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Question: Rate This Episode:
10 - 338 (69.8%)
9 - 86 (17.8%)
8 - 34 (7%)
7 - 16 (3.3%)
6 - 3 (0.6%)
5 - 0 (0%)
4 - 1 (0.2%)
3 - 1 (0.2%)
2 - 0 (0%)
1 - 5 (1%)
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Author Topic: [206] The Blind Bandit  (Read 55516 times)
Stupendous
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« Reply #375 on: Dec 03, 2013 02:07 am »

Toph's abilities aren't any worse than the abilities Katara gains. Katara may even be worse in that regard, actually.

That doesn't mean that I agree with the common sentiment Katara is over-powered though. She's very powerful, but I think it makes sense for someone who was already demonstrated to be prodigy. Same with Toph.
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« Reply #376 on: Dec 03, 2013 03:00 am »

^Yep, thats it.

The other reason why I think she is more of a plot device is because most of her development comes from gaining those new abilities for plot contrivances. Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Zuko are all different people by the time the show ends compared to how they were at the beginning of the series. They became less naive, more competent and the list goes on.

Toph on the other hand never really changes much. She comes into the series as a loudmouthed, bratty, master earthbender and she ends the series as a loudmouthed, bratty, master earthbender. She just never really goes though any major character development. Everything that develops her character is just another added ability for her like lie detection and metalbending that just serve to make problem solving easier. Therefore, I see her as a plot device. She is pretty much the gaang's get out of jail free card (literally in Crossroads of Destiny's case). When you have a character that is constantly pulling new abilities out of her butt whenever the plot calls for it, and especially when that character goes through little character development, you have a plot device.

Now you might be asking, well what about Katara learning healing and bloodbending? Isn't that the same thing as Toph getting knew random abilities? And my answer is no they are not. When Katara learned healing for example, the plot didn't really call for its use. It healed her hands sure, but her ability to heal didn't really play a role until the season finale for Book One. So the whole healing aspect was set up. It didn't just come out of nowhere to solve a plot problem easily like Toph's lie detecting did for example. In the case of bloobending, a whole episode was dedicated to it and Katara had to actively try to NOT learn it. Learning it was actually a detriment.

 When Toph gains a new ability though, it is just out of nowhere. To be fair, metalbending actually went somewhere and became a big part of the series. The lie detecting though was brought up in Lake Laogai and then was hardly ever mentioned again.

Now, to be clear, I'm not saying Toph is a complete and total plot device. I know she went through some character development. Compared to the other characters though, she went through very little and if I had to say anyone in the series was a plot device it would be Toph.

And I think part of that lack of characterization has to do with Bryke not really knowing what to do with her character. I mentioned it in my post in the least favorite characters thread but Toph really didn't play a big role after Season 2. Her character, what little there was of it, came to a complete halt. Outside of "The Runaway" she got practically no development whatsoever. I honestly think her character would have worked better as a temporary member of the gaang because after ten episodes or so, the writers didn't really know what to do with her. That has even transferred over into the comics to. The comics largely ignore her; giving her a crappy storyline in The Promise and outright abandoning her in The Search...just further proof that her character is just not needed as much as the other characters.
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Mr Grieves
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« Reply #377 on: Dec 03, 2013 06:58 am »

Not every character needs development though. And I think Toph is a perfect example of a character that didn't require the same arcs that other characters enjoyed.

Most of the arguments for Toph's development never really say where the show missed such development, just that it needed to happen. Because...it happened to other characters?
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« Reply #378 on: Dec 03, 2013 10:33 am »

Toph was a complex character too. this isn't bolin we're talking about here guys, Toph was getting character development from the first day we met her
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« Reply #379 on: Dec 03, 2013 06:55 pm »

Toph was a complex character too. this isn't bolin we're talking about here guys, Toph was getting character development from the first day we met her

How so? She didn't really go through any development. She just learned some knew bending abilities. She wasn't a complex character at all, at least compared to everyone else. Zuko put in best in EIP

Zuko to Toph during the intermission in EIP: You have a muscle version of yourself taking down 10 bad guys at once and making sassy remarks.

The bold part is the important part in the quote. Because even though Zuko was referring to her play counterpart, that is basically what Toph's character amounts to. She whoops peoples butts, and makes a lot of sassy remarks. Sure, it may be funny watching her do that stuff, but that doesn't make for a good character.

Sure, every now and then the whole situation with her parents gets brought up but that's a rarity. For the most part she is just a static character that makes a bunch of funny lines. And in a show that is known for its deep and compelling character, Toph is kinda the odd one out imo.

Not every character needs development though. And I think Toph is a perfect example of a character that didn't require the same arcs that other characters enjoyed.

I disagree with this though. Toph needed development. She is really full of herself. She acts like a brat when people don't give her what she wants. Maybe she didn't NEED the development, but I would have liked to see it.

