I wanted to share some drawings I did earlier this year that were inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender. I was excited to rewatch this series, and Legend of Korra when they became available on Netflix. (Here is a post I wrote earlier this year about the show.)
In these drawings, I wanted to highlight some under represented cultures. It was also fun imagining what the Avatar universe fashion would be like in modern times.
The Netflix gods have finally deemed the US worthy of having access to this piece of amazing culture!!!
I am on my way to binge the show and here’s some of what I’m most excited to relive (not in any particular order):
1. The breaking down of sexism and featuring strong female characters. All the women in The Last Airbender are freaking amazing and no one can tell them otherwise. Just look at how Katara proved that to the Northern Water Tribe bending teacher. She proved that she belonged there, not because she was a girl, but because she was already an excellent water bender and desired to learn more. Toph is, of course, another one of my favorites. She’s stubborn, but just as dynamic. And I have to shout out Azula. She’s scary but she makes a great villain for both Aang and Zuko.
2. I love seeing how The Last Airbender incorporates eastern religions and beliefs. It’s a fun and interesting way of getting exposed to them and learning about how other people across the world tap into their spirituality. One of my favorite episodes is the Chakrah episodes, in which Aang has to learn to align his chakras in order to control how he goes in and out of the Avatar state. I also love seeing how each bending principle is derived from moves of different martial arts. Needless to say, I love when a show does its research.
3. Zuko’s transformation. He easily as the BEST character arc in the show. He went from believing his destiny to be capturing the Avatar so that he can gain back his honor and be welcomed back by his father (and, albeit, a super angsty teenager) to realizing his true destiny involving the Avatar (befriending him and helping him defeat his own father, Fire Lord Ozai).
4. Uncle Iroh, his infinite wisdom and his pursuit in tea and all his leisures! I freaking love Uncle Iroh. He has so much patience with Zuko and truly loves him, even at his angsty-est. Sometimes I wish I could have an Uncle Iroh in my life. Not to mention, he’s another great comic relief character.
5. Watching this show as an adult has me appreciate Aang’s kid perspective. I love how he’s always looking to have fun and doesn’t mind talking back to adults if need be. It’s really refreshing to watch, even though he does have this big task at hand. It’s like a reminder to not take life so seriously all the time and find the fun in life every once in awhile.
If you’re finding yourself bored during this quarantine, I highly recommend this show. Even if it is technically a kid’s show, there’s a lot to learn. The story and the world it takes place in is really well thought out and planned. I guarantee you’ll be satisfied at the end. And for fellow fans who are also rewatching, what parts are you looking forward to?