Hundred years of war, a genocide of a whole nation, propaganda, dictatorship, trauma. If anyone would guess what kind of series includes these topics are they would most likely think it to be a documentary about history. Presumably no one would say that it is a series ostensibly conceptualized for children. Through the series called ‚Avatar — The last Airbender‘ such serious topics are being tackled without punches being pulled, yet still in a way that even children can understand and comprehend these complex themes through the exploration of personal stories.
For a short explanation to the uninitiated, the series takes place in a fantasy world split into four elemental nations: The Earth Kingdom, the Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Some people have the ability to ‚bend‘ one of the elements, which is displayed through martial arts styles ranging from Tai Chi to Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. Standing out from all other benders there is one individual known as the Avatar who is able to bend all four elements. In return, the Avatar is tasked with maintaining balance in the world and serving as a bridge between mortals and spirits.
Although it first aired in 2005, hardly any series had such a lasting impact even until today. Starting off with displaying characters of BIPOC, Asian and Inuit heritage many diverse cultures and histories have been fleshed out. Moreover, the characters themselves are just as fleshed out and go through great redemption arcs and relatable personal developments. With our work we want to show the depth of the series, using and appreciating parts of the original art style and translating it according to the quotes of one of the main characters named ‚Iroh‘.