Quote
Most of the arguments for Toph's development never really say where the show missed such development, just that it needed to happen.

I'll name a few:

1.Toph could have learned to respect other peoples wishes more.
2. She could have learned to not be so self-centered.

Both of these could have been easily done rather quickly actually. I mention in the other thread how Toph was initially very antagonistic towards the gaang in The Chase and Bitter Work. You know what the series could have done? It could have showed Toph slowly come to an understanding that she doesn't have to be bossy and antagonistic towards people to get what she wants. One thing that really bothers me is that she NEVER apologizes (except of in he Runaway). When other characters like Katara, Sokka, Korra, or Zuko...anyone really...when they act out of line, they all at least apologize eventually. Toph never does though. In fact, the narrative acts like she isn't acting out of line at all. In The Chase we had a scene that had Katara and Aang talking about how they were such jerks to her after Toph walked away from the group with Sokka telling them that yeah, they were being jerks. Despite the fact the she was the one initially being antagonistic, the episode acts as if Toph was a victim or something. She should be the one apologizing, not the other way around. And that continues throughout the series. Whenever something doesn't go HER way, Toph pouts, stomps her feet, and just acts like an outright brat.

So how could the series have developed her from this? Well, she could have gotten more mature over the course of the series. She could have mellowed out a bit compared to being some loudmouth all the time. She could have started apologizing whenever she did act out. Basically kinda what Korra went through in Season 2 of LoK. She started off as a brat who was constantly complaining and acting out to get what she wants, disrespecting anyone that disagreed with her. By the end of the Season, we have a Korra who was a little nicer, more respectful, and just overall more mature. That is the development that Toph needs.

3.When she learned a new ability (like metalbending) the show could have focused on her actually struggling to learn it instead of her just achieving it on her first try like a Mary Sue. Seriously, metalbending had never been done before and she does it on her FIRST attempt? Really?

Katara struggled for a whole season with waterbending before mastering it.

Aang struggled with earth bending and mastering the Avatar State.

Sokka struggled, like Katara, throughout season one to become a better warrior.

Toph? She just does it. No struggling, no real development on how she learns the skill. She can just do it and that's that.

So the series could have focused on her learning to develop metalbending. Just like how we saw Katara get progressively better at waterbending throughout season one, we could have seen Toph get progressively better at metalbending as well. Instead, she pulls the skill out of her butt and by the next episode she is tearing down metal doors and throwing them at people like a pro.

Quote
Because...it happened to other characters?

Not just because it happened to the other characters. Thats not the main reason. The fact is that Toph is supposed to be a main character. Main characters are supposed to grow though some sort of character development and evolve. Now, if Toph was a minor character, I wouldn't really be talking about this. Minor character don't HAVE to evolve because the story doesn't focus on them. They don't appear in every episode and they are just there for the main characters to interact with.

Toph is a main character. She was in every episode once she was introduced. She was a character that was made into a main character even though the writers didn't really know what to do with her. I can't be the only one that noticed that Season 3 largely ignored her save for a few moments. Her character just had nothing to do and her saying funny lines doesn't make up for that. So because the writers didn't know how to develop her character she should have been a minor character. Name another main character in the show that doesn't go through a major evolution.

Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko, Iroh, Azula...all of them have major character arcs that lead to them becoming different people.

Toph on the other hand is just the tough sarcastic earthbender and that's about where her character ends. She starts and ends the series that way even though she is supposed to be a main character. Minor characters like Jet went through more development then her.

And I guess there is nothing really wrong about Toph going through such little development but once again, on a show where every other character is deep and complex, Toph is just kinda the weak link.
« Last Edit: Dec 03, 2013 06:59 pm by Avatar Epsilon » Logged

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« Reply #380 on: Dec 03, 2013 06:56 pm »

I concur with that opinion and I am glad that  you shared it. I noticed that trend myself even if I was not able to articulate it as well.  But you and I differ, in that I consider Sokka's silliness something to be criticized.

Anyway, wouldn't you agree that Sokka was already leaning heavily in that direction the episode before? The narrative always treated him unsympathetically, or meanspiritedly, but in Avatar Day it was even more apparent.

I dunno. Avatar Day had Sokka engaging in silly behavior, where before he was simply humorously uptight, but he still didn't have the bright-eyed lack of control that I thought he started with in The Blind Bandit.

I don't really criticize this because- while it might have primarily been driven by writing more to Jack DeSena's comedic range- I still see it as at least partially reflecting Sokka's character progression. He was uptight in Book Water, but Yue's death started a change in him. At the beginning of Book Earth, Sokka was still mourning her and dealing directly with his guilt, but it part of his character that he pushes emotions like that into the back of his mind, so until Suki showed up he was able to functionally move past it. However, Yue's death still completely shattered Sokka's self-image as a Manly Warrior Protector guy, so as Book Earth goes on, he starts being himself, instead of some vision of his father's example.

