Home Film & TVFantasy Avatar: The Last Airbender: Flameo Hotman! Team Avatar Returns!

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Flameo Hotman! Team Avatar Returns!

by Andrew Nguyen

Let’s just talk about the elephant koi fish in the room.  Is the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender as culturally impactful as the animated series? No. Is this live action series still a solid adaptation? Most definitely. The thing is, the animated series was a generational defining moment for many of us as we entered our teen years. The animation was able to introduce to us a number of mature themes such as war, loss, prejudice, and love. Understanding the impact of the animated series is also knowing that even if you were to create a shot for shot remake, there will be fans that will find the chink in the armor. Regardless, this series was able to deliver a quality adaptation that will satisfy fans.

Although this series made some creative changes that I wasn’t such a big fan of, they also added some great content as well. But first, let’s talk about some changes I was not a fan of – Bumi. I love King Bumi when he was first introduced in the Avatar: The Last Airbender series and although I understood the reasoning behind the change, it just didn’t sit right with me. I wish they kept the mystery of his identity at the end and kept him a supporter of Aang from the very start since he was the one person that Aang could still count on after 100 years. This can be seen as both a pro and a con but I do miss the humor and the lightheartedness that the animation captured. An example is that Aang was a very carefree kid throughout the series but in the live-action adaptation made him much more serious. Even though I do miss those traits, I am a fan of this realistic take because it is about a war-torn world. I definitely understand what people meant when they said this had a splash of Game of Thrones vibes. 

One of the outstanding additions to the adaptation is the relationship between Zuko and Uncle Iroh. The funeral scene of Lu Ten was powerful and moving. It was a scene I never thought I would want but I definitely needed. Episode 2 is where it really heats up because we also get to see Avatar Kyoshi, and boy oh boy, is she a total badass. Another detail that the live-action explored was Avatar Kuruk’s backstory. Some people may have remembered Kuruk as a carefree Avatar but here he is seen fighting a secret battle in the spirit world that could cost him everything. 

Although the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender did not capture the same magic as the animated series did, it got me rediscovering my love for the material and the creators’ top-tier world-building that captured the hearts of a millennial generation. Now that season 2 and 3 are announced, I can’t wait to “see” the Blind Bandit’s return! WOO!

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