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Avatar up to ep 2.16

Avatar up to ep 2.16 published on

1) I love Toph so much. But she needs to beat up more actual living things soon. As opposed to like buildings and stuff.

2) Azula’s henchmen are also awesome.

3) Zuko’s voice actor is okay with Wounded And Vulnerable, but not so much with the Angry And Wants To Kill You. And he’s angry a lot! It’s distracting. And I still feel like Aang and Katara’s voice actors are kind of stiff a lot of the time, particularly when they’re delivering plot-loaded dialog. (Yeah, I know, they’re pretty much kids. But Wikipedia says Toph’s is thirteen, and she mostly doesn’t throw me off.)

3a) I think I don’t usually notice it when anime voice acting is bad. Also, I watch so little TV, particularly English-language TV, that watching this is actually kind of strenuous. No, I seriously have to lie down for a while and rest my brain by thinking about manga or CSS or something between episodes. Following a TV narrative in English is a form of mental exertion to which I am unaccustomed.

4) I think someone’s icon spoiled me about a character death. But it’s a character I want dead. So I seem to be okay with the whole thing.

Spoilery stuff:

In 2.14, I love Toph’s “It’s called being handled. Get used to it.” line unreasonably. And everyone else understands it and realizes she’s right without needing it beat into their heads for the whole episode! The show is not an idiot!

And that episode is so incredibly effectively freaky. I can see why they felt they needed to pad things with two less-intense fuzzy-timeline ones immediately after.

2.8 is my Favoritest Episode Ever, because of how it handles Toph and Iroh in the fight scene. Iroh looks at Toph and realizes she’s blind because she hasn’t recognized him. Also (the camera switches to her feet), because she’s barefoot, because Iroh apparently knows everything about bending theory ever. And he doesn’t say anything. But then Azula hits him, and he yells and falls flat on the ground, and then she recognizes him.

No, this is good stuff! In the sense that it is horrible and Toph gets traumatized. I’m a bad person, because I want them to continue their earlier discussion while angstily fighting each other.

You know, what would they have done if Azula had really surrendered? However evil she proves herself to be, it’s an American kid show – the good guys can’t kill anybody. I mean, Zhao doomed the planet for a couple minutes there, and his death had two levels of padding – Aang wasn’t responsible because the ocean spirit was controlling him, and the ocean spirit wasn’t responsible because Zhao didn’t try to save himself.

And see, Azula’s got to die sometime. A flashback showing that the villain was already villainous as a kid is pretty universal shorthand for “totally irredeemable, has to go.” Iroh condemned her, and I think the only people he’s said bad stuff about so far have been Zhao and Ozai himself. Also, she’s a princess. Princesses have high mortality rates.

I’m guessing that either Ozai kills her, or she accidentally offs herself in a fit of Zuko-related pique. Zuko can’t kill her, though I could see Iroh, or maybe Aang in Avatar-state. Thematically, she probably has to die in a fire, or at least at the hands of a firebender. The firebenders only ever get seriously hurt by other firebenders, or themselves.

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