Sokka always had a sense of humor, but Book Earth starts him taking it wackier levels as he stops taking himself so seriously. He starts showing more feminine behavior, like with the bag matching his belt and his later enjoyment of shopping. He can let himself show real enthusiasm for things like the Earth Rumbling, whereas he clamped down on his excitement at Appa flying in the first episodes.

So while I don't like the extremes this kind of stuff went to in Book Fire, I have no problem with it in this episode, and I mark this episode as a watershed point, whereas earlier episodes were merely moving in that direction without fully committing.
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« Reply #381 on: Dec 03, 2013 07:09 pm »

Quote
Name another main character in the show that doesn't go through a major evolution.

Iroh.

Also I feel like we're on different pages here. Because depth and complexity don't need to be supported by development, and I don't see Toph's lack of development as undermining her character.
« Last Edit: Dec 03, 2013 07:12 pm by Mr Grieves » Logged
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« Reply #382 on: Dec 03, 2013 07:21 pm »

I think it's a case of Suki Syndrome. On any other show, in any other role, it wouldn't be a problem. But when you're standing next to Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Zuko, you look kind of weak if you don't go full Epic Character Arc or have Epic Backstory.
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« Reply #383 on: Dec 03, 2013 07:35 pm »

That's why I value her so highly personally Cheesy

I've also always found Sokka's arc a little overrated. Probably because, as you say, we also get a change in his humour. So while certain episodes want to sell him as a matured warrior, others have him being completely silly.
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« Reply #384 on: Dec 03, 2013 07:38 pm »

Quote
Name another main character in the show that doesn't go through a major evolution.

Iroh.

Eh, I'd say he went through plenty of development, just in a different way compared to the other character. While he didn't really change much WE learned a lot more about his character throughout the series. We learned about his past, his ties to the White Lotus, etc. So while his personality wasn't developed, his character was.

Quote
Also I feel like we're on different pages here. Because depth and complexity don't need to be supported by development, and I don't see Toph's lack of development as undermining her character.

And I guess thats where we disagree. I think her lack of development hurts her character a lot. She frustrated me with her attitude when she was introduced and though I eventually got used to it, I wanted to see her develop and mature. If that were to have happened, I probably would like her character a lot more. I love Korra's character because of the development she went though. Toph and Korra both started in a similar place. The were both tough, rash, loudmouths girls. The only difference is that Korra actually developed past that while Toph just stayed static.

And I'd hardly call her character complex. Like I keep saying, and even the series said it in EIP, she mostly just whoops butt and makes sarcastic comments. Her character basically ends there.

I think it's a case of Suki Syndrome. On any other show, in any other role, it wouldn't be a problem. But when you're standing next to Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Zuko, you look kind of weak if you don't go full Epic Character Arc or have Epic Backstory.

Yeah, that is it. I don't give Suki a hard time though because she was a minor character. She didn't join the gaang until the very end of the series so I didn't mind the fact that she went through little to no character development. Toph doesn't have that excuse though. She was in half the show. That is why I take issue with it and why I give her a hard time.

That and Suki just has a more pleasant personality. Grin
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« Reply #385 on: Dec 03, 2013 07:41 pm »

I've also always found Sokka's arc a little overrated. Probably because, as you say, we also get a change in his humour. So while certain episodes want to sell him as a matured warrior, others have him being completely silly.

Yeah, from episode to episode it isn't really consistent, and it's never in the forefront. That's why I say that it's probably mostly driven by the voice actor, but I really do think there was some intent for Sokka to change and mature a little bit, even if the implementation got a little confused.

I'm not sure I'd say it's overrated, though. I mean, I can count all the die-hard Sokka fans in the online Avatar fandom on one hand, and everyone else pretty much dismisses him and his growth.


I think it's a case of Suki Syndrome. On any other show, in any other role, it wouldn't be a problem. But when you're standing next to Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Zuko, you look kind of weak if you don't go full Epic Character Arc or have Epic Backstory.

Yeah, that is it. I don't give Suki a hard time though because she was a minor character. She didn't join the gaang until the very end of the series so I didn't mind the fact that she went through little to no character development. Toph doesn't have that excuse though. She was in half the show. That is why I take issue with it and why I give her a hard time.

That and Suki just has a more pleasant personality. Grin

A lot of people feel that Suki didn't deserve her place beside the heroes in the finale, though. I don't worry about it, myself, nor Toph's lack of growth, because I do enjoy her sass. I do wish both characters had been able to get more work put into them, but there was enough else going on for me.
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« Reply #386 on: Dec 03, 2013 07:59 pm »

I've also always found Sokka's arc a little overrated. Probably because, as you say, we also get a change in his humour. So while certain episodes want to sell him as a matured warrior, others have him being completely silly.

