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Avatar: The Last Airbender - Book 1: Water, Volume 2 Review




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Rating
Video:   9/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   2/10

Go Aang!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
3/25/2006

    Aang and his friends continue their quest to the Northern Water Tribe, visiting various Earth Nation cities. They soon learn that Aang must master all bending elements before the summer, when a comet will arrive that could empower the Fire Nation making them virtually unstoppable.

    Chapter 5: The King of Omashu
    Aang, Katara and Sokka are brought before a crazy old king, who seems to enjoy messing with the kids' heads.

    Chapter 6: Imprisoned
    Katara attempts to inspire the oppressed people of an Earth Nation city, occupied by the Fire Nation.

    Chapter 7: Winter Solstice Part 1 - Spirit World
    Aang, Katara and Sokka arrive at a town being terrorized by a mysterious force from the spirit world!

    Chapter 8: Winter Solstice Part 2 - Avatar Roku
    During the winter solstice, Aang must reach Fire Nation temple while dodging Prince Zuko, Commander Zhao, and the Fire Sages who guard it.
I hadn't seen or heard of this show before it was announced on DVD, and then I was worried it was an anime series (which we don't cover on the site). The show is done in the anime style, but the series comes from the US, not Japan. I watched the first volume, but for some reason I didn't post a review.

This disc contains episodes 5-8 from the first season.

Disc 1 (1:34:08)
The King of Omashu (23:26)
Imprisoned (23:45)
Winter Solstice Part 1 - The Spirit World (23:47)
Winter Solstice Part 2 - Avatar Roku (23:10)

Video

This series looks very, very good on DVD. I love the new cartoons that are colored on computers; the colors are bright, and the picture is nearly flawless. There are a number of jaggies that can be seen, usually on objects that run diagonally across the screen. There aren't any chapters in the episodes, but there's a "play all."

Audio

Viewers are given the option between three stereo audio tracks; English, French and Spanish. The audio is very nice, with lots of directional effects and nice musical cues. I didn't hear any flaws in the audio. There aren't any subtitles, but the episodes are closed captioned.

Extras - How we rate extras

The Making of Avatar - From Real Life to Animation (3:59)
The creators of the show act out scenes from the episodes.

Game Sampler
There's a CD-ROM containing samples of Nick games included with the DVD. I'd write more, but they don't play on my Mac.

Summary

I really enjoy this series, but a season release would be much better than these volumes containing 4 episodes. There's a nice narrative to the series, and it's painful to wait a few months between releases; a season set would make sense for this show.

I think this show strikes a nice balance between comedy, action and drama, so it's a show that should appeal to adults and kids. The humor doesn't get carried away like so many anime shows. It's worth checking out if you haven't seen it already.


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