(let’s try this again)
According to the consensus on the internet, season 2 of Avatar (the good one) was the best of the three. So how does the first disc do?
Chapter 1: the Avatar State – Probably one of the best starts to the season. First, we get a more formal introduction to the apparent villain for this season: Azula. Though doesn’t she look a little familiar?
Nah, just my imagination. It was awesome getting to see Aang on coffee though.
Something that had bugged me in the previous season was the appearance of Aang’s hulked-out or “overdrive” mode. Although fun, such an ability for your hero can cause problems with writing. Whenever a hero possesses such a mode, two question arise: 1) Why don’t we just ‘trigger’ the hero’s bad-ass mode and point him/her at the enemy? 2) Isn’t tension gone now since any time the hero gets in any real danger, we know he’ll just go super-sayian? Demonstrating just how mature and awesome the writers of this show can be, they bring up and address these questions in this episode. They also do one better in giving the the super-mode a downside nearly equal to the power Aang gains: if he dies while in that mode (thus implying it’s possible, even if unlikely), the Avatar line will break and the spirit will never be reborn (kind of screwing the world as a whole). So, kudos to the show.
But… it does bring up another question. Aang is the last airbender. The avatar line follows a pattern in which tribe the avatar is born into (air – water – earth – fire). So… even if Aang doesn’t die while in the “Avatar State” (the official term here for “bad-ass mode”), won’t the avatar line only continue for 3 more rounds? Will it just skip the non-existent air tribe? When the last airbender dies, how will any future avatars learn airbending anyway? I have hope that the show will be answering this later, or maybe address it in the follow-up series.
2: the Cave of Two Lovers – Hippies? Really? I tell you, if the platypus-bear had shown up and eaten them, I would have declared this the single greatest moment of television EVER. As it is… this isn’t too bad of an episode, even if the hippies survived. Over all we could have done less with Sokka’s group and the pets (Appa & Momo) to give us more time with Aang, Azula and Zuko.
I liked that they showed there is history in this world with the rise of the first earth bender. A prequel series showing the first benders, avatars, and more in this world could be really entertaining.
Azula’s segment was a treat as well, and no that’s not a Ty Lee joke (note that I didn’t put here on there, she was listed before i started watching this show). Most often in fiction the passive-aggressive character is either a humble hero, or a minor antagonist (meant as a speed bump to the protagonist). Very rarely do we get the passive-aggressive villains so Azula’s style was like a breath of fresh air. I’ve heard quite a bit on Azula (though I’m trying to repress spoilers) and must say that she brings something unique to the table of “greatest villains”.
3: Return to Omashu – A step up from the previous (still good) episode and equal to the first of this season. The best was watching the 3v3 fight and seeing (again) that even though the heroes outnumber the villains on benders, regular, highly-skilled fighters can still hold their own
No! Bad Ty Lee! If there’s one thing I won’t abide on this blog, it’s puns!
So as I was saying, it seems we have the burgeoning of a new rule: any episode with Bumi is a good episode.
4: the Swamp – A filler episode that makes it not as great as the previous 3 but still pretty good and shows them trying to reinforce something mentioned earlier. I’m still confused on the whole “plant bending” thing though as it seems a great departure from other rules established in this world. So… for now I’m going to pretend this episode didn’t happen until it’s referenced or explained better in the future.
5: Avatar Day – Another entry for Agony Booth’s Worst of Avatar, and boy can I see why. Again, I won’t repeat Ryan, but the worst part about this episode? So far we’ve had four very good, pretty mature (again: Ms Fanservice was introduced in #2) episodes and then… one that’s so cartoony I can’t see how it appeals to anyone over the age of 3. Maybe with some rewrites this could have been better but as it is… it’s almost a greater disservice to the show than the movie was.