avatar the last airbender

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Are today’s cartoons better than the cartoons we grew up with?

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This year I was finally able to attend SDCC! It was my first time going and I’m so happy that I got to spend it with my two close friends Chandler (my oldest friend) and Ashley (one of my very favorite people).  Not only did I get to spend time with them, I also got to finally put together an Avatar cosplay!  Chandler and I have been talking about doing Avatar cosplay since season two of ATLA (we wanted to do Katara and Zuko), but we’ve never been at the same convention together.  This came at a great time because Ashley helped me figure out how to get out to SDCC (a con Chandler’s been trying to get me to for years) and we felt closer to these characters (Korra and Mako). I usually make costumes for Ashley to wear at different conventions, but this year we dressed up together at two cons. Plus bonus of Ashley playing Asami made for a love triangle! We had such a fun time, met some other great final season LOK cosplayers and got to hang out with Bryan Konietzko a little bit.  All in all, this was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

We did a quick set with one of Ashley’s favorite photographers to work with for cosplay, Rick Basuldua (the first five images). I’m hoping to get more pictures of Chandler as Mako because there are a lot of great details in his costume.  

Recently Ashley and I did a more extensive on-location (Banning State Park) Korrasami shoot with my friend over at Photo Deviance (the rest of the images).  We even did a few images inspired by one of our favorite pieces of fan art. I’m so incredibly pleased with how everything turned out and it couldn’t have come to fruition without my amazing friends.


Team Korra 5ever!


Costumes - Samantha Rei (me; I only do cosplay for friends, but I am a fashion designer by trade)

Necklaces - Ashley Hay
Ashley’s makeup - Amanda Fonseca  (SDCC) Melanie Rivers (Banning Shoot)
Images - Rick Basaldua (SDCC) Photo Deviance (Banning Shoot)
All images are watermarked with their respective photographer

Korra - Samantha Rei
Asami - Ashley Hay
Mako - Chandler Poling


BONUS:

More Things I Love About ATLA

Goal: Write 1 thought every day re: why I love ATLA (until I finish rewatching the series)

#30: Katara bloodbends the leader of the Southern Raiders in “The Southern Raiders.”

“The Puppetmaster” took great pains to establish how insane Hama had become in her quest for revenge against the Fire Nation. In the end, she was so twisted by her hatred that she could not distinguish between Fire Nation civilians and the members of the military that ripped her from her homeland.  

“The Southern Raiders” brings Katara dangerously close to the Hama precipice (which is why it is such an effective and unnerving episode).  She, too, harbors an undifferentiated hatred of the Fire Nation for what they took from her.  She lumps Zuko with the man who killed her mother, utterly destroys the infantry guys on the Southern Raiders ship, and then finally uses bloodbending – which she recoiled from using in “The Puppetmaster” – on the leader of the Southern Raiders. 

Her focus and drive here are, frankly, kind of scary:

Even Zuko, Mr. Broody himself, is alarmed by Katara’s use of bloodbending:

The close-up shots in this scene really hammer home Katara’s inner emotional turmoil here:

As well as the pain and fear that bloodbending causes to its victims:

Katara, in effect, uses bloodbending to render this man as helpless as she felt when her mother was taken – that is, until she realizes that she’s got the wrong man, and expresses horror at what she has done:

Perhaps it’s horror, too, at herself for what was essentially racism: blaming the entire Fire Nation for the actions of one man on one day in her history.  All sorts of complicated feelings here.  On a children’s show! 

But like who took care of Zuko after the Agni Kai that got him banished? He was fourteen, right? His father just fire-blasted him in the face. He’s on the ground screaming in pain in front of the entire kingdom. All his friends and family are watching him bleed and cry on the arena floor. So who finally goes down there and helps him up? Who takes him to get his eye treated? Who reminds him to change his bandage? Who helps him pack when he realizes he’s being banished?

Because I figure it had to be Iroh. Uncle Iroh coming down from the stands and lifting his crying nephew from a crumpled heap on the floor. Uncle Iroh carrying him to the nearest medic. Uncle Iroh holding Zuko while he cried. Uncle Iroh making Zuko noodles and tea his first night away from home because he’s terrified and he’s in pain and he misses his bed.

Because Iroh was more of a father to Zuko than Ozai ever was. He truly saw Zuko a son. And Iroh went with Zuko when he was banished, joined him in his hunt for the Avatar and provided him with support and guidance every step of the way. So I have to imagine that Iroh was there, right after the Agni Kai, trying to nurse his nephew back to health, partially because he felt so guilty that he was the one to let Zuko into the War Room.

