A Long Time Ago in a anime cartoon with bear-platypuses comes a tale about a young hero who doesn’t want to admit he’s a hero, but he must learn to become one with the force while making friends along the way and must battle an evil villain who uses lightning while also bring over another villain to his side while also saving the world of three eyed penguins and bunch of other weird combination animals. For example The Cat-Owl, What can you say about that?
Pre-Review: I started to notice some TV reviews on this site so I thought why not jump on the band wagon. I just recently finished watching Avatar: The Legend of Aang (I’m calling it by how it looks on my DVD) so I thought why not talk about it. I remember when this show came out and I chose to never watch it because it’s Anime. Just hang on I don’t hate Anime. I remember watching Spirited Away at school and watching a few Dragon Ball Z episodes when I was a kid and enjoying those but I just never got into it. My excuse is as good as not admitting I liked The Powerpuff Girls as a kid all because it’s a girl superhero show. So just last Christmas I decided to start watching this show and here’s my thoughts on it. (Also Spoiler Warning for Whole Series)
Plot: If you want a good summary of the show just watch the opening for the show. (Link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1EnW4kn1kg) But I’ll still give you a quick summary anyway: 4 Elements, Fire=Bad Guys, Avatar=Jesus, Two Kids find Bald Boy and Bald Boy needs to learn to be hero before saving world. Boom Opening Credits.
Basic Thoughts: While watching this show I had a similar feeling to how felt about Teen Titans. There are great likable characters that I want to see grow and become a better person at the end. It also felt like Star Wars: The Clone Wars that it got better as the series went along. (Same with the animation) What I like to see in shows is that each season improves on the last and Avatar does this. With a quite serious dark tone for a kids show with some humour that could keep a child’s attention span. I also appreciate that each episode is different from one another since our heroes are always doing something different and traveling to different unique places every episode it keeps the show fresh and keeps your interest to see what happens next week.
Animation: Very quickly the animation looks great with really nice backgrounds, the characters look really good and the action scenes are awesome! They are always the highlight of the episodes with people doing flips throwing rocks or fire at each other especially at night. (You wouldn’t believe how many movies or TV shows I hate because they fight in the dark and it’s really hard to make what’s going on)
The Characters: So we meet a boy named Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen) in the ice who’s supposed to be The Avatar. Aang is a great main character. He’s just an innocent young boy who doesn’t want to accept the responsibility of being the Savior of the world. I enjoyed seeing him grow from a young childish kid to a hero who’s ready to accept his destiny. Then there’s Katara (Mae Whitman) who can be a mix bag especially with the Aang and Katara love story that I never got into. I more enjoyed seeing her become a more awesome Water-Bender. Sokka (Jack DeSena) for most of the show is the comedic relief by late Season 2 I really got into him as he desperately wanted to prove to his dad that he can become a tactical war hero.
Appa (Dee Bradley Baker) is pretty cool. He’s the most original out of the animals (Maybe besides the one in the series finale) Momo (Also Dee Bradley Baker) is basically that cute animal sidekick your forced to have in every Disney movie! Then we get to other main story line in the series which is Prince Zuko’s (Dante Basco) quest for redemption. Zuko might be my favourite character on the show. He can be a bit whiny but he goes through the most in the series as he struggles to find where he belongs in the world with his Uncle Iroh (Mako) by his side. If Zuko isn’t my favourite than Iroh would may a great 2nd. I love that guy. Anyway let’s move onto the Books. (Or Seasons)
Book 1 Water: Out of all the seasons this is my least favourite. It’s not terrible it’s the one meanders the most the one where it’s the most childish and the one with very little going on. The Basic plot for this season is we got to go to The Water Kingdom so Aang can learn Water Bending and we’ll arrive there in about 16 episodes so we don’t have to spend too long there. It’s a minor gripe I can see why they did this. But the thing that annoyed me most was how The Fire Nation felt like The Empire in the Original Trilogy and it just bafflers me how these guys are so feared and have so much power when they’re portrayed as incompetent idiots.
The thing that kept me going through that season was Zuko’s storyline that was the best part of the season. There were also some great episodes in between Along with the bad ‘The Great Divide’ anyone like The 2 parter ‘Winter Solstice’ which sets the stakes for the rest of the series, ‘The Storm’ that shows the backstories of Aang and Zuko and ‘The Blue Spirit’ was a pretty cool too. Once they arrive at The Water City it has a pretty cool finale with special Magic Fish, Moon Spirit girlfriends and an epic water monster to save the town. Awesome!
