinion, and I'm entitled to the right to disagree, and to discuss why. How does that make a flame war?
comment #12892 XiVXaV 19th Feb 12
Well, you guys certainly embittered her towards At LA.
comment #14108 Blacknumber 2nd May 12
I hope that's not the case. I mean, it's okay that she doesn't like show, but it's kind of hard to hear someone put it down. My opinion on things: 1. On Katara as a feminist icon and Sokka's Butt Monkey status. I saw Katara as a feminist icon not becuase she was better than the boys-she had a lot of growing up to do too-but becuase she stamped out sexism whenever she saw it. She yelled at Sokka for saying sexist things and demanded to be taught waterbending from a Straw Misogynist. She's a good character but by no means a perfect person. Yes, you can argue that she's the most mature in season one but she's also naive and too emotional at times so I don't think they degrade Sokka and Aang to make her look good. After all, all three of them have flaws and good points. Sokka just tries too hard to be a man or what he thinks a man should be, probably becuase he's the only man left in the village or because he's still just a kid. But I'll admit that Sokka was used to promote feminism with his sexist comments and his encounter with the Kyoshi Warriors (the fan girls). Personally, I dont think its a bad thing because it helped Sokka's development rather than made him the poster boy of misogyny and sexism. Aang can be mature when he wants to be but he prefers to be childish and avoid responsibilty. That has more to do with being very young and an air nomad (who tend to avoid their problems rather that tackling them head on) than being a boy. YMMV on that but it could be worse.

2. On Jet My impression was that Katara had a schoolgirly crush on a cool boy who saved her and friends but she could have liked him a number of reasons. The point is that she trusted someone she shouldn't have and he munipulated her. I don't think it hurt her character because it was important to her Character Development and surprisingly, Jet's too, as seen in season two but I wouldn't get into that. As for Sokka escaping Smellerbee and Pipsqueak, I think it was a combination of brains and luck. He wasn't a great fighter because he didn't have much experience but he gots better. As for the old man, he's fire nation! Where else would he go other than the nearest fire nation village? Considering what happended to him earlier, it would be common sense to go to a village of his own nation that was being protected by soldiers. 3. On the white man's Oriental Fetish Fuel What are you saying? White people can't appriciate Asian culture without it being sexual in nature? There are moments when things get dark and sad, mostly to show the devestation of war, but I think Bryke made it mostly bright to show off how beautiful the world is. 4. Movie Pronuciation M. Night Shyamalan said he changed the names to sound more Asian (yet he didn't cast Asians for the main hero roles?) and gerjan herself said she thought they sounded more authentic. Well...I dont buy that. There are thousands of Asian languages and dialects that sound totally different; what sounds correct in one language might be completely wrong in another. That aside, nobody in the fandom cares what sounds more correct, we care that he changed the characters' names to what he wanted like he alone owned the franchise. We fans have been getting use to the orginal pronuciations for years and after the whole series ended M. Night Shyamalan decided to change it. To us, it's just arrogant. He did it becuase he felt like it, like his opinon mattered more than the facts. Often, we think of people in terms of name, appearance, and personality and M. Night Shyamalan changed all three. It bothers me a lot personally because people tend to mispronounce my name a lot; the fact that M. Night Shyamalan outright changed their names because he thought he could say it better really hits a nerve.
comment #14556 MsBeauty 1st Jun 12
Just wanted to point out that I don't consider A:TLA to be a rip-off of anime. It's pretty clearly not trying to rip it off (like so many other animesque cartoons), but rather to pay homage to it out of a genuine love for the medium, at least as I saw it. That's why there are so many hidden references to different series. Jet's name and character design are a reference to Cowboy Bebop, the ostrich-horses are a reference to Trigun's tomas, and I always considered that episode where Sokka gets high on cactus juice to be a hidden reference to the Bebop episode "Mushroom Samba", a.k.a., the one where the Bebop crew gets high on shrooms. The reference to the Cat-Bus that gerjan mentioned may very well have been a shout-out as well. The series borrows a lot of aesthetic details from anime (aside from the big-eyed character designs, it has the vaguely Eastern setting, the exaggerated character expressions and reactions, the detailed backgrounds, and the overarching storylines, among other things), but it integrates them into a very American cartoon with a very American animation style. It seems to me like the creators knew a lot about anime and had a genuine respect for it, and wanted to show that respect in this cartoon. If it were a rip-off, it would be a hackneyed attempt to make some money off of anime's popularity in the West, but there was so much effort and care put into paying homage in this series that I just can't see it that way.
comment #15137 rheiders 1st Jul 12
on the issue of names: the show's way of pronouncing them is the right way. Regardless of what culture they were based off of,the correct way to pronounce a person's name is the way their parents (in this case the creators) decide it should be pronounced. If a man was named John, you wouldn't expect a native spanish speaker to go up to him and pronounce his name like "hahn." It doesn't matter what that undeservedly conceited snob shyamalan thinks is the right way to say their names. The creators named them and said that's how you pronounce their names so thats how you better pronounce them. I think changing their name pronunciations was incredibly arrogant. If I went up to you and told you my name was Joseph but I spelled it in my own made up language as "!?1," would you call me "exclamation and question mark one?" No. You'd call me the name I told you to call me. You do your best to call a person the name that they wish to be called. That's my opinion on the matter anyway.