The Signs as The Avatar

Aries: 

     Would encourage sports and tournaments to restore pride and glory among kingdoms and nations (like a sort of Olympics). Most likely to create many holidays and celebrations to keep culture and history alive. Such as memorial holidays of the day the air nomads were attacked, and holidays celebrating the strength and endurance of the water tribes. Would use them as ways to create unity and prevent wars. If there ever was a war, would make a great general to ensure good triumphs. Would access spirit world for guidance and to ensure their making the right decisions.

Taurus: 

     Would secretly live amongst their people rather than above them. Would travel to every kingdom, nation, and tribe to see how the common people live to know whats really going on and how to help them if needed (remember The Painted Lady?). Judges whether their government is serving them properly. Would access the spirit world when in need of power to overthrow corrupt governments and selfish leaders. Spends most of their life traveling.

Gemini: 

     Most likely to never have wanted to be an avatar because of the responsibility (aang is also a gemini). Looks to the spirits to guide them in helping others. Strives to be the perfect balance of fire, water, earth, and air.  Would teach their people how to master all areas of their bending. Would encourage people to travel among nations, kingdoms, tribes, and nomads to earn a respect and more sense of unity with all peoples.

Cancer: 

     Would take the responsibility most seriously and with grace. Would master how to be as warm and full of light as a fire, be as stable and head-strong as earth, be as powerful and flexible as air, and be both as calm and mighty as water. Would have a bright aura that makes those around them see them as leaders and also someone they can confide in. As the Avatar they make it known among people across the lands that they are always willing to help, no matter how big or small the issue. Are aware that their emotions get the best of them so they access the spirit world when meditating to keep balance.

Leo: 

     Would be the most generous and likely to be loved by all. Would let travelers and hermits stay in their homes and treat them as royal guests. Would give money to the poor and persuade the rich to do the same, generously. Comes together with royal leaders to make sure there are no tensions among kingdoms and that they are serving their people well. Often tried to be taken advantage of ,due to their kindness, so they access the spirit world for power to regain respect among kings and leaders.

Virgo: 

     Would be regarded as a god/goddess among the people. Would be a highly respected member of society and often sought after due to their wisdom and selflessness. Likely to be a role model due to their intelligence, bravery, power, and poise. Are not often seen among the people, but is still constantly watching for signs of real danger and threat. Would not easily accept gratitude or worship because of their humble nature. Would access the spirit world to make sure they stay grounded and connected.

Libra: 

     Would fight for equality. Believes in humanitarian values and that people should treat others the way you would want to be treated. Extremely anti-war and pro-peace. Willing to sacrifice themselves for their people and tries to help everyone in need. Believes no one should be extremely rich while there are poor and homeless. Would live among the people and be loved by the people.

Scorpio: 

     Would be one of the greatest philosophers. People would always look to them for guidance and teaching to help them in their lives. Would teach people that everything, in a spiritual sense, is connected and anything in life is possible. Would be known for telling the harsh truth and also known to be uplifting with absolute sincerity. Would travel regularly to the spirit world to chat with one of their closest friends, uncle Iroh.

Sagittarius: 

     Would bring along the age of renaissance and travel. Very encouraging of the arts and music. Would encourage people to retrace their roots and find individuality. Would teach people how to find beauty in everything and how to respect it accordingly. Would access the spirit world to guide them to where they are needed.

Capricorn: 

     One of the greatest leaders. Mostly focused on eradicating crime. Known to be lawful yet fair. Fully aware that no one is born bad or evil and works to make sure no one has to turn to crime for survival. Makes sure that ex-convicts can still have a career and successful life after rehabilitation. Visits the spirit world for wisdom to help people stay on the right path. Leaders are known to seek their guidance before making any big decisions. Most likely to be responsible for the golden age. 

Aquarius: 

     Would be the reason the technological revolution happened. Would build many well-funded schools to inspire innovation and intelligence and would work to make even the most high-end schools tuition free. Would reward eco-friendly tech development and originality. Would also respect the villages and tribes, such as the air nomads, that preferred to stay simple. Would most likely have homes in both bustling cities and secluded areas to stay balanced. Would journey to the spirit world to seek inspiration. Would cherish innovation and development without trying to play god.

Pisces: 

     Would be a very spiritual avatar. Would teach who ever asked how to become spiritually aligned. Would teach how to open chakras and how to live life peacefully among the kingdoms, nations, tribes and nomads. Would often contact the spirit world to help those in need of guidance. Would also most likely live in the water tribe due to their close connection to the spirits, regardless of where they were born. But would often confer with the air nomads.

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I just realized that...

 Every energetic hyper tomboy-ish character that always go for something cool and awesome, I realized that most of their time, they sleep or rest. I was wondering why, but I realized that in circumtances, they easily get bored and tired until something hype is coming. I realized that one of these character figured life is boring and it doesn’t matter where it goes further, they’ve expirience all these hypes that they ran out and didn’t really care much. Not that their like this all the time, but in ordinary day they just nap….Dang