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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anime-style show ... anime-style release schedule
Yes, I'm going to join the chorus praising the series. It's stylish, the art and character designs are high-quality, and each episode holds up well for multiple viewings. There's drama, suspense, more action than you can throw a stick at, and plenty of humor to ease the way. The core characters are well-rounded, and they grow as the first season progresses. We get...
Published on January 5, 2006 by faolin

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excelent show, DVD is weak.
Avatar is the best children's show to come around in years. It's not the first show to try and entertain kids and adults at the same time, but it is the first I have seen do both so well. Instead of mixing adult references with inane banter and silly antics, Avatar finds common ground where both children and adults can be entertained together. It has just the right mix...
Published on May 12, 2006 by Donald Wood


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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anime-style show ... anime-style release schedule, January 5, 2006
By 
faolin (New England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Yes, I'm going to join the chorus praising the series. It's stylish, the art and character designs are high-quality, and each episode holds up well for multiple viewings. There's drama, suspense, more action than you can throw a stick at, and plenty of humor to ease the way. The core characters are well-rounded, and they grow as the first season progresses. We get backstory slowly, woven into the story. We keep learning about the characters.

While I, too, would have preferred a series set over single-disk releases, I can't pretend to be surprised. I buy a lot of anime, and Japanese series are released one disk at a time. Maybe a complete set comes out sometime after the regular releases are done, with a nice box. Anime fans pay a premium for their fix - $20-$30 for 3-5 episodes, $80-$200 for a series/season box set. While this is Nickelodeon, not a US-license of a Japanese series, let's face it: Avatar isn't Spongebob. This show isn't like anything else on Nick. The production values are much higher, and the production costs increase proportionally. A $40 season set isn't likely any time soon.

There is a rumor that a box set with unknown bonus features will be released AFTER the single disks are all out. Again, this is typical practice for anime releases, not a nefarious Nickelodeon plot. Those who are disappointed or peeved should contact Nickelodeon to ask about a set. Let them know they've failed to meet your expectations. If you refuse to buy the series piecemeal - tell them why. If they don't get feedback, they're not going to reconsider their release strategy.

This series is well worth owning on DVD. The question is whether you want to treat yourself to a disk every couple-three months, or wait and see what is offered in a year or so. There's no wrong answer here... but buy it sooner or later. It is that good.

>>> JUNE 2006 UPDATE: a season 1 box set has been announced for September. No pricing information yet.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the show, don't love the Nick squeezing...., November 24, 2005
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This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Let me say first of all that I love this show. There are very few shows that my whole family will sit down and watch at the same time, and Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of them. The story of Aang and his friends trying to reach the North Pole so he can begin his quest for mastery of the four elements by learning Water Bending (to go with his Air Bending mastery), is not only very well done, its cool for both kids and adults. Based loosely on Chinese/Japanese mythology and martial arts, the character/creature designs are interesting, the action is always great, but not at the expense of the smaller moments, and the funny moments as well.

What I don't like in Nickelodeon only including the first 4 episodes on the first release. Why not release the whole first season? I understand this way is probably more price friendly for parents who's kiddos love the show, but it seems like they are trying to squeeze us for everything they can. But other than that, I'm planning on buying all the discs and can give this release my highest recommendation.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the full season..., December 11, 2009
I do not know why people keep rating CONTENT on Amazon based on their incorrect perceptions of Amazon's services and offerings. But just so everyone is clear, not only is this the full season, but Amazon is giving it to you at a bargain. Amazon has two "double" episodes here ("Secret of the Fire Nation" and "The Guru/The Crossroads of Destiny") -- these are both "hour-long" (48 minutes without commercials) episodes that ran as two airings each on TV (SotFN ran as "The Serpent's Pass" and "The Drill," while "The Guru" and CRoD ran under those titles). So this is the full season, and Amazon could be charging $4 more for it! Stop bellyaching and enjoy!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in a long time, April 11, 2006
By 
Thomas E. Tweedel (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Avatar is without a doubt one of the best all around shows to come down the pipe in a very long time.

I don't have cable so I haven't seen much of it on TV. I first found out about it when I was at a friends doing some work and it was on as background noise for the kids. It was somewhere in the middle of the season so I didn't know the story but I was really impressed. I though, wow, the Japanese have done it again. But having watched a lot of anime in my younger days some stuff didn't add up. The style was different, the sight gags and most importantly the body language of the characters was different.

I was really surprised when I found it was an American production! I wanted to see more. I was wondering if it was worth buying, my kid only being 2 ? so I figured what the heck, its not that expensive for one disk.

I ordered it and it was an instant hit at the house. My son loved it goes running around with a stick saying he's going to save the world. My wife loved it and I loved it. The show is written to a good middle ground between kids and adults. The kids will follow the story without issue and the adults will see deeper into the world. Its not too deep mind you but deep enough to feel there is more going on than whats immediately on screen.

I was really impressed by the creativity of the series and just how well done it was. The producers pulled together a lot of elements from Asian culture and tradition and blended them together into a credible setting in a way I've not really seen done very well outside of Asian works.

They've got a lot of gags and elements that are not exactly original. Strong liberated female figure in male dominated culture, chauvinist/clueless/useless guy, obligatory cute pet/sidekick, reluctant hero, ruthless villain etc. But they are well done and not overdone.

Many of the sight gags revolve around bad things that happen to the hapless/clueless guy. But they were well done enough to be funny without being tired. I was particularly glad they didn't give too much screen time to the cute pet/sidekick which some kids shows seem to devote about 1/3 of each episode to the antics of that creature. He (A flying lemur like creature) pops in and pops out for some good comic relief but never eclipses those involved in the story.

We also begin to see some depth in Character development and hints that some may not be exactly as they seem. Particularly with the apparent villains of the series. They actually have motivation and character beyond just wanting to give the hero's a bad day or ruling the world.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updated DVD info, November 22, 2005
By 
ttrentham "dekker20" (Austin, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
My wife, son and I love this show as well. It's really well done. There's a 9 hour marathon either tomorrow or Thursday.

According to [...], this DVD has the first four chapters:

Ch.1 - The Boy in the Iceberg
Ch.2 - The Avatar Returns
Ch.3 - The Southern Air Temple
Ch.4 - The Warriors of Kyoshi

It also includes a "Behind-the-scenes Kung Fu" featurette. Whatever that means.

To echo the comment that followed mine, they're really gouging us for these. With only 4 of the half-hour episodes on this DVD, it'll take 5 DVDs to get us all 20 episodes from Season 1 (Book 1). At $12 per DVD, that's $60 for the first season. By comparison, you can get Lost: Season 1 with 24 episodes for $30 right now on Amazon and the same with the newly released season 5 of Seinfeld. For a closer comparison, the first season of Spongebob is $40 (20 episodes). Even Invader Zim gave you 17 episodes for $17! Jeez.

I REALLY hope they don't release a few of these and then later decide to do a whole season set for less money. I'd be tempted to hold off and wait. On the other hand, I don't want to hold off on buying it if they're gauging whether or not to release the whole thing by sales of the first one.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flat out the best cartoon in America, March 7, 2007
By 
mgw (Cincinnati, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is literally the best serialized cartoon made by Americans in the past 10 years. Michael Dimartino & Bryan Konietzko have created a fantasy world modeled after Asian nations and culture, full of martial arts magic.

Aang is the Avatar, the last of his race (the Airbenders). As Avatar he is capable of harnessing the four elements that govern their world and keep the peace between the four races (one per element) that populate the world. Shortly after learning his destiny as Avatar, Aang runs away from the responsiblity. Near to death after a becoming lost in a seastorm, Aang becomes sealed in ice for a hundred years.

He is set free by Katara and Sokka, who eventually become his traveling companions. Katara is a young untrained waterbender that is a driving force for Aang's change towards responsibility. In turn, Aang helps Katara to have more fun. After a time, Katara becomes his waterbending master. Sokka is responsible in his own way as well, but ends up as almost comic relief for some of the more emotionally charged scenes.

Additional characters appear and stay with the series. Prince Zuko is almost a foil for Aang at first before being shown as a more parallel character. He travels with his Uncle, Iroh. Zuko's sister and father, Fire Lord Ozai, tend to be the antagonists in the second book. All are fire nation (the bad guys) but we see in both Zuko and Iroh that that fact does not automatically make them evil heartless killers.

In book two we meet Toph, a blind earthbender girl who doesn't want her family to know that she's a capable bender. She becomes Aang's earthbending master, and is quite a tough teacher despite her apparent handicap of blindness.

The characters are memorable and well-developed. The plot line is terrific with many different possiblities of how things could turn out. This is not a cartoon that cops out on sadness or death. Avatar is not like some of the magical girl cartoons from Japan where people die and then in the next season or episode are right back up and kicking. Avatar is a better reflection of real life. When people die (and it's not always bad guys doing the dying) they do not come back. And sometimes the good guys do bad things either because they didn't have all the information or because there didn't seem to be any other alternative. Hard lessons like truth, justice and good triumphant aren't always learned the first time.

It's really a great cartoon for people of all ages and every stage of life.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soar to new heights and adventure with Avatar The Last Airbender, November 16, 2005
Hey there! Lauren here. I LOVE Avatar: The Last Airbender and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for something new and exciting to watch. It's dramatic, suspenseful and very enjoyable to watch. It's full of adventure as well.

