The male benders in ATLA:
Really good. They worked hard to get where they are skill wise and while it hasn't always been easy, they are capable and can hold their own in a fight. One of them was even the Avatar, which is pretty impressive since he mastered the elements at age twelve, rather than start learning at 16 like most Avatars.
The female benders in ATLA:
Inarguably the most powerful and unmatched humans in the entire world. Prodigies, masters, and creators of subbending styles. One was compared in skill to the Fire Lord at age EIGHT and able to perform one of the rarest and most difficult forms by 14. She couldn't be defeated by another's (even the Avatar's) bending alone. Only faced defeat when fighting two other master benders while on the verge of a complete mental breakdown (officially being defeated by different female bender). Another held an entire city up by a single turret while standing on unstable ground, and then went on to invent her own bending style at the age of twelve. One mastered her element in mere WEEKS, mastered bloodbending and defeated the woman who INVENTED IT the FIRST TIME SHE EVER ATTEMPTED IT, held her own against a master waterbender without ANY TRAINING, and fully healed someone from a fatal wound, making her a master at two vastly different forms of waterbending at the age of 14. A female Avatar quite literally reshaped the planet and created her own ISLAND. AND MOVED IT ACROSS THE SEA. These women shown in the show are not only the most powerful and talented females in their universe, but also in almost any known piece of television or fiction, all while being completely fleshed out and complex characters, not being defined as nothing but 'strong'. Each has their own personality, strengths, and weaknesses.
Sometimes I think about how Bryke threw away Zutara with both hands and I just
ZUKO AND KATARA WERE CONSTANTLY PORTRAYED AS A TEAM WHEN ZUKO JOINED THE GANG
FIRST IN THE WHOLE OF SOUTHERN RAIDERS EPISODE
THEN WHEN THEY DID A PRACTICE DRILL OF AANG DEFEATING THE FIRE LORD
THEN WHEN ZUKO ASKED KATARA TO COME WITH HIM TO BATTLE AZULA LIKE
I JUST DON’T GET IT EVEN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
THEY UNDERSTOOD EACH OTHER, SUPPORTED EACH OTHER, PROTECTED EACH OTHER, HAD SOME DEEP FUCKING CONVERSATIONS
ZUKO CARED SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT KATARA THOUGHT OF HIM AND WAS THE ONLY ONE IN TEH GANG TO GET HER. KATARA WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SEE SOMETHING GOOD IN ZUKO AFTER JUST ONE CONVERSATION EVEN THOUGH HE WAS STILL AT WAR WITH HIMSELF.
THEY HAD SUCH AMAZING CHEMISTRY LIKE THAT HUG STILL FUCKS ME UP AFTER ALL THESE YEARS LIKE A LEGIT WOULDN’T CHANGE IT FOR A KISS IT WAS SO INTIMATE AND LOVING AND MY MIND STILL CAN’T COMPREHEND HOW BEAUTIFUL IT WAS.
FOR FUCKS SAKE HE TOOK A LIGHTNING BOLT FOR HER LIKE THAT BOY WAS READY TO DIE
OH MY GOD I JUST GET SO MAD HONESTLY BRYKE HAD THIS GOLDMINE OF A LOVE STORY THAT WAS AMAZING AND THEY JUST THREW IT AWAY FOR A SELF INSERT CHILD WHO WASN’T EVEN PSYCHOLOGICALLY DEVELOPED ENOUGH TO RECOGNISE THAT KATARA WASN’T A PIECE OF PROPERTY OR REWARD THAT WAS OWED TO HIM OH MY GOD
what she means:
Iroh, though. He could’ve stayed in the Fire Nation and lived a cushy life. He could’ve had whatever he wanted - a comfortable home, a slew of servants, a tea shop - any retiree’s dream following a long, highly successful career in a war. He could’ve been mostly happy and mostly content, free to do whatever he pleased really as the Fire Lord’s brother and a former general. He didn’t have to do any of the things he did for Zuko. He really didn’t. Zuko wasn’t even his kid! But guess what? Iroh loved Zuko like his own son. And Iroh left everything he knew to follow this asshole of a kid around the world on a pointless mission all the while loving him like Zuko had never been loved before and I just... Iroh, though. Uncle Iroh.