Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the fire nation attacked.
Does this ring a bell? If it does, it could mean two things. Either you grew up watching AVATAR: the last airbender (like me and a big part of us Gen-Zs).
Or maybe you recently saw it on Netflix. I'm both things and some time ago, when this anime (here's why we consider it an anime) landed on the platform, allowing us to relive a part of our childhood.The story takes place in a world where a big part of the human population has the ability to control one of the elements (water, earth, fire, air). This ability is called bending (it can be waterbending, earthbending, firebending or airbending) and only one person at a time can be able to bend all four elements.
This person is the avatar and she or he should use her or his bending to keep peace, but one hundred years ago he disappeared, right when the fire nation decided to attack the other three nations.
At the beginning of the anime two siblings from the Southern Water Tribe, Sokka and Katara, find Aang, the avatar, in an iceberg, Captain America style.
He's been there since the war started and he's the last airbender, because the entirety of the Air Nomads population has been exterminated by the Fire Nation.
The three friends start a journey to help Aang learn how to bend the other three elements, in order to defeat the fire lord and bring peace. In the mean time Katara, who's the last waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, will perfect her waterbending.
Down the line they'll also meet Toph, a very powerful blind earthbender, who'll join the gaang (see what I did there? This is canon, so that's how you know this is the best anime ever) and teach Aang how to earthbend.
She's so cool and makes a lot of jokes about her blindness, treating it like an added feature and not a disability.
The gaang is also stalked by Zuko, the fire nation's prince, who's obsessed with capturing the avatar and is accompanied by his Uncle Iroh, who's an inspiration for us all, in fact, here are 10 life lessons from this show. The majority of them comes from him.
This show is one of the best anime and, actually, tv series that exist. And, trust me, I've seen so many of them and this is in my top three (and it's really difficult to get there). Also, this anime is probably the only thing millenials and Gen-Zs agree on (together with climate change and ok boomer jokes).
The character development! The relationships between them! The journey, the friendship, the adventures! And, let's be honest, how cool are those bending techniques? They're based on REAL Chinese martial arts!
Also, how well the characteristics of the benders mirror their element! This show has shaped a generation (and, maybe, more than one) and I'm so happy that it's back in my world.
So, what are you waiting for? Go watch it!
Illustration by Claudia