Fanclub Owl’s Fiction Evaluation Club.

This ain't going to be a full review or anything of the like (I don't currently have the time spare for that). It's more just casual thoughts and ramblings after finishing a series. :catsweat:

Alright, so I watched Avatar: The Last Airbender recently. I had heard plenty of good stuff about this show going into it. It had some major hype, multiple folk that I know on the forum claimed that this series was "Goated".

So I thought "You know what, I ain't watched an actual series in a long arse time. This one is highly recommended and is only three seasons long. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Phone credit ain't even a problem anymore with my new deal."

For anyone that doesn't know, Avatar is a series set in a fictional world where four nations exist. Some citizens (called "benders" of each nation can control (or rather "bend") a single element. The four elements are air, fire, water and earth. Only an individual called the Avatar (a special individual with ties to the Spirit World that is reincarnated every generation or so) can control all four elements. The series follows Avatar Aang, the last Air Nomad, in his efforts to stop the Fire Nation from conquering the other nations (Earth Kingdom and the Water Tribes).

So anyway, I came in with pretty casual expectations, thought this was going to be a good ride and all...

Did I miss something here? Did I watch the same series as everybody else? Cause after finishing the show, all I could think to myself was...

"Well that was disappointing."

To clarify, I don't think that this series is complete crap but feckin heck does it look overrated. I came in thinking I was going to get a good deal and what I got was a mixed package.

To be quite frank, I only continued watching this series because of Zuko and Iroh. These were the only two characters from the main cast that I was invested in enough to slog through the episodes. Everyone else was mostly alright to meh but I did not care for them.

Same with the antagonists, I was only interested in Azula (Zuko's sister). Zhao was a dumb bitch, Long Feng was an incredibly stupid joke and Fire Lord Ozai was boring as hell.

A lot of what caused me to become increasingly disinterested in this series is simply the sheer amount of dumb shit that happens on a regular basis. There is not a single episode where something stupid doesn't happen.

The stupidity can be sorted out into three main categories.

I) Inconsistent powers and abilities.
II) General stupidity of characters.
III) Writers pulling plot points out of thin air.

The first one is pretty self-explanatory. There are times when powers are introduced and their capabilities seemingly established and then just flat out ignored. Here are two more detailed examples;

Toph is the absolute worst for this. She is introduced as having a sensory ability that revolves around sensing vibrations through her feet. She is reliant on this ability since she is blind.

Now when this sensory ability is introduced, it is supposedly capable of covering a large area (she can detect large underground structures in their entirety hidden either underwater or in a literal mountain) as well as having advanced pinpoint accuracy to the point she can detect individual ants in an ant hill.

From there, this ability goes all over the fucking place. Despite the aforementioned large range ability with pinpoint accuracy, Toph still walks into traps involving multiple people that she should be able to immediately detect such as when there was a Dai Li ambush, when she walked into the most conspicuous house devoid of any furniture only to get captured by two bounty hunters and that time she was unable to tell that Azula, a young lightweight teenage girl, was not in fact Ozai, who everyone knows is a full grown arse man.
Appa, the ten tonne flying bison that goes from curb stomping Azula's top subordinates as well the leader of the Dai Li to suddenly getting dicked on by no name nobodies that capture him so the plot can have a depressed Aang for a while.

Seriously, it is even shown that Appa could have escaped his initial two confinements with ease but he just didn't. Combine that with numerous times where he just disappears whenever the plot needs him to not be there (e.g. can't have him curb stomp the Kyoshi Warriors when they capture the Aang Gang) and this animal is pretty much a situational plot device whose usefulness is dictated by what the plot wants to happen.

As for the second one, oh boy is general stupidity amongst the entire character cast a long list. Now, in a series there are some characters who are dumber than others. That is fine, established dumb characters being dumb is fine. What is not fine is when established smart characters act dumb. What is even worse is when just about everyone is dumb.

We have;
• King Bumi, a man who decided that it was better to surrender his quite frankly impenetrable fortress of Omashu to the enemy (despite having every single advantage imaginable) instead of fighting because "something neutral jin energy", thus losing the second most important Earth Kingdom city and causing a refugee crises that burdens the capital city of Ba Sing Se.

