18 May 2015

TV DVD Review: "Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book One: Water"

Rated: TV-Y7 for fantasy violence (US) / PG (Canada)
Starring: Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, and Jack De Sena
Released: February 21 - December 2, 2005 (original Nickelodeon premieres) / September 19, 2006 (DVD)
Synopsis: A hundred years ago, the Fire Nation started a war that engulfed the entire world.  Katara and Sokka, a brother and sister who live in the Southern Water Kingdom, find Aang, whom they discover is the Avatar, the only one who can master the four elements--water, fire, earth, and air--and save the planet, in an iceberg; the only problem is that he is still a boy, and has much to learn.  With their help, though, Aang travels the world and learns of the destiny he must fulfill.  Will he be able to stop the Fire Nation?
As seen on Nickelodeon.  Features the voice work of Mae Whitman (State of Grace, The DUFF).

The Good: What's not to like about this first season? Amazing animation, a great story arc, a knock-your-socks-off ending, plenty of action and drama, a little romance, and an all-around good time.  If you haven't watched this, you're missing out, but, prepare to be gripped by it!

The Bad: The only complaints I have are actually with the DVD itself, not with the show.  Having the episodes listed individually under "Scene Selection" was a bit confusing, while the previews being on every disc except for the "bonus" one were annoying.  That's small potatoes compared to how great the series itself is, though.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing and flirting; nothing more. 4/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guys; a guy in a loincloth; a girl in an off-the-shoulder dress. 4/5
  • Language: Name-calling is as bad as it gets. 4/5
  • Violence: Action sequences abound in this first season; though none of it is bloody or gory, some of it is rather intense.  Aang, Katara, and the various bad guys blast, burn, toss, etc., each other countless times.  A boat is blown up in order to kill someone.  (Spoiler: He escapes.) The two-part finale has some epic warfare. 2/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violence, some scenes can be a bit scary; I thought a character in the finale was especially hideous.  There is also some emotional intensity, especially in the last episode. 2/5
  • Other: A small amount of bathroom humor; usage of magic-type powers throughout. 3/5
Conclusion: People have been telling me about this series for quite a while, but, it wasn't until recently that I decided to give it a shot...and they were right; this show is fabulous! Like I said above: If you haven't seen this...what are you waiting for? Go buy the first season on DVD or iTunes...now!

Score: 5/5

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