Avatar the Last Airbender: Zutara and Azulaang should have happened
Debate Rounds (4)
This first round shall be my greeting round; I should post arguments in the following rounds. My opponent is free to do the same or start arguing immediately.
I reserve the right to challenge any interpretation of the topic which my opponent may have to offer.
CONTENTION 1: Should Aang have had a love interest|
Certainly so. The thing about the romance that there was between Katara and Aang was that it aided in shaping out Aang's emotional side, hence ultimately allowing him to resist the darkness that existed in the Avatar state and spare even the Fire Lord. Indeed, if we are to refer back episode 39 (The Guru) and take particular interest in the scene where the Guru tells Aang that he must get rid of his feelings for Katara in order to harness the Avatar state, we'll note that it was his feelings for Katara which prevented him from mastering the Avatar state (1).
In essence, his romantic feelings helped him set an example of peace which no doubt contributed greatly to him bringing balance to the world and initiating a peaceful era.
CONTENTION 2: Why Azula? |
1) Two of the series' strongest themes were redemption and forgiveness. We saw redemption in Zuko rejecting the fire nation customs which he had been indoctrinated in and we saw Katara end up moving past what the Fire Nation had done to her mother so that she may forgive Zuko for the countless instances of trouble he had caused her and the rest of Aang's group in the past. What made carrying out both of these themes possible was the fact that there was a reason behind Zuko's savage behavior and there was a reason behind Katara's hatred of the fire nation. People aren't just villains for no reason and individuals most certainly don't possess strong negative feelings for the heck of it.
Upon seeing Azula's backstory, it became rather clear to this debater that Azula was no exception. However, in spite of us having seen her reason for her behavior, we were provided no resolution. From a writer's standpoint, they could have strengthened the themes I mentioned if they were to have even Azula be redeemed ( in spite of her atrocious past). It would be just as good as a move to show Aang develop a relationship with her throughout the process of her redemption, if only to show Aang forgive the very kind of person who'd go so far as to ruthlessly murder the monks at the Southern Air temple.
Not to mention that helping someone such as Azula see the light would be an effective way of demonstrating that he is well qualified for his job as the Avatar; this would have especially helped him develop his confidence as the Avatar, contrary to what we saw throughout the series. In short, both could have effectively helped one another seriously grow as characters (and even strengthen the themes) if the writers had taken the opportunity to have them develop a relationship with one another.
Since my opponent already agrees that Kataang shouldn't have happened, I won't bother clarifying as to why Azulaang is a superior match (unless he specifically insist during the next round).
CONTENTION 3: How it could work|
Azula was raised to be ruthless and the most negative aspects of her personality stimulated from her belief that her mother favored Zuko over her. This caused her to be mistrustful of people. In order to make Azulaang possible, her trustlessness barrier would have to be broken down. This could be performed by putting her in a situation where she had no choice but to trust someone else. Given the resolution, I'd propose Aang as being this individual.
To give an idea of how this worked, lets assume that the writers hadn't completely forgotten about the spirit world subplot and decided to expand upon it by having both Aang and Azula end up getting trapped there during one of their battles (with there yet again being no certain solution as to how escape was possible). Upon learning that the Avatar is the bridge between worlds (hence being the ideal way back to the human world), Azula would have ample motivation NOT to try and kill Aang. Adhering to his Buddhist philosophies as well as perhaps receiving a quick pep talk from Avatar Roku, Aang would be inclined to not continue battling Azula, but rather insist upon a peaceful resolution (given his duties as the Avatar). At first, this would likely annoy Azula, but given enough time together (both talking and seeking a way out of the spirit world), she could easily grow to trust him and begin the path of redemption. Plus, given that Iroh's visit into the spirit world helped him have a better understanding of the world as well as realize the faults in many of the fire nation customs, there is no doubt that this could play a role with Aang and Azula being there as well.
Keep in mind that it was a positive influence to confide in (Iroh . . . and to a lesser extent, Katara) which ultimately helped Zuko turn away from the dark path and make the right decision. The same could just as easily apply to Azula if she had the opportunity. Like Zuko, she has a reason for her harsh behavior that doesn't just extend from the harsh Fire bending culture.
