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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.
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.
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
- Korra, The new avatar, born in the south pole, was capable of learning 3 of the elements very quitly ( the exception being air). Unlike her predacessor, Korra is more eager to fight, and is much more rash than Aang. She is also older than Aang was in the original series, and struggles with the spiritual side of being the avatar. Like Aang, her water bending master was Katara. She travels to Republic City on her pet Polar bear dog named Naga. There she must face the new threat of the Equalist, who seek to rid the world of benders.
- Mako, Named after the voice actor of Iroh from the original series, Mako is a firebender who lives with his earthbending brother after they lost their parents. Mako’s Scarf belong to his father and because of that we chooses to always where it. He and his brother created the Fire Ferrets, a pro bending group which made it all the way to the final round before loosing and getting second place. He is very capable of creating lightning and has been in a realtionship with both Korra and Asami.
- Bolin, Bolin is an earthbender from a multicultural family. He grew up on the streets of Republic City under the protection of his older brother, Mako, after their parents were murdered by a firebender. Eventually, he and his brother founded a pro-bending team, the Fire Ferrets, that would eventually include Avatar Korra. After the Pro-bending Tournament ended, Bolin joined Team Avatar in an attempt to disband the Equalist organization. In the following months, Bolin became friends with the Southern Water Tribe industrialist Varrick, and starred in Varrick’s propaganda mover series, The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, which attempted to drum up support for the Southern Tribe within Republic City during the Water Tribe Civil War. He was also briefly engaged to Korra’s cousin.
- Asami Sato, The heir to the Sato automobile industry, Asami first encounters members of the new avatar team when she accidentally hits Mako with her moped. She then dates him for a brief while before breaking up. She is an expert driver and fighter, using equalist weapons such as the shock gauntlet.
- Lin Beifong, The Daughter of Toph from the original series, and the head of the police of Republc City, Lin is an expert earth bender and a highly capable metal bender. She once had a relationship with Korra’s airbending master Tenzin. Though initially disliking Korra, she becomes an ally before the end of the first season.
- Varrick, New Fan favorite character of season 2, is a wealthy philanthropist whose energetic spirit, quick thinking, and eccentricity hide his actual intentions
The Avatar franchise has spawned many succesful comics.The first of which is named The Lost Adventures which are collection of comics from Nickelodeon Magazine and focuses on side story that took place with in the first three season of the original series.
Other comics include The Promise, The Search, and The Rift, all of which are official three part continuations of the original series.
There are also two One-Shots which were made for Free Comic Book day. One focuses on Mai while the other focuses on Sokka and Suki.
Lastly there was also two comic book tie-ins to the movie adaptation of the series.
On 2010, a live-action film based on the first season of “The Last Airbender” was released. The movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was poorly received for acting performances and lack of focus on the original series.
In 2012, a sequel was announced.
The series has met critical acclaim and has won 5 Annie awards and 1 Emmy. It is currently the 13th highest rated show of all time on IMDB.
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.