I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Mon May 17, 2021 5:52 pm

the cabbage vendor can't catch a break :fluttersmith:
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Mon May 17, 2021 5:52 pm

also yeah, the finale is something
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Mon May 17, 2021 5:55 pm

also

i think the gap between s2 and 3 was pretty big and i wouldn't be surprised if the fans slowly went crazy after sitting on that ending
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by SlateSlabrock (?) » Fri May 28, 2021 1:48 pm

DaikatunaRevengeance wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 5:55 pm
i think the gap between s2 and 3 was pretty big and i wouldn't be surprised if the fans slowly went crazy after sitting on that ending
Not much more than people had already gone crazy with a break from July to September, then one episode in October, then two in November and two in December.

But it was a nine month break between seasons 2 and 3, so on par with poniless summer between seasons 3 and 4.

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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Fri May 28, 2021 1:54 pm

ah

still, rip
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender [s]S2[/s] S3 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun May 30, 2021 3:01 pm

Well, let's move on because the Four Nations aren't going to get unfucked by me just sitting around.

S3E1: Aang loses his glider but gains a head of hair! Lush, luxurious hair!

We are now in Book 3, "Fire" and that feels appropriate for the way everyone and everything feels so volatile right now. Aang has a lot of fire in his belly (after S2's finale he probably had to grow a new belly from scratch) and the parallel that in wanting redemption he's not dissimilar from Zuko is an interesting one. We've seen connections drawn between Zuko and Katara on account of daddy issues, while in other ways he's a foil to Sokka 'cuz they're both impetuous youths struggling to Be A Man (tm), but Zuko and Aang haven't gotten a thematic link before now. So that's neat. Oh, and it's implied that Iroh is alive in jail somewhere.

Katara is more powerful than she's ever been (remember when a Fire Nation ship was a threat?), but we get a look at her vulnerabilities here and it's played really well.

Mark Hamill earns like three paychecks this week.

Azula is once again the smartest one in the room.

It's interesting that we still get glimpses of that young Earth Kingdom couple and their baby. Like, I wonder if the kid grows up to be a character on Korra or something like that. I have no idea how far in the future Korra happens.

Toph is so good at earthbending that she can now bend things that are only technically earth. She is twelve years old. Are we sure there wasn't a bureaucratic mix-up and the Avatar isn't actually her? I can't help but wonder what an elderly, perhaps Bumi-age Toph would be able to do. Planetbending, maybe.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun May 30, 2021 3:30 pm

Also I wanted to write about Toph's earthbending stance and how great it is.

Toph is a twelve-year-old girl, tiny even for her age. You kind of expect the stereotypical person with rock powers to be some kind of Big Guy, built like a rock themselves, and Toph is as far from that visual stereotype as anyone can get.

But she gets in that earthbending stance:

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And the body language says it all. You look at this and you know nothing is going to move her, there's no goddamn question. That's some great visual language. And it's a creative choice too, because a person this small probably COULD have a fighting style with a lot of flips and dodges. But she doesn't, earthbending is basically all about standing there in the most awesome way.

Which brings me to Yoda in the prequels. Yoda in the prequels should have been like Toph.

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Not this shit. No. This might be superficially eye-catching but it's not the character trait you want to sell. Yoda is a centered dude. If you absolutely have to put him in a physical confrontation, how much better would it be to show him facing someone many times his size -- Christopher Lee was approximately eleven feet tall -- the size disparity couldn't be more obvious, but then Yoda, little Yoda, goes into that stance and you suddenly know: nothing is going to move him.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun May 30, 2021 3:38 pm

Thank you for attending my TED Talk on why A:TLA does Star Wars better than Star Wars
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:29 pm

S3E2: In this episode we learn that Aang is chad as fuuuuuuuuuuck
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:38 pm

S3E3: The Painted Lady? She's cool. :iiaia:

It's been a long time since we've had a good old fashioned "team helps out a village" episode, so this felt like a comfortable old sock. But the fact that they couldn't openly help since they're in enemy territory made for a fun wrinkle. The climactic Painted Lady illusion was a thing of badass and, and!, it was neat to see the whole gang work together to make it happen.