Yeah, from episode to episode it isn't really consistent, and it's never in the forefront. That's why I say that it's probably mostly driven by the voice actor, but I really do think there was some intent for Sokka to change and mature a little bit, even if the implementation got a little confused.

I'm not sure I'd say it's overrated, though. I mean, I can count all the die-hard Sokka fans in the online Avatar fandom on one hand, and everyone else pretty much dismisses him and his growth.

I think the problem with Sokka's character arc is that it just isn't as compelling as the other character with arcs. Aang, Zuko, and Katara all had a lot of things going for them and their characters weren't largely used for comic relief. I think the fact that Sokka was the comic relief character caused people to dismiss his character arc as being less important then the other three characters I mentioned...which is kind of a shame. I'm not a die hard Sokka fan but I do like him so I try not to be dismissive of him. I guess he is just up against some tough competition.


Quote
I think it's a case of Suki Syndrome. On any other show, in any other role, it wouldn't be a problem. But when you're standing next to Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Zuko, you look kind of weak if you don't go full Epic Character Arc or have Epic Backstory.

Yeah, that is it. I don't give Suki a hard time though because she was a minor character. She didn't join the gaang until the very end of the series so I didn't mind the fact that she went through little to no character development. Toph doesn't have that excuse though. She was in half the show. That is why I take issue with it and why I give her a hard time.

That and Suki just has a more pleasant personality. Grin

A lot of people feel that Suki didn't deserve her place beside the heroes in the finale, though. I don't worry about it, myself, nor Toph's lack of growth, because I do enjoy her sass. I do wish both characters had been able to get more work put into them, but there was enough else going on for me.

I heard about how people felt about Suki in the finale. I actually never had a problem with it so I was actually a little surprised when I went online to see people bashing her sometimes.

And I do enjoy Toph's sass as well, despite how much I don't like her bratty personality. Toph actually doesn't bother to much when I am actually watching the series because I just sit back and enjoy the ride and pay attention to everything else that is going on. Its afterwards, when I sit back and think about the show, that Toph's character really starts to fall apart for me. She just doesn't hold up to well under scrutiny.
« Last Edit: Dec 04, 2013 01:01 am by Avatar Epsilon » Logged

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« Reply #387 on: Dec 10, 2013 07:36 pm »

The Blind Bandit gave us all the information we needed on Toph, and then we got The Chase, Bitter Work, Tales of Ba Sing Se, and The Runaway as character developing points for her. Toph's story inherently makes it difficult for her to have any kind of arc because not only is she young she has the simplest backstory out of everyone. She's rich. She's a prodigy who's just inherently good at what she does, and she has a tough parental problem.

Basically she's being raised by Asian parents. I mean...not all characters need to have sophisticated backstories or need to go through complex arcs to be "good" characters.

That's pretty much how her life has been growing up, and trying to counter this by saying something like:

Quote
Eh, I'd say he went through plenty of development, just in a different way compared to the other character. While he didn't really change much WE learned a lot more about his character throughout the series. We learned about his past, his ties to the White Lotus, etc. So while his personality wasn't developed, his character was.

Is ignoring the fact that someone like Iroh was decades more experience and way more speculation behind his life. I guarantee you that most of the things that we think we know are more or less baseless speculation that was never 100% specified. We know Iroh went through a character arc, but we can say the same thing about Toph.

Oh you remember that episode in Firebending Masters when Toph was on the floor crying? Yeah, she used to be a crybaby but then she toughened up as she learned Earthbending.

That's the exact same logic you can use with Iroh.

Toph is not a particularly complicated character but it's silly to say that she's nothing but a "plot device" because that implies various things about the character that just aren't true at all.

Also, I browsed quickly again and apparently somebody said that not apologizing to people was bad.

So basically Toph is Mako's mom. Who knew?
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2013 07:44 pm by guyw1tn0nam3 » Logged

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« Reply #388 on: Dec 10, 2013 09:51 pm »

Toph is not a particularly complicated character but it's silly to say that she's nothing but a "plot device" because that implies various things about the character that just aren't true at all.

I never said she was nothing but a plot device. I just said that she is the more plot device-y main character on the show. If any main character on the show could be called a plot device, its her. That doesn't mean she is nothing but a plot device.

Quote
Also, I browsed quickly again and apparently somebody said that not apologizing to people was bad.

So basically Toph is Mako's mom. Who knew?

Except for all his screw ups and jerkiness, Mako has actually apologized at least a few times.
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« Reply #389 on: Dec 10, 2013 10:42 pm »

Quote
I never said she was nothing but a plot device. I just said that she is the more plot device-y main character on the show. If any main character on the show could be called a plot device, its her. That doesn't mean she is nothing but a plot device.

Metalbending wasn't much of a plot device imo from the context in which it originated.

