The Kataang Anthology: Season 1

It’s that time of the month again… the time when Melon gets unbelievably fed up with the “Kataang was rushed/underdeveloped” and/or “Kataang was one-sided” arguments.

I have a whole other meta planned in which I’m going to focus specifically on Katara and outline in great detail how her feelings for Aang developed over time.  But for now, I want to go through each and every episode of ATLA, one by one, and look for all the Kataang.  Every. Single. Episode.

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I’ve separated this into three separate posts since it’s so absurdly long, one for each season. I hope this can serve as a resource to Kataangers everywhere, a collected list of approximately 90% of the Kataang in the series. I’m absolutely sure I’ve missed a few things, but it’s pretty comprehensive so it should be a useful resource despite a handful of omissions.

For the most part, I have linked the photographic evidence instead of including it in the post because that would have made it even longer. So thanks to piandao.org for having such an awesome gallery of screenshots!

May I present….

*drumroll*

Play-by-play Kataang throughout Book 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender!

The Boy in the Iceberg

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Avatar Returns:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Southern Air Temple

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Warriors of Kyoshi

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The King of Omashu

What happens:

So what did we learn?

Imprisoned

What happens:

So what did we learn?

Not much we didn’t already know, but it’s good to have it reinforced that:

The Spirit World

What happens:

So what did we learn?

Avatar Roku:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Waterbending Scroll:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

Jet:

What happens:

Obviously, for most of the episode, Katara is swooning over Jet, but there’s still some Kataang if you pay attention. For example…

So what did we learn?

The Great Divide:

What happens:

          image

So what did we learn?

The Storm

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Blue Spirit:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Fortuneteller:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

Bato of the Water Tribe:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Deserter:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Northern Air Temple:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

The Waterbending Master:

What happens:

So what did we learn?

Siege of the North Part 1:

What happens:

Siege of the North Part 2:

What happens:

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Conclusions:

Number of Kataang hugs: 5

Number of Kataang kisses: 1

Romantic tropes/gestures applied to Kataang this season:

What did we learn about Kataang this season?

This season is all about establishing Aang and Katara’s friendship. We see them develop an immediate and strong bond within hours of meeting each other, and over the course of the season that bond strengthens and deepens. We see them learning about each other and working together as a team. We see how one person’s pain- physical or emotional- takes a toll on the other.

We’re given little hints of romantic development, most notably in The Fortuneteller although it certainly crops up in other episodes as well.  We begin to suspect early on that Aang has a bit of a crush on Katara, and this comes to fruition in the aforementioned episode when the doubt is removed completely. We’re also given hints of romantic development on Katara’s end. Although it’s obvious that she still thinks of Aang predominantly as a friend and someone who holds an ambiguously-defined role in her family, it’s made clear that she does not object to the idea of Aang as a romantic prospect once the idea occurs to her. We see how physically comfortable she is with Aang, which is notable because although she is occasionally physically affectionate with Sokka (and other friends she meets along the way), she is never as inclined to touch him almost without thinking about it the way she is with Aang.  We begin to see a change from the familial caring she felt for him in the early episodes to the more physically affectionate aspect of their friendship that begins to develop over the course of the season.

But ultimately, these 20 episodes are about establishing a firm basis for their friendship. There is romantic development, certainly, but it’s just little dashes here and there. The focus is on establishing and showcasing the bond itself, not qualifying it as necessarily romantic just yet. The goal is not to start a romance here, but to explain the deep affection, attachment, and caring that exists between them, while hinting that a romance has the potential to occur in the future. This first season of the series is laying the foundation of friendship on which a deeper relationship may be built.

Season 2 and Season 3 will be posted as soon as I finish them.

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