I'll probably provide additional arguments in the next round and will clarify on the ones I've already provided if necessary.
Now I will concede my opponents first contention that Aang should have a love interest. Both Avatars Roku and Kuruk, the only known male Avatars, married. So following precedent Aang of course should have a love interest. Aang however had no one left in his nation to fall in love with and marry. Now following the Avatar cycle it would be better for Aang to marry a water-bender as a opposed to a fire bender like Azula because in the Avatar cycle after Air the Avatar Spirit passes unto Water. Furthermore marriage between people of different nations very rarely occurs.
CONTENTION 1: Azula is not capable of having any positive relationships|
Now a relationship between Azula and Aang would almost never work she not only tried to kill him multiple times and she even succeeded once.
Additionally Aang's previous incarnation Avatar Roku is the maternal great grandfather of Azula and Zuko. This means that spiritually Aang and Azula are related. So not only would it be basically spiritual incest for them to have a romantic relationship but Azula could revert back into her evil ways like Zuko did for a time and try to kill Aang. Whether or not an attempt like this succeeded or not either way a relationship would be ruined.
However when determining whether or not she would be able to have a relationship with Aang it is important one looks her failure to have any positive relationships in her life. If you look at the list in the link there are 3 categories:
This shows us that she can't even have a platonic friendship with some one let alone a romantic relationship.
Among her relatives the only one she and a semi decent one with was her father and even then it was a detached one. Her mother thought that she was a monster and Azula's relationship with Zuko was negative as she made numerous attempts on his life. Additionally Because of her mental instabilities and because of her thirst for power, control, and security she either betrayed or was betrayed by her former allies. As she isn't even capable of maintaining a platonic friendship there is no way she would be able to have a romantic relationship with one of her top enemies.
Refutation 1: Why Azula would not work|
While it is true two of the series main themes are redemption and forgiveness one must never forget that some people are beyond redemption or forgiveness. For example Katara did not forgive her mothers murderer though she did spare his life because he was so pathetic. Aang instead of forgiving Ozai took his bending and had him locked up. Ozai was the only person Azula considered or equal or looked up to and they were considered my many to be extremely similar. For example in Aang's fight with Ozai when Aang refuses to kill him he strikes from behind cheaply. Similarly in Azula's fight she fired lightning at the defenseless Katara since she was losing. Both of them show that they are cheap and cannot be trusted to fight honorably. No one can deny that they were very similar in nature so its not surprising that if one is beyond redemption the other would be as well. Additional she slowly declined mentally throughout book three till she eventually had a mental breakdown and had to be locked up like her father.
Refutation 2: Why it would not work|
My opponent claims that her trustlessness barrier would have to be broken down however this would be near impossible after her betrayal as she trusted no one at all after that going far enough to banish many of her subjects. There are many reasons the plan my opponent proposes would not work. For instance like many other Firebenders Azula would probably rather die then accept help from the enemy. Also because Azula has such a one track mind she would continue attacking Aang in the spirit realm not allowing a chance for anyone to explain that she needs Aang to escape. Furthermore they would not have enough time in the spirit world for Azula to open up to Aang. It took Azula many years to open up to her childhood friends and brother so it is irrational to think she would open up to and enemy after a couple hours.
So I thank my opponent for this debate and look forward to the next rounds.
1)CON concedes to this contention and even furthers it by insisting that Aang should follow precedent and be married.
2) Having no one left in his nation to fall in love with and marry is irrelevant as we've seen that people are well capable of falling in love with people outside of their own nation during the course of Avatar.
3) CON says it would be better for Aang to marry a water bender since the Avatar cylcle would have the next Avatar become a water bender. However, I'd like to point out that Avatars are merely reincarnate; Avatars are not produced on the basis of bloodline. After all, Roku is not related to Aang by blood in any way and most certainly didn't marry an airbender.
4) Whether or not marriage between people of different nations rarely occurs is of no consequence. The fact of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with it and that such course of action would help in unifying nations together, hence promotion of world peace (which is the Avatar's job).
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RE: CONTENTION 1: Azula is not capable of having any positive relationships|
1) My opponents points out that a relationship between Azula and Aang would almost never work on the basis that she has tried to kill him multiple times and has even succeeded once.
a) My opponent himself has conceded that Zutara should have happened. Through following the very link my opponent provides and through quick read on both Katara and Zuko, you will note that both have tried to kill the other in the past (heck, with Katara even threatening to do it during the Western Air Temple episode).
b) I am well aware of the battles the two characters have had, but a relationship developing in spite of that would make the union all the more better from a writers perspective. Indeed, this is about Aang showing forgiveness and uniting all the nations. Forgiving and even saving someone such as Azula would be an excellent means of showing serious development in duty and character.
2) CON claims that since Roku is the maternal grandfather of Azula and Zuko and that since he is Aang's previous incarnation, Aang and Azula being together would be "spiritual incest." Whereas it would be understandable if my opponent were referring to physical incest, I'm afraid that spiritual incest doesn't even exist. At very least, I offer him the opportunity to prove that there is anything wrong with this idea.
3) He says Azula could revert back to her evil like Zuko did for a time. If I recall correctly, this helped Zuko develop as a character, choose his own path per se and even make him better able to get along with Aang and the rest. Thus, it's doubtful that such an outcome would do anything BUT improve her character and their relationship.
4) CON cites precedent by pointing out all of Azula's prior relationship and insisting that they have all been failures.
In fiction, having prior relationships that all have resulted in failures is quite common in good stories as it gives the author the opportunity to do precisely as I've insisted and use such a character to make a point as well as to develop the protagonist. Take the series titled as Naruto for instance: The former antagonist known as Gaara had just as many (if not, then more) failed relationships as Azula. This mostly centered around his upbringing which consisted of him being treated like a monster as well as being encouraged to employ himself in the cruel ways of the ninja world. As one might be able to guess, this character eventually clashed with the protagonist (Naruto) and got to see his views of the world challenged first hand (ironically, he had the same problem as Azula; he saw trust/comfort towards others as a weakness). It was through this that Gaara was able to develop, strengthen one of the series themes in the process and even become a protagonist.
Naturally, the point I'm making is that a failed past should by no means be taken as indication of a failed future when dealing with fiction. A good author can use this aspect of a character as a means of making a point and developing the protagonists.
5) CON insist that Azula isn't even capable of maintaining a platonic friendship
This is false and completely contrary to the actual source material. Even on this wikia page, it points to both Ty Lee and Mai as being ones whom azula managed to confide in (heck, with Azula even going as far to apologize to Ty Lee upon realizing that she had upset her on an occasion). Furthermore, what my opponent also doesn't point out was that their friendship ended because both betrayed Azula. Mai because she loved Suko and Ty Lee because she favored Mai moreso than Azula.The point here is that Azula tried, but unfortunately had her suspicions (about no one being trustworthy) reinforced.
RE: Refutation 1: Why Azula would not work|
1) CON agrees with me on what two of the series' main themes were, but insist that some people are beyond redemption and forgiveness. To demonstrate this, he points out both the soldier who murdered Katara's mother and Ozai are exceptional of redemption or having been forgiven. In response: I'd agree that some people are beyond redemption and perhaps even forgiveness, but even if this is so, this does not bring us to the conclusion that Azula is beyond both forgiveness and redemption. For starters, unlike the examples (Ozai and Katara'a mother's murderer) CON provides, we were given ample time to know the cause of Azula's problem as well as what it would take to solve it; we effectively understand her character. If Azula were as shallow as a character as Ozai or the man who murdered Katara's mother, it would reasonable for her fate to be no different. However, unlike the other two, the writers had all they needed to begin the process of developing azula and would have most certainly benefited from it as I've already pointed out in the previous round.
