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Question: Is Azula capable of redemption and if so, will it happen?
Yes, but won't change - 61 (24.7%)
Yes and will do something good - 103 (41.7%)
No - 83 (33.6%)
Total Voters: 247

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Author Topic: Azula and Evil... Redemption?  (Read 289316 times)
Loopy
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« Reply #6050 on: Sep 14, 2016 09:04 pm »

Even after the comics end. I say yes but what about you?

Azula's redemption is so unclear I think the writers should never make her actions clear. Leave it to the fans to decide if her actions in Smoke and Shadow were stealth mentoring Zuko or not.

Maybe Smoke and Shadow should be her finale appearance in the franchise and North and South be the final Avatar comic. 99% sure that's not going to happen but I can dream.

So, should Azula's finale appearance in these comics make it clear of how her story ends? Should redemption for Azula remain ambiguous or should she get a clear redemption/no redemption?

This will be my last Azula thread for awhile so I would like lots of comments and opinions.

What's the point of leaving Azula's actions ambiguous (even though they weren't, and everything she did matched up 100% with what she said she was doing)?

Open endings work when the lack of an ending is part of the point of a story, such as something meant to be realistic tackling a large nigh-unsolvable problem. The lack of ending illustrates an ongoing struggle, and so the conflict is being presented as something that will always exist.

But Azula's struggle can't be ongoing, because she has to die sometime, and even before that, she's probably going to change as she ages. She's not locked in an eternal struggle that's been illustrated; in fact, she just started a new agenda. There's been no illustration of the futility of that agenda, because she almost won, and if anything Zuko's characterization shows that it's only a matter of luck that he didn't do something completely unforgivable. So Azula is actually being presented as someone capable of winning in the future.

At the same time, LoK has shown that she doesn't win, so not giving Azula an ending at this point will just feel like a storyline that was killed prematurely, rather than something constructed to have no ending.
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doratchi
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« Reply #6051 on: Sep 15, 2016 03:21 am »

Wait a minute, Toph is clearly at the Southern Tribe because she wearing a coat to keep warm and she will most likely arrive in part 2, what if Aang also arrives in part 2?

And if Aang is at the South tribe in part 2 and/or 3 then Azula will most likely never appear. Zuko is known to arrive at tribe in part 3 so him fighting Azula seems unlikely at best. Aang is shown fighting someone on the cover of part 2 but Zuko appears to not be with him (Aang's role is seemingly about helping Zuko with something).

The cover of part 3 appears to have Aang and Toph running with Katara and Soka. We know Zuko is going to show up at the tribe.

If the whole gaang are at the tribe by the story's conclusion then it would make perfect since and pretty heartwarming to end the comics at North and South because that's where the show began at! Classic Book Ends trope.

It would only work if they all show up but they might.
Aang and Toph are 100% back on part 2.
Part 1 is only Katara and Sokka (no one else make any appear)
Zuko is back to help Aang in part 3.
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Nikkel
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« Reply #6052 on: Mar 01, 2017 12:25 am »

Okay, finished Smoke and Shadow Pt. 3 the other day, so... SPOILERS!
(Not sure if this site ever developed a spoiler cover - if it does, I'd be happy to modify this post later to fix it!)

The problem I have with Azula's character here is that there was a chance for further development, but all we're seeing is a step backwards. By becoming "free of the voices", she's back to the manipulative psychopath that everyone expects. She's back to being a villain, back to being a plot device, back to being the one with leverage over Zuko, back to running around with two henchladies, and... It's frustrating. I don't expect a happy ending for her, nor do I expect any closure, but to see her regress into something that resembles pre-mental breakdown Azula is disappointing. There was a genuine chance for complex character development, and instead of anything substantial her character is reverted back to a cardboard villain.
« Last Edit: Mar 01, 2017 12:29 am by Nikkel » Logged

Keeper of Urzai, Ursa's Survival, and Azula's Lies + Psychotic Breakdown
Tamerlan Pahlavi
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« Reply #6053 on: Mar 01, 2017 02:07 pm »

Haven't read the comic myself but I've read summaries and I have to agree, there is a lot of fanfiction I enjoyed more than the story of the comics. Then again, she's the only credibly threatening villain that is left so they had to go for that route. On the other hand, her being a literal machine of evil is what made her popular originally.
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Loopy
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« Reply #6054 on: Mar 01, 2017 06:47 pm »

I love when people come to the same conclusions as do in isolation.
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ByStorm
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« Reply #6055 on: Mar 03, 2017 07:57 am »

Haven't read the comic myself but I've read summaries and I have to agree, there is a lot of fanfiction I enjoyed more than the story of the comics. Then again, she's the only credibly threatening villain that is left so they had to go for that route. On the other hand, her being a literal machine of evil is what made her popular originally.
It says something when they couldn't draw from Eastern mysthology  and jidaigeki to find some villains and plots to inspire and fill the roster.

I suppose the only thing worse is my second earliest attempt at fanfiction.

