So after a long while I decided I'd make an article discussing my general take on a few of the most common reasons users say they hate Kataang. Before getting into any of that I'm not trying to get anyone to change their opinion nor am I trying to stir anything up. But feel free to debate and give your own opinions.
So the first thing I see a lot is;
Aang is way too old for Katara.
I personally believe that Aang is only 12; he is physically and mentally so. This would make him only 2 years younger than Katara. Whereas Zuko is about 17 making him 3 years older than Katara. So really if anyone is 'too old' for Katara, it'd be Zuko. However I don't think age should affect genuine love. Especially since in both cases the age difference is so small.
Now if Aang looked and acted like he was 112 I could see the problem, but he doesn't so I don't see the problem. The reason him being a 112 year old with the mind of a 112 year old (in the body of a 12 year old) would be an issue simply because he has that much more life experience and is finally wiser. But this isn't the case. Using this logic I can argue that Zuko is too old for her because due to his father's abuse he has more experience out there than many do.
If you want to get into technicalities; Aang was frozen for 100 years, so time was technically dead, frozen as well for him. Because of this semi-time stop Aang didn't truly age at all, only the world around him. Getting older but not growing at all. Of course if he acted 112 and was in a 12 year old's body or was a 12 year old in the body of a 112 year old man that would be weird. But since his mental processes correspond with his physical age I don't see an issue. The only ageing Aang truly did was his chronological ageing, or aging measured by passing time. He never aged biologically (his bodily functions and physical appearance) or mentally (that one is self explanatory) if all that made sense.
Leading back into the main point; due to the back up provided prior, I don't think age is a problem and I don't believe Aang is a pedophile.
With all of the above said, Katara is older than Aang. Which in itself would invalidate this argument. I would think so anyhow. And I didn't mean to come off as a know it all up there if I did.
Directly contradicting that reason for disliking Kataang is;
Aang is way too young for Katara and acts like a child!
Again, the age difference is only two years. So really there isn't a big difference on neither Katara nor Aang's end.
That said, I don't think Aang is really as immature as people make him out to be. He has his moments, yes. But so do all the other characters. In the beginning he was more goofy, I'll admit that. But he had some major character development. Once he figured out that he was the avatar and that he had a very serious job he himself grew more serious. I think the reason that Aang was so 'let's go penguin sledding, let's ride a serpent!' in the beginning is because he didn't realize the severity of his situation yet. He thought the world was the same as it was when he had left it. After discovering the genocide and seeing all of the damage done, his childlike innocence parted. He was forced to grow up early just as Katara had to when her mother died. Granted he still goofed off with Sokka in seasons 2 and 3, but come on, everyone needs a little break from stress and fighting.
Which brings me to; is having a little fun a bad thing? In season 1, Katara was just so uptight and stressed all the time. Aang's fun childish side helped bring out the child in her. The inner child she was forced to swallow down and suppress. I think it's great that Aang was able to get her to unwind and have fun.
I guess my point is; everyone has a childish side and a mature side. Aang is just like everyone else in that way. The key is knowing when and where to let each side loose. And I think Aang gauges that well--moreover I think it's great that he's able to work that childishness into serious situations to make them better (like Bonzu Pipinpadaloxicopolis and pentapox).
So all in all I don't think Aang is too young nor immature for Katara.
Kataang is so unoriginal, pairing the main boy and girl is so overdone.
Is the bad girl/bad boy or the fire/water storyline any less used?
Personally, I think air and Water something more unique and less done. I honestly cannot list an air/water couple off of my head right now. Fire and water has been done many times prior and isn't as entertaining because of it's extensive use in my opinion anyhow. To list a few; Korra and Mako (TLOK), Shark Boy and Lava Girl (Shark Boy and Lava Girl), etc. The good girl/bad boy thing is even worse; Bella and Edward (Twilight), Chloe and Derek (The Summoning), Musa and Riven (Winx), Taranee and Nigel (Witch), Lissa and Christian (Vampire Academy), Kylie and Lucas (Shadowfalls), and a whole bunch more.
Granted main girl/main boy is well used as well. But honestly at this point in literature/cartoons, what kind of relationship hasn't been written yet? However hero/hero and good girl/bad boy seem to be the two most over done next to maybe forbidden romance.
So with this my big point is that--in this way both ships are not that great. But just because it's been done before doesn't mean that it's a bad ship--in either case.
Aang is bald and ugly!
