AVATAR- The Last Airbender
SEASON 1 - Book One – Water
AVATAR is a Nickolodeon animated series aimed at kids, it is the brainchild of Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko.
The Head writer was Aaron Ehasz.
Coming to fruition in 2005 with its first season and concluding in 2008 with season three.
Here we're looking at the first season titled Water.
Set in a civilisation where the world is made up of four nations, Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.
Based on Chinese mythology and its Martial arts.
Within each nation, there are gifted ones who can manipulate each of the four elements of spirituality.
To maintain the balance of the nations there is one born unto them that can control all four elements, he is the Avatar.
The story is that the Fire Nation decided to attack the other nations at the point that the outgoing and incoming Avatar were at their divide. If all had gone to plan then the incoming Avatar would have been trained enough to counter such an attack.
The series starts a hundred years after this happens and a couple of Water Nation kids Kitara and Sokka who are out on the waters and come unstuck stumble upon a young boy frozen in the ice. Kitara who is a Water bender ( meaning she can manipulate water) uses her untapped ability to free the boy.
The boy a little confused is named Aang and he remembers being thrown into the icy waters in an attempt to protect himself he encompasses himself in a giant bubble.
Thinking he has been in limbo for a short while he soon discovers from Kitara and Sokka that war has raged for a hundred years and that all hope has been lost as the Fire Nation is taking over all regions of the world.
Aang possesses the ability to shift Air, an art long gone as the Fire Nation had wiped out all Air Benders. From this, the kids realise that Aang must be the only existing Airbender alive.
What they later discover is that Aang is the saviour of the world for he is the Avatar.
But at twelve years old he is not ready to bring the world to balance as he must first master the other elements to truly become the Avatar.
The story goes on that Kitara and Sokka decide to help Aang realise his destiny, more so after the Fire Nation attacks their village and Aang gives himself up to Fire Nation thug Prince Zuko, a brash banished Son of the Fire Lord who yearns to rule one day and sees the Avatar as his key to success.
Now you know on-site we like to cover all things martial arts related, yes even animated series meant for the younger audience.
But I tell you this is a complex story, the whole backdrop to some of the episodes can be quite dark with the Fire Nation depicted like the Empire out of Star Wars.
Aang is the Luke Skywalker of the series, much like in Star Wars, Aang is the chosen one.
Along with strange creatures and the many tribes of the four nations this small band of friends will venture out to see Aang gets to his goal.
To get from place to place the Avatar has a giant Bison that actually flies. He's got his big saddle where ten people can sit and chill while he flies through the sky.
Millennium Falcon, eat your heart out because Appa the Flying Bison is in town.
Not forgetting a Lemur who Aang befriends, our band of five are on a quest to balance the world.
Now the first season is twenty episodes of around 23-25 minutes apiece, so around 8 hours of viewing time. So easy to view a season in a week.
I liked the series, the animation is well done and a lot of thought has gone into all the elements and their art form.
The story is a continuing saga with each episode introducing you to new characters and destinations across the world throughout the four nations.
On their travels, the happy band of five helps various villagers out of trouble, but I did find that the trouble they helped with was trouble they brought with them as the obsessive Prince Zuko tracks Aang across the world bringing havoc to all who get in his way.
It's like one village that gets destroyed just because the Avatar's come there and all the villagers are like, oh what's going on, we must protect the Avatar. After a battle, the Avatar and his friends figure out we must leave to save the village as the attackers will follow them.
As they leave the villagers are all smiling and waving goodbye while standing in a flaming burning hell.
Then Aang and his band go to the next village and who follows them is Prince Zuko.
Though Prince Zuko's Uncle Iroh played by the brilliant late MAKO brings a calming effect to the proceedings with some comical elements and laughter at times.
In real life you see the Avatar coming and try and get rid of him quick before a barrage of hell lets lose on your town. No, not here, everybody's all for being burnt to a crisp with open arms.
It all culminates into a devasting battle towards the end of the season, but this is just to move you on to the Avatar's next journey to learn the four elements before time runs out, and there is a time element at work here which makes Aangs plight more intense as ever he soon learns.
Avatar The Last Airbender keeps you hooked with its story, and older children will like its theme, all kids like the Martial arts to some degree, especially in the modern age of video games.
Younger viewers may not follow the story but the colourful big creatures and the character of Aang in Avatar mode will keep them watching.
For an animation coming up to seventeen years old, it's still very good, and like most animated features they just don't seem to age like live-action features.
The voice acting is really good and clear and brings the characters to life.
And the series is viewable on Amazon prime which picked it up in 2021 only.
Avatar is a spiritual ride through the four elements which is rooted in Greek Cosmology with a Martial arts twist of Chinese culture.
Review Date: May 2022
Review By: Bruno B.
Look out for our review of Season Two of Avatar – Book Two Earth shortly
Aang – voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen
Kitara voiced by Mae Whitman
Sokaa voiced by Jack Dee Sena
Prince Zuko Voiced by Dante Basco
Azula voiced by Grey Delisle
General Iroh voiced by MAKO
Production Company: Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Distributor: MTV Networks
Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko
No' of episodes Book One : 20
Dante Basco takes centre stage at MCM Comic Con London in May 2022, he gives his insights into working on the Avatar Series, his acting career and his relationship with Mako Iwamatsu.See our full comic con feature on site by clicking the button below
Prince Zuko - voiced by Dante Basco