The only thing that I saw that was remotely relevant was the Toph and the Jet thing...but it's not like there was ever a chance for Toph to ever reveal that ability. *shrug*

At the very least, it's cooler than other "plot devices."

Quote
Except for all his screw ups and jerkiness, Mako has actually apologized at least a few times.

Yeah...it was meant more as a joke, but since we're on this topic.

The idea that characters have to apologize for something they do wrong is ridiculous and people need to get over this really petty and irrelevant concept of characters owning up to something. Raskolnikov spent 500 pages moping around before owning up so w/e
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« Reply #390 on: Dec 11, 2013 02:33 am »

The idea that characters have to apologize for something they do wrong is ridiculous and people need to get over this really petty and irrelevant concept of characters owning up to something. Raskolnikov spent 500 pages moping around before owning up so w/e

Well usually I don't harp on the whole apologizing thing. I don't usually care. In Toph's case though, she acted like a brat so much, she gave the gaang such a hard time on multiple occasions, and not ONCE does she apologize for any of it. That just pushes it a little to far for me, especially when episodes like "The Chase" try to paint Toph as a victim. Characters don't need to apologize for every bad thing they do but it would be nice to have some acknowledgment that Toph recognizes that she was out of line at times. The only time where I remember her even getting close to apologizing and acknowledging her behavior is in "The Runaway".
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« Reply #391 on: Dec 11, 2013 08:57 am »

The idea that characters have to apologize for something they do wrong is ridiculous and people need to get over this really petty and irrelevant concept of characters owning up to something. Raskolnikov spent 500 pages moping around before owning up so w/e

Well usually I don't harp on the whole apologizing thing. I don't usually care. In Toph's case though, she acted like a brat so much, she gave the gaang such a hard time on multiple occasions, and not ONCE does she apologize for any of it. That just pushes it a little to far for me, especially when episodes like "The Chase" try to paint Toph as a victim. Characters don't need to apologize for every bad thing they do but it would be nice to have some acknowledgment that Toph recognizes that she was out of line at times. The only time where I remember her even getting close to apologizing and acknowledging her behavior is in "The Runaway".

If you don't remember Toph acknowledging her being out of line and unreasonable in The Chase then iono. Her discussion with Iroh was pretty much meant to do that, and her going back to find the Gaang is enough of an acknowledgement considering the circumstances of her leave.

And the end of the episode was conducive to her apologizing either. Iroh gets shot and the Gaang doesn't have any choice but to engage Azula

She also apologized to Aang very sincerely when she lost Appa, and it was clear that she was incredibly upset about it, especially considering her powerlessness to do anything. She doesn't even ARGUE with Aang about how the entire Gaang would have DIED had she not kept the tower from falling into some spiritual abyss.

I mean....no she doesn't get as much screen time as Katara/Aang but that's because she's not really that much of a main character as you make it out to be. Yes she's part of the Gaang but that doesn't mean that the story is about her. Many people like Toph because she's a badass, not because she went through any complicated arc. She just doesn't have a backstory that's designed to do that.
« Last Edit: Dec 11, 2013 08:59 am by guyw1tn0nam3 » Logged

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« Reply #392 on: Dec 11, 2013 10:35 pm »

If you don't remember Toph acknowledging her being out of line and unreasonable in The Chase then iono. Her discussion with Iroh was pretty much meant to do that, and her going back to find the Gaang is enough of an acknowledgement considering the circumstances of her leave.

I guess you feel her coming back was enough of an acknowledgment but I don't. Her behavior was very unnecessary and out of line. Granted, the episode didn't really have a good time for an apologizing scene to take place but if she wasn't going to apologize in that episode, she could have at least apologized after her behavior in Bitter Work.

And no, I don't count Toph acknowledging that positive reinforcement works at the end of that episode as an apology.

Quote
She doesn't even ARGUE with Aang about how the entire Gaang would have DIED had she not kept the tower from falling into some spiritual abyss.

Actually she did try to argue it. I just watched the episode a few days ago and one of the first things she say is:

"The library was sinking and you guys were still inside-"

And then Aang cuts her off. So I'll give it to you that she did apologize for that but she did try to argue it. Her apology had nothing to do with her behavior or anything though. It was more of the typical, polite, "sorry about your loss" apology. 

I still would have liked to see her apologize for her immature behavior sometimes and everyone keeps saying that her character didn't need development but that is the development she needed right there. She should have matured. Instead she ends the series as the same bratty girl she started as. She doesn't need a complicated character arc but she needs something besides being a bad-ass for me to love her. And once again, I don't need characters constantly apologizing to each other but episodes like The Chase tried to paint Toph as a victim so it rubs me the wrong way. It also confuses me a little that people are completely fine with Toph's behavior even though she never learns but blasts Korra's character even though Korra actually acknowledges her mistakes to those she has wronged. But that is for another discussion entirely...

