Mai

Mai is a anime/manga character in the Avatar franchise
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Mai is the childhood friend of Princess Azula and lover of Prince Zuko.

Origin

Mai is the daughter of a nobleman of the Fire Nation. For many years she was the only child who was given nearly anything she could have ever wanted providing she behaved. Her parent's strict and overbearing rules required her to be silent and and behave as the model child. All to protect her father's political ambitions. It was this emotionally repressive environment that led to her later emotional detachment.

Mai blushes at seeing Zuko
Mai blushes at seeing Zuko

It was while attending Royal Fire Academy for Girls she met Azula, the youngest child of one of the nation's crown princes; and Ty Lee. She became friends with the princess and would often play at the royal palace. It was there she met Zuko, Azula's elder brother, and she developed a shy crush on the young prince. An affection that caught Azula's eye and caused her to tease the two. After manipulating their mother, Azula convinced Zuko to join them. As part of a game, she put an apple on Mai's head and lit it on fire with firebending. Zuko rushed to put it out, but the pair fell into the fountain together. Ty Lee and Azula laughed, and Zuko stormed off.

Creation

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)

Mai is an antagonist in the Avatar series created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino. Avatar: The Last Airbender first began airing on February 21, 2005 on Nickelodeon. She would not appear until the second season that began in March 2006.

Her first appearance was in Avatar: The Last Airbender - Episode 23 "Return to Omashu", and her first comic appearance was in Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures Book 2 CH. 8 "Going Home Again". Her character is voiced by Cricket Leigh, and the Japanese dub is performed by Akina Abe.

Character Evolution

"I guess you just don't know people as well as you think you do. You miscalculated - I love Zuko more than I fear you."

Mai - Avatar: The Last Airbender Ep. 55

Mai
Mai

Mai is a fifteen year-old from the Fire Nation. She's a thin and athletic young women with exceptional training in combat and throwing knives. She has long black hair that she wears in a traditional Chinese style called ox tails. She wears robes with long baggy sleeves that hide the holsters for her hidden blades and darts.

Her strict and repressed upbringing had a harsh side effect of leaving Mai emotionally detached from her own feelings. She's often bored with any situation, and not shy about expressing her displeasure or hatred. Her only two friends are Princess Azula and Ty Lee, who she met at the Royal Fire Academy for Girls. Her attachments to her parents is nearly non-existent. Even when her two year-old brother Tom-Tom was caught in a hostage negotiations, she opted to keep the hostage instead of saving her brother.

The one person she does have feelings of is Azula's older brother, Zuko. Based on a childhood crush, the two would eventually begin a romantic relationship that they both seemed to care about. The two had briefly broken up on Ember Island when she tired of his jealousy and anger, but the two soon reunited that evening after a cathartic get together on the beach. She did her best to support Zuko, and she felt betrayed after he broke up with her through a letter and went to help the nations enemy. She met up with him again when he was captured in the prison run by her uncle, and she flew out to meet him privately. When Zuko was nearly killed by Zula as they he escaped, Mai rescued Zuko, and she openly defied Azula to do it. Her love for Zuko outweighed her fear of Azula's wrath, and she was ready to fight a battle she had little chance of winning. She was only saved by Ty Lee's intervention, and both were thrown into prison. After she was released, he returned to Zuko and became the girlfriend of the new Fire Lord.

Major Story Arcs

Book 2: Earth

Mai leads the negotiations
Mai leads the negotiations

Mai was living in the recently conquered Earth Kingdom city of Omashu with her mother, father, and infant brother Tom-Tom. Azula and Ty Lee soon arrived to recruit her for a mission. Mai accepted to leave Omashu before she even knew it was to pursue and capture Zuko and his uncle, Iroh. During the visit, Tom-Tom had apparently been kidnapped by Omashu's former military, but it was Avatar Aang that appeared at the hostage trade for King Bumi. Mai led the exchange, but followed Azula's advice that the trade of the Earthbending king for her brother wasn't strategically balanced and called it off. The two forces fought, but Aang didn't escape with Bumi. As Mai left with Azula, she added hunting the Avatar to their mission.

