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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Special Interest Digest

Because of the explosion of Tikaani and fan-bender posts I decided I should do a digest post on what is Avatar the Last Airbender and why is it my special interest. 

Aspies have special topics that many are down right manic on. Some are interested in dogs, horses, trains, clocks and for something anime tends to be a special interest but I am particular to a particular program

Wikipedia states this

Avatar: The Last Airbender (also known as Avatar: The Legend of Aang)[1] is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon and the Nicktoons Network. The series was created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who served as executive producers along with Aaron Ehasz. Avatar is set in an Asian-influenced world[2] of Chinese martial arts and elemental manipulation. The show drew on elements from East Asian (especially Chinese and Japanese) culture, blending the styles of anime and US domestic cartoons.

The series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating the evil Fire Lord and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.[3] The pilot episode first aired on February 21, 2005[4] and the series concluded with a widely-lauded two-hour television movie on July 19, 2008.[5] The show is available from the following sources: on DVD, the iTunes Store, the Zune Marketplace, the Xbox Live Marketplace, the PlayStation Store, and its

I got into Avatar during Easter when I was watching "King of Omashu" at first I thought it was a silly kids cartoon with lots action and martial arts. By the time I got half way into the first season I was pretty hooked. It was incriedbly invoking and inspiring I just couldn't get enough of it. November of 05 is when I  got into Avatar RP. I created my first "fan-character" a grumpy pacifist firebending doctor named Sekar. I am still Rping since then...it's almost been five years. 

To break down Avatar the Last Airbender (which is going to be hard) I'll start with the main plot and then go down to each of the Four Nations

Avatar the Last Airbender is set in a grueling 100 year war with the invasive and destructive Fire Nation. This was the result of the Avatar, whom is a individual that can bend or manipulate all for elements, disappeared and abandoning the nations. He is the mediator of all four elemental-countries as well as the ambassador for the Spirit-Gods and without him the Fire Nation waged a violent genocide on the peaceful Air Nomads and continue to wage a war among other nations.

In a South Pole village, Katara and Sokka a pair of Water Tribe siblings discover the new Avatar, Aang, a happy go-lucky Air Nomad. With their help and the countless of allies and friends he has made. Aang goes from carefree monk to wise and realized Avatar and defeats the violent and mislead Fire Nation and their ruthless dictator, Ozai. 

Now here is a break down of the Four Nations

Earth Kingdom 

The Earth Kingdom is the largest of the Element-Countries. It has two main metropolises. Omashu, which is primary a city of earthbenders and Ba Sing Se which is pretty much "The Forbidden City" in fantastic elemental Asia. It's the most diverse of the Four Nations, having various kinds of people and it's inspiration is drawing from various sources. There are subculture of benders called "Sandbenders" that live in the Si Wong Desert 

They are the most enduring of the Four Nations and survived the war much better than the Water Tribes and the now extinct Air Nomads. It's government is a dual monarchy with the Omashu ruling the south end of the Earth Kingdom and Ba Sing Se ruling the north. 

Fire Nation

The Fire Nation is the isolated archipelago on the equator. It's the most technologically advanced nation and going through an industrial revolution. Through the hundred years it has suffered propaganda and forced loyalty to the Fire Lord.  The people of the Fire Nation are hard working and industrious they are powerful soldiers and passionate people. Most of the citizens of the Fire Nation are firebenders. 

Water Tribes 

The Water Tribes are polar nations. The Southern tribe resides in the South Pole and has suffered severe damage from the war. There are no waterbenders in the South. Katara is the only one. The men of the tribe left to fight and serve the other nations in war. 

The North Pole is very complex ice-fortress. The poles are ruled by chieftains, Chief Hakoda rules the South and he is Katara and Sokka's father. Arnook rules the North. The polar Water Tribes are very community based and adaptive. However cultural sexism is also prevalent. Women are forbidden to fight in the North Pole and men are primary in charge. The adaptivity makes them powerful survivors. (Tikaani's home is the North Pole, he is Water Tribe) 

The Foggy Swamp in the Earth Kingdom is home to portion of the Water Tribe that live kinda like hillbillies meets Boreno. The Swampbenders are much like their polar cousins. Adaptive survivors (paddle faster I hear banjos).

Air Nomads

The Air Nomads are currently extinct according to Word of God (aka the creators of the show) though fandom has ways of bending this rule. ... anyway.

The Air Nomads were nation of all airbenders and they ruled in four temples. North, South, East and West. The north and south are all male temples and the east and west are all female. There are caravans but not much are know about them. It's assumed that Air Nomads are ruled by a theocracy. Air Nomads are pacifists and practice the Buddhist variation of "non-harm" they do not eat meat and their bending lacks a killing move. 

Notes on Bending: 

Earthbending: Earthbending is based on the real world martial art of Hung Gar. It's strong and powerful stances are used to create earth quakes, throw boulders and even magnetize stone to their bodies.  The original source of earth bending were the badger-moles. 

Firebending: Is based off of Northern Shaolin. It's hard and aggressive and destructive. It's the most dangerous of any element. It can harm the bender as well as it's foe. It's original source was the dragons. 

Waterbending: Is inspired by Tai Chi. It's bending is fluid and stances flow into each other. It's very versatile next to Air Bending. Waterbenders also can heal by redirecting the chi within a person. The original source of waterbending was the Moon and Ocean 

Airbending: This bending was referenced by Ba Gua. It's a circular bending style and like Waterbending. Redirects the attacks of enemies. It's bending based on evasion and defense. Airbenders are clever and resourceful making airbending the most versatile bending disapline. Unlike the other three bending styles. Airbenders have no killing move. The original source of came from the Sky Bison.

As a television program, Avatar is well balanced for both adults and children. It still has fun and silly moments as well as serious topics such as ethics of taking human life, propaganda, environmentalism, sexism, responsibility and redemption. Just to name a few. It's probably one the best cartoons in my generation next to Gargoyles. I recommended it to families out there. A fair warning to the heavy Christian families out there. Avatar has a some Vedic, Buddhist, Taoist and Animist philosophy in the show. Something you should watch for in case your kids have some questions.

I hope this reference will make things easier when I talk about Tikaani. Now you have a good idea what his culture is like :3 

1 comment:

  1. Ooo Gargolyes! That was my favourite as a kid!
    I need more Avatar The Last Airbender, but because I no longer have cable...
    I'll go to NETFLIX!

    When I get home.
    Which will be 90 years from now ><