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Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book Two Collection
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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
Top Customer Reviews
Regarding the show itself: The animation is well done, often with beautiful scenes and accompanied by simple and beautiful music. The characters have depth and complexity rarely seen in cartoons.
Regarding Season Two: This season is excellent. A great new character is introduced (though actually many great characters are introduced in Season two). The finale, like that of seasons one's, was exciting, fast paced, and EXTREMELY well done. The creators put a lot into the finales and it shows. The season finales have an epic feel to them, and often feature some sort of homage to Hiyao Miyazake, the creator of some of the best animated movies. On a sad note, the talented Mako, who voiced Uncle Iroh in season 1 and 2, passed away. His character is my favorite on this show, and I hope they find someone for season three that can fill his big shoes.
I love this show and I know myself and many others are eagerly waiting for the premiere of season three. You come to care for these chracters and waiting to find out what happens is difficult. Basically, this show can be enjoyed on a lot of different levels, by a variety of people and ages.
I recommend this show to anyone with a sense of individuality, not worried about the fact that they're watching an animated feature.
Consequently, I didn't think much of Avatar when I had first heard of it. I thought to myself, here was another show jumping the anime bandwagon and made to look like a Naruto clone. I gave the show a chance only through a happy accident and boy was I glad. I was hooked on the spot. Here was the diamond in the rough. Here was a show that actually had a planned storyline with a beginning, middle and end. Not only that, but every episode has a significance to the overall storyline. This is a rarity in American television when most shows have character development over random situations every week but very little overall plot development. They lacked an overall story. This is what makes Avatar appealing to me. It's epic in scope and is not afraid to end a story when it's complete. Many other shows continue to drag and milk a series if it is profitable simply because it is too tough and costly to produce yet another hit.
The characters are lovable, and a new level of depth is reached in season 2 especially when we learn more about Prince Zuko(Zuko Alone) and his uncle Iroh(Tales of Ba Sing Se). A new character is introduced in Season 2, Toph, a blind girl who happens to be a master Earthbender but is confined to her home because of her parent's belief that she is helpless. She is a welcome breath of fresh air as it's always great to see strong female lead roles, especially one with a handicap.
Lastly, I would like to conclude by saying that Season 2 is a wonderful set of episodes. It is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the series and us Avatards cannot wait for the final installment of what has been an amazing ride these past 2 and a half years.
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