I wrote a terrible fanfiction I abandoned a while back where the Avatar world was somehow integrated into the modern world, and what they believed to be the North and South Pole  and other outer points were merely the outermost stretches of the dimensional pane that kept their world away from ours, much like what some conspoiracy theorists said about the Bermuda Triangle having some continent.  Due to Sozin's war and them meeting Americans and other powers, they pull a Red Dawn and take over the United States , leaving an American OC protagonist to join a disoriented Sokka and fight against the Fire Nation. Namely, said protagonist uses a classic GTO despite never having experience, and somehow has the ability to firebend for some reason. Also, the Fire Nation now runs both nuclear powers, is sort of modernized, which makes them a terrifying threat, as if they weren't before.

It's a giant pot of crazy that's the stuff from my bored mind. A Gary Stu that's unreasonably mistrusted by main cast until he proves himself and makes the others look stupid. Add in some contrived thing where he could've been some affair between Zhao or Iroh with some other character. Actually I take half of it back. It at least has some creativity in there somewhere, barring the terrible characters, writing and everything else bad with it.



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Nikkel
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« Reply #6056 on: Mar 03, 2017 06:07 pm »

Haven't read the comic myself but I've read summaries and I have to agree, there is a lot of fanfiction I enjoyed more than the story of the comics. Then again, she's the only credibly threatening villain that is left so they had to go for that route.
It says something when they couldn't draw from Eastern mysthology  and jidaigeki to find some villains and plots to inspire and fill the roster.

Right? Like, they came up with the whole Kemurikage and could have introduced the concept of "dark spirits" to Aang.

On the other hand, her being a literal machine of evil is what made her popular originally.

But if there's one thing we know and love about this show, is that the characters are anything but one-dimensional (except Ozai being a megalomaniac). Sure, Azula's character didn't have a whole lot of depth at first, but then we saw a whole new perspective during Sozin's Comet. It was a perspective that gauged quite a bit of sympathy from the audience, and I think her turn there made her grow more popular than she was before.
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Loopy
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« Reply #6057 on: Mar 04, 2017 02:57 pm »


http://equle.deviantart.com/art/Azula-666962673

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ByStorm
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« Reply #6058 on: Mar 05, 2017 02:57 am »


Haven't read the comic myself but I've read summaries and I have to agree, there is a lot of fanfiction I enjoyed more than the story of the comics. Then again, she's the only credibly threatening villain that is left so they had to go for that route.
It says something when they couldn't draw from Eastern mysthology  and jidaigeki to find some villains and plots to inspire and fill the roster.

Right? Like, they came up with the whole Kemurikage and could have introduced the concept of "dark spirits" to Aang.

[/quote]

I would love if they did both , and the fact that Azula's already walking between sanity and insanity just so allowed her to copy their designs from some sort of nightmare she had while being at the asylum, would lend well to this. They use her to fulfill their agendas until it eventually becomes clear she's not only aware of them [after all, think that her insanity while removing her ability to lightningbend, gave her something else to parallel her uncle], but can push them under her will. In reality, things may be far different.

See. Now the Gaang has a formidable adversary or adversaries that's entirely alien to them, regardless of whatever they know about her. Could say something about the toxic nature of wanting to reclaim past glory and how it corrupts people, while her intentions towards helping her brother to the throne could very well be sabotaged from her lack of humility and self absorption into her loss of status, family and a sense of self.  Her very-individual centered approach would be seen as a vice by a more collective-minded Eastern audience, as it's wont to undo the balance the Gaang has established in unforeseen ways.

Maybe as some fall under the Kemurikage,  their abilities and knowledge transmit throughout the "borg" hivemind. The whole thing of children being taken by them was smokescreen. It was to breed fear and prevent them as adults, with their brains and abilities, from being assimilated and make it vastly harder to keep under control. Since they can use faces of people, having them use ones of people they've taken over would pose a psychological horror. If they're not removed from their power, the victims will have to killed as well. And that could very be the end of Sokka as we know it and why he's not seen in Korra. He's just a dark spirit whose soul no longer exists.

Or just eliminate the human elements out of them, whatever it is. 
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"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands." - The Owl Bible , 1 Strigidae Bubo 3:5. Taken from a typo in 1 Peter 3:5.
Nikkel
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« Reply #6059 on: Mar 07, 2017 10:08 am »

Her very-individual centered approach would be seen as a vice by a more collective-minded Eastern audience, as it's wont to undo the balance the Gaang has established in unforeseen ways.

This is a super cool point I didn't consider at all, but it makes a lot of logical sense on both a large and small scale. On a small scale it's a vice, and on a large scale it throws a wrench into the plans Zuko and Aang have laid for reuniting the four nations.
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ByStorm
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« Reply #6060 on: Mar 09, 2017 04:23 am »

Her very-individual centered approach would be seen as a vice by a more collective-minded Eastern audience, as it's wont to undo the balance the Gaang has established in unforeseen ways.

This is a super cool point I didn't consider at all, but it makes a lot of logical sense on both a large and small scale. On a small scale it's a vice, and on a large scale it throws a wrench into the plans Zuko and Aang have laid for reuniting the four nations.