The average Fire Nationer is a decent person, as expected. In fact, there's not much difference between the Fire Nation soldiers bullying the townsfolk in this episode, and the Earth Kingdom soldiers bullying the townsfolk in that Zuko episode last season. So as we can see, the true villain of Avatar: The Last Airbender is war itself. War, and Mark Hamill.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:53 pm

S3E4: Hey, is this one of those "training arcs" that you anime kids are always having? Sokka is having a moment of inadequacy as the token normie on adventure shows always does at some point; except where most such episodes resolve with "it's okay to be average", ATLA says fuck that, average is for losers, and gives Sokka a meteor sword and a grownup to assure him he's the bestest ever.

Genuinely loved: the training montage where the superficial gag appears to be Sokka screwing up, but also has the common theme of thinking outside the box. Which we already knew about Sokka, since he's been the group's Plan Guy for some while, and it's explicitly said later by the sensei, but it's all set up in the montage for smart people like me to notice.

Is Toph developing a li'l crush on Sokka? :blush: Could you blame her?

Iroh is displaying excellent lockdown discipline.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:09 pm

S3E5: One thing I've been thinking, but forgot to mention earlier, is that I'm pleasantly surprised S3 is keeping a leisurely pace and not shifting into high gear because it's the final season and every episode has to be about the main plot. Instead, we're still getting character-focused stories that stand and breathe on their own. And it's been really enjoyable.

All that said, I wasn't expecting a full-on beach episode. But here we are!

The villains get a bonding moment which is about as sweet as these damaged characters are capable of. Well, all except Azula who is just hollow on the inside; but it's still interesting to have that confirmed. There's no hidden pain in her past to contextualize her evilness; she just is this way and always has been. And a side effect is that we're finally shown something she can't do: pass as a normal person. This is largely a comedy episode but it still provides some emotional meat to chew on.

Meanwhile, Team Aang gets attacked by a killer cyborg.

Those twin grannies continue to be creepy, but it's reassuring to know even they were kids once.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:58 pm

legit forgot about the beach episode
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:59 pm

also yeah, s3 will ramp up when it's time
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:42 pm

S3E6: Everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked, but until now we never knew why the Fire Nation attacked. But now we know: because Sozin was an asshole.

I don't really have a lot to say about this episode because it was all exposition. Good exposition, to be sure, but not super gripping because we already know pretty much how it ends. Also while it's nice to hear that Aang and Zuko have the power to Restore The Balance, there's no suggestion of how this is supposed to happen. Like, it's good exposition but knowing it doesn't seem to alter what the characters' goals should be. It's not a game-changer of an episode. Still it's cool to have Iroh talking again.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:03 pm

I was gonna add that we also see that Avatars are allowed to marry, so this is another case where A:TLA improves on Star Wars
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:40 pm

S3E7: Katara the Last Soupbender, and the First and Hopefully Last Sweatbender. :nngh:

But seriously folks, I was just musing in the last episode that Katara hasn't had much story arc compared to the other leads, so it was high time for an ep that explored her Miss Bland and Perfect thing. Glad we got a character piece that had some good gags, especially in the Toph scam montage. And Third Eye Cyborg comes back!
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Adiwan (?) » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:13 pm

Will you contain your cabbages in the next episode?
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:09 pm

Adiwan wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:13 pm
Will you contain your cabbages in the next episode?
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:50 pm

I don’t know what that means but I do know this: cabbage vendor and Hawky the hawk are my dream team
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Adiwan (?) » Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:51 am

I thought it was an appropriate variation on "to contain oneself" and "hold one's nerves" with the series' beloved cabbages.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:33 pm

Bloodbending.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:44 am

Mechanical Ape wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:33 pm
Bloodbending.
:amazing:
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Adiwan (?) » Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:05 am

It just human puppeteering. And everybody loves puppets, right?
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by W.T. Fits (?) » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:04 pm

Mechanical Ape wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:33 pm
Bloodbending.
:amazing:

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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:18 pm

S3E9: Hey guys, I know the show's been pretty subtle about it but I think Zuko may be morally conflicted. :ponder:

So this is the episode where Aang has anxiety (aangxiety?) and instead of reading an online article about mindfulness meditation, like you're supposed to do, he suffers both terrifying nightmares and hilarious sleep deprivation hallucinations, both of which are really well done. The funny bits are funny and the scary bits are scary, what more can you ask? In the process Aang is confronted by his greatest fears, or so we are led to believe, but that's absurd because science has already calculated the greatest imaginable fear and it's that you're starting a new job as a public speaker and the audience is skellytons, and none of his dreams were about that. The other problem is that it resolves too easily, with a lukewarm pep talk from his pals being the thing that gets him over it. So that's weak, but the meat of the episode was really good. The storyboarders probably had a lot of fun with this one, and I bet the VAs did too.

