I rewatched the entire Avatar: The Last Airbender series this past week. Still amazing. I cried during Episode 15 of Season 2, "The Tales of Ba Sing Se", or more specifically, "The Tale of Iroh" and especially during this song:
Please please please watch this show. Some of you may think Oh, it's not REAL anime, stupid Americans ruining anime for everybody, grumble grumble, but I promise you that Avatar: TLA embodies and perfects all of these following ideals that even some "real anime shows" cannot:
1. The plot is very well written. No wonder it has been nominated and/or won numerous awards for storyboarding, best TV series, and for its great writing, and even boasts an Emmy. There are 61 episodes in all, all of them being half-hour. Even though it's fast-paced, the writers still made plenty of room for humour, action, tragedy, and shipping (Kataang, Maiko, Sukko, etc.).
2. Characterizations are congruent, realistic, and fully realized. You will fall in love with each and every one of the main characters. Even the antagonist... who later becomes the deuteragonist. And who can resist a face like this?
3. The landscape animations and CGI are both very attractive and effective. The artists who create the animation and CGI must have attended graphic design college. The hybrid animals are wonderfully crafted. Have you seen the koala-sheep breed? Cutest fantasy animals ever. The "Avatar world" is designed to retain "real world" characteristics of East Asian art and mythology, so it's easy to be sucked into the story.
4. The cultures of the four nations are interesting and intriguing to learn. Even the bending techniques relate to actual martial arts; each nation uses a different type of Chinese martial arts to bend Water, Earth, Air, and Fire.
5. Realistic portrayal of war. Lots of action. Emotion-driven scenes. Epic battles and fighting choreography. Themes like destiny vs. freewill, good vs. evil, and separation vs. unity, all come into play.
6. All of the above with no gore or heavy use of blood. A great choice for kids, teens, and adults alike.
7. A professional soundtrack to accompany the intense battles and emotional scenes. Just. Epic.
Oh, one word of advice: don't watch the movie. M. Night ruined it. In my mind, the movie does not exist. (I.e. it should not exist.) (WHY M. NIGHT???) (WHY?) (DID YOU EVEN WATCH THE ANIMATED SERIES IN ITS ENTIRETY???? M. NIGHT???)
Outfit post soon!