The Loop (TV)
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- Alternative Character Interpretation: Upon realizing what position Azula is in at the end, many have posited that she doesn't actually have amnesia, as it's all a ploy to get in good with the Water Tribe royalty so she can dismantle the entire civilization from the inside.
- Angst Dissonance: The constant weeping, the gloomy dialogue that gets copy-and-pasted as much as the art, and the really damn stupid spelling mistakes tend to ruin the drama for most readers.
- Badass Decay and Chickification: Azula, we hardly knew ye.
- Toph gets this treatment as well, going from a devil-may-care fighter to a soft-spoken, nervous flower of a girl who willingly bottoms to her "twinkle-toes". That nickname seems to be among the two/three canon traits she kept.
- Katara, too. The things she do the most in this fic? Whining. Being self-centered. Whining. Making even her unborn child's death all about her. Whining. Only caring about being Zuko's love interest. Whining. Wearing pretty dresses; cute dresses aren't bad in themselves, but considering the canon setting... they're very out of place. WHINING. The only scene in which she's ever seen using the Action Girl skills that she worked so far for in the TV series? When she bloodbends Mai to death, and you KNOW how fail-full that was. And then she whines some more.
- Actually lampshaded in Chapter 2.
Toph: "Look, Katara! What happened to that fearless sugar queen I know? I know she's in there!"
- Bile Fascination
- Canon Defilement: The names are misspelled, the mechanics of bending are all wrong, the characters are unrecognizable, and somehow we've translocated to the Theme Park Version of medieval France if costume and architecture are anything to go by.
- Cliché Storm: It's essentially Soap Opera meets Romance Novel meets Lifetime Movie of the Week. With magic kung fu.
- Demoted to Extra: Aang was defined solely by his relationship to Toph, who didn't get a lot of screentime or meaningful moments herself, at least, not compared to Katara and Azula.
- Designated Hero: Katara. She's presented as vain ("I'm sure that Kuzon will come out quite charming, with me as his mom."), self-absorbed ("[Kuzon] died years ago, a day before my birthday..."), and murderous (do we even really need to mention Mai's horrifying death again?). Yet she's always right and no one ever questions her.
- The same could be said for Zuko. Cheats on his wife, fathers a baby with the designated heroine mentioned above behind said wife's back, beats up Mai when she confronts him, leaves his kingdom to go to Katara... and yet we're supposed to sympathize with him.
- Designated Villain: Mai. She gets mad at the husband whom she's genuinely in love with for having an affair, whereupon he beats her. We're supposed to hate her?
- Not only that, but the fact she hid the letters telling Zuko about his child is apparently hideous treason. It's not a nice thing to do, sure, but she had good reasons to do so and it's certainly not treason. Particularly when Katara had every intention of hiding the child from Zuko anyway, and the only reason the letter came anywhere close to Mai or Zuko is a critical error.
- Die for Our Ship: The fandom is comprised almost entirely of Zutara fangirls/Mai bashers looking for a quick fix.
- Dude, Not Funny: The aforementioned beating of Mai by Zuko.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Sho, to an extent. Probably because (a) he's an original character, and therefore does not bastardize any Avatar characters simply by his presence, (b) his "evil" alignment means he's generally trying to kill off said bastardizations of Avatar characters, and (c) he's pretty much the only cool or sexy character in the comic.
- Evil Is Cool: Sho actually manages to pull this off. He comes in out of basically nowhere, nonchalantly tossing around a knife like Mai. He wears a number of knives strapped to his shoulder; they can't be throwing knives, since he'd have to put both of his hands at an awkward angle to retrieve them from their sheathes, so you can't help but wonder what their purpose really is. Then, he fights Sokka single-handed, slyly snarking with arguably the most cleverly-written dialogue in the entire comic (not that that's saying much). He almost manages to defeat him, too, until Toph steps in. And then he escapes with a badass firebending move that nobody has seen before. This troper can't help wishing he had appeared in more than one chapter.