Azula, Mai, and ty Lee chase the Avatar
Azula, Mai, and ty Lee chase the Avatar

As part of Azula's team, they chased down Team Avatar relentlessly using the Fire Nation Tank Train, and using the shedding hair of their air bison, Appa, as a trail. When the party split up, Azula sent Mai and Ty Lee after Katara and Sokka. They defeated the two water tribe siblings with ease thanks to their lack of sleep from the constant chase, but Appa caught them off guard and knocked them into the river. During the continued hunting much later, they found Appa being protected by the Kyoshi Warriors. Though the beast flew away, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula captured the Kyoshi Warriors.

Mai bored in the Fire Nation Drill
Mai bored in the Fire Nation Drill

During the attempt to drill through the Great Wall of Ba Sing Se, Mai was along with Azula aboard the giant Fire Nation Drill. Mai and Ty Lee defeated the city's elite earthbenders to prevent them from stopping the drill. However, word came that an engineer was attacked on the inside. They found Aang and his friends trying to weaken the drill on the inside. Mai refused to continue the chase into the drill's slurry pipe, and Team Avatar destroyed the machine. Instead, Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee infiltrated Ba Sing Se using the clothes of the Kyoshi Warriors.

In disguise as the Kyoshi Warriors
In disguise as the Kyoshi Warriors

While impersonating the Kyoshi Warriors, they learned about the plans to invade the Fire Nation, and of the corrupt Dai Li guards of Ba Sing Se. Azula ordered Mai and Ty Lee to casually slip their identities to be reported to Dai Li's leader Long Feng. As Azula was leading the coup, Katara approached them, mistaking them as the Kyoshi Warriors, with information that Zuko and Iroh were running a tea house in Ba Sing Se. Zuko was captured in the trap, and ultimately joined them in the take over of Ba Sing Se. Mai was out of the battle as she guarded the king's pet bear Bosco, but casually let Toph Be Fong and Sokka take the bear without a fight. With Ba Sing Se conquered, the Avatar was thought to be dead.

Going Home Again

Mai and Zuko's date
Mai and Zuko's date

When Zuko refused to return to the Fire Nation, Azula set her brother up with Mai on a dinner date. When the two caught on to the plot, they ran off together to walk around Ba Sing Se. They ran into an Earth kingdom girl named Jin, who knew Zuko as Lee. When Jin asked about Mai, he told her she was a knife thrower he knew from the circus. Mai played along and set Zuko up in front of the fountain, placing a fish on his head, and striking it off with an icicle. He later fell into the fountain when she offered Jin a try. She told him that made them even. Mai walked away laughing, and he angrily followed after. When he noticed the happy look on her face, he told her that he missed that side of her. She told him that not everything has changed about her since their past, and she kissed him. Though still unsure, Zuko agrees to join them home the next day.

Book 3: Fire

Zuko and Mai kissing
Zuko and Mai kissing

With Zuko's return to the good graces of the Fire Nation, Mai and the prince began a romantic relationship. She did her best to try and reassure him that he'd be welcome, and even Azula noticed the improvement in Mai's mood. Though, Azula still separated them during their romantic picnic date watching the sunset by saying the Ty Lee was having trouble untangling her braid.

Mai, Zuko, Azula, and Ty Lee bond on Ember Island
Mai, Zuko, Azula, and Ty Lee bond on Ember Island

During their trip to Ember Island for a forced vacation, Mai, Zuko, Azula, and Ty Lee withheld their identities to enjoy a day at the beach and a party. After Zuko's jealous of the attention from other boys turned to violence, Mai told him to leave and that their relationship was over. The group later found Zuko at his former home on Ember Island. Despite his attempts to apologize, Mai remained cold toward him. Around the fire, everyone finally released all the tension and angst they had been withholding. After Zuko finally admitted his anger was toward himself, Mai went to him to tell him that he was something in this world she cared about and kissed to reconcile. They all then returned to the party to destroy the house.

