Avatar The Last Airbender is a must-watch for everyone

Brianna Reddell

The popular series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, in my opinion, is one of the greatest children’s shows ever made. I didn’t watch it when it first came out in 2005 since I was barely 6 months old but my sister would run home from school to get there on time so she could watch. It was only when Netflix added it to their service that I saw it for the first time.

In case you’re not familiar at all with this series, here’s a quick run down. People in this universe can “bend” (manipulate) either none or one of the four elements: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. But then there’s the Avatar, master of all four elements. It’s the Avatar’s duty to restore peace and balance to the world. When the Avatar dies, the Avatar spirit reincarnates into a new life, continuing the cycle. The main character of this series is a 12 year old air bender named Aang, who was trapped in an iceberg for 100 years. When he’s woken up by Katara, the only water bender in the entire Southpole, and her brother Sokka, a non bender, they set off on a journey to help Aang master all the elements and defeat Fire Lord Ozai.

The first season kicks off quickly and stays active throughout. We see incredible character design and world building with intricate and complicated relationships. As well as incredibly loveable side characters and furry friends. The antagonists here are very well built and also provide comic relief. Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation, the main antagonist, has to find and capture the Avatar in order to “restore his honour” alongside his uncle, Iroh. Uncle Iroh is by far the most lovable character in this series and provides great wisdom in desperate times.

The second season touches on darker themes and more hardship, but introduces another incredibly wonderful protagonist. We also learn more about bending and the deeper forms of it. Season 2 also introduces a new antagonist, Azula, as well as her companions Mei and Ty Lee. They are also well written characters with complex emotions and arcs of their own. Azula is Zuko’s prodigy sister, their father’s favorite child. She and Zuko don’t get along and her character development is one of the best developments in the entire show.

Season three is much more complicated and gets much darker than the first two. We are taught many lessons throughout the show and the progressiveness, inclusivity, and diversity are absolutely incredible. East Asian culture is majorly represented in this show in a respectful, accurate way. So if you’re thinking about watching it, do it. It’s definitely worth it.

However, the live action movie remake, “The Last Airbender” (also on Netflix) is another story. Don’t watch it, it basically spat all over the Avatar franchise. It’s actually one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.