Why You Should Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender

January 12, 2009

and now...time for more bending!

and now...time for more bending!

So we’re back to talking about Avatar \(^_^)/. Here are few of MANY additional points why I absolutely adore and love it.

Original and intelligent design. I previously blogged here about how Avatar combined already existing architectural styles to create a fictional setting that is both original and intelligent. What impressed me even more as the show progressed further, was the way they combined your typical “elemental magic” aspect with different martial art styles that is more than a mere superficial means to excite children. Stubborn like a rock, flowing and rejuvenating like water, quick and fierce like fire, versatile like air…and those elements in turn reflecting the character’s personality, their way of viewing and interacting with life. What’s amazing is how we didn’t even have to know these martial arts, just by looking at how fierce Zuko fights, or resolute Toph’s stances are, you can understand the kind of attribute these different bending styles exhibit. It shows intelligence, beautifully expressed, and ultimately original despite its re-use of already existing elements.

Engaging journey of likable characters. The filler episodes take you to some really interesting places, filled with interesting creatures, people and their own little stories to tell. Even during these funny and exciting fillers, they never lose their sights on the overall story and manages to build up each one towards explosive climax. All done in a perfect pacing. Even better are the extremely likable cast of characters. They grow on you, and you’ll miss their silly laughs and endearing journeys once it’s over.

3

:3

Amazing character of Zuko. He is just…wow. Initially he appears to be yet another one dimensional dime-a-dozen villain. At the end of journey, depth of his development is as moving and profound as Youko’s from The Twelve Kingdoms. And if you know my taste, that is about the highest compliment I can give to a fictional character.

– Flawless mix of action, comedy, romance and drama. I’m not saying its handling of action or any other element was flawless. I’m saying no element was intrusive to another, which is incredibly rare to see in any medium. It’s funny, thrilling, characters are adorably cute, and sometimes even heart-bending our emotions(/ducks more rotten tomatoes). A truly rich and wholesome entertainment.

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2 Responses to “Why You Should Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender”


  1. Yeah, I know I should watch Avatar. My limited experience of children’s shows in recent years, which is limited to Miyazaki’s stuff and Dennou Coil, suggests to me that there’s a majority of ‘meh’ and a minority of brilliance…which sums up TV in general really. What sets the good ones – which I’m assuming extends to Avatar from what you’ve outlined here – apart is how they don’t patronise their audience.

    Kids are sharper than most adults give them credit for – which is why they scare me! It’s funny, but I noticed when a moral message was complex or preachy when I watched TV as a child, so I think the makers of DC and Avatar are very astute in including elements that most makers of youngsters’ TV don’t usually include.

    Children DO appreciate good writing and it IS worth the extra effort on the part of the writers/animators. In fact, since kids are so impressionable it’s actually all the more important to show “truly rich and wholesome entertainment…” Give them a good start in their appreciation of entertainment!

    An additional advantage of intelligent writing and solid production values in kids’ TV is that it can stand up to the cynical eye of adults, broadening its appeal. Quite honestly I don’t know why makers of childrens’ TV and movies don’t try harder more often…can’t they remember the great feeling they had when they saw something memorable when they were young??

  2. gaguri Says:

    Yes, the good ones (including Avatar) never insult your intelligence. I wasn’t fortunate enough to watch many quality shows like this when I was a kid, all I remember is some Disney movies (which are still good), Korean cartoons for children and um, Pokemon >_>. We might be giving too much credits to children though. Good writing will no doubt enthrall them to no end, but from my observations, gimmicks like the ability to catch/train/be-friend/battle pokemon, or summon monsters from cards, are most of the time enough to capture children’s imagination without really needing a mature storytelling.


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