Avatar: The Last Airbender is a 2005 animated series that’s made in the style of an anime. It features a kid named Aang, who is the Avatar of his world. The Avatar can bend all four elements (fire, water, earth, and air), and is destined to face the Fire Lord to end the war between nations.
I can honestly say that this show is one of the best animated series I have ever seen.
First, let’s get one thing straight: this is not a kid’s show.
The art style might make that a little hard to understand, but after watching it I can say that anyone, no matter their age, can find enjoyment from this show. There are no jokes that one particular generation wouldn’t understand because it takes place in a fictional world.
It also isn’t immature. Some of the lessons they learn throughout the show might be specifically designed to teach kids things, but they’re never as stupid as “sharing is caring” or whatever else you would see on Sesame Street.
The characters in Avatar are probably my favorite part of the show. Each one is unique, and the cast of characters they meet throughout the show is so diverse there is someone you can find yourself in.
Aang is the Avatar, so holds a lot of responsibility on his shoulder, especially with the guilt of leaving his tribe 100 years before the story starts.
Katara wants to be a water bender to avenge her mother, but feels she’s not good enough after seeing Aang water bend so easily.
Sokka, Katara’s brother, doesn’t know how to bend, and often feels out of place in the group, and makes up for it with jokes and humor.
That’s just the main cast; almost every side character introduced has some sort of character development. Even Prince Zuko, one of the main villains of the series, has one of the most relatable stories, and his character arc is amazing.
The world is also amazing. Everyone is split into four tribes, either: water, fire, earth, or air. Each tribe can bend that particular element, so water tribe people can make water float and splash out in their opponents faces.
The way they bend is through martial arts, and they even had a martial arts and cultural advisor present when making this show, so every movement in the show looks authentic. Bending in their world is used in a natural way, like earth benders making trains that are powered by earth bending, and water benders living in a Venice-style landscape because they can control their boats with water bending. This makes the world seem real because they are simply doing what people do when given the opportunity to do something.
Some things I don’t like about the show is its pacing. Season 1 is pretty slow and has a number of filler episodes as they travel north. However, the show is written well enough so that it doesn’t get boring. In fact, many of the characters in these filler episodes come back later in the show, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping any of them on a first viewing. This problem is pretty much just in season 1; once you get into season 2, it starts to get really good.
My final rating for this show is a 10/10.