Chapter 5: The King of Omashu
Hmm. The opening sequence of this episode was a bit goofy for my taste. I can see why I hadn't yet fallen in love with the series at this point.
But. When we actually meet the king, I'm duly amused. I can't recall exactly when I guessed his identity, but I remember I figured it out fairly early on (and kinda wanted to smack Aang for being so obtuse—though I suppose he can be excused, as it's probably pretty traumatic to lose that much time).
Is there some vicious thread on some message board somewhere piling hate on King Bumi for making Aang do deadly tasks? I bet there is.
Chapter 6: Imprisoned
Early in this episode Sokka scolds the other two to get a good night's sleep, and I found myself thinking, "How is it that Sokka can be both Ron and Hermione all rolled up into one character? Oh, yeah. BECAUSE HE'S AWESOME!"
Speaking of HP parallels, the George Takei-voiced Warden in this episode reminds me of Umbridge with his "poisoned honey" attitude in his first scene.
Aaaand Zuko gets his hands on Katara's necklace at the end. I MISSED YOU ZUKO! Yeah, another reason I considered myself a "Fire Nation sympathizer" early on was this: Whenever the series started to go too long without any Zuko-Iroh scenes, I'd pine for them, and even start to get a little tired of the Gaang.
Chapter 7: Winter Solstice Part 1: The Spirit World
More signs that I am a total FNS (Fire Nation Sympathizer):
<333 Iroh in the hot spring!
<333 Iroh snuggling cute tiny rodent!
<333 Zuko getting all worried about his uncle!
<333 Iroh's cleverness at messing with his captors!
<333 Zuko rescuing his uncle at exactly the right moment!
Iroh: That's true, but you are clearly outmatched.
Heh heh. Oh yeah, that's right, Aang does some cool stuff in this episode, too. Aang's first attempts to be the spirit bridge crack me up. "Please, would you stop destroying things and listen?...Excuse me?" dfajdkj;adk;jadf "All I have to do is figure out what I have to do. But once I do that—no problem." Gotta love Aang's optimism. Sorry for yet another HP comparison, but I feel the need to say that I often find Aang strikingly dissimilar to Harry.
Chapter 8: Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku
I have to admit, the scene where the kids run the blockade into the Fire Nation defies my willing suspension of disbelief a bit. Appa somehow getting through a massive volley of fireballs virtually unscathed seems a bit unlikely.
The character dynamics in that scene are intense, though—Zuko, breaking his exile, Iroh begging him to stop, Zhao, gleefully planning Zuko's demise. It belies how little the Fire Lord cares for his son, that Zhao clearly expects he could kill Zuko without any repercussions.
Shyu's voice seems familiar to me, but I can't place him. According to IMDB, he's been in all sorts of stuff I've seen, but I can't find anything that really would have been a memorable role.
So when Avatar Roku helps Aang escape the temple, he uses fire bending to melt the chains holding Sokka and Katara, which would require some precision. Zuko pulls free of his chains at the same time. Is this just Zuko's strength combined with a good distraction, or did Roku intend for Zuko to escape as well?
The Making of Avatar – From Real Life to Animation
This feature cuts between the creators of the show—Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko—acting out a lot of the funny bits in the first 11 episodes of the show, and the actual clips from the show. It's amusing, but it hardly qualifies for the title "The Making of Avatar."
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