On the matter of changes in tone, it's not a dramatic change and its not sudden. The characters undergo changes that make sense and it gets noticibly darker simply because the nature of the story sets in. It's a world that's been at war for a century. There's prejudice. There are questions of family and nationalism vs destiny and choice. There's a 12 year old boy struggling with the reality that he may have to kill someone. The first season is USUALLY enough to understand the feel of a series, but not in this case. In regards to the color palette, it does change a bit with each season since the nations tend to have.

I thin it's unfair of anyone to come to a conclusion about a show's future episodes based off of one season of past episodes. Let's be clear, I'm not trying to say "OMFG YOULL DEFINITELY LOVE IT LATER 1!!ONE" I'm just trying to point out that assuming a show doesn't get any better after one season is kind of crazy. You say you don't like the characters but when people are telling you that they develop, you still stubbornly refuse to watch the other seasons. See how little sense that makes? If the characters were amazing from the start, what would there be to develop about their personalities? A lot of shows confuse "stuff happening to a character" with "this character's outlook on life changed and they matured or got worse." The characters are as close to real people as they can be in a fictional cartoon universe, but you're set on saying the show is not worth watching for the rest of the seasons. Odd.

Your complaints about Sokka: it seemed unbelievable because it's early in the show (as people were saying). It becomes believeable in hindisght because Sokka is later shown to have a good, if hard, head on his shoulders. And if that's not enough for you, remember how he was training the little kids? He's shown early on to take what he sees as his duties as a man seriously. He seems like a bonehead, but think about the first scene we see him in. What's he doing? Hunting with his sister. His abilities are pointed towards early on, and we haven't had much time to develop the characters so of course things that they do won't seem believable sometimes. If you would stop rushing to judge the rest of the series, you would also know that Katara and Sokka pretty much raised each other. He missed out on a water tribe rite of passage. He hasn't had anyone to train him. Aang has. The Air Nomads are tough shit, dude. Those arrows on Aangs body? Those are TATTOOS. Let me repeat that. The Air nomads give 12 YEAR OLDS tattoos if they've reached a certain level of proficiency. It's much more believable that Aang is more talented than Sokka. Aang is already an Airbending master, while Sokka technically isn't even a man by his culture's standards. And the thing with the "experienced/talented fighters." Guerilla warfare doesn't require huge amounts of skill or smarts. A lot of the sucess of guerilla warfare comes from home field advantage and the benefit of surprise. Even if it does take huge amounts of skill, they're still kids, not wise old fighters. They'll make mistakes like tying knots poorly and forgetting to check for traps. They were easy to escape FROM. That doesn't mean they aren't good at evasion. Besides, in knocking the believability, you forget that strength of will plays a role when a person is backed into a corner, so Sokka could very well have gotten serious and dug in to find some competence that we are not shown (at that point).

