Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book Two Collection
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The kids return to the Fire Nation and prepare for their final confrontation with Firelord Ozai, but they discover that the Firelord has plans of his own: he has ordained himself Phoenix Lord and appointed Princess Azula as the next Firelord. In the spectacular 4-part finale of Avatar Book 3: Fire, Aang fulfills his destiny as Avatar and confronts the Firelord in the greatest battle of the series.
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 1 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 1 finds Aang, the Avatar and potential reconciler of a world divided into air, earth, water, and fire kingdoms, now a master Waterbender. That means he and companions Katara and Sokka can now leave the Northern Water Tribe and concentrate on mastering earth. New adventures and dangers await the heroic trio in the five episodes included on this DVD, which finds Aang experiencing nightmares about the power of the Avatar State. He also meets an earth kingdom general with plans for attacking the warrior tribes of the fire nation, gets trapped with possible love interest Katara in the Cave of Two Lovers, and gets pulled into a supernatural swamp by a tornado. As always, Avatar is above average as an engaging anime tale, with a wonderfully original storyline and striking artistry. --Tom Keogh
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 2 The five chapters in Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 2 continue the story of young avatar Aang's adventures deep within the Earth Kingdom. As usual, each episode is a seamless blend of grave drama and comic relief, but the stakes seem higher than ever with the addition of a new member to Aang's team. Joining Katara and Sokka is Toph, a blind but powerful earthbending girl trying to obscure her aristocratic origins by defeating large, scary men in the ring. Aang recognizes Toph from his vision of an earthbending teacher, whom he needs to help him master control over the earth element. Toph also adds a kind of sardonic, tart tone to Aang's journey, ultimately leaving her world to join the series trio of young heroes. "The Blind Bandit" finds Aang, Katara, and Sokka working hard at convincing Toph to help their mission. "Zuko Alone" carries on the tale of the firebending prince who now travels alone and anonymously, but comes close to befriending a boy in an Earth Kingdom town. (The episode is full of interesting flashbacks from Zukos youth.) "The Chase" also concerns Zukos past, but is primarily about Aang, Katara, and Sokka adjusting to Tophs somewhat self-centered presence on the team at the same time Princess Azula is relentlessly hunting them all down in a kind of speeding tank. "Bitter Work" finds Toph having difficulties training Aang, while "The Library" is an exotic episode about a professor who leads the crew to a library containing information useful against the Fire Nation. When they get there, they find the place guarded by the owl-like Wan Shi Tong, who begins sinking the library in defense against the perceived invaders. --Tom Keogh
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 3 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 3 covers chapters 11 through 15 in the ongoing saga of Aang, the 12-year-old reincarnation of an avatar destined to reunite the warring nations of fire, earth, water, and air. Still traveling with his friends Katara, Sokka, and newcomer Toph, Aang gets into some of the strangest and most compelling situations yet seen on his journey to master control over all four elements. The first story, "The Desert," finds Aang so upset over the abduction and criminal sale of his flying bison, Appa, that the powerful boy shows a streak of rage, demonstrating to himself that he could easily use his emerging skills to harm enemies if he wished. Still, Appa remains missing through this volume, leading the gang on a mission to survive a desert sojourn and survive during a perilous flight (with a young family in tow) over a pass through mountains and ocean in "The Serpents Pass." They also get involved in a bizarre fight (in "The Drill") against the Fire Nation army and its gigantic drill, which is aimed at the outer wall of Ba Sing Se, a city occupied by earth people. Once inside Ba Sing Se, however, things get really weird: smiling officials (in "City of Walls and Secrets") outlaw any discussion of the war outside in order to keep the population placid and the economy rolling. Finally, "Tales of Ba Sing Se" is an original piece made up of individual vignettes focusing on each of the major characters. If there is anything surprising about Book 2 Earth, Volume 3, its the amount of romance (kissing, even!) in the air. These Avatar boys and girls are growing up. --Tom Keogh
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 4 The long journey of young Avatar Aang and his friends Katara, Sokka, and Toph continues in this dramatic installment in the Avatar the Last Airbender series. Picking up from Volume 3, the first chapter on this disc, "Appas Lost Days," traces the hard times of Aangs winged bison, Appa, after the latter is stolen in order to blackmail Aang into not going to the Earth King with information about a pending coup. The clever Aang manages to find Appa anyway and complete his crucial mission, though he learns, in "The Earth King," that the sheltered monarch doesnt buy the notion that his own counsel, the power-grasping Long Feng, could be behind such a conspiracy. Complicating matters is the arrival of Princess Azula to take control over forces loyal to Long Feng, while Zuko, the reformed Fire Nation prince now acting as a humble but happier servant to his wise, tea-drinking uncle, is powerless to stop her. (On the other hand, Zuko forms an unexpected bond with one of Aangs allies.) Everything comes to a head in "The Crossroads of Destiny," in which Aang, suddenly confused by the sage advice of a guru who tells him he must free himself of a crucial emotional attachment, joins the others in an uphill effort to stop Azula from overtaking the Earth King. As engaging and frequently funny as every other volume in the Avatar series, Volume Four is a great ride through a climactic time in the long-running story. --Tom Keogh
- All 20 chapters from Book 2: Earth on 5 discs
- Interview with Creators and M. Night Shyamalan
- "The Essence of Bending" with Bryan Konietzko and Sifu Kisu
- Avatar Super Deformed Shorts
- "Escape From the Spirit World" Animated Graphic Novel
- Original Uncut Animatic
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The set comes with five discs, one of them specifically for the bonus features. The condition was perfect, and it shipped on time, so no complaints there. In fact, I was so exited when I got them that I immediately started watching! But as I made my way through the story, I noticed something:
There are episodes missing! The DVD's themselves aren't missing, like I said, it's in perfect condition. But it seems they edited out some pretty crucial episodes like, The Swamp and The Library. I mean I guess it's not a deal breaker (for me anyway) but I really like those episodes and I want to know where I can get them.