This is probably the worst reason to not ship something period. I don't care whose saying it. It's a shallow reason. If someone said they didn't ship Zutara because 'omg Zuko has an ugly scar!!!' I'd just as quickly get on their case as I would someone who stated the bolded phrase.
Honestly I don't really think Aang is that bad looking. I think he's a cutie pie really. Though I do think he looks better with hair. The fact that he's bald isn't as bad when you remember that he's bald in respect for Air Nomad traditions (frankly that can factor into the maturity paragraph, as it takes a lot of maturity to change your appearance in respect for your beliefs or the beliefs of your people).
What bothers me about this argument in particular is that people making being bald sound like such a horrible and ugly thing...which isn't the case. I can respect it if bald isn't your thing, but don't go around saying it's hideous or something considering bald people use the net to. Aang rocks the bald head!
Regardless of my opinions on the baldness I just don't get writing a perfectly good ship off because you think one of the ship members is ugly.
Well Zutara was supposed to be endgame anyhow.
Alright, alright, this is probably the biggest misconception. Again no hate intended here, but this statement is simply not true.
The following link is to a post of a Q&A with Bryke. It's really long so I just pasted the part that matters into this article (the link is there as a source cite).
In Bryke's Q&A if you follow the link you'll find the following; Q: Is it true that you planned a Zutara ending at the beginning of the series? Are we ever gonna see a special episode or a big flashback of ATLA or something else? Are you planning to do another Avatar series after TLOK ends? What do you think of all the Kataang/Zutara disscusions on the internet?
A: No, no, no, and people can discuss all they want!
Discuss we will Bryke, discuss we will lol. Anyhoo, Bryke specifically confirmed that they had never even planned to make a Zutara ending.
Kataang is rushed/came out of nowhere.
Personally, I feel like they took Kataang as slow as they could. Their relationship was budding from the beginning but didn't really start until season 3.
In the pilot he wakes up and the first thing he wants to do is go penguin sledding, he doesn't care about the cute girl looming over him...not in that way anyhow. If it was rushed then he probably would have been declaring his love to her right then and there. But such isn't the case, he really didn't start crushing on Katara until a while after he met her.
After that though, throughout season 1 we seem him blushing and getting flustered around her. Like when they were practicing waterbending and she asked him how she looked and he was all flabbergasted. As the show moved on we had episodes like the fortune teller and the cave of the two lovers. In the cave he was hinting the whole time about his crush and it was in that episode where they almost kissed. In the fortune teller all he truly wanted to hear from the fortune teller was that he was going to hook up with Katara. And then there were all those times when Katara stood by his side even when he was at his scariest (in the Avatar state). She's really the only person who was able to talk him down.
Season 2 showed their love in a more passionate way; Like when Aang went into the Avatar state because he thought he'd lost her.
Or when, when Azula struck him down; Katara dropped what she was doing to catch him and save him. She used her spirit water to save him.
And in the episode prior he was willing to cast away his ability to ever get into the Avatar state to make sure he'd have Katara. When told he'd never be able to enter the Avatar state if he didn't cut away any Earthly attachments he couldn't do it. What...rather who...was his Earthly attachment? Katara. And he couldn't let her go, even if that meant never reaching his full potential as an Avatar.
If that isn't love, I don't know what is.
Season 3 is when things started to get really steamy; when he was loosing sleep he hallucinated kissing Katara! He had that wild dance scene with her in the headband; in which he told her to forget about the crowd and that it was just the two of them. It was like a high school dance but without the school. And of course there was the good luck wishes before the eclipse. And finally came the finale where they had their first real kiss.
In short, Kataang was in no way rushed, sudden, nor abrupt. It had three seasons of wicked development and I think it's one of Brykes strongest parings.
Zutara on the other hand, I don't think was even hinted at once. I've always seen this as a friendship. Yes there was that scene in crossroads; I always interpreted that as Katara being the sympathetic, forgiving, and kind girl she is. And he threw it back in her face in the very same episode.
Then there was their adventure in season 3, where Katara wants to kill the man who killed her mother. Again I see that as more of a brotp thing. A friend helping a friend.
And of course the finale. This one I think is probably the least shippy point. Katara would have helped save anyone who Azula struck down. Of course she said she was glad he was okay, hugged him, and helped him up. That's what a good friend should do.
In case that sounded harsh, I will say, I do understand how people can interpret that differently than I did as we all have are different view points. Some people probably see chemistry where I just don't. Likewise with myself; I see chemistry for Kataang that people don't.
All of this said; no hate was intended. Thanks for the read. Feel free to agree or disagree.