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This is one of the best shows, animated or otherwise, that I've ever seen. I love the character development and how incredibly realistic it is. All the changes and growth mean that there's never a dull moment but it's all believable and relate-able. Had this been a novel, Mike and Bryan would be right up there with William Shakespeare. It's so good, it almost doesn't seem like just a kid's show; it's one of the most beautiful things ever created.
One of my favorite things about this show is the complexity. It presents the heroes and villains as real people with emotions, motives, and loved ones. It shows that not everything can be solved with a clever scheme in 30 minutes or less and provides lessons that actually have basis is the real world. But what seals the deal for me is the fact it completely subverts the usual Blackand White Morality. I appreciate that it presents both side of the war and shows that no one should be judged because of their nationality-and I mean that in a positive or negative light. Jet and Hama (from the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribe, respectively)aren't portrayed in a positive light just because they're fighting the nation that wronged them. The Fire Nation schoolchildren and villagers from early in season three aren't portrayed in a negative light just because of their Royal Family's crimes. The heroes are allowed to make mistakes and do the wrong thing and the villains are allowed to redeem themselves and fight for what's right. I think it's such a profound message, that anyone is capable of great good or great evil, that Avatar the Last Airbender will always have a special place in my heart.
I remember really liking the way some fan put it a while back. That Jet and Hama were, for Sokka and Katara, what would happen to them should they allow their hatred of the Fire Nation to take over them.
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