2) Azula was just like Ozai
I'm not sure where CON is getting the idea that her and Ozai were quite similar when we never saw the latter possess any form of mental instability due to trust problems. Merely having similar views on the battlefield (which, one will actually notice as being quite common amongst the earth and fire nation, if my opponent is referring to honorless methods) does not equate their personalities. Neither does Ozai being locked up in the fire nation prison and Azula being sent to a mental health ward.
RE: Refutation 2: Why it would not work|
1) CON points out that my propose method of breaking down Azula's trustlessness barrier wouldn't work prior to her betrayal. I agree completely . . . which is why it would be a good idea for Aang and Azula's life changing encounter to occur beforehand (or better yet, to just remove the betrayal scene entirely given that it's likely Azula would have developed enough as a character not to be a part of it; if events played differently, she may possibly have joined Aang's group by that point).
2) CON claims that Azula would rather die than accept help from the enemy. I don't recall this as being a characteristic of fire nation people. Not to mention that I've already pointed out that Azula would think she was using aang (no different than she was using the dai lee during season 2).
3) CON claims that Azula has a one track mind. This is also false. She has proven herself to be a cunning strategist who is constantly taking the future into consideration (i.e. Going from trying to drill a hole in the walls of ba sing se to taking it over from within).
You'll find that the last claim is addressed here.
And tha'll do it for now.
AnimeFanTony forfeited this round.
Next, I'm just going to copy/past what was posted on the link to my livejournal account since I have the space to do to so and in case my opponent tries to dismiss it on the basis that it wasn't posted on this site:
Here is what I said in regards to point number 4 in the "Why it would not work" section.:
"About Aang not getting the opportunity to help Azula as it took her many years merely to open up to her friends: A) We've seen Aang end a struggle between tribes which have been feuding for 100 years merely within a few days time (season 1, episode 11) . He IS the Avatar afterall. B) Who says he'd merely have a few hours? They'd could spend weeks or months in the spirit world for all I care. All of which could easily last a single episode or two. C) The difference between her friends and Zuko (and pretty much anyone else who Azula has had some form of a relationship with) is that no one cared enough to try and understand her and perhaps even help her out where she is struggling at. Not to mention that she opened up (albeit slightly without even being pushed to do so). Thus, it's not surprising that she'd have such rare moments in the past. "
CLOSING STATEMENTS |
We must keep in mind that my opponent had agreed that Zutara should have happened. Thus, you are only to look at this debate in terms of whether or not I provided the superior argument as to why Azulaang should have happened. I believe that my opponent and I have exhausted all avenues of the subject at hand. I maintain my position that "Zutara and Azuallang should have happened" is correct and that my opponent has failed to demonstrate how his position overcomes the following:
1)That developing a strong romantic bond with someone who was very representative of the "evils of the fire nation" would be a strong way of initiating Aang's task of bringing balance to the world
2)That Azulaang would effectively help convey two of the series' main themes (redemption and forgiveness), hence improve the show severely on a thematic level.
3) That such a bond would be an effective means of developing Aang's character (in terms of him recognizing how capable he is as the avatar) as well as Azula's (her realizing that people CAN be trusted).
4) That the pairing (being set up in the way I recommended) could allow the writers to simultaneously expand on the spirit world subplot which they didn't spend sufficient time on.
All of my opponent's arguments (for the most part anyway) against my case can be boiled down to misunderstanding of Azula's character, as well as refusal to acknowledge that in spite of her rough past, a good writer could easily use it develop her character as well as the main character's (like Naruto and Gaara in the series known as Naruto). Indeed, it is not unheard of for an antagonist to develop and become a protagonist, no matter how rough of a past one may have had. Usually, the more rough the past, the better. Furthermore, other problems could be resolved through making a few tweaks in the story (you'll notice that there is actually no story arch in the series that revolves around Aang and Azula being trapped in the spirit world. To have as well as the resolution of Aang and Azula (as well as Zuko and katara) having a romantic bond, tweaks would be necessary, but for the greater good since such tweaks serve the purpose of improving the story.
With being said, I thank my opponent for the debate and thank the audience for reading.
AnimeFanTony forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 7 years ago
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