eah, yeah, so it’s a cartoon, and one that I had no interest in watching until a friend coaxed me into it. I’d seen some things about it in the early 2000’s when it first came out. Little bald kid with an arrow tattooed on his forehead. I didn’t give it a second thought.
Anyway, it’s classic storytelling. In this fantasy world, there are four “bender” classes: earth, wind, fire and air, each forming their own nations. However, there is always an “Avatar”, one who can bend all four, the peacekeeping force. In this case, it’s Aang, a goofy little kid so reluctant to stand against the Fire Nation’s rise to power that he suspended-animationed inside an iceberg until found a hundred years later by one of the final water benders. Turns out the Fire Nation, unchecked, has pretty much taken over the world and now he’s back at his old job, stopping it.
From there, we pick up the usual band of supporting protagonists, all of them with their own virtues, powers and baggage, all forming into an interesting mix. There are discoveries and setbacks, all the favorite devices of quests, people doubting and leaving, battles with self-conscious, humorous interludes and thrilling escapes. Running sixty-one episodes over three sessions, it was an amazing effort. Only once or twice did the story become a little “story-ish” and the animation falter. But yes, a fantastic tale that pulled me in and captivated me. I really enjoyed it. And I’ll add that I thought I’d see every sort of bending there was, but the creators kept it new with imaginative uses (including creepy “blood bending”). So my eyes ended up full of spectacle and my ears full of story.
Actually, I hadn’t thought to review it (it’s hardly a book and it’s certainly not high-fiction). But it’s Sunday and I’m not quite through with The Outback Stars so I decided why not review it as a story and not as a book. Seriously, if you have access through any video service, you should check it out. It was a delightful tale with thrilling animation.