‘Avatar the Last Airbender’ is one of the most important moments of anime

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  • Netflix’s live-action Avatar adaptation loses a key scene without including the events of episodes like “The Deserter”

  • The episode “The Deserter” teaches the audience and Aang about the importance of discipline and the dangers of rushing into things.

  • By removing “The Deserter,” Netflix missed out on important insight into the culture of the Fire Nation and the philosophy behind firebending.

Released in 2005, Avatar The Last Airbender Brought audiences into a fantasy world where humans can control the elements, they are currently caught in a hundred-year-long war started by the imperialist Fire Nation. The only person who can stop them is Aang, the last of the Air Nomads and the most recent incarnation of the Avatar, who can single-handedly master all four elements. This year, Netflix released a live-action adaptation of the show, which has received a mixed response due to several changes to the story and characters. In compressing the first season’s 20 episodes into eight hour-long episodes, a lot of great material was lost. One of these omissions was the crucial episode, “The Deserter”. which had a massive impact on Aang’s emotional journey,

Avatar The Last Airbender

In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar and begin a dangerous mystical quest to bring peace to the world.

release date

21 February 2005

season’s

3

What happens in “The Deserter”

“The Deserter” sees Team Avatar attending the Fire Nation Festival, hoping to find Aang (zach tyler eisen) Might pick up a thing or two about firebending. When their cover is blown, they are helped by a former Fire Nation soldier named Che (John Kasir, He takes them to Jeong Jeong (keon young, A firebending master who rejected the Fire Nation’s war of conquest And became the first member of the army to successfully defect. At first, he refuses to train Aang, as he has not yet mastered water and Earth, but after the intervention of the previous incarnation, Roku (james garrett), Jeong Jeong agrees.

To Ang’s dismay, Jeong Jeong’s lessons are not about controlling fire, but about discipline and self-control. This naturally doesn’t sit well with the impatient young Air Nomad. When Jeong Jeong walks away, Aang decides to create some fire of his own and immediately begins trying to copy some of the moves he saw at the festival. This causes him to lose control of the flames and Katara’s hands get burned. ,mae whitman, Although she can heal herself through waterbending, this incident causes Aang to become fearful of firebending, and the group is forced to flee when Admiral Zhao (jason isaac) attacks them.

“The Deserter” teaches an important lesson

Sokka, Katara and Aang wearing Fire Nation festival masks

Image via Nickelodeon

The main lesson of “The Deserter” is about the dangers of ignoring discipline and rushing into something you don’t understand. Since Roku tells Aang that he must master the elements before the return of Sozin’s Comet at the end of the summer, and he learns that there is a firebending master who won’t try to capture him on sight, Aang naturally wants to hurry up and learn as much as possible about fire.,

This fits with Aang’s personality: he is not only a twelve-year-old boy, but a bending genius who quickly learns new skills. This was shown in the episode “The Waterbending Scroll”, where Aang surpasses Katara in waterbending after trying it once. Yet Jeong Jeong tells Ang that, To master the discipline of bending, you must first master the discipline itself, He constantly emphasizes that controlling a fire is not as simple as throwing fireballs, but knowing how and when to use it to prevent the fire from getting out of control. Before he can do what he wants, that is, wield fire as a weapon, he must first respect its destructive potential.

This is one of the show’s most universal lessons that resonates with all audiences regardless of age. People are always tempted to skip small steps to reach the final result. But bad things happen when one tries to rush towards completion without taking proper steps. Aang learns this when his careless use of fire burns Katara’s hands, which has a massive impact on his character. He develops a fear of learning about fire, which requires a lot of self-reflection and growth to overcome. The use of Admiral Zhao in the climax also helps to further this lesson of discipline and self-control. Aang overpowers Zhao by playing on his lack of discipline with his fire, causing him to destroy his boats in his reckless attempts to claim the Avatar.

Jeong Jeong also teaches Ang an important lesson regarding destiny., When he tries to use his status as the Avatar to justify learning about fire, Jeong Jeong replies: “What would a boy know about destiny? If a fish spends its entire If he spends his life in this river, does he know the destiny of the river? No! Only that it flows continuously, beyond his control. He can follow it wherever it flows, but he cannot see the end. “Can’t. He can’t imagine the ocean.” It emphasizes that destiny is always in motion and that a young man like Aang, who has not lived enough life to experience beyond his narrow worldview, can’t understand the big picture, This is proof of how mature it is of incarnation Was writing.

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“The Deserter” shows a new side of Agni and the Fire Nation

Because of the war and the imperialist culture of the Fire Nation, Avatar I was not able to understand the nature of fire the way I could with air, water and earth. “The Deserter” changed it Introducing a firebender who is willing to talk to Team Avatar rather than fight them., Jeong tells Jeong Ang that fire is different from other elements because it lives, breathes, and grows. It is in its nature to consume its surroundings and expand to greater extent. This, in turn, helps explain why, of all nations, it was the Fire Nation who were the first to attack and start the Hundred Years’ War, and why their technology is so much more advanced than the others. Like their essence, it is in their being to evolve.

Jeong Jeong himself also helps show how the Fire Nation has distorted the idea of ​​fire among its citizens. Fire is now believed to be an element bent upon utter destruction, which, as Jeong Jeong says, forces firebenders to walk a path between humanity and barbarism until they are torn to pieces. -Don’t break into pieces. This led Jeong Jeong to despise his gift of firebending, regarding it as a burden, and adopt a more pessimistic view of the element, idealizing waterbending for its healing and life-giving properties. Yet when Zhao attacks, Xiong Xiong performs the most impressive firebending in the show, creating a wall of fire so large that it could span a river. He has found ways to use his element to be defensive, Using fire as a deterrent rather than a destructive force, season 3 of Avatar The non-destructive aspects of fire were further explored in the fan-favorite episode, “The Firebending Masters”.

How does Netflix’s ‘Avatar’ fare without “The Deserter”?

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By cutting the plot of “The Desert” from its adaptation, Netflix Avatar All this insight is lost in firebending. Without the celebration in the Fire Nation village, viewers miss the opportunity to see how the Fire Nation people live and celebrate their culture. Without Jeong Jeong, there is no member of the Fire Nation’s culture. Shows how suicidal and harmful their ideology has becomeOr gives Team Avatar insight into the beauty and dangers of fire as an element.

Then there’s Aang’s loss of Katara by burning him, which feels shocking since Netflix has toned down Aang’s playfulness and made him more serious and committed to his duty. It would have been very easy to slot in A lesson about the dangers of rushing into something without understanding it, Unfortunately, the live-action series’ decision to cut this story away robbed audiences of one of the most philosophical and impactful moments of the animated show’s first season.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is available on Paramount+

Watch on Paramount+

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