• Earth Kingdom soldiers who can control and create secret tunnels wondering how to get out of occupied Omashu..... Despite the fact that as Earth Benders in a city made out of rock they can literally just leave whenever they want.

• Long Feng not using his brain washing technique to simply brain wash the Earth King like he does everyone else.

• Long Feng simply not using Earth Bending to bury the offending giant siege drill that he needed to hide from the Earth King.

• Earth Benders choosing to launch ineffective small boulders to stop said aforementioned siege drill instead of just burying it into the ground with their Earth Bending where it would be helpless.

• Adults giving important war documents to children of other nations to deliver to other adults instead of using a dedicated messenger or just doing it themselves.

• Sokka's dad spontaneously deciding to get off of Appa in order to attack a turret tower so the plot can have him be injured so that Sokka can shine.

• Iroh saying he cannot fight his brother Ozai for the Phoenix King throne because "a sibling power struggle would look bad" only to immediately send Zuko to go deal with his sister, the recently crowned Fire Lord Azula.

• Iroh's entire idiotic endgame plan of sending children to do the most dangerous and important tasks of stopping Azula and Ozai while all the available adults unnecessarily attack the occupying Fire Nation force at Ba Sing Se while it is at it's strongest.

• The Water Tribals not figuring out throughout their entire existence that the two completely ageless fish that ceaselessly swim in a circle in a tiny pond in their sacred grounds are in fact important.

•The Water Tribals doing absolutely nothing against the Fire Nation force attacking their capital. They control water but don't use the sea against the invading Fire Nation soldiers. They wait until said soldiers are literally in their city before doing anything.

• Zhao getting promoted by Ozai from Commander all the way to Admiral after doing nothing but consistently failing. That is one colossal leap in rank for a boatload of failure.

• Iroh's plan to move his tea business to a fancier district of Ba Sing Se where he is likely to bump into Earth Kingdom generals that fought him thus blowing his cover.

• Sokka and Toph just leaving an important Earth Kingdom general to his fate while he is being captured by the rebellious Dai Li.

• Earth Kingdom generals and the Earth King using the Dai Li, who literally just got ousted as being disloyal to the Earth King, to arrest their leader Long Feng. Screw using 100% loyal Earth Kingdom soldiers I guess.

• Earth Kingdom generals having zero guards around themselves after both a Fire Nation attack and a revelation of the Dai Li's treachery.

• Sokka has a list of folk for his dad to recruit which includes two individuals (Boulder and Hippo) who last he met were going to sell Aang to the Fire Nation and had zero remorse over it. Really Sokka?

• A large group of Fire Nation nobility party goers somehow don't recognise Prince Zuko and Princess Azula right after a major speech was given that had both of them present. This was after it was shown that even Earth Kingdom peasants in the back of nowhere know of Zuko.

• Katara never teaching Aang how to use water healing. Seems like a pretty obvious choice to have an extra healer in the team and the pacifistic Aang should especially love an ability that helps others.

• Sozin going to Avatar Roku's aid, saving him, needing to be saved by him and then suddenly betraying him which was apparently his intention all along.... Even though he could have simply not gone to Roku's aid at all which would have killed Roku anyway and not put Sozin himself in any danger.

• Characters also switch from one extreme to the other in back-to-back episodes. Aang can go from nearly killing himself trying to get to Ozai by himself to suddenly goofing off by attending Fire Nation schools. Most jarring was when an ally of the Aang Gang died and the beginning of the next episode has Sokka saying "We are finally getting some good luck".

Yikes. :mihugh:

• Occasionally, abilities also come up that are rarely ever used again. Prime examples that come to mind are Sokka's club's vibration enhancing ability, Toph overcoming her weakness to sand, the Earth Kingdom's freaking homing bombs that only get used for fireworks of all things and Katara's Blood Bending (a subset of Water Bending) which never gets meaningfully utilised after a single episode.

Yeah, I could keep going at this for a while. Time to move on.:crazwhat:

The third major problem of "writers pulling crap out of thin air" usually starts happening whenever the climax for each season comes around.
• Season 1 had Zhao suddenly reveal out of nowhere that he knew how to kill the Moon Spirit of the Water Tribe. There was zero build up to this. Not even a moment of Zhao looking at the moon and saying "Soon". Just absolutely nothing.

