Title: Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Number of episodes: 20.
Release Date: 2006.
ORIGINAL NETWORK: Nickelodeon.
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure.
Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko.
Composer(s): Jeremy Zuckerman & Benjamin Wynn.
Cast: Zach Tyler Eisen, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena, Dante Basco, Michaela Jill Murphy, Mako, and many more!
My Overall Rating:
Pursuing its exploration of good and evil, peace and war, and love and hate, this beloved Nickelodeon animated series created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko further cements its excellence as they deliver a second season titled Book 2: Earth. Indubitably accessible for both a young and adult audience, these 20 episodes once more bring together the core cast with Aang, Sokka, and Katara, with their bond further crystallized by the trials they’ve survived in search for a water master who could help Aang acquire new water bending skills in the first season: Book 1: Water. Still hunted by the exiled prince of the Fire Nation, Zuko, and his uncle Iroh, the group does not fumble and give up as their journey brings them to meet new allies and better grasp the war they are trying to put an end to.
What is Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) Season 2 about? Now searching for an Earthbending teacher, the group encounters the mysterious and blind Toph Beifong and learns about her secluded life void of freedom despite incredible powers. Together, they set off on a journey that leads them to discover critical information that could change the war with the Fire Nation. Unfortunately, the group suffer through an emotional saga as their flying bison Appa finds itself in distress. This leads them to the capital of the Earth Kingdom, Ba Sing Se, where there’s more than meets the eye with a secretive government conspiracy at play. Despite the sadness and misery they face from this quest, they continue to fight strong and hard to uncover the truth and help those in need.
This second season is as strong as the first one, offering once more an exceptional and brilliant dose of drama, comedy, and action. The recruitment of Toph to the gang is a welcome one, adding her own pinch of tough love and humour, creating some fun interactions between the trio and her. With their journey having heavily played with their emotions on multiple occasions, the strength of their bond is also remarkable this time around, even unleashing a shy and romantic bond between two beloved characters. However, the stories only tease and hint at these love affairs, as the real emotional turmoil begins when Appa, the flying bison, gets in trouble. The show’s strength, however, lies once more in the resilience shown by these youngsters, often beaten and hopeless by the size of the challenges before them, only to learn to persevere and overcome them through friendship, optimism, and wisdom.
On top of the main gang’s adventures, the parallel story-arc revolving around Zuko and his uncle is also fantastic. Their journey is riddled with emotional trials as well, often pushing the young prince to reflect on his actions, past, and the destiny he wants for himself. With the helping hand of his uncle Iroh, mostly passive in his approach and mentorship, acting as a pseudo-father, it is an individual journey that is wonderful to follow, clearly paving the way towards a redemption arc that all viewers cannot wait for. On top of this introspective journey, the action scenes, which often come at the crossroads between all parties, are fantastic as usual. Visually entertaining yet conceptually basic in terms of originality, these action scenes are masterfully executed and handled, never excessive or overwhelming, giving it all a classic charm and appeal.
The animation style remains similar yet slightly improved to the first season. While the animated series isn’t particularly innovative when it comes to its visual exploits, it remains timeless and further argues for its quality content. Its themes around war and oppression are also further explored and beautifully portrayed throughout this season, offering intriguing discussion points on societal happiness and culture clash. While there isn’t anything particularly special about the auditory experience, especially through the score, there isn’t much to criticize either. This second season remains all-around solid, beautifully building up the overarching plot, offering some entertaining filler episodes here and there, and wonderfully capturing the youthful and innocent nature of these kids as they fight for what they believe is right and good.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2006) Season 2 is another excellent season in the beloved animated series as the youthful and dynamic group searches for answers in their quest to put an end to the Fire Lord’s quest for world domination.