let’s talk about how amazing Avatar: The Last Airbender is for a second
Fantasy world not based on typical medieval Europe
Was a children’s show that openly discussed war, death and genocide
Had several handicapped characters, one of whom was the show’s most powerful person
Every single character was a person of color, drawn to represent Asian and Inuit peoples
Had a character story arc centered around both emotional and physical parental abuse, whose arc was about learning that they didn’t need the parent who abused them
Absolutely BEAUTIFUL ART STYLE AND DIRECTION
Three dimensional writing that rivals even most adult dramas
Characters dealt with sexism in society
Showed citizens on both sides of the war, including showing how the people in the enemy nation were merely influenced by propaganda and an oppressive regime
Had romances that developed overtime and actually talked about the issues of forming a relationship instead of just “and now they’re in love.”
Characters died. On a children’s show. Characters who you fucking knew! Who had story arcs and were their friends and were kids like them!
When those characters died, they left an impact. It wasn’t ignored after a few episodes, the feelings they had for these characters stayed through the entire show
Had environmental messages that weren’t cheesy, and they made you take the destruction of the environment seriously
SUPERB world building, fleshing out many cultures and histories that always felt real
Had a magic system that never felt like magic. It always felt natural and like a solid part of this world with rules that couldn’t be broken
The cute animal sidekicks weren’t just there to sell toys. They were characters who had so much emotion to them and were vital parts of the show’s dynamic. Also, the animals never talked yet somehow still portrayed an insane emotional level that some Disney films only dream of
Spawned a sequel series that dealt not only with sexism, but with sexuality, religion, and the benefits and dangers from the rapid progression of technology
The point is, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the greatest shows of all time and the proof is right there
“You have indeed felt a great loss, but love is a form of energy, and it swirls around us. The Air Nomads’ Aang’s love for you has not left this world. It is still inside of your heart, and is reborn in the form of new love.”
The announcement of the upcoming graphic novel brought up all sorts of old feels, so in commemoration of the continuing story, I decided to break my own heart. Enjoy.
The male benders in ATLA:
Really good. They worked hard to get where they are skill wise and while it hasn't always been easy, they are capable and can hold their own in a fight. One of them was even the Avatar, which is pretty impressive since he mastered the elements at age twelve, rather than start learning at 16 like most Avatars.
The female benders in ATLA:
Inarguably the most powerful and unmatched humans in the entire world. Prodigies, masters, and creators of subbending styles. One was compared in skill to the Fire Lord at age EIGHT and able to perform one of the rarest and most difficult forms by 14. She couldn't be defeated by another's (even the Avatar's) bending alone. Only faced defeat when fighting two other master benders while on the verge of a complete mental breakdown (officially being defeated by different female bender). Another held an entire city up by a single turret while standing on unstable ground, and then went on to invent her own bending style at the age of twelve. One mastered her element in mere WEEKS, mastered bloodbending and defeated the woman who INVENTED IT the FIRST TIME SHE EVER ATTEMPTED IT, held her own against a master waterbender without ANY TRAINING, and fully healed someone from a fatal wound, making her a master at two vastly different forms of waterbending at the age of 14. A female Avatar quite literally reshaped the planet and created her own ISLAND. AND MOVED IT ACROSS THE SEA. These women shown in the show are not only the most powerful and talented females in their universe, but also in almost any known piece of television or fiction, all while being completely fleshed out and complex characters, not being defined as nothing but 'strong'. Each has their own personality, strengths, and weaknesses.