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Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of those very, very rare shows that gets everything right. The writing, the animation, the plot, the characters, it's all done so well and the final product is beautiful. It's definately one of the greatest animated shows around, and that's no overstatement.
At a first glance, I took it as a typical anime-knockoff with some generic plot. But as I got around to watching it, I found my initial estimate WAY off. The writing is GREAT. The balance between comedy and drama is absolutely perfect. The characters have levels of complexity that's even rare for shows aimed at older audiences, let alone shows aimed at children. They're all very enjoyable, and when people ask for good examples of characterization, I always point to this show. The characters all have their own conflicts to deal with, while at the same time contributing to the main storyline and furthering it along. (even the female characters are done very well, which is rare to say for a show aimed at boys or a gender-neutral audience) The characters aren't the only things that are complex: the plot is, as well. Like the characters, the plot is surprisingly deep even for the shows aimed at older audiences.
I love the setting the world takes place in. It's based off areas in Asia with cultures based off real-life Asian cultures. (though a few others have been snuck in. Swamp-benders and hippie nomads, anyone?) The world is populated with both original animals and Mix And Match Critters, which I found pretty creative. The setting is enhanced by the wonderful animation. Boy, don't get me started on the animation! It's wonderful in the first season and only gets better from there. It not only enhances the setting, it enhances the bending movements used by the characters. (which, for the record, are based off real martial arts)) The animation, combined with the choreography, make the fight scenes absolutely stunning.
I'd recommend this show to ANYONE. Give it a chance, you won't be sorry.
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