The Last Airbender

This post is going to be in an offshoot direction.  While visiting my brother in PA I mentioned I wanted to see the movie Avatar:The Last Airbender.  He told me not to bother, but Netflix the cartoon instead.  I proceeded to watch the entire first season in 2 days (don’t judge me, its summer).  I finished the third and final season last night, and just can’t get it out of my mind.

Thoughts and Reactions:

1. I laughed. It was often corny, but rarely annoying. However, there were moments aplenty of out right guffawing. And some of the running gags were priceless.

2. I was drawn in to the mythos. The four peoples – the four seasons – the four elements. The way the storytellers weaved the different descriptions of the elements, their histories and philosophies, was captivating.

3. Characters – I was meh on many of the characters in the beginning, and they grew on me with time. There was change and growth in each of them, but nothing was forced or trite. Sokka especially.

4. Book 3 – Fire My brother said season 2 was his favorite, and I understand why he felt that way. I wasn’t expecting much out of season 3, and maybe thats how it snuck up on me. Firebending? That’ll be one-dimensional. Prince Zuko? Guess he’ll keep whining.
Man was I wrong. As the pace of the story accelerated, and disaster loomed larger and larger, season 3 pulled me in closer and closer. When Prince Zuko is reunited with Iroh – breathless.

Zuko: How can you forgive me so easily? I thought you would be furious with me.
Iroh: I was never angry with you. I was sad because I was afraid you lost your way.

The story is obviously very Eastern in nature, but it is the redemption of Zuko which will persist in my memory. There was so much pain and confusion within him that he scorned those who cared for him most deeply. His abrasive nature does not vanish when he decides to change his path, and he strives against it. Ultimately he realizes his destiny is less than he once thought – and through this descension he finds his rightful identity and throne. More than Aang’s ethical struggle, Katara’s battle to forgive, and Toff’s journey of belonging, it is Zuko winding road that stirred in me. I didn’t expect it, but now that its done, I very much enjoyed it.

On a side note, I haven’t been getting done the school work I hoped (as you probably could guess). Oh well, its still July. I did order a Flip Ultra digital camcorder, so my brain is starting to froth with possibilities.


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