Avatar: The Last Airbender

So, last weekend, I decided, finally, to start watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, after years of being pestered by my best friend. I threw a quick question out on twitter, asking for opinions on the show and was inundated by positive responses, some of which came from my favourite Fantasy authors. I couldn’t say no after that. I’m nearing the end of the first season now, and I’m thrilled by the show. It’s beautiful, it breaks down stereotypes, features an ethnically diverse cast, and manages to be thematically strong with both broad and narrow brushes.

So, to celebrate my discovery, and maybe encourage you to give the show a shot this weekend, I’ve gathered together a gallery of some of my favourite art from Avatar: The Last Airbender (and The Legend of Korra, its sequel) in a nice little gallery.

Have you watched Avatar: The Last Airbender? If so, what do you think of it? How are you enjoying The Legend of Korra?

  • Paul Weimer (@princejvstin) November 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    One of the best pieces of animation done, period. Excellent story, characters and a well-realized world. One of my favorites.

  • Roger Bellini (@master_pastry) November 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Avatar is the type of show that changes your opinion animated television. It’s a shame that there are so few animated series that feature the level of storytelling that Nickelodeon does with Avatar. The Legend of Korra is a very competent sequel, but it lacks the charm and character development of it’s predecessor.

  • The Literary Omnivore November 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I’ve watched both series, and Avatar: The Last Airbender is pretty near perfect. A little bumpy at first and there’s some issues setting up the series finale, but the characterization is so well-done, the story tackled at exactly the right scale, and the animation is gorgeous. It also boasts some of the only fight choreography that can put me on the edge of my seat, and I am rarely a fight person.

    Legend of Korra is a bit iffier; it’s aimed at an older market (presumably the kids who watched Avatar: The Last Airbender live), but some of the more mature material (i.e., a love triangle) falls a little flat. It’s also a bit compressed towards the run of the first season, but that’s because they didn’t know they were getting a second. Reason, not excuse. That said, the worldbuilding is incredibly inventive (1920s fantasy steampunk Shanghai and it works so well!), the characterization is also well-done, and the mythology is just… wow. The great strength of this universe is how thoughtfully and clearly it was built, and it really pays off with Legend of Korra.

    Also: Lin Bei Fong? I know you haven’t met her mother Toph yet, but she is the best.

  • Matt December 1, 2012 at 5:02 am

    The original series is amazing, all of it, every second, and the finale is one of the most thrilling I’ve ever seen. Even after watching the entire series a second time, it still had me on the edge of my seat.

    Legend of Korra is a fine series, but it can’t compare to the original. I like the setting, but in my opinion the characters fall a bit flat.

  • Fantasist December 3, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I am a great fan of anime rather animation in general. I have followed some great shows over the years but I’ve found that in the last decade or so mainstream (non-anime) animation apart from the disney/pixal/hollywood feature films have been rather kind of non-existent(apart from Ben 10 and justice league/spin offs maybe?).
    And many a time the japanese animation takes a turn towards the weird and perverted; at least the good ones do in my opinion.
    This show is the perfect mix something truly enjoyable i.e. action packed with a great setting, magic system and mythology, characters you can feel a connection with, great humour and is oft times even artistic while still remaining something you can watch with the kids. That is something rare in animation today.

  • Madel December 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Loved this show! I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the humor (Toph’s just awesome), and well-thought out magic system. I wish there were more animated shows like these, instead of the ugly, weird stuff on cartoon network these days.