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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book One – Book Three

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Spoliers, ho!

Book One – Water

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So I finally started watching this show. I’m slow on everything, so no surprise there; zeusaurus will be happy to know that I’m enjoying it so far.

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Here are some of my thoughts while watching and after completing the first season.

  • I don’t like how Sokka dismisses bending and doesn’t support his sister’s desire to learn. Even if he doesn’t believe in it, he should at least believe in her passion. He comes around after bending saves his hide a few times, but never apologizes for his previous behavior.
  • I don’t like how Katara couldn’t tell the difference between her brother’s usual jealousy and sarcasm to cover it up and when he is serious. As particularly seen in the episode “Jet.”
  • When they were in the canyon, the earthbender said that without his arms he’s useless, but in the opening the earthbender doesn’t use his hands at all, just his feet. So it’s either a continuity issue or he’s not very skilled.
  • I thought it was strange that Katara didn’t practice bending more or make an effort to help out in situations where water was present.
  • I like how Aang and Katara worked together using both of their skills.
  • I don’t understand why the whole scroll argument happened. They could have weighted it with a rock and both practiced.
  • The fire nation’s artillery is cool, especially their tanks.
  • How did Kitara suddenly become awesome at bending in ep 18 before the training?
  • Aang reminds me of Naruto, not excessively so, but nonetheless.
  • I love the color/light/dark play in ep 20.

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There are other things in the story that I’m intrigued by such as the social narrative, but I’ll get into those some other day. I’m enjoying it and I’m going to keep watching.

Book Two – Earth

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I want to continue on to season 3, but I hear that bathing and sleeping are important. This weekend wasn’t long enough. But here are some thoughts.

  • I couldn’t get enough of the nomads. Singing and dancing rave hippies.
  • I was wondering how Sokka shaved his head, then they showed him shaving his mustache.
  • Before I knew it was lightening, I thought that, though Princess Azula’s electricity is cool, as elements go, I thought it would make more sense for it to be a facet of waterbending–hydroelectricity and all.
  • I don’t understand Katara thinking it was her mother. She’s dead. But I keep forgetting that when people are tired and weary, the mind can play tricks on you, and I suppose it goes double when they enter a swamp that does that kind of thing to you.
  • Sokka’s type of character, ever the pessimist gets old real fast. With all the things he’s seen, he still has no imagination to believe. I suppose he represents atheism in away–understanding logic and reason over things that require faith (blind or otherwise).
  • Rough (Ruff) Ryders…. HAHAHAHA!
  • Regarding my comment about the canyon earthbender from Book One… I get that in martial arts, stance is important and it’s not just about how far apart your feet are, so having his arms out of commision would definitely hinder him, but I still think that there’s an earthbender who can do it.
  • I knew it was the Fire Nation trio as soon as they said 3 warriors and Sokka didn’t go see them. So what happened to the real Kyoshi warriors? Did they die? Poor Sokka.
  • Katara laughing during the general’s meeting… usually she has more composure, but I think her subconscious was channeling her brother whom she probably misses. They’ve never been apart for that long.
  • I was wondering who would master metal–I knew it had to happen considering the Fire Nations penchant for using it. When Toph, who’s a pretty awesome character, got locked in the box I figured she would be the one.
  • My favorite scenes will always be those in which same-element benders are bending in concert with each other or when characters combine the bending of different elements to achieve a common goal. It’s actually beautiful.
  • Of course I’ll wait and see, but is he really the last Airbender? And are they going to address the mixing of tribal blood?
  • Are we going to get a real answer to why Avatar Roku disappeared?

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I like the mix of primitive, ancient, modern, and civil atmospheres They’re effortlessly blended. There’s so much going on in this series. I didn’t think it would make me think so much. Some of the Aang gang’s actions frustrate me, but I have to remember that they’re just kids. No matter how mature they can be at times, they’re still children. It’s a little late to say it now, but I usually steer clear of shows where kids are performing amazing feats, though there are some exceptions.

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This season was much more emotional. I love when I finally see the source of the stills, gifs, cosplay, quotes, and jokes that cross my dash. Iroh might be my favorite character.

Book Three – Fire

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The problem with watching shows or going on a binge is that I don’t know how to come up for air. It was hard not to call out of work. So, series one is complete and here are some of my initial impressions.

