Comparing Fandoms: Avatar versus Harry Potter

Mixin' it up

Mixin’ it up

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 comment says it all

The comment says it all

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.


What Kind of Bender Are You? (An Avatar Quiz)

Water, Earth, Fire, Air

Water, Earth, Fire, Air

I just took a quiz that determines the bending type of an individual (based on the bending types from Avatar: The Last Airbender and
Avatar: The Legend of Korra). It was actually kind of fun and really accurate!

I was an airbender, which surprised me–I thought I would be a waterbender–but, after I read the results, it made a lot of sense and described me well.

Take the quiz by clicking here and tell me what kind of bender you are!

Interpreting the Message of Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Gaang

The Gaang

Everything, whether it be a television show, a movie, or a comic book, portrays a message. Even the lives of human beings emit a message, including your own. Some messages are more subtle than others, while some are as plain as day. I’d like to elaborate on one specific television show’s message–Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I recently read two blog posts–one on the blog of Mike DiMartino (co-creator of the show) and another on the Korra blog that I told you about–which explored the subject of how messages are portrayed. Both posts were pretty interesting, so I encourage you to read them, and each of them lead me to think about the message in Avatar.  In fact, as I was driving to school one day, I thought, “What is the meaning of it?  What were the creators of the show trying to say?” And now I think I know.

Here is my interpretation of the message: the path to harmony is long, arduous, and filled with trial, but it is possible and, in fact, absolutely necessary for one to travel upon.

Think that’s accurate?  Or am I totally off?

I am going to tell you why I think that’s the meaning of the show if I can get at least one comment. Just one comment from some kind-hearted soul, telling me whether or not they agree. (Well…I’ll probably write another post about it anyway…but I’d still really appreciate it.)

So, scroll down! Click “enter your comment here”!  And type madly!  After all, fellow nerd, you’re my only hope.

Fans are News Addicts

This is a fan.  A very angry fan.

This is a fan. A very angry fan.

Fans of Avatar: The Legend of Korra were really hoping to hear some news about the release date for season two during the recently held convention called Nickelodeon Upfront 2013. However, the date wasn’t released, so many were very frustrated. Want proof? Go to this post on the Korra blog I told you about. Those are some angry fans.

These fans are reasonably angry, though. It has been a long time since Nickelodeon released any substantial news about season two and it was during this very convention last year that news about the first season was released. I’m a fan of the show myself and was bummed, too, but why? Why are so many Korra fans bent on knowing the release date? Why does any fan find themselves dying for some particular news about their fandom?

Because we’re human. Specifically, we’re human in the twenty-first century–and that’s important to note.

At this point in time, we live in a society in which we expect things to happen for us right away. For example, consider fast food or technology. Things often get done fast, so when something takes longer than we’d like, it frustrates us.

I can testify to this, as I’m sure lots of other people could. I am in college and drive to school for thirty minutes almost every day, and lately I’ve gotten stuck behind some of the slowest people imaginable. In fact, yesterday I posted something like this on Facebook: “I always get stuck behind the slowest people when I drive to school. Is someone praying for me to have patience?!?!” Haha. But, seriously, it makes me really mad! Why? You guessed it–it takes longer than I want it to. And, for fans, because they’re so passionate about their fandom, they are going to get all the more frustrated.

I’m not trying to offend anyone, especially not the fans of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, but there is a lesson we can all take from this. Many of us in this day and age are very impatient, so we’re going to get annoyed a lot when things go slowly. Instead of getting angry the next time it happens, though, we should be thankful that we’re so fortunate–that we even have fast food, technology, entertainment, and cars–and should try to have a good attitude about it. It’s harder than it sounds, but keep this in mind–what you want to happen will probably happen eventually. Yes, even the Korra release date will eventually be released.

Just food for thought. 🙂 Are you a news addict? What news are you waiting for right now?