Zuko would come to visit her home frequently, and she supported him when he thought he was being kept out of recent war council held by his father, the Fire Lord Ozai. She was right, and they came to find him for the council at her home. She was there to see him as he exited, but he admitted he wasn't himself during the meeting.

Mai prepares to face Azula
Mai prepares to face Azula

Mai was in the bunkers on the Day of Black Sun and the Fire Nation Capital was being invaded. When she returned to her home, she found a letter on her bed from Zuko saying that he was breaking up with her and leaving the Fire Nation to join the Avatar to defeat his father. She was heartbroken, and several days later she heard from her uncle that Zuko had been captured at the Boiling Rock prison. She flew there with Azula and Ty Lee to see him privately. Zuko apologized to Mai, and during the breakout he locked her in the cell as he escaped with his allies. Mai escaped, and she saved Zuko from dying in the boiling lake surrounding the prison. Azula was furious with her, but Mai told her that she loved Zuko more than she feared Azula. She was ready to fight the princess, but Ty Lee saved her by using her chi blocking on Azula. Before they could escape, Mai and Ty Lee were thrown in prison.

Mai and Zuko reuntined
Mai and Zuko reuntined

Once Azula and Ozai were defeated by Zuko and the Avatar, Mai and Ty Lee were set free. She met with Zuko on the day of his coronation as the new Fire Lord. The two kissed, and she warned him to never break up with her again. After he was crowned, Mai joined Zuko to Ba Sing Se to Iroh's tea shop for a small party with Team Avatar.

The Promise

As Zuko tries to work with Aang on the Harmony Restoration Movement, an earthbending assassin named Kori tries to kill him. After he returns from Yu Dao to the palace, Mai had the Kyoshi Warriors placed as his guards against future attempts. However, Mai soon discovers that Zuko had been secretly meeting with his father in the prisons. Angered at the secrets he has been keeping from her, she tells him that she's leaving him since he seems to care more about his secrets than her. She storms out despite his pleas that he still loves her.

Powers & Abilities

Mai is a human girl with no unique special powers other than her combat training.

Marksmanship

She is exceptionally trained in the use of throwing knives and darts. Her experience with bladed weapons dates back to when she was a young child and throwing knives into her walls out of boredom. She has extraordinary accuracy with her weapons. He skills are sharp enough to immobilize her targets by pinning their clothes to walls or other objects.

Gadgets

Mai has spring loaded launchers strapped to her wrists and ankles that can fire darts. These are mostly hidden by her long sleeves and pants.

Other Media

Mai is a popular character in the Avatar franchise and she appears in many of the various products based upon the series.

Comics

Since the completion of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon series. There have been several comic series that has extended the canon story.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures (2011)

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures US (Jul 2011)
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures US (Jul 2011)

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures is a comic series of short stories from various artists and writers released in July 5, 2011 by Dark Horse Comics.This comic collection tells stories of events that happened during the first three seasons of the original cartoon.

Mai's only real appearance in these stories is in the Book 2 chapter titled, "Going Home Again".

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise (2012)

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise US (Jan 2012)
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise US (Jan 2012)

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise is a three part comic series that expands on the finale of the cartoon series. The Promise trilogy is written by Michael Dante DiMartino and illustrated by Bryan Konietzko. The first volume was released on January 25, 2012 by Dark Horse Comics. The events of this series is a canon extension of the Avatar series.

Voiced by
Name Movies TV Shows
Cricket Leigh
0
1
Akina Abe
0
1
General Information Edit
Name: Mai
Name: 美 (メイ)
Romanji: Mei
Gender: Female
Birthday:
1st manga book: Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures #1
1st anime episode: Avatar: The Last Airbender #23
1st anime movie:
Aliases
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Attractive Female
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Marksmanship
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Gadgets
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Unarmed Combat
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