Maiko

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Pairing
Pairing: Mai/Zuko
Alternative name(s): Maiko, ZuMai
Gender category: het
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: Moderate
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Maiko, also known as ZuMai, is the pairing of Mai and Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Canon

Mai and Zuko grew up together, as Mai was a friend and companion of Zuko's sister, Azula. After Zuko betrays his uncle and joins Azula at the end of season 2, he begins a relationship with Mai. When he flees to join the avatar during the Day of Black Sun, Zuko leaves a breakup letter for Mai. Mai is angry and hurt by his letter, but when they meet again at the Boiling Rock she is swayed by his cause, and she ends up attacking Azula to help Zuko escape, declaring "I love Zuko more than I fear you". [1] In the finale of the show, Mai and Zuko are shown to have resumed their relationship.

No mention is made of Mai in The Legend of Korra and it is left ambiguous whether they married and whether Mai is the mother of Zuko's daughter, Izumi.

Fandom

Fans were divided on the show's presentation of the ship. While some like the couple, some criticize it as poorly written or even as abusive. Some fans were particularly unhappy with Mai's characterization and arc, and saw her or the ship in general as getting in the way of Zutara. Other fans pushed back on the negativity, defending Mai's and Zuko's actions and characterizations.

Maiko tends to ally with KatAang in the Zutara vs. KatAang ship war.

In fan works, it is common to find Mai/Zuko as a past-ship, as a background to endgame Katara/Zuko or Sokka/Zuko. However, actual Mai/Zuko fics can also be found. Some fans headcanon Mai as Izumi's mother in The Legend of Korra, and it is common to find fanart depicting this, and depicting Mai as the consort of the Fire Lord.

Fan works

Fan art

Cosplay

Fan fic

Meta

Collections

References

  1. ^ 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.