And don't get me wrong. I know that when it comes to Toph I am part of a very small, practically nonexistent, minority. I get why people love her. I get why she is a fan favorite. I just find her attitude completely repulsive though so at the end of the day, I like the other characters a lot more.
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« Reply #393 on: Dec 11, 2013 11:56 pm »

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I guess you feel her coming back was enough of an acknowledgment but I don't. Her behavior was very unnecessary and out of line. Granted, the episode didn't really have a good time for an apologizing scene to take place but if she wasn't going to apologize in that episode, she could have at least apologized after her behavior in Bitter Work.

Yeah I don't understand this at all. What part of her behavior was worse than Katara's? Or Aang's? Think you're giving way too much arbitrary leeway to certain characters that also did not apologize that episode. Katara and Aang might have discussed how they were "jerks" but they didn't apologize to Toph either.

So are Aang and Katara undermined by this episode too?!

I really don't see where people think that Toph is completely in the wrong for The Chase. As someone who has never worked in a team before, the idea of "carrying one's own load" is totally in line with how anyone would act. And the part where Toph isn't grateful for Appa carrying them? That was Aang/Katara blowing up on Toph.

Like.....no where in The Chase does it suggest that Toph was fully wrong for her actions, nor does the narrative paint that Toph was victimized. Iroh clearly spells out that Toph has not reacted the correct way. Really don't know why you're still asking for "sorry"s when the entire intent was already spelled out.

Again, this idea that you have mixed that for some reason people need to apologize for their behavior is just baseless wants/needs that really wouldn't have helped the story imo, especially when the point about the episode wasn't even about Toph's behavior. It was about her meshing with the team who was trying to incorporate her, but she forcefully refused every time. That was her development, so I don't get where this "oh she needs to apologize" comes in.

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I still would have liked to see her apologize for her immature behavior sometimes and everyone keeps saying that her character didn't need development but that is the development she needed right there. She should have matured. Instead she ends the series as the same bratty girl she started as. She doesn't need a complicated character arc but she needs something besides being a bad-ass for me to love her.

What kind of immature behavior are you talking about that wasn't just her doing her comic relief stuff and without reference to The Chase?

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It also confuses me a little that people are completely fine with Toph's behavior even though she never learns but blasts Korra's character even though Korra actually acknowledges her mistakes to those she has wronged. But that is for another discussion entirely...

Because Toph is a comic relief character who's "bratty/immature" behavior is relatively minimized. I still don't get where people get the impression that she needs to apologize for "all the times she's been a brat" but as someone who remembers the show pretty well I can't think of a single time where Toph acted legitimately like an arrogant brat/prick that wasn't for the sake of comic relief and said brat behavior was not analyzed or dealt with.

This is really overblown.

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I just find her attitude completely repulsive though so at the end of the day, I like the other characters a lot more.

That's fine?

But don't try to say the character is "undermined" when she really isn't. You can dislike the character, no one is stopping you, but when you're saying something like she needed to "apologize" in certain scenarios when the episodes are either based something completely different than what you're interpreting or are already resolved yet you think there needs to be more, then that just becomes baseless speculation.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013 12:03 am by guyw1tn0nam3 » Logged

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« Reply #394 on: Dec 12, 2013 12:37 am »

Yeah I don't understand this at all. What part of her behavior was worse than Katara's? Or Aang's? Think you're giving way too much arbitrary leeway to certain characters that also did not apologize that episode. Katara and Aang might have discussed how they were "jerks" but they didn't apologize to Toph either.

So are Aang and Katara undermined by this episode too?!

I brought up Aang and Katara in the other thread where I talked about the whole Chase deal. They were in the wrong to but the difference is Toph was the antagonizer. She was being a pain at the start of the episode. Aang and Katara didn't blow up at her until later...which by that point, I felt was justified. My problem is, for someone who was acting like she wanted a real friend in The Blind Bandit, Toph really went out of her way during the next two episodes to antagonize the gaang.

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I really don't see where people think that Toph is completely in the wrong for The Chase. As someone who has never worked in a team before, the idea of "carrying one's own load" is totally in line with how anyone would act. And the part where Toph isn't grateful for Appa carrying them? That was Aang/Katara blowing up on Toph.

Once again, I said this in the other thread, but I get why Toph had the attitude that she did. I just don't personally like it. It rubbed me the wrong way and made her unlikable to me. Also, she didn't have to be a pain about it. Katara asked Toph to help the group unpack. Toph blew her off. For some reason, Katara goes to apologize to Toph later on, Toph refutes with, "Yeah, you do seem pretty tired." Antagonistic for no reason at all.

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nor does the narrative paint that Toph was victimized.

There is literally a whole scene with Aang and Katara saying how mean they acted towards Toph and how THEY should be the ones apologizing. It doesn't help that they don't even mention how she was acting disrespectful towards them as well. The whole scene was basically Aang and Katara going, "Oh, Toph. We wronged her. We shouldn't have been so mean to her even though she's the one that started it. We need to find her and apologize."