• Season 2 actually had build up over the Avatar State (Aang basically goes Super Saiyan). Aang is eventually given this conundrum of choosing the power of the Avatar State but becoming distant to his loved ones (something about "Emotional attachments bad for Avatar State"). Aang chooses loved ones and the Guru teaching him warns him that he won't be able to use the Avatar State properly because he hasn't unlocked the 7th Chakra in his body and that stopping the process of unlocking Chakras in the body might have dire consequences.

Anyway, all this became retroactive guff since all Aang needs to unlock his Avatar State after all that mumbo jumbo spiritual stuff was to.... Bang his spine against a rock while fighting final villain Ozai... :lawsigh:

Said rock was not even animated until the last second. I ain't lying, watch the fight and from when Ozai attacks Aang in his defensive Earth ball, the scenery goes from forest with large body of water and then suddenly rock pillars when Aang needs a back whack.

The entire story hinges on a rock that wasn't even animated until about ten seconds before it was necessary for it to be there. Feck off show. :usoprice:

Also in Season 2 was Toph learning to Metal Bend (a subset of Earth Bending) in a single afternoon. I don't recall any buildup to this either, just that Toph needs to metal bend quick to escape her current predicament which she does real quick.

• Season 3 and the Series finale was the worst for this. Aang has a whole morality panic attack when it is pointed out to him that he should be prepared to kill Ozai if it is necessary to save the world. Aang dislikes this because Air Nomad monks like his teacher Monk Gyatso told him that killing is bad.... The same Monk Gyatso that was found surrounded by numerous Fire Nation soldier skeletons. Hmm. :bamathink:

Anyway, Aang is stricken with doubt over whether he can do it or not. Apparently it doesn't cross anybody's mind that simply one of the other members of the Aang Gang that doesn't care about killing can finish Ozai off or that Katara can simply teach Aang the art of Blood Bending which would 100% defeat Ozai easily and painlessly or that Aang can simply break the guy's limbs because nobody can bend elements without functional limbs but hey, we need dumb drama.

Instead of any of that, after everyone around him states that he needs to do the deed (even his past selves in previous Avatars from the Spirit World tell him to grow a pair), what happens is that right on the final finale, a giant turtle-lion thing kidnaps Aang and shoves the knowledge of "Spirit Bending" into his cranium and takes him directly to Ozai to kick his arse.

If you thought "Wait, where did this spirit bending malarkey come from?" then the answer is absolutely nowhere. Seriously, the turtle-lion came from nowhere, the Spirit Bending came from nowhere, the solution to Aang's problems was literally implanted into his cranium without him having to do anything at all other than get kidnapped.

This series....
I really did not care for this series overall. I only genuinely liked about three or four characters and didn't care for anyone else, especially the protagonist Aang. I mean damn, I thought plenty times to myself "Hey, I wonder what this series would be like if we simply had Zuko be both the protagonist and the Avatar?"

It also doesn't help that interesting stuff like Zuko's mom, Azula's return and Zuko's rule gets relegated to comics while filler like Aang going to school or Aang going to a kangaroo court or Aang plays tour guide gets whole episodes. Even worse, the only spirit antagonist in Koh, gets shafted to being the baddie of an online puzzle game.... :king:

If I had to say some good stuff about the series? Well the animation looks nice, the character designs are good, the casual character interactions are enjoyable for the most part (not the romantic interactions though. Those are forced, cringe inducing and tailor made to promote shipping wars) and there are quite a few moments of good humour.

After 3 seasons, I ultimately just think of Avatar as a dumb-fun series filled with dumb/sometimes fun people and dumb writing. I ain't even invested enough to go onto Legend of Korra, I am simply not that interested in this universe. A bit of quick fun while it lasted but not enough interest for me to move onto Legend of Korra or to re-watch the series itself.

Ah but what could have been.
His back must hurt from carrying this series. :josad:
 
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This ain't going to be a full review or anything of the like (I don't currently have the time spare for that). It's more just casual thoughts and ramblings after finishing a series. :catsweat:

Alright, so I watched Avatar: The Last Airbender recently. I had heard plenty of good stuff about this show going into it. It had some major hype, multiple folk that I know on the forum claimed that this series was "Goated".

