lizbee: Comic scan of Zuko facepalming (Avatar: Zuko's facepalm)
[personal profile] lizbee posting in [community profile] donebykorra

(My apologies for being so late with this. First I missed a weekend, and then I went interstate to visit my family and couldn't get a whole lot of time to myself.)

Date: 2011-09-21 04:27 am (UTC)
nam_jai: (AtLA dancing dragons)
From: [personal profile] nam_jai
Just thoughts on The Guru for the moment:

The first time I saw this, I did not know what to make of Zuko. I still don't know what to make of it, really, this temporary personality transplant. It seemed to make Uncle Iroh happy -- was he taking it at face value, perhaps because it's hard to doubt seeing your fondest wish come true? I was just unsettled and squirming with embarrassment. I can't even decide if it was a good choice on the part of the writers -- I guess it did signal that this change was not really real. All I know is that I much prefer the truly redeemed Zuko we got in the third season, still recognizably himself, still short-tempered and morose much of the time. I like him that way! So, kudos for relentlessly cheerful Zuko being temporary, anyway.

Other things:

-- I noticed on this rewatch that the man who nudges Hakoda when Sokka walks in has burn marks on his arm. I just liked that little detail.

-- I also think I spotted among the Airbenders in Aang's vision that grumpy guy who didn't want Aang wasting his time playing pai sho, and I was touched that Aang would grieve him too.

-- Then Aang made me tear up in his request for onion and banana juice. One of those moments where I think how much his voice actor impresses me.

-- Toph, you are indeed the greatest Earthbender in the world. :D

Date: 2011-09-21 09:51 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Regarding Pod Person Zuko - I found him unsettling too, but in a creepy rather than an embarrassing way. The change was so complete that it was downright frightening. I kept thinking of Jet immediately post-brainwashing, and expecting hints that Zuko was experiencing a similar brain-breaking situation. It's a pretty fascinating development no matter how you look at it, and my only complaint is that the writers didn't do more with it. He seemed back to normal the moment Azula walked into the room.

As for Iroh's reaction, I suppose Pod Person Zuko was rather a lot like Zuko used to be as a child. Maybe Iroh didn't quite (want to) think about how odd this sudden return to pre-Agni Kai good spirits really was.

(The fellow with the burned arm, wasn't that Bato?)

Date: 2011-09-21 01:57 pm (UTC)
yukinoomoni: (Grin)
From: [personal profile] yukinoomoni
It was Bato! I love continuity <3

Date: 2011-09-21 02:06 pm (UTC)
nam_jai: (AtLA Waterbending Scroll)
From: [personal profile] nam_jai
Oh, okay! Obviously, I didn't recognize him, and I liked that kind of attention to detail on just a random guy, but continuity is nice too! :)

Date: 2011-09-21 02:08 pm (UTC)
yukinoomoni: (Grin)
From: [personal profile] yukinoomoni
Nah, it's cool! It took me a moment, too, the first time I saw it =3

Date: 2011-09-21 10:27 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
-Sokka's reunion with Hakoda. *bawl* Also, hello there, hot dad.

-Azula deciding in the middle of a grooming session that they're going to conquer Ba Sing Se tomorrow. Got to agree with Ty Lee and the Dai Li here, that confidence is pretty mesmerizing.

-Mai and the bear poop. Kuei is going to pay for that one once she's Fire Lady.

-Toph, you do rule. Also, loved the animation in her metalbending scene, so much. (And she said 'dunderheads'! It's Toph Snape. She even has his coloring.)

-Zuko should work in a teashop forever. He looks a lot more comfortable here than when he's Fire Lord.

-I was SO FURIOUS with the ending of 'The Guru'. Iroh was finally happy, and Zuko's cheerfulness was weird but at least cause for some optimism, and then Azula decides to come and RUIN it for them. Aaaghh.