- Evil Is Sexy: Diaz tries to dial this down with Sho as much as possible, because he's supposed to be TEH EVULZ. However, interested readers will notice that Sho is much more muscular than Zuko, Sokka, and Aang... and that he has a tendency to wear tight black clothing.
- Fan Dumb: Dear God, the fandumb...
- Fetish Retardant: The sex scenes. Even militant Zutarians don't like it!
- Fountain of Memes
- Fridge Brilliance: Surprisingly enough, it appears in relation to Katara's infamous daytime bloodbending. Earlier in the comic, it is shown that when Katara is pregnant, she has enough power to create a thunderstorm out of nowhere simply because she starts crying. In the epilogue, it is shown that Katara's son Kuzon is about the same age as Azula's daughter Miracle. Azula was supposedly three months pregnant with Miracle when Katara murdered Mai, so when you put two and two together... It's still a cheap excuse to get her love rival out of the picture, but in the context of the truly messed-up logic of this comic, it makes sense. One million bucks says that Ms. Diaz didn't even think of this connection, though, which would mean the Did Not Do the Research entry above still holds true.
- Fridge Horror: Toph has sex with Aang... who starts glowing Avatar-state style. This is probably not a good sign in the bedroom. That's right folks. Toph is being subjected to a potential Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex situation.
- Sokka and Azula's romance. The amnesiac Azula behaves more like a wide-eyed, traumatized, curious child than a teenager with memory loss. Sokka is assigned as her caretaker, falls in love with her, has sex with her, and knocks her up. It's supposed to be beautiful and romantic, but from a realistic perspective? Sokka essentially groomed and took advantage of a traumatized woman with the mental capacity of a child.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: All the complaints that bloodbending wasn't possible without the full moon were pretty much proven wrong in The Legend of Korra.
- Humor Dissonance: Some might consider the following joke funny...to others, it's fairly pointless or Snark Bait.
Aang: "Guys, I have great news! I finally did it!"
Zuko: "What, you lost your virginity?"
Sokka: "MKKKFFF, good one."
- I Knew It!: Daytime bloodbending is canon now... someone pulled it off in The Legend of Korra not only without a full moon, but another did it at every point in time without a full moon. Jackie Diaz managed to make a halfway correct guess about Avatar metaphysics. Now, everybody take a deep breath...
- Les Yay: There's only so many cuddly, affectionate scenes Azula and Katara can share before you start to wonder who the REAL OTP of this comic is.
- There's a bit of Toph/Katara Les Yay early on.
- Mary Sue:
- Fixer Sue: Pretty much all the female characters take it in turns to get their friends to hook up amongst each other.
- God Mode Sue: A possible interpretation of Katara's infamous daytime bloodbending, as well as the several times when her Healing Hands are vastly more powerful than in the show. It's either this or Critical Research Failure.
- Jerk Stu: Zuko gets away with Domestic Abuse, abandoning the realm to run away with Katara, impregnating Katara (thrice!) despite all the drama it would bring...
- Possession Sue: Katara, who looks more and more like the artist as the comic goes on.
- Purity Sue: Azula. Also Toph, whose tomboyish personality seems to have degenerated into the occasional matchmaking mischief and one curse when she's beating up Sho.
- Relationship Sue: Zuko and Katara are this for each other, since a good part of the damn plot is centered on how their personalities are changed for the worse so they can hook up.
- Villain Sue: Sho displays some shades of this, especially in his exit. Though considering Sho is arguably the best character in this comic, this may actually be a good thing.
- Memetic Mutation: CHARD MONSTER!!!
- Moral Event Horizon: Mai killing Katara's unborn baby via poisoned fruit is meant to be this. For more objective readers, it's Katara bloodbending Mai to death, when she was perfectly capable of merely incapacitating her so she would be taken to trial for attempted murder.
