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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Martial Arts > Fantasy > Anime > TV > Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Series (2005 - 2008 animated/Nickelodeon DVD Box set)

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Series (2005 - 2008 animated/Nickelodeon DVD Box set)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Episodes: B+

Avatar The Last Airbender is a highly creative and fascinating animated series that is presented here for the first time as one complete set (; hopefully soon we will get the Blu-ray edition). Having survived a horrible live action remake version from a few years ago by M Night Shyamalan that had to drop the Avatar name, the original series here has a fun anime vibe while still featuring traditional animation. Presented over three books (known as Water, Earth, and Fire and before only available separately) and sixteen discs, this ultimate collection allows newcomers or hardcore fans to go back from the beginning and enjoy the saga to its stunning conclusion.

If you don't know the gist of the story, Avatar The Last Airbender takes place in a world home to humans and hybrid animals, adjacent to a parallel Spirit World. Human civilization is divided into four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Each nation has a distinct society, wherein people known as benders have the ability to manipulate and control the element of their nation using martial arts. Only one man had control of all the elements and at the shows beginning, he is encased in ice and absent from modern day society. He is known as Aang.

Cleverly (as discussed in our previous coverage of the franchise), each bending style is based on an existing Chinese martial art such as the Waterbenders (tai chi), Earthbenders (Hung Ga kung fu), Firebenders (Northern Shaolin kung fu) and Airbenders (Baguazhang). In addition to these four types of bending, there are several minor subcategories of bending within them, including but not limited to: Metalbending, Sandbending (Earth); Lightning generation and redirection (Fire) and Bloodbending, Healing, Plantbending (Water).

Following the narrative structure of the hero's journey, we follow Aang (The Last Airbender) as he befriends some natives and soon learns the power that he beholds. The show is also interestingly directed for the most part by Dave Filoni, a Pittsburgh native who is also responsible for the awesome Star Wars animated series of The Clone Wars and the recent series - Rebels.

Presented in standard definition with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, Avatar looks fine on DVD but could benefit to a Blu-ray upgrade.

No extras, sadly, which maybe the studio is saving for the eventual Blu-ray release.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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