The world is divided into four elemental nations: The Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. The Avatar upholds the balance between the nations, but everything changed when the Fire Nation invaded. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, can stop them. But when the world needs him most, he vanishes. A hundred years later Katara and Sokka discover the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. Together they must help Aang master the elements and save the world. Written by
Kevin Jeremiah Gaona
Water... Earth... Fire... Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. A hundred years passed and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. And although his airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he's ready to save anyone. But I believe Aang can ...
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This review will be very long. I adore this show with every fibre of my being, and view it to be a piece of animated perfection. I implore people to avoid the disgusting live-action adaptation by director M. Night Shyamalan, as it is a disrespectful sham that mocks everything that the show stood for and mastered.So as for the show itself, where to begin? Well let's start with the story overall.
Avatar tells a complete a perfectly paced epic plot over the course of 61 22 minute episodes. The show contains several unique and beautifully detailed characters among its main cast, all of whom are given consistent and engaging development throughout. From family related guilt and angst, identity dilemmas and the characters constant, overarching and looming quest, the characters are pressed with many trials which actually truly change them over the course of their magnificent journey. Aside from the primary cast, many intriguing and varied side characters appear throughout the adventure. They offer comedic levity, new forms of drama and help to add to the deep mythological and philosophical backbone of the show. All characters are exquisitely written and voice acted, with not a badly portrayed among them.
Next I will cover the show's borderline legendary animation. It is a sight to behold indeed. I believe I am justified in believing that such stellar production values will never again be pared with this level of artistic imagination again, at least not in my lifetime. The scope, creativity and energy of the shows animation is second to no other show, and it's balance of colour is never anything less than sublime. Aside from sweeping and moving visuals, Avatar also offers fast paced and unbelievably well choreographed action scenes (once again, second to none) and well timed slapstick comedy. Not only is the animation stunning, it is also staggeringly versatile.
The show's epic mythos is also very strong, and demands to be deepened and added to (thankfully Korra is doing just that). It takes inspiration from Buddhist, Inuit, Western, Japanese and Korean cultures to deliver it's unique world, as well as many original and creative elements in conjunction with the more recognisable real world concepts. The show manages to weave philosophy and deep moral concepts within its world and characters, creating one of the most fleshed out fantasy worlds of the last several decades.
In conclusion, what can I even say? I love Avatar: TLA more every time I experience it, and it is one of very few shows (or even films) which can provoke a primal emotional response from me each time I see it, without fail. It sends shivers down my spine, and puts a tear to my eye, leaving me totally satisfied and fulfilled each time. My favourite television show, of all time.
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