- Narm: Some of the 'romantic' or 'sad' scenes are absolutely hysterical. Such as Aang glowing avatar-style when having sex with Toph, Azula asking the badly photoshopped duckturtle to be her friend, the photoshop talking panda...
- Nightmare Fuel: I don't know if she photoshopped them in (she probably did)... but those half-headed spirit monster things looked freaky. Azula's narmy reaction was excellent Nightmare Retardant, however.
- Ron the Death Eater: Mai, who poisons Katara to cause her to have a miscarriage and later tries to kill her. Then again, this might be a subversion, as she's arguably more sympathetic than Zuko or Katara.
- Snark Bait: There have already been dramatic readings!
- So Bad It's Good
- Strangled by the Red String: All damn three of the couples, though Aang and Toph suffer slightly less than the other two (likely due to a lack of facetime and over the top drama).
- They Just Didn't Care: "Chard monster" was probably supposed to be charred monster, years after Zuko's scar has stopped being such a sore point for him.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Just about everything that goes on in the background could have made a more interesting story than the actual story. Aang finding a underground temple of surviving Air Nomads? Glossed over in the prologue. Azula's adventures, which somehow involved her blackmailing Mai to get a seat in the new Fire Senate while simultaneously dressing like a ninja? Never elaborated upon. Sho's... existence? Nope. We get to focus on a convoluted and increasingly stupid romance story between six fatally brain-dead teenagers. Aren't we lucky?
- Thirty-Sue Pileup: Katara, Azula, Toph, Zuko... Sokka stops just short of Studom and Aang doesn't do enough to qualify.
- Unfortunate Implications: As this review states, this story is written by a woman who portrays the women she writes as completely useless without men. Either that, or said women pull all kinds of crap on others either just to get the men to look at them, or to punish other women for taking away "their" men's attentions.
- Not to mention that Diaz completely removes Suki (Sokka's kick-ass Action Girl girlfriend) from the plot, instead giving him a "happy" ending with the extremely Chickified Azula... but then steals Suki's design to make Mai's demure, nervous maid.
- This sporking points out the horrific implications of the Sokka/Azula romance. Basically, Azula has lost her memory, is heavily traumatized, and is basically a frightened and wide-eyed child. Sokka, who tried to kill her when he realized who she was, is assigned as her caretaker. He then proceeds to fall in love with her while the narrative goes on about how it's such a good thing that Azula is so childlike now, because this means she can be a better person and her old self and memories will never resurface! Sokka then takes Azula on a date and has sex with her. And knocks her up. Sokka in this comic is essentially a predator taking advantage of girl with the mental capacity of a child, while Azula's entire personality and history was erased for the sake of making her a proper love interest. "Gross" doesn't even begin to describe it.
- Unintentionally Sympathetic: Mai is supposed to be the straight villain, and does some pretty nasty things, but the comic makes it very clear that everything Mai did is because she is in love with Zuko. Despite everybody else's love being so important to the series, the series itself never treats Mai's feelings as important.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Katara is supposed to be seen as the torn heroine who has to fight to be with the man she loves even with the stigma. However, the story portrays her as being very shallow and self-centered. Her miscarriage was supposed to give her sympathy, but all it showed that she would make even her dead child all about her.
- Zuko is supposed to be the romantic, male lead that is torn between duty and the love of his life. However, his actions could be seen as a philanderer who puts his heart before his country and his hitting Mai when he found she hid the letters about his child with Katara showed that he doesn't give a damn about his wife, who he cheated on.
- Wangst: And how. Most of the couples - particularly Aang and Toph, wangst over how they can't be with the one they love, despite having no real reason why they can't. While Katara's angst over losing her unborn son is understandable, the extremes of it - mourning for three years and building a giant tombstone for him - is a bit extreme.
- It's not just about Katara's extreme mourning, it's about how she makes it all about her. "Kuzon" died a day before her birthday, after all. The dead child is treated as just an extension of Katara's derailed personality and a plot device to have her murdering her love rival in the worst way possible.
- ↑ Emphasis not added
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