Saturday, September 15, 2012

5 Reasons Everyone Should Love Avatar: The Last Airbender

For Otherworld Saturday, I thought I would make a list of 5 reasons everyone should love a show. I think 5 reasons for a show could be something we make a regular post about... we'll see. Anyway, I chose Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Now, Kristin (again) gets the credit for alerting me to the pure awesomeness of this show. In my defense - I grew up with two nerdy little brothers who watched too much Pokemon and I thought Avatar gave off a Pokemon vibe. I was wrong (kinda... I mean they do travel around and solve problems in different towns while learning to use their "powers") - the overall quality of Avatar is so much better.

So here we go... 
5 Reasons Everyone Should Love 
Avatar: The Last Airbender

1. The "Bending" - I have never been the person that thinks martial arts are super cool, but the bending on Avatar is pretty sweet. Being able to manipulate the elements is a neat concept; what I love most though is that they have to train in bending to be good at it. You have the ability, but it's what you do with that ability and how you craft that ability that make you the bender you can be. I also love the conflict that bending provides in the show. We see characters that can't bend that might question their contribution to the group. We see characters who think their bending is all powerful and it consumes them. Such a cool aspect to a kid's show. It's no wonder bending itself is such an important part of The Legend of Korra - it is such a great avenue for conflict. 
Favorite episode: "The Firebending Masters"

2. The sibling dynamic: Socca and Katara/ Zoku and Azula - K and I were talking about sibling relationships on shows (mostly the lack thereof) and how much we love seeing that dynamic. Both of us grew up with a brother close in age, so that relationship between brother/sister is so realistic and hilarious to watch. I love that throughout the show, there are many times when Katara completely infuriates Socca or Zoku is the only one that can put Azula in her place (or vice versa) - that sibling relationship is the only kind of relationship that can work like that. Siblings have that I have to love you, but I don't have to like you thing. 
Favorite episodes:  
"The Headband" - Socca and Katara pretend to be Aang's parents - they play off of each other perfectly; only siblings would be able to do that.  
"The Beach" - Zoku and Azula go with their friends to the beach - the fact that they share the memories of that place and what it means/doesn't mean to each of them - very impactful (and hilarious - my favorite scene of Zoku and Mai is in this episode). 

3. Toph - I don't have to say much here actually; she's a master at Earthbending, creates her own style of bending (Metalbending), and is hilarous 95% of the time. Oh, and she's Blind and can kick everyone else's ass whenever she happens to feel like it. What's not to adore?
Favorite episode: "The Blind Bandit"  - we meet Toph for the first time.

4. The idea of the Avatar - I know, not a very original concept. One girl born in the generation, the dark lord will mark him as his own... I know, I know, the chosen one and all that. Jana obviously likes chosen ones. But you have to admit, Aang, Harry, and Buffy are pretty awesome. Like Buffy, Aang is connected to the past chosen ones - something I find intriguing whenever a flashback happens. And like Harry, Aang is often conflicted about the fame of his status - is it something to be proud of or ashamed of? I think what makes the Avatar unique is the "Avatar State" and Aang's lack of control over it (until later episodes anyway). This ability he has to become someone almost outside of himself, that admittedly is pretty freakin' amazing, but that in a way is very frightening; Aang dealing with the Avatar state is powerful stuff. 
Favorite episode: "The Southern Air Temple" - flashbacks and the first time we see the Avatar state, very interesting and emotional episode. 

5.  The cheese factor - Come on, who doesn't love when Katara says "everything changed when the fire nation attacked" (although after watching on netflix ALL day, it does get a little old). You have to love a show that can be cheesy, but then can pick on itself. Other cheesy awesomeness includes: The Boulder (The Boulder is no longer conflicted about fighting a blind little girl) and the Cabbage Guy (My cabbages!!). 
Favorite episode: "The Ember Island Players" - hilarious; best example of any show picking on its own characters there has ever been. 

So... there you go. One last awesome thing that just didn't quite make it on the list: Appa. He rules, just saying. Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender - it is full of awesome. Just, don't watch the movie version. Please. Just don't. I mean, I don't think the cabbage guy made it in the movie at all (one of MANY issues). 


No comments:

Post a Comment