Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) My Reviews 20 DEC 2012

Long ago, human civilization was divided into four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation and the Air Nomads. Within these societies existed people with the amazing ability to manipulate the element of their nation through the physical motions of martial arts. This was known as bending.

At any given point in time, only one person in the whole world would be able to bend all four of the elements – the Avatar, a divine spirit of the world, continuously reborn and reincarnated in human form, tasked with keeping the balance between the nations as well as connecting the material world with that of the spiritual realms.

A hundred years ago, the reigning Fire Lord Sozin started a war with the other nations, taking them by surprise and almost immediately subjugating most of the other territories. And during the world’s great time of need, the Avatar simply disappeared.

Now a hundred years later, a brother and sister from the Southern Water Tribes uncover what appears to be the Avatar, a young Air Nomad called Aang – The Last Airbender.

What follows from here is a simply marvellous tale of Katara, Sokka, Aang and his flying bison called Aapa, as they attempt to evade the clutches of the Fire Nation, avoid a hellbent pursuer, attempt to upskill Aang’s bending abilities to include all the other elements, and finally try to end the war that has been plaguing the world for so long.

Packed with action, adventure, drama, humor and a very rich and detailed story that draws one in, entertains and enlightens, Avatar: The Last Airbender is without a doubt one of the best animated television shows to comes out of the States in a very, very long time, pleasing both young and old in the process.

The character development is superb, the visuals are amazing, the action and fight choreography unsurpassed – in fact there is almost nothing that a person can fault in this series. Hauntingly beautiful music, striking character designs, an inventive and fun world to be taken in, and a well-matched voice cast makes for a sublimely polished show that you should most definitely be sitting down and watching with your kids if you have not yet done so.

61 episodes broken up into 3 distinct “books” means that you will grow up with and emotionally attach yourself to each and every one of the characters, making it that much harder to let go once the incredibly satisfying end to this epic series is unleashed before you.

Quite frankly I can’t recommend this series highly enough to anyone with even the slightest of interest in watching animated shows.

Definitely, definitely worth your while to track this one down then! :)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.