This is one of the coolest cartoons I’ve ever seen. I’ve just finished watching all three seasons and enjoyed it so much I want to watch the film ‘The Last Airbender’ which is based on it, although I’m sure it will struggle to match up to the cartoon. The Legend of Aang is about a young boy named Aang, who is the ‘Avatar’. In a world where people come from one of four nations (water, earth, fire, air) and are able to manipulate (‘bend’) them, Aang as the avatar is the only one who is able to bend all four. A war has been going on for 100 years, and Aang should’ve been able to stop the evil fire nation ages ago, only he’s been frozen in a massive block of ice for all that time, meaning not only is he a 12 year-old kid with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he also is the last airbender, meaning he has to learn to bend the other three elements in order to save the world and defeat the fire master!
This is a really clever, well-thought out cartoon with a gripping plot, great characters and some really good humour throughout. One of my favourite characters is Sokka, the comic relief. Being from the southern water tribe he isn’t able to bend water like his sister Katara, but what he lacks in this he makes up for in strategy, resourcefulness and sheer comedy.
Even though the Fire Nation are the bad guys I also like Prince Zuko and his Uncle Iroh. Zuko has been banished from the Fire Nation and can only return if he captures Aang, as Aang is the only one who can thwart the Fire Nation’s plans. Zuko is convinced that returning to his homeland with Aang as his prisoner will restore his honour and make his Father love him again. I’m not sure if we can make anyone love us though, or if we can ever be ‘good enough’ to right every wrong that we do. For me this is the difference between following Jesus and being religious. Religion says “you may be good enough if you do X, Y and Z” but Jesus says “You can’t be good enough by anything you do, but follow me anyway-God accepts you because of what I have done for you.”
Iroh is not just Zuko’s uncle but also his mentor. He drinks a lot of tea (like me), is friendly and seems content in all circumstances (wish I could be like that, and I’m sure there’s a Bible lesson to be learned here from Philippians chapter 4!).
I would recommend Avatar: The Legend of Aang to all cartoon lovers. I didn’t realise until recently just how popular it was when it first came out, or how many awards it has won. There are good reasons for these things though! Now to give that film a go…