So I thought "You know what, I ain't watched an actual series in a long arse time. This one is highly recommended and is only three seasons long. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Phone credit ain't even a problem anymore with my new deal."

For anyone that doesn't know, Avatar is a series set in a fictional world where four nations exist. Some citizens (called "benders" of each nation can control (or rather "bend") a single element. The four elements are air, fire, water and earth. Only an individual called the Avatar (a special individual with ties to the Spirit World that is reincarnated every generation or so) can control all four elements. The series follows Avatar Aang, the last Air Nomad, in his efforts to stop the Fire Nation from conquering the other nations (Earth Kingdom and the Water Tribes).

So anyway, I came in with pretty casual expectations, thought this was going to be a good ride and all...

Did I miss something here? Did I watch the same series as everybody else? Cause after finishing the show, all I could think to myself was...

"Well that was disappointing."

To clarify, I don't think that this series is complete crap but feckin heck does it look overrated. I came in thinking I was going to get a good deal and what I got was a mixed package.

To be quite frank, I only continued watching this series because of Zuko and Iroh. These were the only two characters from the main cast that I was invested in enough to slog through the episodes. Everyone else was mostly alright to meh but I did not care for them.

Same with the antagonists, I was only interested in Azula (Zuko's sister). Zhao was a dumb bitch, Long Feng was an incredibly stupid joke and Fire Lord Ozai was boring as hell.

A lot of what caused me to become increasingly disinterested in this series is simply the sheer amount of dumb shit that happens on a regular basis. There is not a single episode where something stupid doesn't happen.

The stupidity can be sorted out into three main categories.

I) Inconsistent powers and abilities.
II) General stupidity of characters.
III) Writers pulling plot points out of thin air.

The first one is pretty self-explanatory. There are times when powers are introduced and their capabilities seemingly established and then just flat out ignored. Here are two more detailed examples;

Toph is the absolute worst for this. She is introduced as having a sensory ability that revolves around sensing vibrations through her feet. She is reliant on this ability since she is blind.

Now when this sensory ability is introduced, it is supposedly capable of covering a large area (she can detect large underground structures in their entirety hidden either underwater or in a literal mountain) as well as having advanced pinpoint accuracy to the point she can detect individual ants in an ant hill.

From there, this ability goes all over the fucking place. Despite the aforementioned large range ability with pinpoint accuracy, Toph still walks into traps involving multiple people that she should be able to immediately detect such as when there was a Dai Li ambush, when she walked into the most conspicuous house devoid of any furniture only to get captured by two bounty hunters and that time she was unable to tell that Azula, a young lightweight teenage girl, was not in fact Ozai, who everyone knows is a full grown arse man.
Appa, the ten tonne flying bison that goes from curb stomping Azula's top subordinates as well the leader of the Dai Li to suddenly getting dicked on by no name nobodies that capture him so the plot can have a depressed Aang for a while.

Seriously, it is even shown that Appa could have escaped his initial two confinements with ease but he just didn't. Combine that with numerous times where he just disappears whenever the plot needs him to not be there (e.g. can't have him curb stomp the Kyoshi Warriors when they capture the Aang Gang) and this animal is pretty much a situational plot device whose usefulness is dictated by what the plot wants to happen.

As for the second one, oh boy is general stupidity amongst the entire character cast a long list. Now, in a series there are some characters who are dumber than others. That is fine, established dumb characters being dumb is fine. What is not fine is when established smart characters act dumb. What is even worse is when just about everyone is dumb.

We have;
• King Bumi, a man who decided that it was better to surrender his quite frankly impenetrable fortress of Omashu to the enemy (despite having every single advantage imaginable) instead of fighting because "something neutral jin energy", thus losing the second most important Earth Kingdom city and causing a refugee crises that burdens the capital city of Ba Sing Se.

• Earth Kingdom soldiers who can control and create secret tunnels wondering how to get out of occupied Omashu..... Despite the fact that as Earth Benders in a city made out of rock they can literally just leave whenever they want.

• Long Feng not using his brain washing technique to simply brain wash the Earth King like he does everyone else.

• Long Feng simply not using Earth Bending to bury the offending giant siege drill that he needed to hide from the Earth King.