At some point Aang got nearly as tall as the older kids.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:16 pm

S3E10-11: Somehow an even bigger fiasco than Ba Sing Se, as hard as that is to imagine. The good guys haven't had a decent victory since that drill.

Aang flirts awkwardly with a girl, shaves his head and fails to assassinate someone, which is also the plot of Taxi Driver. He can't go Avatar State anymore because he took a lightning bolt to the chakra. Sokka invents submarines? Did I really just write that sentence? Zuko finally gets over his moral conflict but true to character, does so in the dumbest and most impulsive way possible. By contrast, Iroh busts himself out of prison while maintaining concern for his guard's career. Now that's a mensch. Toph and Katara are also in the episode.

Azula wins so much it's actually starting to get a bit annoying. Fire Lord Ozai continues to be as untouchable as his daughter but way less well characterized. I'm sorry Mark Hamill, you're doing what you can, it isn't your fault your character is dull as dishwater.

The grownups surrender and everyone's seems sure they'll get off with a simple prison sentence. I've read enough Chinese history to be skeptical of that. But after all this is a children's show.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:45 pm

S3E12: Zuko joins the band. Not everyone trusts him and for good reason.

I still hold to my earlier feeling that Zuko acting like a full hero seems ... unnatural? Not that I think he's being dishonest about wanting to change, but I think he's trying to speak and behave the way he thinks a good person is supposed to (which is understandable since he hasn't known many good people in his life). Okay, you know what it's like? It's like how in the Aladdin sequels how Iago stops being villainous, but then comes to realize that being heroic doesn't quite fit him either, and ends up deciding to be more true to himself as "generally decent but still a bit of a rogue". I get the sense Zuko has a similar arc in store; when he finally figures out what he wants to be, it won't be a stereotypical goody-goody but more of an antihero. Right now he's trying on the goody-goody boots and I suspect will find out they don't quite fit.

Also Sokka kills the Terminator with the most amazing boomerang throw in all of history.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:28 pm

S3E13: Zuko loses his mojo so he goes with Aang to find it. First they play a chapter of Uncharted. Then there is a dance with dragons but not the George R.R. Martin kind, it's the kind of dance where you learn that fire comes in every color of the rainbow. Now Aang and Zuko can bend fire, but still just the orange kind.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:23 pm

S3E14-15:

:saddash: "My first girlfriend turned into the moon."
:moonie: "That's rough, buddy."

If we could have a series of episodes where Zuko partners with everybody one after the other, that'd be swell. I'm down for a Zuko-Momo adventure.

This time it's Zuko-Sokka because it turns out Dad is being held in a prison so lax it makes the Death Star look well run. Suki is there too. The story wanders around for an episode and a half, then Azula and her friends show up and everything goes A+ solid fucking gold until the credits. If this were a live-action movie instead of a series of drawn pictures, we would say that the entire stunt budget went into the last 15 minutes. From the moment Suki starts parkouring it all shifts into high gear.

Also someone finally, finally wipes the smug off Azula's face and it's not who I expected.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:11 pm

Mechanical Ape wrote:
Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:23 pm
:saddash: "My first girlfriend turned into the moon."
:moonie: "That's rough, buddy."

*chef kiss* line
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:13 pm

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now i can post this
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:27 pm

Zuko Elysium is my new favorite thing
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:51 pm

S3E16: Katara dresses in black and goes The Last of Us 2 on the guy who killed her mom, throwing in a little bloodbending for good measure. I liked this one quite a bit; Katara has a tendency of being a bit bland in her goodness, and it's welcome when her character gets real drama to chew on. I also appreciate (for story purposes) that they legit killed her mom and didn't cop out where she's actually alive in a jail somewhere.