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Iroh clearly spells out that Toph has not reacted the correct way. Really don't know why you're still asking for "sorry"s when the entire intent was already spelled out.

Once again, its not so much as the lack of apologizing in the Chase as it is a lack of apologizing ever. In a show where most of the characters recognize their wrongs and quite often, apologize for it, Toph seems be an exception.

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What kind of immature behavior are you talking about that wasn't just her doing her comic relief stuff and without reference to The Chase?

I don't even know where to begin with answering this. I've rewatched the series multiple times (am actually re-watching it right now) and Toph consistently acts like a brat. Seriously, the amount of times she stomps her feet and pouts when things don't go exactly how she wants is astounding. The better question is when isn't Toph acting like that.

And does a lot of it being for comic relief really make it better? I guess if you find it funny it does. Problem is, I don't.

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but as someone who remembers the show pretty well I can't think of a single time where Toph acted legitimately like an arrogant brat/prick that wasn't for the sake of comic relief and said brat behavior was not analyzed or dealt with.

This is really overblown.

Once again, it being for the sake of comic relief does not excuse the behavior, especially when, at least to me, her behavior is more annoying then funny. And as someone who watches the show all the time I can safely say that her bratty behavior is RARELY analyzed. It's analyzed in The Chase and The Runaway...and that's about it. She has brattish moments in almost every episode though. Being a brat isn't exactly seen as a good thing in most places.


And no, its not overblown. Its one of my only gripes about the series. Its the one thing that consistently nags at me every time I watch it. I just don't like the bratty attitude. Comic relief or not. And for a character that had little actual character development, I thought developing Toph into a more mature person throughout the show would have been to the shows benefit. Seriously, she doesn't even change in the slightest. Jet, who was in a grand total of 5 episodes, had more development then her, and to me, that's a problem... especially when she has an unlikable personality.

Obviously, since I am in such a small minority in this, I know this is my own problem and not a problem with the show or the character. I accept that. Obviously, since tons of people like her, there must be something about her character that I just simply don't get.


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But don't try to say the character is "undermined" when she really isn't. You can dislike the character, no one is stopping you, but when you're saying something like she needed to "apologize" in certain scenarios when the episodes are either based something completely different than what you're interpreting or are already resolved yet you think there needs to be more, then that just becomes baseless speculation.

I don't get how you think that Toph SHOULDN'T apologize in some cases though. I mean, if you like her that's great and all but there are definitely some times when she should have apologized. The episode doesn't have to be about it either. How long would it have taken in Bitter Work for example for her to say, "Sorry Aang for taking your staff, one of the only things you have left of your home, and bashing it against rocks just for the purpose of irritating you." It would have taken two seconds. I don't get how anyone could possibly say that she shouldn't apologize in that scenario. Any decent person would apologize. And maybe she doesn't NEED to apologize but it definitely would have made her character more likable to me if she did.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013 12:44 am by Avatar Epsilon » Logged

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« Reply #395 on: Dec 12, 2013 12:43 am »

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Once again, it being for the sake of comic relief does not excuse the behavior, especially when, at least to me, her behavior is more annoying then funny. And as someone who watches the show all the time I can safely say that her bratty behavior is RARELY analyzed. It's analyzed in The Chase and The Runaway...and that's about it. She has brattish moments in almost every episode though. Being a brat isn't exactly seen as a good thing in most places.

If you don't know where to start....then give some evidence then.

I don't understand where you keep getting this impression that she has "brattish" moments all the time.

Honestly at this point it feels like you just misunderstood what The Chase was about as far as Gaang dynamics went.

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I don't get how you think that Toph SHOULDN'T apologize in some cases though. I mean, if you like her that's great and all but there are definitely some times when she should have apologized. The episode doesn't have to be about it either. How long would it have taken in Bitter Work for example for her to say, "Sorry Aang for taking your staff, one of the only things you have left of your home, and bashing it against rocks just for the purpose of irritating you." It would have taken two seconds. I don't get how anyone could possibly say that she shouldn't apologize in that scenario. Any decent person would apologize. And maybe she doesn't NEED to apologize but it definitely would have made her character more likable to me if she did.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. You're prescribing a "wrong" to a situation when it's not necessary. Why does she need to apologize?

This is the problem with this big train about apologizing recently. Who the hell came up with this concept that characters had to "own" up to things that weren't considered "socially acceptable" to us now? Who suddenly started this idea that characters need to, for some unexplained reason, say "Oh that was wrong of me" or else they're a bad character, or it undermines their character, or it's bad writing.

Like.....who the hell came up with this idea because that person needs to go sit in a corner and reflect on themselves for starting this really nebulous trend where a single action blows up to the most outrageous stain on a show.

