Avatar: The Last Airbender

Saturday, May 14, 2005 by darco
Posted in

I just wanted to bring to you attention an absolutely beautifully animated TV series—Avatar: The Last Airbender. I stumbled upon this show by accident, and I was blown away. It has been a long time since there has been a Nickelodeon show that I actually enjoyed. It certainly has an "Anime" feel to it.

Here is the monologue from the title sequence. It is told by Katara, one of the lead characters in the story.

Water, Earth, Fire, Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the fire nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished.

A hundred years passed and my brother and I discovered the new avatar–an air bender named Aang. And although his air-bending skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he is ready to save anyone. But I believe Aang can save the world.

img_ava_aan

"Aang" (Airbender/Avatar) — He's just a goofy kid, really—except that he is immensely powerful. However, he has not yet mastered all of his abilities, and sometimes makes immature decisions.

img_ava_kat img_ava_sok

"Katara" (Waterbender) and her brother, "Sokka" — They are members of the water tribe of the south pole. Sokka is not a water bender but a "warrior".

img_ava_mom

"Momo" (Generic cute-cuddily thing) — Probably added by marketing to give them something that they can easily convert into merchandise. He/she isn't too distracting though, so I don't mind.

img_ava_zuc

"Prince Zuku" (Firebender) — Obviously the evil bad guy. I mean, common.

You can catch this show on Friday nights at 7:30PM on Nickelodeon. If you are into animation and/or Anime, I would highly recommend it. While it initially feels very anime-like, it is certainly a western show. I haven't seen very much of it yet, but so far it looks to be quite promising. No, it is not some cerebral mind-f$¢k like some of the stuff I have been watching, but what makes me excited is that it would seem that this show was created in the US*. This is still primarily a children's show, but the fact that it is enjoyable by more than just children is a step in the right direction for western 2D animation.

Avatar: The Last Airbender was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

(*) While it appears to have been created in the US, it is important to note that it is quite likely that the animation was out-sourced out of the country, due to labor being so much cheaper abroad.