This episode felt surprisingly packed for a one-parter. It could easily have been stretched into two (not that I think it would have been an improvement to do so). I guess when you have enough emotional drama, every scene feels compelling and you can pace it really quickly. I still can't believe this episode had the whole revenge quest and the emotional beats, and also had room for a big-ass fight scene at the beginning. That fight was so crazy out of nowhere, I half expected Zuko to wake up and it was all a dream sequence.

Keeping Zuko quiet and supportive this episode was the right move, it helped keep the focus on Katara and her issues which, let's face it, is far more interesting than Zuko brooding around some more.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:56 pm

So next episode appears to be "The Ember Island Players", which is a name I've heard before so maybe it's a fan favorite. And then we go right into the finale which is four parts. I'm this close to the ending!

I have no idea how anyone could pack this series into a two-hour movie. But I will find out.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:21 pm

S3E17: Well, what could I say about the Ember Island Players that I'm sure hasn't been said by everyone who's seen it?

:ponder: "Did Jet just die?"
:pinkieshrug: "You know, it was really unclear."

Best part was Toph being stoked about her portrayal.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:18 am

S3E18-19: See the TURTLE of enormous girth! This is the first half of the 4-episode finale, and it starts as we would expect: with a beach party.

Then Zuko comes in and asks the questions we're all asking. Shouldn't there be a plan at this point? Is Aang gonna kill the Fire Lord or what? What's Uncle Iroh up to? Highlight of this chapter is Toph hamming it up as the Melon Lord and wanting her Zuko teamup adventure. I'll miss her when this show's over.

Aang and Momo find themselves on a turtle island, and we're coming very close to the possibility of Momo actually, after the entire length of the show, becoming significant in some way. Don't get me wrong. I like Momo. And I respect the restraint of the writers to not feel like they have to always give him something to do. But it's been a little odd that he's been with the group since almost the beginning and hasn't done anything except be there. I think he may have helped in a fight once. And I don't know if the show is playing a really long game and saving a payoff for the very end, but if they are, that would be amazing.

Characters that make a reappearance: Jennifer Hale and her pet mole; the Order of the White Lotus including the guy who tried to teach Aang firebending, the guy who made Sokka's sword and the guy who trained Katara; the last few Avatars; Koh the Face Stealer; and Bumi! Bumi is automatically the best part of any episode he appears in, and I believe the writers and animators think so too.

Ozai finally does something actively evil, and to be fair it's pretty nasty: burning down the world and proclaiming himself Phoenix King, not to be confused with the Phoenix King from Warhammer. Azula wanting to burn down the world is as excited as I've ever seen her be about anything. Real thanatos urge, that one.
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:01 am

:plonk:
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:06 pm

Momo didn't do anything, 0/10
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Re: I Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender S2 and Post My Thoughts About It

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:23 pm

All right all right, a little more detail. This finale goes balls-and-tits out with the metaphorical special effects budget and it all comes together in a totally satisfying resolution. Aang gets his chakra unblocked, Joker goes to Arkham and everybody's shirtless and weirdly ripped.

Toph taking out the airship crew is the best 45 seconds ever committed to film. I watched it again just now, because I am in love with this clip and don't want to live a day without it.

Bumi will probably live another 100 years. Bumi dies when Bumi feels like it and not before, you whippersnappers! We don't see the Earth King emperor so maybe he retired from politics and partnered up with cabbage guy.

Laughing Mad Azula was really fun and on the one hand I kinda feel like they should've foreshadowed her breakdown a little more, but on the other hand it's neat that we weren't prepared for just how crazy she'd get. I assume she also ends up in Arkham but I don't think we see for sure.

Aang gets the girl or Katara gets the boy, depending on how you look at it. I don't have much invested in the relationship but good for them, I hope they make it work. Lotsa luck, you crazy kids! Nice that benders aren't Jedi and are allowed to fuck. And with that creepy aside, I guess that caps off my Avatar: The Last Airbender reviews.

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Of course I'm not done. There's still Legend of Korra to watch, naturally, but before that -- there's an M. Night Shyamalan turkey calling my name.
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