A lot of amazing shows have come and go, a whole lot have ended well and left a legacy. The Last Airbender is one of those. And ten years ago Avatar Aang defeated Phoenix King Ozai and brought peace to the world! There’s no doubt that this animated series has it all. From the characters to its powerful story and lessons, here’s everything we love about Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The plot line is incredible
Not every animated show has a super consistent story or even a big story as it is. Avatar, on the other hand, has the three levels of storylines a series should have: the adventures the main characters live everyday, the context i which they exist and develop, and the big story, what’s happening in that world and what keeps them moving towards their goal.
In this case, the big story is the Hundred Year War and what is Aang supposed to do to solve it. The next level is each book, each season, in which the characters advance to their purpose. And the last one is the basic: dealing with daily tasks and problems. This last one allows the creators to make episodes that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the big story, they can exist without this context (the perfect example being The Tales of Ba Sing Se).
A Universe you understand from day one
This is a world of benders, people who can control elements through martial arts. But that’s not all. It has all sorts of creatures and legends, non-benders, issues. And the most powerful of them all: the Avatar, the bridge between the physical and the Spirit world, the one able to master all four elements and bring peace to the world. In this show there’s a lot of conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, spiritual meanings and practices, and many lessons to learn.
The Avatar as a very human protagonist
A very common mistake is creating perfect, flawless characters, specially when it comes to the main one. But Aang is a human boy. He’s an Airbender and he’s the Avatar, but he’s still a boy. And all through the show he reminds you that he’s not perfect. Aang has doubts about himself, he feels guilt, he procrastinates, he goofs around, he faces internal conflicts and experiences loss. There’s even an episode in which he can’t sleep because of the pressure of having to save the world.
But Aang is a caring human being, humble, happy, forgiving, and kind. He wasn’t ready to be the Avatar when he found out, but in the end, he embraced his destiny and fulfilled it in his own way.
Strong women all around
These are not your typical damsels in distress. From Team Avatar alone, we have Katara, Toph and Suki. NOW THAT’S A DREAM TEAM.
The “mother figure” always shows that she’s way more than that. Katara always tries to help and make everyone come to their senses, without leaving emotions completely aside. Plus becomes a freaking Waterbending Master! And she’s so powerful, she ends up learning the ways of Bloodbending (even though she only uses it two times out of desperation. Of course, bloodbending is evil as hell).
On the other hand, she’s the toughest princess you’ll ever meet. Toph may be a 12-year-old but man, she learned Earthbending directly from badgermoles, tought Aang how to earthbend, and DISCOVERED METALBENDING.
The leader and trainer of the Kyoshi Warriors. The fact that she’s a non-bender doesn’t mean anything. Suki’s still the coolest and able to kick anyone’s butt!
But not all tough, awesome women are good.
The Fire Nation Princess ends up being one of the most powerful and deadly enemies Team Avatar ever encounters. Aside from her craziness and obsession with power, Azula is a very smart and confident woman, who trusts herself and her own skills so much, she doesn’t need bodyguards.
This character is funny to a point, because she always seem to be bored by life. But when it comes to fighting and defending her friends and nation, boy, you better run. Although you might not be able to outrun her deadly knives.
This acrobat is the most jolly and smiley person you could ever meet. As long as you stay on her good side. One wrong move and she’ll chi-block the heck out of you, until you’re completely paralyzed.
Non-benders and disabled characters
And not only benders get everything. Non-benders can be pretty awesome as well. For instance, Sokka, the strategic brain of Team Avatar is no able to bend any water, but he’s still very VERY skillful with both boomerang and sword. But he’s not the only one. Suki, Mai, Ty Lee, Jet. These are non-benders that could totally save your life.
Don’t you ever forget to mention this show’s disabled characters. They’re can be many things but never weak or helpless. Just like in real life, these characters are strong, smart, and amazing. Great examples are Toph, who actually tought Aang how to use seismic sense to see without his eyes; and Teo, who helped a lot of refugees residing at the Northern Air Temple, even though he was in a wheelchair.
The best jokes and comedy
Sokka’s jokes are lame and unfunny, but he still makes them funny, he’s a great comic relief. From the mushy giant friend to Sparky Sparky Boom Man. But he isn’t the only funny character in this series.
Uncle Iroh is one of the best comic relieves ever created. In fact, he’s one of the best characters ever. He’s not only a really wise man, full of great advice, support and love, but he loves tea. And as a tea lover, he can get very creative. Sometimes getting poisoned by it, other times just trying to drink a very awful tea. But always looking for the best one. As great as him and his lessons.
The comedy in Avatar is always on point. The best proof of that is the episode The Ember Island Players. That’s just too much.
The most touching and incredible character arch ever
And last but not least. We have the best arch in life. The best character development. You know who we’re talking about: Prince Zuko. Yes, Fire Prince himself. He goes from “I must capture the Avatar and regain my honor!” to actually being a part of Team Avatar, teaching Aang firebending, and helping defeat his father, Fire Lord Ozai. He ends up playing a big role in ending the Hundred Year War. Zuko becomes Fire Lord and brings peace to the nations along Aang.
You’re the best and we love you, Zuko!
Must. Fight. Urge. To. Binge-watch. Again.
Forget it. Let’s all watch Avatar for the hundredth time!