-Aang lying about having mastered the Avatar state. One the one hand, it's hair-tearing idiocy, but on the other hand, it shows just how much of a kid he can be and how much unreasonable pressure he's under. It almost felt like he was lying about having finished his homework.

-Azula liking the Dai Li for their killer instinct. You've got to be something really special if Azula seems genuinely fond of you, enough to even bring you home to the Fire Nation with her.

-Fire breathing. And I thought it was cool when Zuko puffed out those little flames in S1.

-Iroh bringing a Dai Li agent as peace offering for the Gaang.

-"Good inside of him isn’t enough. Why don’t you come back when it’s outside him too, okay‌?"

-"Now comes the part where I double-cross you." Long Feng, you weren't with us long enough.

-Aang's adorable widdle glare when he finds Zuko and Katara in a cave together. And Zuko's not getting this hugging thing.

-Everyone's bending during the final battle. Wow. These are not the kids we met back when.

-"Just take the bear."

-Azula and Zuko fighting side by side. Circumstances aside, they look awesome together.

-Iroh's intense disappointment. Oh, I understand why Zuko did what he did, it made sense for him at the time. But poor, poor Iroh.

Er. In short, cool episodes.

Date: 2011-09-21 01:59 pm (UTC)
yukinoomoni: (Mai)
From: [personal profile] yukinoomoni
I love Mai's toilet humour. She's such a kid sometimes.

I forgot about the warriors scenes! Sokka T.T


Date: 2011-09-21 01:56 pm (UTC)
yukinoomoni: (Mai)
From: [personal profile] yukinoomoni
The Guru

Zuko's change was unsettling, I have to agree, but the impression I got was also that he really was trying. He was trying to be good, trying to be cheerful, and trying to change - but it was still fake, which was probably why it was so weird. It was also why his sudden change of heart wasn't surprising; indeed, it was the most genuine he had been in all the episode, almost like he was welcoming Azula's attack. It's both sad and frustrating.

Also, yay for plot! Toph's capture is brilliant, and the music playing during her metal bending always sends shivers down my spine. I think this is the moment I found myself adoring her.

Aang and the Guru - now there's an interesting moment. While some of the chakra descriptions were brushed over (lol C8), I looked it up and found that they were mostly on the spot. I was pleasantly surprised by this, and glad that they kept true to the descriptions (I used to be a magic junky). Poor Aang, though - despite his youth, you can really tell that he really does love, and love truly. My heart broke for him.

The Crossroads of Destiny

Azula freaks me out. She's 14, and she's taken over the most protected city in all of the Earth Kingdom, simply by fooling a bunch of soldiers with make-up and green robes. She is cold, brilliant, and ruthless - and wayyyy to intelligent for her own good. And yet you can't help but think, "Damn, way to go." She, at 14, has done with only two other people what thousands of hardened soldiers could not do in a hundred years. No wonder Ozai places so much stock in her.

Zuko and Iroh....I have to admit, I had hoped that Katara would be able to slap some sense into Zuko with her compassion, but in the end, you can just see that Zuko still yearns for acceptance in his own country - which is why he looks so damned crazed when he attacks Aang later on. He knows what he's done, who he's betrayed, and that ultimate it's so wrong - but he can't help it, if it means that he gets Ozai to love him. It's tragic.

Another tragic moment: Aang's semi-death. Another reason why Azula is so brilliant is because she knows when to attack, and attacking Aang at his most vulnerable is again brilliant - and effective. Katara's rage and anger is justified. Also, seeing Iroh fight like a badass is awesome - but I also love how he knows when to stop and give up. And ugh, the look of sad shame for Zuko - T.T.

Now, a brain-fuck: If Katara had used the spirit water to heal Zuko, I wonder if he would have attacked them later on. If he had been healed, would he have stayed changed, or would he have still attacked? And if he had stayed changed, and decided to fight on Aang's side, would they have needed the spirit water to save Aang later on? IT BREAKS THE BRAIN!


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The 2011 Avatar re-watch

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