And this isn't even about Toph at this point. Yes, I'm a fan of Toph, but your arguments are more of a bigger picture where people are always asking people like Mako/Korra to apologize because for some reason it'd be "good writing" if they did.

WHHHHYYYY?

edit: As a final  note, you can hate a character or you can find them despicable, but hating a character and thinking a character is "bad" are too separate things honestly.

Shinji Ikari...and pretty much everyone else in the cast of Evangelion is a perfect example of this.

edit #2: I need to really stress this, because this apology argument has popped up everywhere and I'm just going to say this:

Development is sometimes not necessary, NOR IS IT NECESSARILY LINEAR. People do not need to become "better" people to develop.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013 12:57 am by guyw1tn0nam3 » Logged

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« Reply #396 on: Dec 12, 2013 01:03 am »

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Once again, it being for the sake of comic relief does not excuse the behavior, especially when, at least to me, her behavior is more annoying then funny. And as someone who watches the show all the time I can safely say that her bratty behavior is RARELY analyzed. It's analyzed in The Chase and The Runaway...and that's about it. She has brattish moments in almost every episode though. Being a brat isn't exactly seen as a good thing in most places.

If you don't know where to start....then give some evidence then.

I don't understand where you keep getting this impression that she has "brattish" moments all the time.

What you want me to make a list? I'd be here for hours.  I don't understand where you keep getting the impression that she doesn't have bratty moments all the time.

I don't know where to start with the list because I could almost literally start anywhere. I could go and turn on my TV and just turn to some random scene where Toph is in and 9/10 times there will be at least one small moment of brattines. I'm not even going off of memory here. I constantly rewatch the show. I've seen it like 20+ times. Toph being a brat is just part of her character. And I'll admit that maybe I am exaggerating it a little but that's only because it bugs me a lot.

You want me to give you evidence but why don't you give me some evidence on how she doesn't consistently act like a brat?

And once again, most of the problems I have with her character mostly come from the first 3 or so episodes she is in, which is why I mention the Chase and Bitter Work a lot. After that, her character does get a little better...though I am not sure if it is her getting better or me just getting used to dealing with her. Either way though, future episodes didn't help her improve a lot in my eyes. To me, she dug herself in a hole during her initial episodes and she never quite got out of it. Did she have any big bratty moments after Bitter Work...no, not any MAJOR moments...outside of The Runaway. But at the same time, there was never any moment or episode that made me sympathize with her character enough to cause me to forget those bratty moments. And its not that I even dislike her character. For all that I've complained about her, I do like her...or at the very least I am okay with her being there...but in a show where I love almost every other character it does make me question why I don't love Toph's character just as much.


And this isn't even about Toph at this point. Yes, I'm a fan of Toph, but your arguments are more of a bigger picture where people are always asking people like Mako/Korra to apologize because for some reason it'd be "good writing" if they did.


Well I can't speak for everyone else but a character apologizing for their wrongs make a character seem a little more likable to me. Why? Because it brings humbleness out of them. It takes characters off there high horse and brings them down to everyone else's level. And to me, an unlikable character apologizing can be all the difference. I personally think that Toph needed to be taken down a notch at times...same for Korra. They both acted all high and mighty, disrespecting everyone who disagrees with them. I didn't like either of them that much initially. Difference between those is, Korra had lots of moments where she had to accept responsibility for her behavior and she eventually learned. Toph stayed on the high horse throughout the series though and was never really brought down from it. She never learned. She technically never even needed to apologize for me to like her. She just needed to change her attitude a bit like Korra did. Obviously, you don't think a change in her character was necessary. I think it was, especially since the change was a relatively easy one.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013 01:10 am by Avatar Epsilon » Logged

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« Reply #397 on: Dec 12, 2013 01:05 am »

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What you want me to make a list? I'd be here for hours.  I don't understand where you keep getting the impression that she doesn't have bratty moments all the time.

No...as in anything so I know where you're coming from. I KNOW she's a brat, but when you just keep saying "all the time" it sounds more like you imposing your opinions on the character.

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To me, she dug herself in a hole during her initial episodes and she never quite got out of it. Did she have any big bratty moments after Bitter Work...no, not any MAJOR moments...outside of The Runaway.

.....

Okay. That's all I  needed to know.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013 01:07 am by guyw1tn0nam3 » Logged

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« Reply #398 on: Dec 12, 2013 01:14 am »

I agree. Toph would have been a better character if they had made her more like Korra.
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« Reply #399 on: Dec 12, 2013 01:20 am »

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She just needed to change her attitude a bit like Korra did. Obviously, you don't think a change in her character was necessary.

No....I'm just saying you didn't pick up the subtle moments when she...obviously did. Like the episodes that you referenced, The Chase and Runaway were perfect examples of what you just mentioned.

I don't know what else you're suspecting from a supporting character.

Yes. Supporting character.
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