“100 Years Of War” – Avatar: The Last Airbender (Anime)- 10/10 Flowers

– Guest Review by Hope_In_Song

“Now the day has come/We are forsaken/There’s no time anymore/Life will pass us by/We are forsaken/We’re the last of our kind” Within Temptation – “Forsaken”

Genre: Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Review Status: Complete (58 episodes/58 episodes)

Licensed: This was an American show to begin with, though animated by Koreans.

Art/Animation: The designs of characters, clothing, and backgrounds are done very well. The animation and style is actually quite wonderful. The quality of the art and animation shines it’s best during special epic episodes, such as “The Day Of Black Sun” and “Souzin’s Comit” that have amazing battle sequences as well as modern-looking war machines that are operated via bending.

Summary: Made in the United States but deeply informed by the graphic style of Asian anime, this animated series conjures up an exotic fantasy world to frame the elaborate saga of a lad born with special powers and a heroic destiny. After Katara and her brother Sokka extract young Aang from his hibernation inside an iceberg, they discover he’s the new Avatar: the only being who possesses the air-bending powers needed to defeat the predatory Fire Nation.
(From Netflix.com)

Why is anime so great? It’s not just the beautiful art style and the fact that it’s awesome ’cause it’s from Japan, but also because it’s actually a cartoon, an animated series that is frame by frame animation and has a deep storyline to it. You can tell the people who made these anime actually put time and thought into it, writing the stories and doing the animation. Now, check out some of the modern cartoon series we have here in America. I have nothing against American animation. In fact, I am a pretty big fan of the classic cartoons way back when, as well as some of the cool stuff they had in the 80’s and early 90’s. I just have a problem with modern American cartoons, because frankly, I’m gonna be blunt here….they suck. No plot, horrible animation, ugly designs….need I go on? That’s why “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is so refreshing. It’s a recent American cartoon (but if you want to get technical, technically it’s Korean do to how many worked on the animation) that actually has a good story and looks absolutely beautiful! Sure, it may not be as gorgeous as some anime out there, but I have to say that this series has it’s visually stunning moments. Such as the two Earth Kingdoms, Omashu and Ba Sing Sei, and the great epic battle scenes that take place involving tanks and war balloons. And the best part of all….there is actually substance! There isn’t just action and visual effect just to look cool, but there is actually reason behind it. This world has undergone a hundred years of war, ever since the last Avatar had vanished.

Our story begins with Sokka and Katara, two siblings from the Southern Water Tribe out trying to catch some fish. They end up coming across a boy frozen in an iceberg. His name is Aang, an Air Nomad, who also is the next Avatar, and sadly the last of his kind. Aang is devasted when he finds out that the Fire Nation wiped out his entire people. The spirit of Roku, the Avatar before him, tells Aang that he must master all four elements before summer’s end. Why? Because that’s when Sozin’s Comet will arrive, giving Fire Benders incredible power. Later they are joined by Toph, a young girl who though is blind is the best Earth Bender in the world! She runs away from home to help Aang learn Earth-Bending. But you can’t have heroes without enemies! Our first main antagonist introduced is Prince Zuko, the banished prince. To regain his honor, his father told him that he must capture the Avatar. With him on this journey is his Uncle Iroh, a wise tea-loving old man who is a retired General and has the title Dragon Of The West. He loves and cares for Prince Zuko as if he were his own son, and throughout the series tries to guide him down the right path. Our second main antagonist is Princess Azula, a fire-bending prodigy and Zuko’s sister. She is a fierce and dangerous girl who is also very beautiful, and accompanying her are Ty Lee and Mai, though not Fire Benders, have their own deadly techniques.

I am always in awe when I watch this show.

Everytime I watch it, I always say “Whoever wrote this story was a pure genius!” and I’m not kidding. Don’t knock it just ’cause it’s a kid show. There’s alot of action with an epic-size storyline, as well as heartfelt emotion, messages of hope, and never giving up. Plus it is well balanced with plenty of humor, lightening the mood so it never remains in a dark place. I loved watching the characters develope and grow as they traveled through the Earth Kingdom to the Nothern Water Tribe and then sneak into the Fire Nation and eventually face their destiny. Many of the important characters’ pasts are shown, adding alot more depth and making the story all the more rich. The character I loved to watch develope the most was Prince Zuko. Though introduced as the antagonist for the series, when you see the episodes that explain his past and how he got the scar on his eye, though he is the enemy you start to care about him and feel sorry for him. You find a young teenage boy who is struggling with the difference between right and wrong and who only wants his father’s love. The way his character developes in the story is just amazing to watch, especially by the third book.

Overall, this is an excellent story that I will dare say is a masterpiece. Not only does it have loveable characters, an epic storyline, comic relief, and perfect pacing, but it’s really clean and enjoyable for the whole family! I really loved the themes of never giving up, always hoping, and facing destiny, as well as how “Team Avatar” grew to become like a family. I’ve always enjoyed stories about kids and/or teens doing amazing things, and this one doesn’t disappoint. I wish I could say more about why I loved this series, but that would give away too many spoilers. So if you’re looking for a series that is fun and clean for all ages, as well as full of stunning action and an engaging plotline, this series is for you!

Recommended: Yes, yes, and did I say yes? This is a series the whole family can enjoy! Very clean. There are alot of action and fight sequences, but they’re all bloodless. There are a few flashback instances where it is implied someone was burned or killed, but it isn’t shown. The most graphic it gets is when Aang finds out all the Air Nomads were wiped out, discovering the skeleton of the monk he was close to. Romance is kept very innocent, nothing beyond a kiss. As far as religious content is concerned, this is a fantasy and some people have the ability to “bend” a certain element. The Avatar has the ability to bend all four elements. There’s also some talk of reincarnation, that when the Avatar dies, he or she is reincarnated into the next nation in the cycle. Aang somtimes journeys into the “spirit realm” via meditation and can talk to any of his past lives when he looks deep within himself.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Cardcaptor Sakura (anime and manga)
Hero Tales (anime and manga)
Heroic Age (anime)
Kaze no Stigma (anime)
Fullmetal Alchemist (anime and manga)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (anime)
Origin: Spirits Of The Past (anime)
Spirited Away (anime)
Thunderkid (manga)
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (anime and manga)


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