• Earth Benders choosing to launch ineffective small boulders to stop said aforementioned siege drill instead of just burying it into the ground with their Earth Bending where it would be helpless.

• Adults giving important war documents to children of other nations to deliver to other adults instead of using a dedicated messenger or just doing it themselves.

• Sokka's dad spontaneously deciding to get off of Appa in order to attack a turret tower so the plot can have him be injured so that Sokka can shine.

• Iroh saying he cannot fight his brother Ozai for the Phoenix King throne because "a sibling power struggle would look bad" only to immediately send Zuko to go deal with his sister, the recently crowned Fire Lord Azula.

• Iroh's entire idiotic endgame plan of sending children to do the most dangerous and important tasks of stopping Azula and Ozai while all the available adults unnecessarily attack the occupying Fire Nation force at Ba Sing Se while it is at it's strongest.

• The Water Tribals not figuring out throughout their entire existence that the two completely ageless fish that ceaselessly swim in a circle in a tiny pond in their sacred grounds are in fact important.

•The Water Tribals doing absolutely nothing against the Fire Nation force attacking their capital. They control water but don't use the sea against the invading Fire Nation soldiers. They wait until said soldiers are literally in their city before doing anything.

• Zhao getting promoted by Ozai from Commander all the way to Admiral after doing nothing but consistently failing. That is one colossal leap in rank for a boatload of failure.

• Iroh's plan to move his tea business to a fancier district of Ba Sing Se where he is likely to bump into Earth Kingdom generals that fought him thus blowing his cover.

• Sokka and Toph just leaving an important Earth Kingdom general to his fate while he is being captured by the rebellious Dai Li.

• Earth Kingdom generals and the Earth King using the Dai Li, who literally just got ousted as being disloyal to the Earth King, to arrest their leader Long Feng. Screw using 100% loyal Earth Kingdom soldiers I guess.

• Earth Kingdom generals having zero guards around themselves after both a Fire Nation attack and a revelation of the Dai Li's treachery.

• Sokka has a list of folk for his dad to recruit which includes two individuals (Boulder and Hippo) who last he met were going to sell Aang to the Fire Nation and had zero remorse over it. Really Sokka?

• A large group of Fire Nation nobility party goers somehow don't recognise Prince Zuko and Princess Azula right after a major speech was given that had both of them present. This was after it was shown that even Earth Kingdom peasants in the back of nowhere know of Zuko.

• Katara never teaching Aang how to use water healing. Seems like a pretty obvious choice to have an extra healer in the team and the pacifistic Aang should especially love an ability that helps others.

• Sozin going to Avatar Roku's aid, saving him, needing to be saved by him and then suddenly betraying him which was apparently his intention all along.... Even though he could have simply not gone to Roku's aid at all which would have killed Roku anyway and not put Sozin himself in any danger.

• Characters also switch from one extreme to the other in back-to-back episodes. Aang can go from nearly killing himself trying to get to Ozai by himself to suddenly goofing off by attending Fire Nation schools. Most jarring was when an ally of the Aang Gang died and the beginning of the next episode has Sokka saying "We are finally getting some good luck".

Yikes. :mihugh:

• Occasionally, abilities also come up that are rarely ever used again. Prime examples that come to mind are Sokka's club's vibration enhancing ability, Toph overcoming her weakness to sand, the Earth Kingdom's freaking homing bombs that only get used for fireworks of all things and Katara's Blood Bending (a subset of Water Bending) which never gets meaningfully utilised after a single episode.

Yeah, I could keep going at this for a while. Time to move on.:crazwhat:

The third major problem of "writers pulling crap out of thin air" usually starts happening whenever the climax for each season comes around.
• Season 1 had Zhao suddenly reveal out of nowhere that he knew how to kill the Moon Spirit of the Water Tribe. There was zero build up to this. Not even a moment of Zhao looking at the moon and saying "Soon". Just absolutely nothing.

• Season 2 actually had build up over the Avatar State (Aang basically goes Super Saiyan). Aang is eventually given this conundrum of choosing the power of the Avatar State but becoming distant to his loved ones (something about "Emotional attachments bad for Avatar State"). Aang chooses loved ones and the Guru teaching him warns him that he won't be able to use the Avatar State properly because he hasn't unlocked the 7th Chakra in his body and that stopping the process of unlocking Chakras in the body might have dire consequences.

