Avatar The Last Air Bender Live-Action Series Is A Disappointment Made With Love

I won’t say that the series is not good, but from an Avatar fanboy perspective, it was not as good as I expected.

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3 Min Read
Posted: February 28, 2024

I have watched the original Avatar the Last Air Bender series multiple times. I like to think that I am a true fan of the series, so you can imagine how happy I got when I heard that Netflix is working on a new Reimagined Avatar the Last air bender live-action series that will be directed by the original series directors Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, there was this hope that finally Avatar fans will get a proper live-action adaptation of the series.

But this happiness was short-lived as Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko announced that they would leave this project due to creative differences. From there on, Albert Kim took on the project, and after multiple delays, the series aired on Netflix 6 years after its first announcement, but this 6 years of wait led to another disappointment. I won’t say that the series is not good, but from an Avatar fanboy perspective, it was not as good as I expected.

Here is my take on the good and bad of this new “Reimagined” Avatar, the Last Air Bender live-action series.

Avatar: The Last Air Bender – Casting

FIRST LOOK: Netflix's 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' live-action

Regarding the casting, I think the production has done a pretty good job of casting most characters. Comier as Aang was a perfect choice as Comier gives Aanng a vibe everyone wanted to see in this series. He’s played the character so well that even someone who hasn’t watched the original series can easily connect with the character. The same goes for Kiawentiio, as Katara has played the character. She has shown Katara’s genuinely lovely side perfectly through her acting and has also managed to showcase Katara’s growing confidence in her water-bending skills. Ousley as Sokka was also a good choice as he has managed to play perfectly. The role of a warrior who will do anything to save his people, but I think he could have done better by showing Sokka’s funny and sarcastic side.

The casting of Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh and Dallas Liu as Zuko were also some good choices, as both actors did a pretty good job of showcasing the emotions of their characters. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee has shown Iroh’s soft and wise character, who loves and cares about Zuko like his son.

Even though many have criticized Dallas Liu as Zuko, I personally think he’s done a perfect job of bringing the character to life.

The whole cast has done a pretty good job at playing their characters. But a few things could have been done to make the series reach its maximum potential.

Avatar: The Last Air Bender – Writing

I think the writing was weak. Multiple scenes could have been more powerful and impactful, but the production failed due to bland dialogues. If you look at the original Avatar: The Last Air Bender anime, you will see that Sokka’s strong sense of humor and perfectly timed sarcasm played a vital role in shaping the series, but the new live-action lacked that humor and sarcasm, even tho Ousley has done a perfect job at playing his character but still due to lousy writing he seems off in a few scenes.

The same can be said about Irho’s character. The writers could have done a far better job showing the old wise man, as his wise advice in the original series played a crucial element in shaping Zuko’s personality.

Aside from a few minor flaws, the script was good, especially the way they managed to emphasize more on characters like Gyatso. This gave us a better view of the relationship between Aang and Gyatso and helped us connect better with a character not given much screen time in the original series. Another thing I liked about the writing was that the writers decided to provide Ozai with more screen time. It was a good choice as it gave them more room to explore his personality and provided more insight into Zuko’s and Ozai’s relationship before he started searching for the avatar.

Avatar: The Last Air Bender – VFX

Avatar: The Last Airbender' Live Action Release Date, Trailer and Photos - Netflix Tudum

As far as the VFX goes, I think the production has done an excellent job of bringing the series to life, and that can be seen by just looking at some of the animals shown in the series, for example, in the first scene where Appa is shown you can see the amount of work the team has put in making the VFX look as good as possible. However, there are still a few flaws, for example, when we see Azula in Omashu. The background looks fake, and in some scenes, the lighting is not on point, but the team has done a fantastic job making sure things look as natural as possible.

If we talk about the costumes, I think the team has done a fantastic job recreating the costumes from the anime. Almost all characters had similar costumes to what they had in the anime.

How Does It Compare To The Anime?

Avatar: the Last Airbender' Live-Action Show: Netflix Cast Vs. Cartoon

The new reimagined Avatar, the last Air Bender series, is not the perfect live-action, nor does it come anywhere close to the original Avatar anime, but at least it’s better than the movie. The new live-action has flaws, like poor writing, but it also had some excellent points that brought back many good memories. It was nostalgic, but it’s still not as good as the original series.

The show is good but nothing matches the og azula and gang casting could have been better but overall I give it a solid 7.5/10 on what it is – Abdul Hadi, Avatar Fan

Final Thoughts

In short, the new Avatar series could not capture the magic of the original anime. There were a lot of flaws, but there were also a few scenes. Despite all its flaws, they captured enough of the impact of the original series. This series will set a new direction for this direction, and hopefully, the team will work on the feedback and make the remaining season based on this feedback.

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