Once again, I’ve had the privilege of reviewing more Avatar, The Last Airbender, DVDs. This time it’s the Complete Book 3 box set. The box set includes all 21 episodes of the third and final season of Aang‘s journey. And I have to say that it is one of the best animated series I’ve seen in a very long time.
For those of you new to the world of the Avatar, I’ll provide a bit of a summary.
The series is based in a world of many Asian and martial arts influences. The people of this world are organized into separate nations, each of which centers around a particular element: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. Among the people of these nations, there are people known as “benders” who can control a particular type of elemental energy. For example, a bender in the Water Tribes can control water — thus being a Water Bender. An Avatar is born once in a generation and can control all four elements. As such, Avatars are looked to for leadership by all nations to try and work together.
Well, Aang was a young Air Bender studying at a monastery in the Air Nomads. When told that he was the next Avatar, he ran away with Appa, his flying buffalo and flew into a terrible storm. Aang and Appa were trapped in a block of ice for 100 years until they were discovered by Katara and Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe. While Aang was away, the peaceful world he knew from his time had vanished and it was replaced by a world in turmoil. If ever an Avatar was needed to reunite the people, now was the time, and Aang was put on a long road of discovery, training, and a final battle…
In Books 1 and 2, we saw Aang, Katara, and Sokka go on many adventures as they tried to find tutors for Aang to learn how to earthbend, waterbend, and firebend. Katara, a waterbender herself, worked hard to improve her own skills as she helped Aang learn. Toph, an earthbender, joined the group and began teaching Aang some earthbending. All along the way, the Fire Nation hunted Aang and his friends, especially Zuko, an outcast Prince of the Fire Nation and son of the Fire Lord Ozai (a madman who wants to control the whole world).
At the end of Book 2, Aang got into a big battle with Azula, Zuko’s power-hungry sister and barely came out alive. The group of friends escaped to let Aang recover so he could continue learning and preparing for his eventual battle with the Fire Lord.
Continuing the theme of the first two seasons, I think Book 3 has some of the best stories of the three seasons. You can read some of my comments about volume 3 and 4 here and here (they correspond to the 3rd and 4th discs in the Book 3 box set).
- The Women of *Avatar: The Last Airbender*
- Book 3 Finale Pencil Test Animation
- Into the Fire Nation at San Diego Comic-Con
The Women of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was a great overview of three of the great female characters of the series – Katara, Toph, and Azula. These are not your usual weak female characters in some of the cartoon series of yesteryear. These ladies have strong opinions and the strength to follow through on them. You hear from the voice actors doing the voices for these characters as well as the co-creators of Avatar.
If you’ve followed the Avatar series at all, this box set ends the series with a bang. It’s amazing to see the change in the characters and see all the various threads come to a satisfying end. The creators outdid themselves with this one and I was sad to see it come to an end.
I honestly hope we see more adventures in the Avatar world, but that they are done with the same care as the first three seasons!
Nickelodeon Home Entertainment released the Avatar Book 3 Complete Box Set on DVD September 16. Be sure to check out the Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 3 box set at a retailer near you!
p.s. You can purchase the Avatar Book 3 Box Set at Amazon below: