Avatar’s Wind


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    37 Responses to Avatar’s Wind

    1. Fagatar, the Last Shitbender. Seriously, does anyone over the age of 12 give a shit about Japanimation?


    2. He looks WAY too happy to be just playing with wind.


    3. japanimation? nope.
      no Japanese involvement whatsoever.
      Anime-inspired and thats it.
      wow the word anime does not exist in my firefox spell check.


    4. I am 30 and enjoying the storyline.

      Maybe I am a geek, maybe it’s because I am a Dad.

      It’s a little juvenille, but still kinda cool.


    5. Avatar is a screaming hell of a lot better than (for instance) Scooby-Doo. I would much rather have a kid watch a series that discusses things like honor, friendship and loyalty than something featuring a poorly-drawn Great Dane and his stoner wackjob owner, their “meddlesome friends” and adventures in one-dimensional foolishness.

      There’s style to Avatar, and it’s leached from the animé influx; that’s a good thing. Until the mid 1990s, most American cartoons were pure shit, graphically, thematically and dramatically. We’re seeing a turnaround and shows such as Avatar or some of CN’s lineup are leading the way.

      That said, yeah, I’m not certain it’s jut air that Aang is bending here, if you know what I mean.


    6. I’m also in my 30s and I love me some Avatar. And I must say that the storyline is what draws me. yeah, it can be goofy at times, but what cartoon isn’t. Once I found out how the creators modeled all the fighting moves and how each “nation” is tied to a specific fighting style which is all motion captured, I was hooked. And I don’t know what you guys call “japanime”, but Avatar is NOt it. I now own all the DVDs, I know, I’m a dork.


    7. Amen, koopa.

      Warren, I could not agree with you more. After the 50s when cartoon budgets were cut for television they really started to suck. Also great directors like Tex Avery retired or died.

      The budget for a 7 minute Tom and Jerry cartoon in that era was around $30,000. Then it was dropped to around $3,000 in the 60s and you can tell. (note: you can tell a 60s Tom and Jerry when Tom takes the place of the roaring lion in the MGM logo at the beginning of the cartoon)

      The late 60s until the 80s REALLY sucked with all those stupid Hanna Barbera cartoons like Grape Ape, Loop de Loop, Wally Gator, etc…and later with crap like the Robotic stooges, Kwickie Koala, and the super lame excuses for Droopy cartoons.

      If that makes me a dork, then so be it 🙂


    8. When you talk about the great storylines, do you mean the one where the main character stares out of the screen looking constipated and grunting while he floats in the air in front of a background of shifting colors and then shoots energy out of his hands, or the one where the bad guy stands around looking constipated and grunting before getting hit by a bolt of energy and screaming, “Oh no I am defeated because you have used the super-blasto-boojeyman attack on me and I was not prepared and now I am defeated because I did not win against your very strong attack and so I lost. Hai!”?

      Doesn’t matter where it was drawn, Japanimation and stuff that looks like Japanimation is still crap.


    9. @Howie Feltersnatch: Watch an episode, that’s never happened. So I guess DC comics is also an anime’ company with all their “superheroes” with their “superpowers”. Are all americans blond haired too?


    10. Howie: While I’ll agree that Pokémon is dreck, you haven’t described anything to be found in Avatar. Might help to actually watch the show a while before you trash it.

      Kerry: The other distinguishing characteristic of 60s-era Tom and Jerry is the absolutely, unforgivably bad sound effects. “Drug-tripping boiyoiyoing #s 3 through 27” are a H-B SFX series that, gratefully, were probably permanently erased after their tragic overuse in T&J.

      Oh, and of course the originals from the 40s were much, much more violent. And therefore much more funny.


    11. Howie: Listen to warren. I know what you are talking about, though, Dragonball Z is so annoying in that it takes 3 episodes for the characters to talk trash before they fight.

      warren: YES!!! The sound effects from the 60s seem to echo. Especially the one where Jerry goes into space.


    12. @Warren: I have tried describing that weird “era” of Tom & Jerry to people, I’m so glad you mentioned it. There was a definite distinction in the style for that era, the audio especially. And that’s exactly how I describe it to people: “Really drug trippie sounds and everything is almost abstract”, almost “creepy” I would say. Aaah, thanx for helping me reminisce.


    13. @warren:lets not waste time with cartoons when we are in our 30s shall we?
      @koopa:why do people care about cartoons.
      @kerry:lets take care of our children and not worry about cartoons.
      @howie:i want to know just how it felt, u kno, the snatch and can i feel it sometime?


    14. colin: Heh. I’m the art director where I work; it’s part of my job to stay on top of graphical trends, including cartoons. That makes me insanely lucky,* since I’d be watching at least some of them anyway. 😉

      And it seems to me that paying attention to what your kids watch is, in fact, part of taking care of them.

      Why people care might have to do with the way culture is shaped, at least in part, by popular entertainment; and a lot of that entertainment begins now with kids too young to read or write yet. It matters, at least to some. Doesn’t mean you have to watch it or like it, but it also means that others who do care about toons might not be quite as juvenile, out of touch or contemptible as you seem to believe.

      In any event, Avatar is considerably less inane than most of the spew produced by Nick.

      koopa: The nadir for T&J came in the 70s, when they were recast as friends. Barf. Thank non-god for Ren and Stimpy‘s reformulation of that goofy approach.

      Kerry: Agree 100% on DBZ. The first time I saw promos for it a decade or so ago (this was when the first version was running on CN), it was advertised as “the best action animé ever”.

      Um. Whut?

      I still find that claim utterly baffling next to, oh I don’t know, Samurai Champloo or GITS: Standalone Complex maybe. (Of course, back then neither existed, so maybe DBZ really was the best action animé at that time. It beat the steaming crap out of Speed Racer or Voltron, to be sure; and was a lot less of a soap opera than Robotech/Macross.)


      * Both adjectives apply quite well to me.


    15. well warren you have a point but why would you care about what your children watch, if you dont think its safe enough out there on the tv world, dont let them watch tv. simple as that. i dont watch avatar i dont care about avatar, i doubt any one does, besides you.
      but the point is warren, even though your kids watch it you dont have to watch it. its just ignorant to be immearsed in it more than they do.


    16. colin: Saying no to TV is too broad; it’s a kind of censorship (as well as totally unrealistic). It makes more sense, I think, to actively pay attention to what they like, talk to them about it, find out why they like it, encourage their intelligent or insightful comments and so on.

      That way you engage with them, and can even add to their comprehension of either the story in question or the world in general by discussion, insight, etc. You don’t have to be “immersed” in the show; you just have to be aware of it, and be able to respond intelligently to it. By doing so, you model behavior that you would like to see in your kids as well.

      If that’s not parenting, I’m not sure what is.


    17. warren, youra good guy i respect you, but honestly why would you want to encourage “intelligent comments” about a show that features a kid who can do stuff w/ wind and flies around on a big giant polarbear/dog/moose/cow/monkey type thing?


    18. colin: Thanks.

      You asked a fair question. Avatar is pure fantasy, absolutely, and it’s silly to think some hundred-year-old-or-not kid could shake the political structure of his world by jumping on the back of his flying bison (!), shouting, “Appa! Yip yip!” and waving his hands in the air.

      The deeper questions come not from the facile plot elements of the Avatar series; they come from seeing how a group of kids can learn to deal with one another and the larger state of world affairs around them; they come from seeing how a blind girl can be seen to have a deep power that is belied by her superficial disability; they come from watching the interplay of small-group dynamics and understanding how the miniature society they create amongst themselves can have a real, large effect on their respective societies.

      There is genuine depth to be seen in how Aang and Katara explore their nascent attraction to one another; there is growth present in how Sokka stops being a teen kid with something to prove and struggles toward manhood; there is reality in seeing how they all accept the strength and independence of Toph. There is intensity in finding and sharing their frustrations, annoyances and values.

      On the surface Avatar is a goofy adventure story. But underneath it carries a deep set of good, solid values; it promotes friendship, loyalty and commitment; and it lets its characters become confronted by temptation while letting the audience see what they have to face. It’s more fearless and honest than most adult-oriented TV fare in that regard, and for that reason alone I think it’s worth watching.

      Without doubt it’s more grounded in meaningful dialogue and circumstance than any “reality” show on Fox; and even though it’s scripted front-to-back in each episode, I think it bears more meaning and value in reality than any ten dozen of other series might present, be they “reality TV” or not.

      Suck down the first season on BitTorrent and watch it, if you don’t want to actually rent the DVDs or pick it up in repeat on cable. There’s some real merit to the series, far better than the fare presented to kids just a few decades ago a la The Brady Bunch or Gilligan’s Island; and the series is far more grounded in real-world dilemmas, despite its fantasy element, than Andy Griffith or Leave it to Beaver.

      The intelligent comments don’t come from asking your kids if a five-ton bison could fly. They come, instead, from asking if Aang was doing the right thing in riding Appa away from an embattled island while the Fire Nation was busily destroying it — in the name of finding him. Was he a coward? Or did he realize, instead, that he had to get stronger before facing the Fire Nation — and, in the next episode, what do you think he’ll do … and why?

      Hey, son or daughter: What would you do?

      That’s dialogue.

      As an aside, you’re not the first to call me to task about my apparent depth of knowledge of kids’ TV series. One woman I know was stunned when I was able to name, at a glance, every show her seven-year-old son was watching on the TV. She wondered how I could know that; I wondered how she could not know it, given that the shows were being poured into her kid’s head, six hours solid, all day every day.

      If you aren’t paying attention to what your kids are watching, who is? And if you don’t talk to them about what they’ve seen, who will? TV is not passive entertainment; it is a powerful and subtle tool of social indoctrination, and should be monitored and questioned at least as intensely as internet channels — or the cloaked stranger on the corner, offering candy to any child who will climb into his windowless van for half an hour.


    19. Okay, I was probably unfair in bashing Andy Griffith. That was, and remains, a damn good show. Not real-world relevant at all; things have changed in the last half century. But it’s definitely a high-water mark in truly good “values” based TV, not at all overworking the “god” idea but certainly a valuable and well-grounded series. I am a committed atheist, but if I learned my kid loved Andy Griffith, I’d be okay with that.


    20. “@kerry:lets take care of our children and not worry about cartoons.”


      Fuck you, Colin. Don’t preach to me.
      I take great care of my kids. Just because I watch cartoons, WITH THEM, does not mean that I don’t take care of them ya friggin asshole.

      Again, fuck you. In the arse. With a chainsaw.


    21. @Colin:Just to answer your question to me: Though I can’t tell you “why people care about cartoons”, I can tell you that I watch them mainly because I’m an animator/illustrator myself. Yet I feel no shame in telling you that I also enjoy them a great deal. I’ll start watching for technical reasons, but on some cartoons (like avatar) I end up really enjoying the story. Just because a program/film/short is animated doesn’t mean it’s slapstick anvil dropping toons. Animation is a tool, like photography and film, to tell a story. If the story is good, then it’s just the packaging you don’t like. It’s like painting a Hummer pink and calling it a chick car.


    22. Reality check: colin is a 13 year old boy from Cali. Don’t take his statements too seriously, it’s bad for your health.

      That being said, I would like to add my voice in support for the series. I’ve only had the chance to watch a few episodes of Avatar but it seems like an excellent series. I’ve been watching cartoons for over 20 years and have a good grasp of most of the “eras” of american cartoon making. Many thanks to friends with cable, insomnia, and CN playing lots of older cartoons from about 2am until 8am back in the mid-90s.

      What I find sets Avatar apart from other American cartoons is not only the fact that it takes its art style from Animé*, but the writers actually have taken the time to do some goddamn research about the concepts they’re trying to write about, case in point what koopa said about them modeling the different countries’ fighting styles after real, and distinct, fighting styles. In addition with Avatar, you have actual story progression. As warren stated, you7 have actual character growth and change over the length of the series, this gives characters depth and makes them interesting.

      The worst travesty I have seen in American cartoons is the general belief that they are mindless entertainment, no matter what. There have been at least 15 series that I have been a fan of, which have attempted to have continuity of plot, only to have that continuity butchered by someone in charge of the program scheduling at the TV station. Half of the cartoons I have seen in my life are like mini-operas in each episode, nothing carries over from one to the next. This is because the series’ producers can’t afford it. If there is development throughout the series you risk the replayability because you’re forced to replay everything in a linear progression. With one dimensional characters who can get themselves out of every situation they get themselves into within a half-hour, as a television station producer, you can pick and choose which episodes are the most popular and replay them ad nauseum instead of committing to purchase the entire series to maintain continuity.

