Avatar The Last Airbender Overrated & Underrated
Everyone in the animation communities were raving about Avatar The Last Airbender, I ignored it for a while since the character designs did not appeal to me and I also wasn’t expecting much from a Nickelodeon cartoon. I thought it just wasn’t for me. Since I kept hearing about it I decided to check it out just as Season 2 was airing and after one episode I was hooked. While successful when it aired, it was definitely underrated and it wasn’t until Netflix started streaming the show that it got the attention it deserved, ironically enough I feel it now might be overrated. Each season would’ve made a great movie, too bad they messed that up.
Book 1: Water
The first season is the strongest as the show does a great job at characterization. It is fun adventuers which helps you get to know the characters and like them. I would never call most of the episodes fillers as they are what give soul to the show. It goes fast and feels epic. It gave us an origin, a quest we wanted to take, and a finale that satisfied leaving us wanting for more. And unlike so many cartoons that got cancelled, we actually got more.
Book 2: Earth
This season is pretty damn good as well, it just isn’t as good as the first one. We get introduced to plenty of new characters and they’re for the most part a welcome addition. This is not usual for most shows to be able to achieve so kudos to them. The season expands a lot on ideas touched upon the first season and the different parts of the earth kingdom are enough to keep us entertained. The stories in general just aren’t as strong here but the sense of continuity and strong new characters make us overlook it.
Book 3: Fire
The final season is the weakest, I do think it has some great episodes but also has plenty of weak ones. The ending itself is pretty decent but it didn’t feel as satisfying as you would think it should’ve been. I’m not sure what was missing, perhaps there weren’t enough side adventures or they just couldn’t juggle all the characters they had and give them. Perhaps it was just trying to tie all the loose ends in this final season. Overall it’s still a good season that gives us an ending that can be enjoyed, most shows never get that. I just feel it could’ve been more.
Book 4: Air
I feel the cartoon should’ve been 4 seasons long. I think they defeated the fire nation when they needed but they built such an interesting universe and in a way a realistic depiction of war in a cartoon. We rarely ever see the aftermath, we could’ve had a whole season seeing how things started to fit together into peace. Obviously there would be fire nation segments that would continue to be loyal to the previous Fire Lord and there was the whole spirit world to explore. Avatar built such a great universe that it deserved to be dwelled into. I know we got some of these ideas in Legend of Korra but it wasn’t the same.