It's been a loooong while since I wrote a random-ish post; so much for consistency, lol. I've had a couple of ideas, but you know how it goes: not enough time to turn them into posts. The few posts I did churn out went up on Sundays, but Saturday now works out better schedule-wise, hence the name change to "Anything Saturday." XD Now let me quit rambling and talk about my latest obsession: Avatar: The Last Airbender!
I am a big, big kid at heart, and I think I always will be. I still love watching animated shows and movies, even though it’s been a long time since I was part of the target age group for most of them, lol. I’d wanted to check out Avatar: The Last Airbender for ages; I know that a couple of my bloggy friends loved it, and it was one of Ally’s childhood faves, too. Ally kept reminding me over and over and over again that I needed to watch it. It’s a good thing that she’s so persistent, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this ode to AtLA. And believe me when I say: I FREAKING LOVE THIS SHOW!
Where to start with the fangirling? How about with the animation itself? It is absolutely gorgeous, from the way each kind of bending is brought to life to the scenery. One of my favorite visuals from the series was the first time the gaang laid eyes on Ba Sing Se. That was a breathtaking tableau, as you witnessed the city in all its vast glory. And then there’s the bending—what I wouldn’t give to be able to bend any element. There’s such beauty and grace in each type of bending, and I got the chills whenever there were multiple benders, bending in unison. It was like watching the most mesmerizing of dances.
My mind is still in complete awe of the depth of the story lines and the incredible development of the characters throughout the series. A good number of episodes don’t wrap up neatly by the end of the twenty-two minutes or so; major plotlines span multiple episodes, and in some cases, an entire season. The storytelling is epic and compelling; the problem with binge watching a series like this is that there’s NEVER a good place to leave it for the night. I went to work quite bleary-eyed a few times due to ditching sleep in order to watch just one more episode of Avatar. And the bleary eyes were totally worth it!
Aang is one phenomenal hero. His destiny is to save the world—not a small burden by any means. For all of his youth (and he is still young, despite really being much older in actual years), he shoulders that weight with an awe-inspiring strength. Aang’s airbending skills are insane, and later, once he masters all forms of bending, he’s unstoppable as the Avatar, but he also possesses a gentle spirit that reveres life. I wish that I were more Zen like Aang; if I’m being completely honest with myself, I most resemble Azula in temperament when I get really stressed, lol.
Accompanying Aang on his journeys are some equally amazing friends. I LOVED the camaraderie between the core gaang: Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph (and, of course, Appa and Momo!). If not for Sokka’s jokes and quips, the series would not have been the same. He’s also a great leader in his own right and is simply spectacular in the final episodes of the last season. I adored the sibling bond between Sokka and Katara. Sure, they sometimes razz each other and get on each other’s nerves, but they’re also fiercely protective of one another. Katara is kind of the overall motherly presence within the gaang in addition to being one powerful waterbender. As the self-proclaimed greatest earthbender in the world, you just don’t mess with Toph. She’s not exaggerating, either—her skills are uh-mazing. While I never had a least favorite type of bending, I gained a whole new respect for earthbending once I saw Toph in action. This girl is a badass!
You may have been wondering when Zuko was going to show up in this post; obviously, I’ve saved my favorite character for last! I. LOVE. HIM. It’s as simple as that. The transformation that his character undergoes is astounding. ASTOUNDING! Okay, I confess that when I first began watching Avatar with Ally and she proclaimed her love for Zuko I was a tad skeptical. My response was something along the lines of, you love how obsessed this guy is with capturing Aang? But, as in almost all things, Ally was right, especially about me eventually loving Zuko too because I love broody boys. As more of Zuko’s backstory was revealed, I got it. Restoring his honor and being allowed to return home meant everything to him. As much as I loved all of the Avatar characters, it was Zuko’s arc that had me counting down the seconds until I could sit down and watch the next Avatar episode. I waited with rapt attention for the episode(s) when Zuko would reach the potential that his very wise uncle Iroh saw in him all along. Without going into spoiler-y detail, we’ll leave it at this: Zuko made me extremely proud by the end of the series.
I’m going to stop myself here because I could go on about Zuko indefinitely. I can’t promise that I won’t go ahead and write a post entirely about him someday. For now, though, I’ll wrap up all the Avatar/Zuko gushing by dedicating this post to Ally, who absolutely called 1) how much I would love the show and 2) how much I would love Zuko. Ally typically makes customized birthday cards for everyone in the family, and I’ve already put in my request: I’d like the front of the card to have the “Hello, Zuko here” scene on it. When this happens (and notice I said “when,” not “if.” Because this is happening.) next year, I’ll be sure to post a pic!