In a time when the world is divided into four nations: Water tribes, earth kingdoms, fire nation and air nomads, it seems peaceful. But that all changes when the greedy and power hungry fire nation starts a war with the other three nations. The world's only hope is the Avatar, a boy who can master the bending disciplines of all four elements. But he hasn't been seen for a hundred years. It's not until a waterbender named Katara and her annoying older brother, Sokka, free Aang from an iceburg, do they uncover the world's last hope. Now it's up to Aang to learn all four bending disciplines in order to end the war and bring balance back to the world. With the help of Katara and Sokka, Aang will learn a lot more than the bending arts. He will learn what true friendship is.

Water, earth, fire air.

Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony

Then everything changed when the fire nation attacked

Only the Avatar, master of all four elements could stop them

But when the world needed him most, he vanished

A hundred years passed and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar. An airbender named Aang. And although his airbending skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he's ready to save anyone

But I believe, Aang can save the world

Join Katara, her annoying brother, Sokka and their friend, Aang, as they make their way to the North Pole in search of a waterbending teacher for Katara. Also, As the Avatar, Aang must master all four elements in order to defeat the fire lord and restore balance to the world.

I've been watching this show for nine months now and I LOVE it. Katara is my favorite character and I believe Mae Whitman portrays her really well. I LOVE this show and I can't wait till it comes to DVD. Like Katara, my element is also water. I identify with Katara the most.

May the power of water, earth, fire and air be with everyone always.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great show, but try to hold off..., December 4, 2005
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
The Avatar is a great show, I would suggest waiting for the whole season to be released, but they might not do that. This is a children's show, I have a feeling the season will be released in 4 episode packages (small packages for small children) plus it's a great way to make money. Either way, the show is great for kids and adults. Be sure to watch (and record?) the marathon December 28th 2005.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Animation is Great, DVD content, ok, June 18, 2006
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
To those who have been spoon fed lies and biased opinions that Avatar is a copy cat and that it is fake anime. I'm here to tell you that isn't true, Avatar the Last Airbender is an
American cartoon that is based on chinese and other Asian cultures. It isn't "anime", but it is one heck of a cartoon. Avatar has something that most anime don't have (besides conservative dressers) and that is a sense of balance for younger children to older adults. It is hard for a teenager to watch Full Metal Alchemist with his five year old sibling and thirty to forty year old guardian, without some content being deemed inappropriate and demonic and for the child, scary. But with Avatar, there is simple humor, comical characters, and bloopers in fighting, making it balanced for both groups to laugh at and enjoy.

Avatar is an awesome mix between reality and fantasy. The characters, which are predominately kids ranging from 12 to 17 have certain qualities that make them all unique but at the same time tied to the same destiny of interaction with the Avatar.

It brings to the table what Nickelodeon has been lacking for years, plot, character development, beautiful artwork, and background information, a sense of more mature moral values.

The display of martial arts is astounding, even more so is the fact that the martial arts are based on real Chinese Kung Fu, as you see in the Special Features. Sifu Kisu is the teacher and shows you the basic techniques or principles behind the four bending arts also known as Airbending (BaGua), Waterbending (Tai Chi), Earthbending (Hung Gar), and my personal favorite firebending (Northern Shaolin). He even gives some moves. The only problem with these special features, is that most of it is an introduction, which you see over and over again, with a different background setting for each element. The moves that Sifu Kisu does are small moves, which leave the viewer wanting to see more of the realistic martial arts. There could have been more with that, I believe. He could have showed some basic stances and moves, which would have given the viewer a better appreciation and understanding for their favorite martial arts.

The music for the fight scenes are beautifully done and fit the situations well. The second fight scene, episode 2, between Aang and Zuko in his room, is one of my favorites. The music though upbeat and quick, but has a slightly clumsy sound to it, which is relevent in how Aang fights Zuko.

I wish that the dvd had been categorized into chapters, so that a person could skip the intro, and right onto the actual show, but doing that just skips intro to intro.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family fun, May 19, 2006
By 
Steven Philips "iimpact" (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1 (DVD)
From my 3 year old to my wife and I we love to watch this series. We are practically wearing out the DVDs waiting for the next ones to emerge. It is an original story line with great character, voices, animation, action adventure and lessons of growing up.

Fun and intrigue for the whole family that is so rare now days with lesser quality animations on the rise with little or no plot.

This series sheds perspective on life's little problems and how to face them in a very entertaining way. The children will like the moment to moment action and the individual plot lines in each episode and the adults can enjoy the overall story arc and plot.

Definitively a must in the family library.
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Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1 Water, Vol. 1
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