Thursday, June 03, 2010

Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season Two

AangKitaraSokka Last fall, one of my friends let me borrow Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season One.  He thought it would be something I would like, and he was spot on.  The show is about a young boy, Aang, who is the reincarnated Avatar, master of all the elements—water, earth, fire, and air.  Aang seeks to understand his awesome power and master the elements so he can finally stop the war that has raged across the world for over a hundred years.  With help from his friends Katara and Sokka, he travels abroad, uncovering mysteries and getting into frequent trouble.

It did not take very many episodes for me to like the show.  For one, the cartoon is beautifully animated.  It’s obvious that the artists are very skilled in what they do, and watching the show is rather cinematic.  Another thing that makes the show great is how funny it is.  The ill-luck some characters have (Sokka) and the clever script has me laughing nearly every episode.  The show also juggles other emotions quite well.  Shame and guilt, longing for something more, love, all of these are infused in this cartoon, and this makes it something more than just a basic toon.  Finally, the show has an excellent plot.  While not necessarily all original, the episodes are tight and all fit together snugly, never leaving the viewer curious for too long.  Plus, it borrows from many Eastern religions and cultures (mysticism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc.), and this cross-culture type of show is both educational and perfect for setting.

I write all of this because after I finished Season One, I had no way to watch the last two seasons.  My friend only had Season One on DVD.  So, I put in a request to the local library that they get the DVDs, and finally, they have got Seasons Two and Three. 

I’ve been watching Season Two this past week or so, and I still find myself laughing and mesmerized like I did for Season One.  The depth of characters for a cartoon show is amazing, and the cast is large.  Season Two deals with Aang, Sokka, and Katara traveling to find an Earthbender to teach Aang, and after they find one, learning to Earthbend.  Along the way, Sokka discovers a clue that will help bring down the Fire Nation, something happens to Appa, and one particular character has a metamorphosis that was long in the making.  With the last episode of Season Two, “The Crossroads of Destiny,” I was excited to see how all of the characters would interact together.  By the end, I was flabbergasted and slightly angry.

I’m looking forward to checking out the concluding season from the library and seeing the rest of the drama play out.  If you’ve never watched Avatar: The Last Airbender, do yourself a favor and rent/Netflix (I guess Netflix has them.  I dunno, I don’t have Netflix, either.)  them right now.  There’s a live-action film coming out sometime based on the series, and hopefully it’ll turn out okay.  Right now I’m a bit perturbed at the casting choice, but from what I’ve seen so far, it will hold true to the show.



Jonathan Francis said...

I have been wanting to get into this for a while now. I'll probably by the first book sometime soon.

From someone who doesn't know all that much about the show...the movie trailer looks awesome. I can't wait to see it. Not sure if I should watch the animated series first though...

logankstewart said...

The cartoon is awesome. I'd probably recommend watching the show before watching the movie if you can, but if not, definitely after seeing it. I'm really hoping the film is as good as the show, though there will inevitably be a lot of material omitted.