Avatar: The Last Airbender is an incredible series that I’ve watched twice. The three seasons have different feelings to them, with the second season being my overall favorite. The cast of characters in this series are memorable and layered with complexity. The world is very creative with the elements, spirits, cultures, and animals being well-developed. The only downside is that the series can be a bit immature at times. Overall, I think dealing with deeper topics with levity helps endear the audience further to these characters and to this world.
The series starts by explaining that there are four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. There is only one person who can control all 4 elements known as the Avatar. One hundred years before the events of the story, the Avatar disappeared. There were four nations based around benders (people with the ability to manipulate the elements), but the Fire Nation attacked and destroyed the Air Nation. We quickly learn within the series that the world has been struggling to avoid falling to the Fire Nation’s empire.
We’re introduced to Sokka (Jack De Sena) and Katara (Mae Whitman) as the two siblings feud. Eventually Katara waterbends at Sokka hitting an iceberg. The iceberg lights up and Aang (Zach Tyler) emerges unaware where or when he is. In the distance a Fire Nation ship is looking for the Avatar. When they see the light in the sky, Prince Zuko (Dante Basco) and Uncle Iroh (Mako) take it as a possible sign that they’ve found the Avatar.
I wouldn’t say this series is for everyone, but it’s certainly an expertly done animated series. Among reviewers and fans, there are few animated series that rival its praise. The different cultures displayed in the show are based off real cultures and this helps build a rich world. The characters at the start of the show seem very basic, but if you look around you’ll see article after article about the complex layers of the main cast. This show takes you on a journey in the traditional sense where the trip is more important than the destination. The destination is still very important, but many enjoy these characters so much they want to see them in comics and other media. Rated TV-Y7-FV.