      Broadening our scope of television development, you’ll find that the belief that television is mindless entertainment has been a cornerstone of television production for over 60 years. Sitcoms, from Gilligan’s Island to Friends have one-dimensional characters who get themselves into something at the beginning of the episode and get themselves out of it by the end, while not actually changing their overall situation in the slightest, merely resetting the environment to be ready for the hijinks of the next episode. It’s -especially- prevalent in the ’60s and in early ’90s “family” sitcoms.

      Americans have lost the ability to enjoy things that take place over a long period of time, while waiting to get installments of the story. With the advent of television, radio serials were all but cast out of the public eye. Even now, with serials coming out on broadcast TV like Lost, Heroes, Supernatural, Prison Break, and Veronica Mars that have become popular, you have at least three times as many which have been canceled for some reason or another, like Surface, Invasion, Threshold, Firely, Drive, Jericho, Space: Above and Beyond, and more that have fallen to the wayside in the past 15 years because there wasn’t enough of a consumer draw to them because we, I think, as a culture are still not prepared to alter our love/hate relationship with television and abandon our single-serving entertainment style for something we might actually have to commit ourselves to being involved in.

      *As an aside, Animé is short for “Animeeshon” which is romaji for the word ‘Animation’. “Japanimation” is a marketing buzzword that was thrown around in the early ’90s to differentiate Animé from american cartoons and still allow people new to the concept to understand that it was an animated meduim


    23. wow, post a picture of a cartoon show = debate and edumication. LOL


    24. actually colin is a 13 yr old boy from pennsylvania
      @Kerry:now your talking about child molestation with a chainsaw, i like it hardcore, so give it to me u fucking manwhore.


    25. @DENMARKIAN: Great point about the lack of continuity in cartoons. I realize now that the series’ I enjoy the most are the ones in which the story progresses. For example: Skyland (IMO best cg series on the air)has continuity to not only expand the plot, but to keep you interested in the characters. same w/ avatar. I actually look forward to new episodes.

      @DENMARKIAN & WARREN: Please start your own blogs. Seriously, i enjoyed reading your comments.


    26. Touché, colin.

      Geographical location notwithstanding you’re still 13, exemplified perfectly by your comment back to Kerry.

      As for starting my own blog, I’m actually terrible at thinking of stuff to talk about by myself, I’m much better at adding my knowledge to conversations already in progress. I never would have thought to write about how our culture has become so married to the convenience of single-serving pieces of sensory input that it pervades our behavior in how we interact with everything.


    27. hahah. How ironic that a couple 30 year olds are trying to defend the artistic integrity of a cartoon to a 13 year old.


    28. I gotta say props to the dads who watch their kids’ shows. Wish that would happen more. And I agree, this is one of my favorite shows on the air. Not animated, favorite period. Deep story, real (you know what I mean) fighting styles, and some real creativity (I.E. animals) makes this a truly great show. Glad to know there are some other people who enjoy it like I do.


    29. @denmarkian, kerry wants to fuck my ass with a chainsaw, hes the parent here, i might be 13 but the son of a bitch wants to fuck my ass, with a chainsaw, hes a very childish person. i sometimes wonder when the great chuck norris will come to save me from all of this


    30. denmarkian, i like you, but my age of 13 years has nothing to do with what i said, if you ask me kerry’s age which is 30 something as he said is barely exemplified by wanting to fuck me in the ass with a chainsaw, i was merely telling him that if he was going to carry out his well thought out plan, he would at least know how to do it to benifit both parties.


    31. Hm. Wonder what happened to my comment? It was supposed to say:
      Avatar! I


    32. :/ Ok then. Less-than-threes break MCS. I heart Aang.


    33. @koopa: i know its kind of funny, but idk whos side your on, but really are there sides at all, lol
      i love you all
      especially chainsaws in my asshole


    34. @colin: Idk, maybe it’s just the imagery….then you add that you’re 13 and it just gets worse. not that chainsaws in adults assholes is any better. how did a avatar picture end up like this?


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