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Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 2, Vol. 4
Reviewed by Tuxxer

9 out of 10

For a generation of kids growing up with few quality cartoons; some stand out better than others. There's a lot to consider: Is the plot any good? Are the characters interesting? Is the animation decent? Is there anything about the show that sets it apart?

There’s good news— Thanks to Avatar: The Last Airbender, the answer is a resounding yes. I've been a fan of the show since I first laid eyes on it. The Story: In ancient times, nations of the world were divided up into schools of martial arts that harnessed the four elements (Sorry Kwami, no Heart Ring for you today): Air, Earth, Water and Fire. The Fire Nation (think Flammable Slytherins) are trying to conquer the other Nations, and they have the opportunity to pull it off. The only person standing in their way is a 12 year old boy who can harness all the Elements like a natural.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is that despite it's being aimed at children, it doesn't dumb things down for them. A key theme of the show is reincarnation. How cool is that?? Aang, the Last Airbender, is essentially an orphan. Sure he's got a Flying Bison for a pet; but he's still essentially on his own. Or he would be, if not for Katara and Sokka.

Long story short, Aang needs to learn the other Bending arts before a specific deadline; at which point the bad guys' powers will be at their peak.

Book 2, Volume 4 brings the second season to a close. Aang has come a long way in his studies; but politics may cause the end of his journey prematurely. An ongoing villain, deposed Prince Zukok, faces a crisis of conscience that will shape his future role in the series.

One thing I have to mention is the Bending itself—each school of training is based on a distinct martial art. Water is shaped by Tai Chi, Earth by Hung Gar, Fire by Northern Shaolin, Air by Ba Gua. (One unique character bends earth using Praying Mantis style. And she's blind.)

I can't recommend this series enough. It's tightly written, funny, suspenseful, the animation is terrific and the voice actors pitch perfect. I suggest you start at the beginning and work your way through. Avatar won't disappoint.

You can buy the the 4th volume of Avatar the Last Air Bender Season 2 from Amazon.com

Review ©2005 MillionairePlayboy.com




 
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