A cool Avatar: The Last Airbender fan video turns the popular animated series into an anime. Avatar: The Last Airbender may have premiered on Nickelodeon back in 2005, but the flames of the show’s fandom have yet to be completely doused more than a decade later. Netflix added all three seasons to their streaming library in 2020, and there’s currently a live-action Netflix adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender in the works.
There are a myriad of reasons why Avatar: The Last Airbender has remained so beloved all these years after the show’s release. The world-building and cast of characters are definitely excellent and some of the best parts of what makes the show so compelling. The universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender is divided into four nations based off of the elements air, fire, water and earth. There are residents of each nation that can bend their respective element, or basically manipulate said element with their will and training. For a while the four nations lived in harmony, until, as one of the show’s main heroines Katara (Mae Whitman) notes in the show’s actual opening, “Everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.” The series follows Katara and her brother Sokka (Jack DeSena) as they travel with Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen) the Avatar, the only person who can bend all four elements. Their mission? Defeat Fire Lord Ozai (Mark Hamill) and restore peace to the world. Katara, Sokka, and Aang make a lot of friends and unlikely allies along the way, ultimately culminating in the epic Team Avatar.
While Avatar: The Last Airbender certainly has an anime-like quality in terms of epic storytelling, the show is an American-made series (created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.) YouTube user Atenahena created and animated a fan-made anime style opening for Avatar: The Last Airbender that perfectly sums up the show. Watch and rewatch the epic anime-style opening below.
The anime-style opening is an excellent tribute to the series, but the aspect that the fan-made video captures best is the strong friendships between the main cast of characters. World-building and bending aside, it’s the strong bond of friendship formed between Sokka, Katara, Aang, Toph (Jessie Flower) and Zuko (Dante Basco) later on that really elevated the series from interesting to excellent. It’s difficult to say if Netflix will be able to replicate that genuine feeling of friendship with their live-action series still in development. Reported changes, like making Katara older than Sokka, may feel irrelevant in the grander storytelling scheme of things.
Regardless of how the new live-action adaptation pans out, the original Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series will remain beloved for decades to come. Team Avatar went through their ups and downs, but they never gave up and ultimately saved the world. The show itself has already left a lasting legacy. It’s been sixteen years since Katara found the boy in the iceberg, but rewatching Avatar: The Last Airbender never gets old.