4 Reasons to Watch "Avatar the Last Airbender"

Because we all need a good show right now.

  1. 1. Great Characters and Character Development

    Avatar the Last Airbender’s greatest strength undeniably lies in its characters. The central protagonist trio of Aang, Katara, and Sokka are some of the most charming, grounded and likable characters to ever drive an animated show. The show also relies on truly terrifying villains to help us rally behind our heroes, but not without some fun random side-villains dispersed throughout. But the greatest part of this journey is how we watch our heroes (and some villains) learn from their mistakes and grow from them. As our protagonists train and mature, we see them establish their unshakable morals and quickly become powerful warriors. One villain’s storyline in particular is my favorite redemption arch in history- but you’ll have to see it to find out!

     

  2. 2. Mature Adult Themes Weaved Throughout

    Though Avatar is originally intended for children, the dark and mature themes found throughout the series make the show one that can be enjoyed at any age. Over the course of 3 seasons, the show tackles serious themes like spirituality, familial abuse, gender discrimination, disability, and loss. Avatar does not just lightly touch on these topics- it explores them in full with meaning. This show teaches its audience that your past does not determine your future, and to be patient with others who have suffered. The spiritual, physical, and mental growth from our main protagonist Aang is truly one for the ages- and it is very likely you will shed more than a few tears during your watch.

     

  3. 3. Fast-Paced Action

    Let’s get one thing straight- Avatar the Last Airbender is a feast for the eyes. Even 15 years after its release, the animation and stylization of the show holds up better than ever. It’s clear that the show's creators took great care into creating a personalized fighting style for each element, and battles feel grounded and realistic even in a fantasy setting. Avatar’s seamless blending of martial arts and meditative Buddhism practices slowly culminates to massive battles like Ba Sing Se, and watching our characters put their new skills into action is always satisfying. This show isn’t afraid to let the good guys lose, and each battle builds and learns from the previous one.

     

  4. 4. Genuine Humor and Heartbreak

    While the Last Airbender finds strength in its heavy themes, it fills the space in between with some incredibly witty and snarky dialogue that will have you rolling. Characters like Sokka and Toph have some of the funniest shenanigans in the show, while running jokes like the Cabbage Man can make you laugh even as an adult. The comedy is perfectly balanced by spare moments of genuine and devastating heartbreak- memories of past abuse, loss, and fear drive the characters to points of uncontrollable anger, only for them to find comfort in their friends. Avatar shows that friendship can be not only about having a good laugh, but leaning on one another in times of crisis.

     

With the series returning to Netlfix May 15th, now's a better time than ever to revisit this classic or experience it for the first time!