|Occupation:||retainer of Azula|
|Relationships:||Zuko (love interest), Azula (friend and superior), Ty Lee (friend and coworker), Tom-Tom (little brother), parents|
|Fandom:||Avatar: The Last Airbender|
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Mai is a supporting character the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. She was voiced by Cricket Leigh.
Mai is nobility in the Fire Nation, daughter of the governor of Omashu and friend of Princess Azula. Her father becomes governor of Omashu/New Ozai when the Fire Nation captures the city in Book 2. Soon after, Azula calls upon Mai to join her in hunting down the Avatar and her fugitive brother and uncle. Ty Lee, another friend of Azula and Mai, also joins the party.
Mai is a skilled fighter, proficient in throwing knives. She is shown to have a gloomy personality and outlook on life, but there are things she cares about. In Book 3, she establishes a romantic relationship with Zuko, and ends up choosing loyalty to Zuko over Azula in a climactic scene at the Boiling Rock.
Of the major characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Mai is possibly one of the most divisive among fans, with solid followings of admirers and haters. While some fans don't like Mai's negative outlook or boring presentation, others appreciate her deadpan sense of humor and pessimism. There is a decent amount of fic, fanart, and cosplays featuring her.
Fanon and portrayal in fan works
Many fans believe that Mai likely became Zuko's consort and the mother of his daughter, Izumi.
Most of the controversy surrounding Mai stems from her canon relationship with Zuko. Some fans view their relationship as negative and even toxic, while others view it as positive and constructive. Additionally, many Zutara shippers oppose the rival ship Maiko, which thus tends to ally with KatAang in the Zutara vs. KatAang ship war.
- Mai/Zuko - Maiko: The most popular Mai pairing by far, as well as the canon pairing.
- Mai/Ty Lee – Mailee, surged in popularity during the 2020 ATLA Renaissance
- Mai/Azula – Maizula
- The Long Drop, Archived version, abandoned post-canon Sokka/Mai fic.
- Speeding like a Dead Comet, Archived version, a recursive fanfic that is a crossover between Towards the Sun and Salvage
- "Saving Face" by meltinglacier
- Dangerous Ladies, Archived version by jovaline
- Day 3: Painting, Archived version commissioned by rllybritrlly
- Super nostalgic one, Archived version, Mai and Zuko with baby Izumi
- Mai as a witch, Archived version by rumble-bee-art
- Mai in the fic 'Distances', Archived version by la-vaniteuse
- "Saving the jerk who dumped me.", Archived version, fanart by ethuilwen
- Are we, as a fandom, ready to admit that Mai’s entire backstory, personality, coping mechanisms, character traits, strengths, weaknesses, self image, belief system, and arc, are literally almost exactly the same as Toph but like, slightly to the left and Mai is seriously such a misunderstood character by i-was-talking-to-momo et al (2020)
- meta about Mai and Ty Lee, Archived version by comradekatara
- The emo/punk dichotomy, Archived version, a tongue-in-cheek analysis of Mai's and Zuko's fashion sense and ethos.
- character analysis of Mai's motivations at the Boiling Rock, Archived version by royaltealovingkookiness
- meta about Maiko, Archived version by royaltealovingkookiness
Links & Resources
- Mai on Avatar fandom wiki
- Mai(Avatar) works on AO3
- Mai tag on Tumblr
- Mai character filter on fanfiction.net
- Stories tagged Mai on Wattpad
- Mai Betrays Azula scene: Avatar the last airbender ("you miscalculated"). Scene posted to Youtube by Lake Laogai on 13 October 2019. Accessed 1 September 2019.