But like, i can’t really be the only one that considers “The Fortuneteller“ the second (or third)* most anti-kataang episode of the show?
(*Number one is without a doubt “The Ember Island Players“, number two or three, depending on my mood is “The Southern Raiders”)
Like, it’s an episode that dedicates 22 minutes and 43 seconds of it’s 22 minute and 59 second run-time to showing the audience how Aang’s crush is jut that: a crush.
It isn’t even subtle about it:
Her name is Meng, which is phonetically nearly identical to Aang, AS THE SHOW ACTUALLY TAKES TIME TO POINT OUT TO YOU (“That rhymes with Meng!“) and she’s two years younger then the object of her affection.
THIS IS NOT A SUBTLE PARALLEL PEOPLE
Like, it all but rubs in our faces how it’s superficial:
(It even plays the same music.)
Then it has them using the same technique in an attempt to flirt:
Meng: “Hey, Aang. Don’t you think that cloud looks like a flower?”
Aang: “Hey, Katara, don’t you think that cloud look like a flower?”
And getting dismissed.
Then the object of their affections shows complete and utter disinterest:
(Because, they aren’t actually interested at all.)
And so on.
And then this happens:
Meng: “You don’t like me, do you?”
Aang: “Of course I like you.“
Meng: “But not the way I like you.”
Aang: “Oh, I guess not.”
Meng: “It’s okay. It’s just really hard when you like someone, but they don’t think of you that way.”
Aang: “I know what you mean.”
Meng: “She’s beautiful, by the way.”
Meng: “That Water Tribe girl. I can see why you like her so much. She’s sweet, she’s a bender and her hair seems so manageable.”
Aang: “Don’t worry. You’re going to meet a great guy who’s going to completely fall for you. I know it.”
And it’s just… such a GOOD and PURE scene? and such a good message to send to children? “You don’t like me the way i like you and, while it’s hard for me, that’s okay.“ What a wonderful thing to put in a children’s cartoon! Especially considering that we live in a world where “first-love-is-forever” is the norm.
I thought that those 16 seconds where Katara actually seems to consider him in a romantic light were there just so that they could milk the will-they-won’t-they for all it’s worth. I thought that there was just no way anyone could spend all that time telling one story, sending one message only to completely disregard it in the end.
(aaand looooooool @mini-me what a fool i was, chakra opening rock anyone?)
Like, honestly, the first time i watched this episode I was completely convinced that this scene was foreshadowing the ultimate resolution of Aang’s crush on Katara: Aang realising that it’s one-sided and displaying emotional maturity and self-awareness.
And giving his blessing for Katara to pursue other people.
Instead, the poor boy regresses completely, forces a kiss on her and is then rewarded for it by the narrative.