Anime & Comics

Why Avatar The Last Airbender is One of the Best Animated Shows Ever

By Bea

Sixteen years since its first release, Avatar: The Last Airbender still creates a lot of buzz. With its recent release on Netflix, fans are eager to re-watch and binge on the iconic animated series. It’s no wonder that the series set social media ablaze. If you haven’t watched it, now is your chance to start. Who wouldn’t want to miss out on one of the best animated shows ever, right? Okay okay, this might still be heavily up for debate, but why not give it a chance? Here are some of the top reasons why Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the best animated shows ever.

It Has a Spectacular World of Its Own

Say what you want about this series, but one thing you can’t deny is how much detail, complexity, and thought was put into creating a world of its own. To be more specific, Avatar is set in a world where human civilization is divided into four nations, named after the classical elements: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Moreover, it will be noticed that characters from each area dress, speak, communicate, and act differently. Each nation also has a different style of Chinese martial-arts. For example, waterbenders use the fluidity of tai chi. Earthbenders use stomping and rooted stances of Hung Gar. Firebenders use Northern Shaolin which uses strong arm and leg movements. Lastly, airbenders use the dynamic circular movements of Ba Gua.

Its Brilliant Animation and Visual Effects

The show boasts a lot of things, and one of them is its brilliant animation and visual designs. The show’s fight scenes are one of the most notable things about it. Props to the Korean animators of the show who perfectly recreated all the martial arts forms and movements. However, its action sequences are not just the only notable things. Its intricately detailed designs of the characters are also praise-worthy. Even the slightest movement of their bodies and facial expressions say a lot about what the characters or story wants to convey to audiences. Moreover, small details such as Aang’s iconic tattoo, the robes of a Kyoshi warrior, and the Ba Sing Se wall are all creatively made.

It Adds a Bit of Humor

Most animated shows are very over the top when it comes to their humor. However, Avatar is a lot smarter when it comes to this (though sometimes it can still get a bit goofy in a good way). For example, when Aang finds himself 100 years into the future, he keeps expecting everything to be way they were 100 years ago. He then tries to prove how cool he is by busting out centuries-old songs. Kidding aside, majority of the show’s humor is based on quick banter which helps a lot in defining the characters’ relationships.

The Character Development is On-Point

The show’s creators definitely did the show justice with its character writing. Most fans would immediately think of Prince Zuko for having the best story arc. Without question, his is the most dynamic and interesting in the series. His internal battle being a descendant of both Firelord Sozin and Avatar Roku makes his redemption all the more amazing.

Many other characters from the show also have quite the story arcs. We have Aang who take on the big responsibility of healing the world and ending the Hundred Year War at only eleven years old. Another is Katara who was a fierce and loving character whose loyalty and righteousness never waivered throughout the series. Her ability to forgive those who have hurt her in the past makes her one of the most admirable characters as well.

It Has a Variety of Vengeful Villains

There were a lot of interesting villains on the show, some more powerful than others. An example is Hama whose blood-bending powers are arguably insurmountable. She was able to quickly control Sokka and Aang. However, since her powers are only available to her during full moons, this limits her threat as the most powerful villain. Another is Azula who is the daughter of the Fire Lord. This character has impressed fans with not just her fire-bending powers, but also her ability to generate lightning. Lastly (and most powerful of all), we have Ozai, the central villain of the series. As the leader of the Fire Nation, he possesses skills in political and military tactics, not to mention his bending and combat skills.

It Stood the Test of Time

The beloved animated series marked its 20th anniversary last year, and now it’s available on Netflix! This resurgence is a testament to its cultural relevance. Because of this, the series is bound to gain even younger audiences. This month, many of the main cast members even reunited for a 30-minute live event. A new graphic novel is set to come out as well!

Check this out for this year’s Anime Awards!

Continue the Avatar journey with Legend of Korra

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