The fandoms of Avatar (consisted of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra) and Harry Potter are two of my favorites for many reasons. However, I have to admit that I like the former better, especially Avatar: The Last Airbender. Why? I’d like to answer that question in this post.
A few things to note before I start:
- I’ll compare the Harry Potter series and The Last Airbender.
- I’ll leave Korra out of the picture, because it wasn’t nearly as awesome as The Last Airbender.
- I love the Harry Potter series, but I will be honest in expressing my opinion about why I like The Last Airbender more.
- I’ll refer to the Harry Potter fandom as “HP”.
- I’ll refer to the Avatar fandom as “ATLA”.
By the way, I was curious about which one others liked best, so I made a poll and put it on the blog. So far, the Avatar fandom is in the lead, but it’s almost a fifty-fifty tie. I should mention that only seven people have voted, so the statistics probably aren’t all that accurate, but it was still interesting to see the results. Anyway, let’s get crackin’.
Comparing the Plot
Both: defeat the bad guy and save the world.
I think the plot in HP was more complex, which I like. I like stories that are complex and realistic, with clear and understandable plots. On the same note, HP’s plot was a lot darker, which I like, too, because it often means it is more realistic. However, the plot in ATLA was dark and realistic in its own way.
One more note: I loved the fillers in each story. ATLA’s elaborated on the characters, leading us to love them even more (I’ll elaborate on that later). HP’s…well, I wonder if HP actually had fillers. Every time it seemed like something was going to be a filler, it wasn’t, although I think it had a few. When it did, it did the same thing as ATLA.
Overall, each plot had its own complexity and realism. Neither was dumb or childish, but focused on deep and serious issues. They focused on mature philosophical matters, as well, teaching great morals and leading fans to become better people. And they had a fair amount of fun and humor to not totally depress us (unlike Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood*; am I right?).
Conclusion? HP wins.
Comparing the Main Character
Both: a legendary boy with great expectations placed upon him.
Let’s look at Harry and Aang’s similarities. Both boys:
- were young when they learned about who they are
- had a clear destiny
- worked to restore balance and harmony to the world
- heavily relied upon friends and allies
- knew when to be serious and when to relax; well, most of the time
Now let’s look at the differences.
- Aang had a fairly easy childhood, while Harry’s just plain stunk.
- Harry was more serious, while Aang was a more goofy kid.
- Harry had to go to school, while Aang didn’t. Bummer, Harry.
- Aang never experienced much physical pain, but Harry did. Again–sorry, man.
I just realized how much worse Harry had it than Aang. That makes me sad for him, but I feel like he had more serious flaws than Aang. Harry could really be a jerk and was often jealous, cocky, and prideful, although he was awesome in many ways. Granted, Aang had flaws, too, though (to prove my bias) I can’t think of many right now. I didn’t like how Aang was kind of a wimp concerning certain issues, but I liked a lot of other things about him.
Overall, each boy had many similitarities, but a number of substantial differences. Each hero of the story underwent tremendous trial and put forth extreme effort to overcome terrible things. They were both amazing in their own ways.
Conclusion? ATLA wins.
Comparing the Other Characters
Both: strong friends, incredible allies, and wicked villains.
This is one of the strongest factors in why I like Avatar better. For one thing, I’m in love with Zuko. Literally.** I would marry him if he were real. That seems to happen to me a lot with fictional characters.
The fact that the picture is of David Tennant may be confusing, but the same concept still applies. (And, plus, I really like that guy).
I liked the other characters in HP a lot, but the characters in ATLA were awesome. They were hilarious, infuriating, real, deep, and emotion-provoking. They simply meant more to me than the characters in HP.
Conclusion? ATLA wins.
Comparing the Special Abilities
Both: abilities that are granted to certain individuals; often hereditary, but not always.
Essentially, it comes down to magic versus bending. Tough call. It would be pretty awesome to be able to bend, but I think that I’d rather have a wand. Correct me if I’m wrong, but couldn’t you sort of bend the elements with your wand? I don’t know if that’s accurate, but I do think that having a wand would be more practical.
Conclusion? HP wins.
Well, that’s all, folks! In writing this post, I realized that each of these fandoms have a lot of similarities, but it also reaffirmed my belief that ATLA is more dear to me than HP.
I was going to compare each fandoms animals and physical environment, but…I’m feeling lazy. It’s spring break, after all. Speaking of lazy, I obviously got really lazy as I wrote more and more of this post. Oh, well.
What do you think? Am I totally off? Express your opinion below. Remember to keep it friendly.
*I just started to watch that show. It is my first anime and I love it, even though it is really depressing at times. And, I take it back; it has its own share of fun, but not as much as its share of depressing-ness. Seriously, though–I have never been on a more extreme emotional roller-coaster ride, which is saying a lot because I am not an emotional person. At all. I am Mai in the flesh.
**And now it should make sense why I love Zuko. I am like Mai. Zuko is emo. Opposites attract. I’m going to keep telling myself that.