Anyway, all this became retroactive guff since all Aang needs to unlock his Avatar State after all that mumbo jumbo spiritual stuff was to.... Bang his spine against a rock while fighting final villain Ozai... :lawsigh:

Said rock was not even animated until the last second. I ain't lying, watch the fight and from when Ozai attacks Aang in his defensive Earth ball, the scenery goes from forest with large body of water and then suddenly rock pillars when Aang needs a back whack.

The entire story hinges on a rock that wasn't even animated until about ten seconds before it was necessary for it to be there. Feck off show. :usoprice:

Also in Season 2 was Toph learning to Metal Bend (a subset of Earth Bending) in a single afternoon. I don't recall any buildup to this either, just that Toph needs to metal bend quick to escape her current predicament which she does real quick.

• Season 3 and the Series finale was the worst for this. Aang has a whole morality panic attack when it is pointed out to him that he should be prepared to kill Ozai if it is necessary to save the world. Aang dislikes this because Air Nomad monks like his teacher Monk Gyatso told him that killing is bad.... The same Monk Gyatso that was found surrounded by numerous Fire Nation soldier skeletons. Hmm. :bamathink:

Anyway, Aang is stricken with doubt over whether he can do it or not. Apparently it doesn't cross anybody's mind that simply one of the other members of the Aang Gang that doesn't care about killing can finish Ozai off or that Katara can simply teach Aang the art of Blood Bending which would 100% defeat Ozai easily and painlessly or that Aang can simply break the guy's limbs because nobody can bend elements without functional limbs but hey, we need dumb drama.

Instead of any of that, after everyone around him states that he needs to do the deed (even his past selves in previous Avatars from the Spirit World tell him to grow a pair), what happens is that right on the final finale, a giant turtle-lion thing kidnaps Aang and shoves the knowledge of "Spirit Bending" into his cranium and takes him directly to Ozai to kick his arse.

If you thought "Wait, where did this spirit bending malarkey come from?" then the answer is absolutely nowhere. Seriously, the turtle-lion came from nowhere, the Spirit Bending came from nowhere, the solution to Aang's problems was literally implanted into his cranium without him having to do anything at all other than get kidnapped.

This series....
I really did not care for this series overall. I only genuinely liked about three or four characters and didn't care for anyone else, especially the protagonist Aang. I mean damn, I thought plenty times to myself "Hey, I wonder what this series would be like if we simply had Zuko be both the protagonist and the Avatar?"

It also doesn't help that interesting stuff like Zuko's mom, Azula's return and Zuko's rule gets relegated to comics while filler like Aang going to school or Aang going to a kangaroo court or Aang plays tour guide gets whole episodes. Even worse, the only spirit antagonist in Koh, gets shafted to being the baddie of an online puzzle game.... :king:

If I had to say some good stuff about the series? Well the animation looks nice, the character designs are good, the casual character interactions are enjoyable for the most part (not the romantic interactions though. Those are forced, cringe inducing and tailor made to promote shipping wars) and there are quite a few moments of good humour.

After 3 seasons, I ultimately just think of Avatar as a dumb-fun series filled with dumb/sometimes fun people and dumb writing. I ain't even invested enough to go onto Legend of Korra, I am simply not that interested in this universe. A bit of quick fun while it lasted but not enough interest for me to move onto Legend of Korra or to re-watch the series itself.

Ah but what could have been.
His back must hurt from carrying this series. :josad:
I've read some of your post xD I'll read the rest at another time xD
 
@RayanOO @Owl Ki @Fleet Admiral Lee Hung After several rereadings, i must say the philosophy of Sergeant Gross-sensei turned him into one of AoT's best characters imo.




The moment you enjoy how he was getting eaten by the pure titan, automatically validates what he said about death and life. How is it even possible for a side, background character like him, and in two panels, to display a deeper personality than the entire cast of Wano arc lmfao?

There are alot of characters i liked, but this short scene with Grisha and Gross really shocked me for some reason. Gross-sama gives Kanki a run for his money as the most deranged crackhead by single-handedly breaking the fourth wall on Paradis lol.
 
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