Anyway, it's an excellent product, but I thought I would warn you. No one told me ahead of time and I ended up getting a little bummed out. Also, If someone knows where I can buy the missing episodes, let me know.
In this world, people known as benders have the ability to control one of the four elements. The Avatar, a living manifestation of the spirit of the Earth, has the ability to control all four elements, and has the duty of keeping the balance between all benders. As stated in the intro, the four nations (Air Nomads, Fire Nation, the Northern and Southern Water Tribes, and the Earth Kingdom) once all lived in harmony. The ambitious Fire Lord Sozin launced an attack on the other nations, and just when the world truly needed the Avatar, he vanished from existence. One hundred years have passed and two Water Tribe siblings (Katara, the last waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe, and her brother Sokka, a non-bender) discover and awaken the long missing Avatar, a twelve year old airbender named Aang, and his flying sky-bison, Appa.
In the time Aang has been dormant, the Fire Nation have continued their campaign to rule over all nations. All Southern waterbenders aside from Katara have been killed or incarcerated; a large amount of the Earth Kingdom has been occupied by their forces; and due to the now deceased Sozin knowing that the next Avatar was destined to be an airbender, the Air Nomads have been completely wiped out, leaving Aang the last of his kind. He has no time to grieve though, because an event known as Sozin's Comet is soon going to pass by the land. The firebenders are going to harness the power from this comet to make their final strike and officially be in control of all nations. Aang must master the other three elements and defeat the current Fire Lord, Ozai.
In this volume, the Gaang have moved on from the Northern Water tribe and are heading to the Earth Kingdom so Aang can find an earthbending teacher. There is a new antagonist in the form of Azula, Zuko's much more cunning and deadly sister. Along with Ty Lee, a girl who is a master in the self taught method of chi-blocking, and Mai, a deadpanning knife thrower, Azula promises to succeed where her brother failed. Zuko and Iroh's alliances shift when they are officially declared enemies of the Fire Nation, forcing them into hiding; in the process, they also learn the true effect the Fire Nation has had on the other three nations. A new member of the Gaang makes an entrance in the form of Toph Beifong, a blind twelve year old earthbending master. Toph rebels against her noble upbringing by moonlighting as The Blind Bandit, the reigning champion in the (literally) underground Earth Rumble tournament. After a series of fate changing circumstances, Toph becomes Aang's earthbending teacher, putting him one step closer on the road to defeating Fire Lord Ozai.
Along with all of Book Two, this dvd set also includes interviews, "The Essence of Bending" with Bryan and Sifu Kisu, the super deformed shorts, and the canon "Escape From The Spirit World" animated graphic novel that takes place between "The Crossroads of Destiny" and "The Awakening".
Avatar has always been near and dear to my heart, and will continue to be so in the future. I've always found myself identifying most with Toph. She knows what her duty is to her family, but knows that traveling with Aang will be better for her in the long run, and thusly "sticks it to the man." She doesn't take no for an answer and always does things the Toph Way and nobody else's. Also, when I was a young girl growing up watching this, I was quite the tomboy, so it was great to see a character who relished the feeling of earth underneath her feet and didn't want to be bothered with silly girly things.
There's also the extremely touching "Tales of Ba Sing Se" episode. In it, we get a closer look at the lives of Katara, Toph, Iroh, Aang, Momo, Zuko, and Sokka as they go about their daily lives in Ba Sing Se. While some, like Aang's, are more on the lighthearted side, you are truly a heartless soul if you do not shed a tear at "The Tale of Iroh".
This series truly just keeps getting better and better!
I do have a bone to pick with the packaging itself, though. My DVD set arrived with most of the inner clasp pieces (the circular plastic part in the middle of each disc indent that keeps the disc from falling out) completely shattered. Thankfully, the DVDs themselves were not harmed in any way, but now I have to be mindful about how I store it because the discs do slide around inside the case and can fall out when I open it.
I made my boyfriend who majored in history watched it and he said each four nation is suppose to represent the Asian countries during WWII. Fire nation represents Japan when it invaded the other Asian countries to become a powerhouse. I think Water tribe is suppose to be the Southeast Asian countries; not sure too much about Earth or Air.
But how it's created through children cartoon is phenomenal. This show depicts many issues from war, love, hope, despair, death, etc., and how essentially these kids have to make adult-like decisions.
Recommended for families or those who love an original animation. No great anime/cartoon animation has ever existed like this in my world.