Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American animated television series produced by Nickelodeon and created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. A western animated series done in styles closer to those used in anime, the series is popular among the denizens of SD.net. A full-length, live-action film adaptation of the show's first season was released in 2010, but was generally considered to be of low quality by moviegoers and critics alike. Similar film adaptations of the second and third season are planned. A new animated television series set 70 years after the first series has been announced and premiered on April 14, 2012 being generally well received. It is not to be confused with James Cameron's film of the Same Name


Map of the Avatar World

The world of Avatar is one in which several Asiatic civilizations exist. The most notable and prominent fantasy element of the series is the act of bending, in which various individuals command elemental forces through martial arts techniques. There are four types of bending: earth, water, fire, and air. Only a single person, called the Avatar, is capable of controlling all of the elements. The Avatar is continuously reincarnated, with the duty to keep the peace between the Four Nations.

The civilizations of the Avatar world are as follows:

  • Water Tribes-The Water Tribes are several societies that are linked through having Waterbenders among their populations. The largest two tribes are based in the north and south poles of the Avatar world, although a smaller tribe exists in a large swamp in the Earth Kingdom. Owing to their enviroments, the Water Tribes make limited use of metal.
  • Earth Kingdom-The Earth Kingdom is the largest civilization in the Avatar world, a civilization controlling a massive continent ruled from the massive fortified city of Ba Sing Se, although it appears that provincial governments have a considerable degree of internal autonomy. From the Earth Kingdom's population come the Earthbenders. Sections of the Earth Kingdom have been claimed for colonization by Fire Nation settlers.
  • Fire Nation-The Fire Nation is an aggressive, expansionist power originating from a volcanic island chain to the west of the Earth Kingdom. The Fire Nation has been engaged in a war of expansion into the Earth Kingdom for the past century and is notable for being industrialized. The Fire Nation is a major naval power, commanding vast fleets of ironclad warships, and has set up various colonies in the Earth Kingdom. From the Fire Nation come Firebenders; particularly powerful Firebenders can create directed bolts of lightning. It also has the ability to manufacture Steam Powered Tanks as well as a truely massive motorized tunnel boring vehicle.
  • Air Nomads-The Air Nomads consisted of several populations of monastic airbenders that lived in large, isolated temples scattered around the world. The air nomads were wiped out 100 years before the events of the series by the Fire Nation during Sozin's Comet, save for the young Avatar, Aang.

In addition, there are various spiritual entities that interact with the material world. One of the functions of the Avatar is to serve as a Link between the Material and Spiritual worlds.

The era of the Legend of Korra

Eventually the Fire Nation's 100 year long war of conquest was ended, with Zuko ascending to the Throne of the Fire Nation. Eventually the Fire Nation's colonies in the Earth Kingdom were reformed into a multicultural state called the United Republic of Nations, the Capital of which being Republic City. On the whole, Republic City is at a comparable level of technological development to that of America and Europe in the 1920s, with radios, widespread electric lighting, skyscrapers and mass produced internal combustion powered automobiles.

Republic City does have some problems, including poverty, powerful organized crime syndicates known as triads and is home to a political movement called the Equalists who desire to put an end to Bending permanently.

Avatar in Debate

As Avatar is a popular series, Avatar debates come up occasionally, generally involving the Fire Nation against civilizations from various other fantasy universes. Against most fantasy universes (which are stuck at a medieval level of technological development), the industrialized Fire Nation has an advantage.