Book 2 Earth: This one pretty much fixed my all problems with the last season making this one my favourite. Aang needs an Earth Bending Teacher so this introduces Toph (Jessie Flower) who’s blind and uses earth bending to see through the ground and she’s just awesome! With Zuko and Iroh as fugitives we are also introduced to Zuko’s sister Azula (Grey DeLisle) a better more dangerous fighter and a more evil version of Zuko. She enjoys being evil so much that she steals pretty much every scene she’s in. Season 2 has a great start with only one bad episode (Coughs ‘Avatar Day’) between the 1st episode to the 10th ‘The Library’. Where Sokka finds The Fire Nation’s weakness and Appa gets kidnapped.
The great streak keeps up when they reach Ba Sing Se at Episode 13 and learn about the corruption inside the city and the façade within the palace walls. I’m not kidding I was super excited for the next episode and that was ‘The Tales of Ba Sing Se’ and it sucked! It’s so pointless besides the last 5 seconds that could a clue to Appa’s whereabouts. The point is its Filler and I hate Filler! Anyway we get to ‘Appa’s Lost Days’ and Lake Laogai’ which picks things up and it has also features the only death on the show. (I’m still trying to figure out if it was an actual death) Then there’s the Finale which was great its ending is The Empire Strikes Back for Avatar. My only gripe would be the plot line with Toph’s parents sending out some warriors to get their daughter back went nowhere. It made me excited for the series again.
Book 3 Fire: First off Aang has hair? (Weird right?) First few episodes made me worried for this season like ‘The Headband’ where Aang becomes Kevin Bacon from Footloose. But these episodes brought back my love for the show in ‘Sokka’s Master’, ‘The Beach’ and ‘The Puppetmaster’ they were all great character building episodes. Then we get to ‘The Day of Black Sun’ where our heroes attack The Fire Nation’s capital which is great but with 10 episodes to go you don’t except much of a victory. At least Azula steals the show again. (Can’t argue about that) Also the new voice for Uncle Iroh got on my nerves a bit. It’s was too distracting whenever he’s onscreen.
After their defeat Zuko joins Aang and the Gang (I really wanted to say that) and the last few episodes before the series finale we have Zuko teaming up another character for an episode. It feels especially tedious when Toph mentions the plot of the last 4 episodes and how she feels left out. They’re decent the best one is the Zuko and Katara team up episode where they hunt down the man who killed Katara & Sokka’s mum. Also before the finale we get an episode where Aang and The Gang watch a play about themselves. It’s really stupid and felt like an excuse for the writers to make fun of themselves. Again Filler!
Anyway the series finale is pretty great. (Which for Animated shows it’s amazing) The first part was kind of boring but the 2nd was great build up for the last two. As we see the main villain of the series Fire Lord Ozai (Mark Hamill) finally getting his hands dirty and getting into an epic final battle with our hero. While the rest of our heroes get involved in some action which makes for a great light show especially with the Zuko, Katara & Azula Fight. It ends resolving most plot lines (Except one really obvious one with Zuko) very nicely as Aang creates his own destiny and thanks to an Island Turtle Thing that they introduced in the 4 parter, Which helps Aang de-power Ozai then spends the rest of his life living happily with his beloved Katara that still feels weird to me. The End!
Final Thoughts: Avatar: The Legend of Aang has its problems like many great shows do especially with some forced comedic moments and some plot lines not resolved or with weak character resolutions but it was still a great show to watch with a great story, great characters and animation and I would recommend to everyone. It’s a 9/10 for me. One day I’ll get around to the movie and the spin-off. But that may not be until later in the year. So stay tuned.
Those are my thoughts on Avatar: The Legend of Aang if you agree or disagree please let me know in the comments. If you can share it with your loved ones that would be great and if you haven’t notice I’m a huge fan of movies and I’m willing to suffer for my audience (If I have any) so let me know on what I should review next.
Thanks for reading this review and I’ll see you again in the next review. (It’ll probably be Twilight Part 3, Ugh please hurry up and end!)