  • Katara’s savior or save-you-from-yourself complex is a bit annoying.. Too often she doesn’t give people room to breathe with their own thoughts and reasoning. But I understand that she’s probably had to play that role most of her life. However for someone who feels they know what’s best for everyone, there are times when she acts as if she doesn’t know them. I was upset when she accused Sokka of not having a heart. His priorities are very similar to hers, but he’s a big picture kind of guy, so little things, smaller details, and moderate steps aren’t how he operates.
  • I’m glad they didn’t feel the need to change the opening. It was perfect and I would have been annoyed if they did.
  • Iroh!
  • I love that Sokka likes shopping and that Katara knows that it will make him happy. I think the process of decision making in the midst of many possibilities is the aspect of it that aligns with his personality most.
  • Sokka’s sword is awesome.
  • Sokka is still Sokka, but he has matured and it was good to see that he let up on nay-saying. He still relied on his logic and science, but he came to not only appreciate bending, but welcome it with out sarcasm.
  • Mary Katherine Gallagher would be so proud of Katara.
  • The bloodbending… During the first season, I thought about the different aspects of the elements and wondered if there would be a waterbender who could manipulate the water or moisture in things that were not in a free liquid state. There is moisture in just about everything. My first thoughts went to wood, but then I couldn’t decide if it would be better as a facet of earthbending. And then that led me to the idea of two or more different-element benders working together on different aspects of the same thing. There was the painted lady episode that almost touched on that. I thought about wood and how it is essentially water and earth, then I thought about lava. Huu did come up in the Foggy Swamp Tribe, so I knew it was possible, but when Hama introduced bloodbending, that was a very dark moment. I have more thoughts about the nature and future of bending, but I’ll leave it for now.

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  • Why are the men of the water tribe so attractive? I can even see the idiot Sokka growing into his dad’s looks. It’s unreasonable that they are so handsome.
  • As I was saying, Sokka is a big picture kind of guy. He drew up crude plans for the subs and handed them off to someone more inclined to details. He is an ideas guy. And it was a good move not to dwell on him wrestling with the concept and to just let the plans be mentioned and the audience will understand that it just came out as something he did in his planning.
  • One of the things that I really liked about the character development is that they stayed true to their characters. No one’s fundamental nature changed, they were just transformed into better, more refined versions of themselves.
  • Hair is such a good look for Zuko. Speaking of, it’s strange, but fitting that Ms. Apathy and Mr. Angry genuinely loved each other. I’m glad they didn’t act like main characters can’t fall in love. It’s not exactly a love story, but romance doesn’t always spoil things and I think they handled it well.

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  • Every time there were reunions and parting of peoples, I always felt an extra twinge of sadness because Aang would not experience that.

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  • Zuko’s impersonations–I need more of his Uncle Iroh.
  • I like that Katara did use bloodbending beyond defeating Hama and while it should probably remain taboo, she, of all people, found a use for it
  • There’s an arrogance and beauty in Katara’s bending. Not to say that she isn’t humble, but it’s not really part of the foundation of her bending. I think Zuko’s bending after the Sun Warriors is more humble than Katara’s. I suppose that it’s because he had farther to fall than she did and he gained momentum on his way down which plunged him deeper.
  • Seriously, the animals are awesome. I’ve thought this from the first season.
  • Zuko’s journey is the kind that’s guaranteed to make me cry. Especially when he was trying to do good and no one believed him. Gets me every time.
  • The humor in this show is on point.

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So here’s what I’m hoping to learn in the second series. If element bending can be learned as the first human benders learned them from the masters and the Avatar can learn all four styles, what’s stopping anyone else from learning more than one style. Katara was the last bender of the Southern Water Tribe, but they made it seem like she was the last to inherit (perhaps that’s not the right word) it, but while it is something that may be able to be inherited, it was originally something to be learned. So why did no one else learn? I’m guessing that someone does learn, because the second series has Airbenders, right? Maybe?

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There are so many other things that I’ll probably spend half the day talking to zeusaurus about at work, so I’m just going to close on this: It was a great series and I’m looking forward to The Legend of Korra, but I have to catch up on all the things I’ve ignored the past few days first.

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—-I’ve got my eye on you … ~Water Tribe~

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