The 2005 Nickelodeon Animated series resurfaced over the past month on social media. Even though it’s intended for kids with its humor and cartoon-nature, rewatching it as an adult in 2020 seems to pierce through the soul so much more. Its themes touch on relevant issues that need to be dealt with in this age.
“Why should I watch “Avatar: The Last Airbender”?” is such a stupid question, and yes, that sounds subjective, but it’s possible to enumerate three objective reasons why it’s binge-worthy. Firstly, it draws from Asian diaspora and Inuit culture with its setting and architecture, clothes, names, and even the bending is based on movements in martial arts. ‘Asian diaspora’ in this sense, is not the usual East-Asian-centric but balancing Southeast Asia and South Asia in the picture.
Secondly: strong female characters! Each of them show a multitude of strength, from physicality to emotion evolving to leadership. They are all different in figure and color. It’s divine because they cooperate and coincide, despite and because of their differences. Considering that the narrative took place during a war, these women did more than aid – and yes, Katara knew how to heal with her bending – they were in the frontlines of battle and were also the ones who led and helped discuss battle tactics.
Lastly, the show tackles themes and problems such as feminism, xenophobia, and the main theme: colonization, on the basis of why we should not fear ‘the other’ and instead allow differences to grow towards unity.
10/10: Azula would listen to Doja Cat