So most of us have heard by now that the second season of legend of Korra is preparing for it release. I am one of those people who isn’t particularly excited by the news, more like waiting tentatively to see whether this second season strikes a cord with me. Not that i particularly hated the first season. It was decent as far as anime/cartoons go if i was to weigh it as an individual series. However as a sequel, i can’t help but feel underwhelmed, especially in comparing Korra’s first season and Aang’s first season.
To put it in blunt terms,where Korra could be described as a bullet, the original season of avatar was an explosion, and it only got bigger from that point on. Maybe it’s because avatar was new back then; it was a unique adventure and each new episode was a new opportunity to better understand the world of avatar.
With Korra one could say that there is no mystery. There was something exciting about seeing Toph metal bend for the first time, and the mention of bending lightening was nothing short of mind blowing. IN Korra where such occurrences are common place, it feels like something is missing. There is a lack of mystery and discovery. Basically there is a newness missing.
Which is why i have hope for this upcoming season. It seems like the writers are going into new territory, returning to avatar the adventurous spirit it lost. I for one wish we had just continued the air bender storyline, with the characters we loved instead of entering a new adventure.
Anyway, last air bender was nothing short of quality, the best animated series to come out of America ever, and what i am listing below are most amazing and mind blowing moments and events that the series had to offer during its three season run. I will not rank them because that would take time, though i will briefly state which stands above the other.
So, without further adieu, this is my list of the best moments in Avatar: The last air bender:
1. Sozen’s comet--- If anyone actually requires me to spell out exactly what about these two hour extravaganza makes it the best thing in last air bender, they need to go back and watch the series. I have watched quite a lot of anime since last air bender wrapped up a few years back, but i can honestly say that i can count on one hand the number of anime series that have had a finale as epic and satisfying as Sozen’s comet. We re talking about a set of four episodes that managed to wrap up most major plots in last air bender while delivering a barrage of out of this world action scenes.
Whatever one thinks of last air bender, there is no denying that this finale stands miles ahead of so many other series that should be its better because of this epic finale. So many moments come to mind that i am tempted to refer to the whole two hours as simply too epic to comprehend, but three moments/events stand out among the four episodes, which are pretty much the three best moments in last air bender. Let me just add that i love how the flames were animated in this finale.
1.A--- The final battle- there are no words to describe just how epic this fight was, how many moments had me mentally and sometimes physically skipping about in excitement, that moment when Aang and Oozai were earth bending entire columns of rock at each other in such an intricate fashion, when Aang had to roll himself in rock armorfrom a face cliff to deflect a fire lord attack, when Aang was forced into a corner and had to roll into a ball of rock to defend against epic fire attacks from the fire lord…this battle was epic moment after epic moment.
I have seen many an epic final battle, especially in an anime, but i do not think i can remember any that have satisfied me as much as this one did, at least not right now. Many pointed to the fact that Aang would obviously activate his avatar state in time to defeat the fire lord. It was classic anime story telling. But by the time i watched this finale, i hadn't wanted that much anime, and i didn’t think that Aang would re acquire his avatar state. Which means i was that much more blown away when Aang’s hand shot out of the rubble and grabbed Oozai's goatee. If you haven’t watched avatar, you should start right now if only to watch this final battle. Unlike many fans, Aang not killing the fire lord didn’t affect me in any way. In fact his alternative was much more unpredictable to me.
This was a great end to a great series.
1. B--- Zuko and Katara Vs. Azula- i have come across several forums disparaging this particular battle. I on the other hand loved it. Sure, it was more about quantity than quality, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular, not to mention the haunting track that played during the battle, beautiful animation, especially with regards to the fire, the means with which Katara finally brought Azula done with masterful water bending. It was simply awesome. Plus i wanted to see Zuko finally put Azula in her place and in a way he did.
1.C--- Iroh and the fire bending masters take back Ba Sing se- These men might old but they are powerful as heck.
While most of them displayed an incredible level of power, especially that old fire bender, whose name i forget, that was sending walls of fire rolling down city streets, it is Iroh who took the cake with that massive fire bending attack. Even the build up to that attack was epic. Wikipedia has referred to that attack as the single most powerful fire bending attack ever displayed in the avatar universe, and i am inclined to agree. It was like a blast from a canon. It is worth mentioning that Iroh himself made the series better as a superb character, one of my favorite in fact; i always imagined that if Aang ever made it to his old age, he would be just like Iroh. I am one of those people who didn’t believe him when he said he couldn’t be the fire lord.
2---Zuko joins team Aang- Again many an anime fan will attest to having seen this coming. I didn’t. It was one of those events i had dreamt of ever since Zuko betrayed Katara in the mines (another epic finale by the way). I always thought that with its current roster, team Aang was a fairly complete and self sustaining group entertainment wise, but is was surprised by how much of an evolution occurred once Zuko joined the gang. His character seemed to signal incongruence for the team, and i have expected every episode after to devolve into a festival of brooding. Surprisingly though, Zuko breathed a fire into the team, especially with the individual missions he embarked on with each of the members (Katara’s was the best). And the jokes were funny, especially when Aang and Zuko would reminisce about his previous attempts to capture him.
3---Zuko and Aang master fire bending- besides the appearance of the dragons and a further exploration of the world of avatar and fire bending, i simply enjoyed watching Zuko and Aang’s diversely distinct personalities bond as they came to a mutual understanding.
4---Azula- Azula was just one large epic moment as a character.Every single scene she was in was filled with intense fire bending action scenes punctuated by her fiery dialogue, mostly threats. But though her many encounters with Zuko proved be jet fueled scenes of action, the most memorable was her first appearance in the avatar world, when she was on board her vessel, training as she made the first display of lightening bending. It was a unique moment that heightened the intensity of the threat she created. Plus it introduced the other variations of bending.
5---Katara/blood bending- this was one of those episodes were the simulation of water bending peaked in displaying just how powerful and deadly the art can be. And while the blood bending was awesome, the entire episode and its story proved to be superior in intrigue to me, along with the awesomely animated scenes of Katara and her opponent ripping the water out of trees and in turn reducing them to husks. I only marginally respected water bending until this moment, well this and the swamp scene where Katara displayed deadly accuracy against a pair of swamp benders.
6---Aang defeats the fire nation invasion- This was the moment in the season one finale where Aang wrapped himself in waves of water molded into the shape of a monster. It was carnage on an epic scale, the kind of display we had yet to see in the avatar world. Besides this moment was Katara’s first fight against her water bending master. It was also in this episode or the next that she finally beat Zuko all on her own.
7---Toph- Toph is another character who is just an epic moment in motion, constantly lighting up each scene she graces with her witty comments and snappy jokes. That along with her earth bending style, which just begs you to keep looking at it, make Toph my favorite character in the avatar universe (with Iroh a close second). My highlight with regards to epic moments doesn't, in this case, have anything to do with Toph but with her appearance, specifically the earth bending bending tournament and its wide array of cookie characters displaying a wide range of impressive earth bending skills.
8---Toph/mental bending- This was the moment that Toph first displayed mental bending. This you just have to see, as well as being a fan of the show, to understand its epicenes. I just realized it; water has blood bending, fire has lightening, earth has metal bending; what does air have? I just have to say again how awesome Toph is. I am reminded of that moment in the last episodes, on the fire nation ship where she sort of rolled herself into theship, merged with steel armor and unleashed a beating upon those poor fire nation soldiers.
9---Aang’s wrath- This was that moment in the dessert where a bunch of fools had the gall to steal Appa and Aang went crazy, reached the avatar state and nearly obliterated them before Katara calmed him down. I am not sure what about this moment sticks to mind, but i know it was awesome. Maybe it’s because it was one of the first time we saw the avatar state in most of its glory. There was also that moment when Aang nearly destroyed an earth city fighting the king who was determined to test his limits.
10---Bumi- I am guessing that that is his name, that crazy earth king that was also Aang’s child hood friend. I remember this being one crazy episode of constant fun. The action was different, this time placing the team on the defense against what they rarely face, a stronger opponent than them. The battle with Aang was awesome, but what proved to be more impressive was the moment when King Bumi, captured and defeated by the fire nation, broke out of his cage (was that telekinesis?) and single handedly took his city back. If Iroh is king among fire benders then Bumi is king among earth benders standing above even Toph in his awes striking power. You have to wonder what the fire bending masters were thinking not ending the fire nation’s campaign instead of waiting on the avatar. Between the five of them, the fire lord didn’t stand a chance.
11---The blue spirit- this was the moment when Zuko first began to grow in me, to show that he was more than just a scarred villain, when he donned
twin blades and saved the avatar. That is one of those twists that struck me like lightening. I didn’t see it coming and it first showed the possibility of a friendship between these two, as well as showcasing Zuko’s fearsome sword skills. Nearly as good as this was that moment in the earth nation when Zuko, separated from Iroh and attempting to make friends with a poor family, finally revealed himself as the prince of the fire nation and annihilated an earth bending bandit.
12---The first invasion- this was the invasion that took place during the eclipse, when all the allies came together to stop the fire nation. It also off set Zuko’s departure from the fire nation at a time when he had finally earned the respect of his father, and thus allowed him to develop further as a character. We also saw his gentler side when he had an opportunity to kill his father and chose not to.
13---Sparky sparky boom boom man- I do not think there is anyone out their that can call themselves an avatar fan who didn’t wish that this fellow had survived until the end. I would have loved to see what this guy could do with the comet on his side; he would have probably burnt down the earth kingdom on his own. Sparky was an anomaly in the avatar world, with his ability to shoot fire from his fore head. You could say that he had taken the whole fire bending thing to a whole new level, morphing him into the sort of destructive force Aang and gang rarely face.
No best avatar moments list can end without mentioning Sokka at least once. i can’t remember anyone specific moment that allowed Sokka to shine besides the episode when he mastered his sword skills and acquired his black meteor sword. Sokka was simply a joy to watch, and a character that is yet to be replaced in legend of Korra, at least for me.