If the writers are smart enough in Eastern Asian cultures as they've been so far, they would clue this into the story. Then again, Korra basically stomped the entire notion of balance and ruined much of ATLA with Vaatu and making the Avatar some Spirit Evolution from Digimon in addition to having simplistic story-lines that had clear good vs. evil with nothing in between. The annoying side characters that you wish would die, but end up turning the tide of battle in farcical, deus ex machina ways that would never work in the original series. Or that the poor pacing and creating relationships out of thin air without any development whatsoever or earning, while Korra's tortured constantly with zero payoff in seeing her wreck them.  Almost as if the success of Avatar :TLA were mostly due to the other writers and talent on the show.

So I wholeheartedly doubt it they'll get it enough, given that Season 3 was the weakest and made Aang a super preachy hypocrite who talks about not being vengeful, but murders Fire Nation troops left and right for that exact reason. Or the time when he nearly killed the Sandbenders.  It's perfectly fine to kill common people for your cause that have been brainwashed since they were born, for a few generations [which Aang cites as a reason why Sokka shouldn't treat Fire Nation citizens as "Evil"] , but let's don't kill the genocidal maniac prepared to burn half of your world to ash and throw the earth off of balance. Nope. Let's spare him.

I'm even perplexed why everyone in the show is so fine with Iroh given what he probably has done. Zuko's the only one aside from Azula that deserved to be spared because they were victims of indoctrination and abuse, much like most of their nation. It's clear Ozai did more of a number on Azula since Iroh never cared to extend a hand to get her in his influence. So in some ways, it's hard to take them seriously how Azula is set up as this villain when she cannot be held accountable for her actions due to how the abuse and codependency warped her mind and left her more fragile.

I would really hope they delve into Iroh's issues and shed more light onto the tragic character of Azula. Having her selfish approach to fixing her older brother's problems [in some way to have power for herself] and highlighting the issues a character such as herself has, would make for better storytelling. Break some walls, expose the brokenness of the royal family for everyone to see.

Have Zuko begin to question himself and how he views his father figure. Have Aang see Azula in a new light and try to help her during the point she is unintentionally causing events to cascade into chaos. Then have those characters grow far stronger out of this chaos, and have this new Azula come out of this struggle far stronger than she has been.

They've wasted her character so much in the comics that I don't see the point of reading them, because the more I read character bios and synopsis of the stories, they're as bad as some of the fanfiction I've read. Somehow, I feel she'd be perfect with Sokka if Suki goes away. It'd be refreshing to have characters not have lifelong relationships just because they were established in the show. Just because it would speak of how ironic and different her life has changed, loving someone she once looked down upon as a peasant, but finding their minds are electric, which is how they get together. Basically start them as antagonists where their wits play off each other.

There's stranger things that've happened before.
« Last Edit: Mar 09, 2017 08:40 am by ByStorm » Logged

"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands." - The Owl Bible , 1 Strigidae Bubo 3:5. Taken from a typo in 1 Peter 3:5.
Loopy
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« Reply #6061 on: Mar 10, 2017 11:12 pm »

No one had a problem with Iroh because he was never a villain from their perspective. The characters aren't omniscient judges of lifetime moral fiber; they can only go on what they know, and none of them were around for Iroh's campaigns.

I personally love that for most of the series, there was a good chance the good guys and the bad guys weren't entirely sure of each other's names. And that played directly into how they responded to each other.
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Loopy
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« Reply #6062 on: Apr 20, 2017 06:01 pm »


http://skyfreim.deviantart.com/art/Azula-616311977
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Antiyonder
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« Reply #6063 on: May 05, 2017 09:14 pm »

No one had a problem with Iroh because he was never a villain from their perspective. The characters aren't omniscient judges of lifetime moral fiber; they can only go on what they know, and none of them were around for Iroh's campaigns.

I personally love that for most of the series, there was a good chance the good guys and the bad guys weren't entirely sure of each other's names. And that played directly into how they responded to each other.

Makes me wish that there was a comic back then or some story shortly after The Western Air temple actually addressing that Zuko didn't know their names.

Especially as it gives Katara a chance to really get on his case: "So, your life revolved around finding the Avatar and chasing us relentlessly and you don't even know our names?"

Maybe Zuko nervously responds "Umm, didn't seem important I guess.:-)"
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Loopy
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« Reply #6064 on: May 10, 2017 06:47 pm »

That would be great. Cheesy

I'm also grateful that so far it's plausible that the gAang still doesn't know how Zuko got his scar.
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ByStorm
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« Reply #6065 on: May 13, 2017 10:17 am »

That would be great. Cheesy

I'm also grateful that so far it's plausible that the gAang still doesn't know how Zuko got his scar.

I believe he could've eventually told Aang and Katara, or Toph. But I doubt Zuko would want to relive that over and over. He just wants to be done with that part of his past and not be defined by its mistakes.
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"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands." - The Owl Bible , 1 Strigidae Bubo 3:5. Taken from a typo in 1 Peter 3:5.
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