Sorry this was so long and over a year late =X. It's just my opinion that you have formed an opinion about the rest of the show without watching the rest of it. Since (I think) your opinions are understandable, you have to realize...wouldn't a lot of people have those same problems? And if they did, wouldn't the show not be nearly as popular as it was? If you think about it, you realize that there's probably a reason the show has such a dedicated and large following. Again, I can see where you were coming from in your opinions but try to realize that the show actually wasn't all that hyped. It was just brutally murdered by Shyamalan, causing people to feverishly defend it. That made you think it was better than it is, possibly. For example, your opinion is that it was too bright and happy. Shyamalan's adaptation was a humorless, dreary world that lacked joy and was populated by lifeless caricatures. People were outraged. And there was a reason for that; I assure you, it was due to more than a perhaps lackluster first season.
comment #15435 bobbybuilderson 18th Jul 12
That's a bit of an Appeal To Popularity fallacy.
comment #15436 marcellX 18th Jul 12
I didn't mean it as one, I was pointing out that since the issues the reviewer has with the show are reasonable, it's reasonable to think that other people have had them too. I'm not saying it must be true that it's good or that such a large number of people can't be wrong, I'm saying that since it probably occurred to other people too, and yet there are few people who don't like the show, there must be some reason why they changed their minds or grew to like it more. "I didn't say everyone likes it, so obviously you're wrong." I said there is most likely a reason such a large number of people like the show, even though the possible problems with the first season are in some ways justified. There is nothing fallacious about it since I was pointing out why it's reasonable to give the show a chance to get better as opposed to outright saying this show is good because a lot of people like it. I said "wouldn't a lot of people have those same problems? And if they did, wouldn't the show not be nearly as popular as it was?" An appeal to popularity might be implicit in that, but it's not intentional. My main idea was that since there is such a large following, it's reasonable to give the rest of the show a chance, not that it has a large following because it's good. I meant to point out that there is A CHANCE that the show redeems itself later on, not to make any statement about the quality of the show in relation to it's popularity. When I mentioned a lot of people having the problems, I wasn't saying "People liked the show, therefore no one had those problems and therefore your problems are invalid." In fact, I SAID I think the reviewers objections were understandable. Of course I had to mention the popularity in order to point out the likelihood of it getting better. I wouldn't have mentioned the popularity if the reviewer had not decided "oh the rest of it is probably disappointing too." Is that not an example of Association Fallacy? This is a season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. This season was underwhelming. Therefore, Avatar: The Last Airbender is also underwhelming. Or a Fallacy of Composition? This season let me down, so the others will too. Not that the reviewer's use of fallacious logic excuses my own (pretty sure that would be a fallacy in itself :P), I just brought it up since a fallacy was mentioned.

To summarize, my issue (in that paragraph) is with not risking the rest of the show based off of the first season, NOT the reviewers opinion that the first season was less than perfect. It was just a poorly written paragraph, I guess. But I suppose this is all irrelevant since they can choose to like or not like whatever they want LOL
comment #15446 bobbybuilderson 19th Jul 12
The issue was this.

you have to realize...wouldn't a lot of people have those same problems? And if they did, wouldn't the show not be nearly as popular as it was? If you think about it, you realize that there's probably a reason the show has such a dedicated and large following.

You did well in elaborating on your last reply, I was just pointing out that when left simply as that, it's closer to the Quality By Popular Vote concept.

something I missed the first time.

try to realize that the show actually wasn't all that hyped.

Actually it was, but I get why you made this mistake, it's one of those words that it's often exaggerated and used negatively to the point it starts losing it's original meaning. Hype is simply promotion, be it direct or indirect, for example even if no one directly tells you, being popular in itself is a promotion, be it positive or negative.

ps. try toning down the caps, makes you seem confrontational.
comment #15457 marcellX 20th Jul 12
Sorry, I'm not really used to posting here, so I don't know how to use the other ways of putting emphasis on words. And yeah I was working off of the exaggerated meaning of hype because it was said that the show "didn't live up to hype." So I was guessing the reviewer meant that they thought it'd be better than it was. I was clarifying that the real reason so many people got so angry is because the adaptation was inferior to the source in nearly every way. Early on it was stated that it's not nearly as good as people make it out to be. I just wanted to say that, using the word in the way the original comment did, fans didn't "hype" the show up as much as it seems. In my experience, a lot of people simply felt the need to stress that the movie was nowhere near the level of the show. That can be misunderstood as "hype," but I've rarely seen people claim the show is the best thing ever and without flaws. It's just so much better than the movie and people got defensive, as they generally do when something they feel connected to is misrepresented.
comment #15459 bobbybuilderson 20th Jul 12
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