It’s been a while since the first and second part. This third and final part of my Avatar: The Last Airbender review is here. In this part, I am covering miscellaneous things, some of which are not that important, related to this animated series including my personal feelings. Enjoy!
Ideas and creativity: advanced bending
For the show which runs for sixty episodes, it’s not easy to keep things interesting in later part of the run. The excitement is bound to decrease as the viewers starts to get used to seeing firebenders shooting fire from their fists, Katara using water whip and earthbenders raising earth walls and throwing rocks around. Surprisingly, this show keeps me on the edge of my seat all the time with the continually invented bending techniques and several ‘advanced’ bending. Thus, the show keeps its freshness and momentum well till the very last episode.
Advanced bending is the skills only those who have mastered basic bending can perform such as Lightning-bending for firebenders, metal-bending for earthbenders, blood-bending for waterbenders and energy-bending which Aang learns from the ancient lion turtle. In short, they’re simply awesome and inspiring (I am currently shooting an imaginary lightning from my fingers as I am writing this and it looks kind of embarrassing).
Action sequences and combat moves
I rarely see this kind of choreography and combat moves in my general anime experience and Avatar’s martial arts instantly took me by surprise. The martial art is fast, fluid and most importantly very beautiful. Each nation uses different style according to the nature of their elements but they are all based on Chinese martial arts which explains why I have never seen them in most anime. Waterbending’s slow and elegant style is based on Tai Chi Chuan. Firebenders’ swift and offensive moves are inspired by Shaolin Kung Fu style. Earthbenders’ rooted and firm attack is based on Hung Gar Kung Fu and the Airbenders’ agile and evasive style is based on Ba Gua martial arts (aka circular walking or Eight Trigram Palm). More information on these styles can be found here.
Steam punk invasion
The world of Avatar is built on the Asian period setting. Throughout the series, we continually see the Fir Nation uses machines driven by steam energy and made of metal. Looking at those vehicles, warships and battle tanks reminds me of several steampunk anime like Laputa, Steamboy or Last Exile. It’s very reasonable because this power originates from the fire but these powerful technologies also make the firebenders forget the fire’s true creative nature. The higher they advance, the farther from nature they are. The dragons which are the first firebenders are on the verge of extinction. All the other colors of fire are forgotten, leaving only the burning red, destructive flame.
The steam punk theme will probably be more evident in the upcoming miniseries called ‘The Legend of Korra’ which takes place seventy years after the events of The Last Airbender. I saw the promotional poster and noticed the Republic City on the horizon. The city looked quite modern.
Personal feelings: experiencing ‘Avatar Blues’
Avatar Blues is originally the depressive feeling one experience after watching James Cameron’s Avatar movie. Some hardcore fan simply can’t deal with the fact that Pandora does not exist in reality. But in my case, my emotional state was significantly dampened after I watch Avatar The Last Airbender the animation. This lasted for a few days and I was surprised I let myself fall into this condition. I did not hate the real world but I had fallen in love with Avatar’s magnificently portrayed universe. I was too emotionally involved with it and when the series ended, I kept longing for it. Yeah, I suppose that’s how great this series is.
Overall Rating: A+
Title: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Genre: action, fantasy
Released date: February 21, 2005 (2005-02-21) – July 19, 2008
Directors: Lauren MacMullan, Dave Filoni, Giancarlo Volpe, Ethan Spaulding, Joaquim Dos Santos