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Avatar: The Last Airbender (also known in Europe as Avatar: The Legend of Aang) is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. The series follows the adventures of protagonist Aang, a spiritual defender of Earth known as “The Avatar”, and his friends, who must save the world from the evil Fire Lord by ending his war against the neighbor nations. To do this, Aang must master all four forms of bending, a special martial art in the universe that allows the user to control the elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.
Production and Reception
The Avatar franchise was co-created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, two animation directors, in Burbank, California, and was animated by JM Animation, DR Movie, and Moi Animation, all studios from South Korea.
Avatar: The Last Airbender uses a mixture of cultural influences to create its universe, all from Asian culture and history. The show uses traditional Chinese for any writing in-universe, and draws from Chinese and Japanese mythology for its plot.
The show has received positive reviews from both audience members and critics, and has been nominated for and won several awards.
- Aang, played by Zach Tyler Eisen, is the protagonist of the series. Being the Avatar, Aang must be the sole protector of balance in the world. To ensure this, the show centers around his quest to master all four elements. Along his quest, he befriends many people and learns how the world has changed since he was encased within an iceberg for a century. Being raised by the Air Nomads, he deeply follows the teachings of non-violence and peace keeping. This becomes problematic when everyone around him expects that the firelord must be killed in order to bring balance. However, he finds an alternative to this by energybending, which takes the bending of one away permanently.
- Katara, played by Mae Whitman, a member of the southern water tribe, is the mentor/friend to Aang during the series. She begins as a novice water bender but eventually masters her bending by the end of the series. In the Legend Of Korra it is stated and shown that she and Aang settled down and had children, with one of them being Korra’s Airbending mentor.
- Sokka, played by Jack DeSena, is another member of the southern water tribe. Though he was a nonbender, he was a tactician and warrior just like his father who led the warriors of the tribe. He is mostly known to be the comic relief with his boomerang and so called “space sword” which was made from a meteorite. Some examples from the show involving him have seen spread online.
- Toph Beifong, played by Jessie Flower, is the daughter of the Beifong family, a wealthy group in the Earth Kingdom. Though blind, she can earthbend to see the vibrations in the ground, thereby making her a formidable opponent. She is unique from other benders due to the fact that she can bend the earth within a metal, thereby metal bending, which most earthbenders cannot do. Due to her unrestrained nature, she joins Aang and becomes his earthbending teacher.
- Prince Zuko, played by Dante Basco, is the final member to join the group. At the start of the series he is the rival to the avatar and tries to capture him to regain the honor lost from his father after speaking out in a war meeting and later banished. Over time, he becomes conflicted with capturing the avatar and restoring his honor. In the end, he no longer wants to appraisal of his father and joins the team to overthrow him and becomes Aang’s Firebending mentor.
The Legend of Korra
The Legend of Korra is the sequel to The Last Airbender, and premiered on Nickelodeon in 2012. Because of the franchise’s past success and fame, the show was quickly picked up and became a popular subject on many sites, including Tumblr in many of its blogs.
Cactus Juice is a term, as seen in season 2, episode 10, which stands for the water within a desert cactus that will give a hallucinogenic effect to the character upon drinking it. The character will then perform comedic and nonsensical activities.
Comedian Amon is a series of vertical comics that feature the main antagonist from The Legend of Korra Amon, portrayed as a stand-up comedian. The comics make use of characters’ names and in-universe references as puns for the sake of low-brow humor.
Crying Bolin / Kissing Korra
Crying Bolin and Kissing Korra a pair of related memes that derive from a scene in episode 5 of The Legend of Korra, where Korra kisses Mako. The memes both involve remixing stills or gifs from the scene to include a variety of different scenarios or characters.
Inappropriate Timing Spongebob Banner
Inappropriate Timing Spongebob Banner is an exploitable image series based on a Nickelodeon bumper banner featuring the cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants laughing with the caption “Up Next.” The popup banner is typically juxtaposed with emotional scenes from various films and television shows to mock poorly timed cross-promo ads displayed in the lower thirds during broadcast. The banner was first shown in a scene from the sixth episode of the animated television series The Legend of Korra, which aired on May 12th, 2012. During the broadcast, as the protagonist Korra was falling down from an arena, a banner ad of a laughing Spongebob Squarepants popped up at the bottom of the screen. The following day, an animated GIF of the scene was posted on the Korravangelist Tumblr blog with the description “Wow spongebob you’re a fucking asshole. Korra could have died.” Within three weeks, the post received over 16,200 notes.
Then Everything Changed When The Fire Nation Attacked
Then Everything Changed When The Fire Nation Attacked is a catchphrase from Avatar:The Last Airbender’s opening. It is often used as a caption in the final panel of multi-pane comics featuring invading Fire Nation Benders. As a catchphrase, it is often added on to the end of sentences in a similar fashion to the quote I took an arrow in the knee.
Racebending is the name of the controversy in the The Last Airbender movie cast, for employing actors of caucasian race to play Asian characters.
Cabbage Man is a background character from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the series, he is always selling cabbages, and he continually had his cabbages destroyed or damaged after encountering Team Avatar and their enemies. His most notable phrase which became a running gag in the series was “MY CABBAGES!!”. In the legend of Korra, one major company that works on new technology is called Cabbage Corp. In the show they talk of the Cabbage merchant who founded the company. This is often used as a joke in some images macros.