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Avatar: The Last Airbender

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posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 03:48 PM
Last Saturday my 3 year old son and I went to the comics shop as we usually do once a month. In the store they have a few TVs set up and my son could not keep his eyes off of them. I look down to him and ask if he likes the show. The clerk behind the counter then asks if we watch it at home. I told him no and that I don’t have cable. He said he doesn’t either but he always watches it at work and said the show is really good. I ask what it is called and he said it is called Avatar.

Since my son was so interested in it and the guy at the comic store said it was good I decided to get my hands on a copy of the first season.
So far we have watched the first 6 episodes and I have to say I really like this show. I had the impression that it was directed at kids because it is aired on Nickelodeon but this show really seems to me to be an animated series for adults that just happens to be kid-friendly. The show is intelligent, funny and full of adventure.

I love the world of “Avatar.” It is (was) split up into 4 nations: Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. Each nation has a remarkable order of people called "benders" who can learn to harness their inborn talent and manipulate their native element. Every generation has what is called an Avatar. The Avatar is a person who can control all the elements and exists to bring about balance among the four nations. Unfortunately 100 years ago the young avatar became trapped in ice and the Fire Nation as brought about war onto the rest of the world completely destroying the Air Nomads.
So now the Avatar known as Aang has returned and is now the Avatar: The Last Airbender.

posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 05:22 PM
It's a good anime show that is really made completely in the USA, if I'm not mistaken.

Here is some great info from

Cultural references

Avatar is notable for its extensive borrowings from Asian mythology and art in order to create a fully realized fictional universe. Apart from its anime-inspired character designs, Avatar also draws on a motley mix of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Indian and even Inuit, language, philosophy, religion and culture to flesh out the show's settings and peoples. Explicitly stated influences include Chinese art and history, Japanese animation, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism[4] and Yoga.[5] The show staff even employs a cultural consultant, Edwin Zane, to review scripts.


The term "Avatar" comes from the Sanskrit word Avatāra which means "descent." In Hindu mythology, gods, especially Vishnu, often manifest themselves into Avatars to restore balance on earth after a time period of great evil. This agrees with the calligraphy written above the word "Avatar" in the show's opening, which means "the divine medium who has descended upon the mortal world."[6]


In the show, Aang unknowingly revealed that he was the Avatar when he chose four toys out of thousands. These four toys were the exact ones that past Avatars had chosen for generations when they were children, revealing Aang to be the reincarnation of the Avatar. This same test is used by Tibetan Buddhist monks when a reincarnated Dalai Lama is expected. Visions the monks have revealed who the Dalai Lama is, and this test finalizes that he is, indeed, the reincarnation.

The Elements

Avatar draws on four of the five classical Indian elements of Hindu and Buddhist traditions for the four bending arts - Fire, (agni or tejas) water, (ap or jala) earth, (prithvi or bhumi) and wind or air (vayu or pavan). The fifth, aether (akasha or akash) is symbolized by Aang as an intermediary of the Spirit World. Some names in the series, such as "Agni Kai" and King Bumi the Earthbender, borrow directly from these elements.


A particular type of calligraphy is used for almost all of the text in the show. With the obvious exceptions of the English text on the masthead, titlecards and credits, all writing used is Classical Chinese calligraphy, a very old form of written Chinese once used in formal communication and literature. For each instance of calligraphy, an appropriate style is used, ranging from the archaic to the clerical. [7] The show employs calligrapher Siu-Leung Lee, PhD as a consultant and translator.

Fighting Styles

One final Asiatic influence is found in the show's action choreography. The fighting choreography draws from martial arts films, and the fighting styles and weaponry are based upon Chinese martial arts, with each bending art corresponding to a certain real-world style. The creators use Ku Tai Chi for waterbending, Hung Gar for earthbending, Northern Shaolin for firebending, and Ba Gua for airbending. [8] The show employs Sifu Kisu of the Harmonious Fist Chinese Athletic Association as a martial arts consultant.

Some awards it has won:

Avatar won two Pulcinella Awards in 2005 for "Best Action/Adventure Series" and "Best Series of the Year." It recently received 2006 Annie Award nominations for "Best Animated Television Production," and "Writing in an Animated Television Production," (Aaron Ehasz, John O'Bryan - The Fortuneteller) and won for "Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production." (Lauren MacMullan - The Deserter)

Anyway, my kids love the show and I like the fact that it does feature actual martial art moves even when the characters use "bending" and throw elemental blasts. The base moves behind them are real. I watched a show that was about 30 minutes with a guy demonstrating all the different moves (ie. this is the basis for the earth-bender attack *demo*).

It has some great real world lessons, etc for kids but enough story that it can entertain an adult.

posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 05:42 PM

It has some great real world lessons,

The episode I just finished watching had the group meet with an Earth bender community. Everyone in the community that had the skill of Earth bending had been put into a prison camp by the Fire Nation. The prisoners will to fight had been crushed, their will was so weak that they would do nothing to escape even when they were presented with the opportunity.
The episode was an amazing story of courage and was what made me write up this post.
What was really cool was that George (Sulu) Takei played the voice of the prison warden.

posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 05:54 PM
You can also get all Season 1 and the first couple episodes of Season 2 on iTunes right here.
(Must have iTunes to use this link)

I agree. Some really great writing. I like "Uncle Iroh" voiced by Mako

posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 03:22 PM

Avatar The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1 Collection

All of season one will be on DVD in September

posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 03:57 PM
I have seen all the AirBender cartoons to date. I have to .. my 10 year old
daughter is hooked on them. If I could pick one of the nations, I'd love to
be a water bender.

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