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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of four elements
Most western animation for children is, to put it simply, really wretched. At best, it's tolerable.

But a shining exception would be the tale of the Avatar of all four elements, and to restore the balance in the world. "Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1" serves as a solid first season to this series, with its colourful world, vivid action and complex...
Published on May 16 2010 by E. A Solinas

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Broken
The plastic things that hold the disc into its case were broken. It shipped with two discs shuffling around freely inside, which resulted in them getting scratched. I was quite embarrassed because it was a gift.
Published 2 months ago by Janine Esplin


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of four elements, May 16 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Most western animation for children is, to put it simply, really wretched. At best, it's tolerable.

But a shining exception would be the tale of the Avatar of all four elements, and to restore the balance in the world. "Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1" serves as a solid first season to this series, with its colourful world, vivid action and complex characters. It may be aimed at kids, but it's a solid enough series to be enjoyed by any age.

South Pole Water Tribe siblings Katara and Sokka stumble across a glowing iceberg, with a young Airbender boy named Aang (and his flying bison) sealed inside. All Airbenders were killed long ago by the Fire Nation -- and Aang is the Avatar who mysteriously vanished a century ago, and is the only hope against the Fire Nation.

Unfortunately, a Fire Nation prince named Zuko has been wandering the world in search of Aang, and agrees to let the Water Tribe alone if Aang surrenders. Katara and Sokka manage to rescue their friend, and since Katara isn't experienced enough in waterbending to teach Aang, they set out for the North Pole to find a waterbending master -- with Zuko and his cruel rival Admiral Zhao in hot pursuit.

Along the way, they encounter hurricanes, woman warriors, a loopy old king who seems very familiar, a Spirit World Beast, pirates, teenage rebels, two tribes locked in an eternal feud, a mysterious blue masked man, fortunetellers, a rogue Firebender, and an Air Temple turned into a steampunk city. But when they arrive at the north pole, Aang and his friends find that their time is running out...

The highest compliment I can pay "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is that it's like a thoroughly solid action/fantasy anime. It's graced with good writing, excellent animation, and a general look drawn from Asian and Inuit cultures -- not to mention different civilizations clashing against the steampunky armored tanks and ships of the Fire Nation.

That isn't to say that it's all grim and serious -- it's quite the opposite. Lots of amusing dialogue ("I'm too young to die!" "I'm not, but I still don't wanna!"), slapstick, and flashy fights involving eruptions of fire, swirling water and blasts of air. It all culminates in a brilliantly epic clash, which wraps up the season nicely while leaving the way open for Aang's next lessons.

Aang is a kind and selfless kid, but still a kid -- plenty of turmoil over his role as the Avatar and his past mistakes, but he's still down-to-earth and sometime spacey. Katara and Sokka make good companions -- a sensible, short-fused girl with waterbending powers, and her reckless, courageous brother. And though he's technically a villain, the scarred, exiled prince Zuko is a brilliant anti-hero. And his lovably pervy uncle Iroh makes for good comic relief ("I'm certain you bathe regularly"), but there are hints that he's much more than that.

The special edition is being released in time for the live-action adaptation, and it adds a sleek blue "book" case with silver detailing. There are going to be seven discs instead of the usual six, with extra stuff -- an exclusive documentary, a paperback companion for artwork and designs, and so on. This could be worth it if you're just discovering "Avatar," but I wouldn't advise buying it if you already have the regular "Book 1."

"Avatar The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1" has a few initial wobbles, but quickly blossoms into a brilliant little show. Definitely worth seeing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, April 23 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
Just some extra info.

It was delivered on time, it was brand new and in a cardboard box and basically there is a thick cover for the DVDs (as shown above). I pulled the DVD case (nicely drawn Avatar theme on it)out of the cover. The case was presented like a brochure (folded) and it had 6 DVDs inside, each one with its own spot, the 6 DVDs neatly overlapping each other. Each one has different characters/images on them.
I played the DVD's on my HD DVD player and it was slightly blurry (very hard to notice this). But I played it on regular DVD players (sony, htech) and it was perfect.
The sound (sufficiently loud) and picture quality (clear) was great. I liked the menu that appeared at the beginning. Each DVD has short, extra behind-the-scenes info. and has 4 episodes in it, with the opening theme and ending song for each episode.

The storyline is nice, it's a cute, funny series with just the right amount of action. My younger siblings love watching it together. I feel like learning martial arts when I watch it with them.
Btw, I also bought the 3rd DVD volume from amazon and it is equally satisfying. Hope this review was helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, Oct. 6 2010
By 
elfdart - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
This was one of the most well-crafted, imaginative, adventurous, addicting show's I've seen in a long time. It's so well put together and the world they've created is such a fascinating place.

The story takes place in a world where certain groups of people are connected to or have an affinity with a certain element. There are 4 nations all together; fire, water, earth, and air. Some people in these four nations have a special ability to manipulate the element their nation is associated with and these people are called benders. A person can only bend one element, but there is one person called the Avatar who can bend all four elements. The Avatar is reborn into each of the nations in the order of earth, fire, air, water. On the year the avatar is born into the air nation however, he disappears and the fire nation attacks the rest of the world to expand their empire dramatically. For 100 years the avatar is nowhere to be seen until one day two adolescents from the water nation come upon something in the ice. When the girl, Katara, breaks it apart a small boy emerges from the ice with a large flying bison, the boy is the avatar. After a run in with a fire nation raid, wherein we meet the prince of the fire nation, Zuko, the two water nation kids, Saka and Katara, go with the avatar to help him learn the four elements and become a fully realized avatar. This isn't as easy as it seems however. The fire nation has become a wide-spread terror and they are looking for the avatar to kill him. They have wiped out the entire air nation in hopes of killing the avatar, but missed Aang as he was buried in an ice block. The three go around world inspiring hope in those who have lost it, and becoming stronger as they learn more about themselves and the people they come across. There are three seasons in total; Book One: Water, Book Two: Earth, Book Three: Fire, and with each season Aang works on learning a new element and someone joins the group.

I think this series is so successful because there is real danger. I've read that the creators were fans of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and that definitely shows, not because the story line imitates those stories, because it doesn't, but because there is a definite and real danger that follows Aang and gang (sorry I had to) around. There is the possibility that their enemies will catch up with them and if that happens, the avatar will never become fully realized and the fire nation will terrorize and enslave the rest of the world forever. The entire world is resting on their shoulders. And yet it isn't too serious or depressing. There are several really funny scenes and for the most part the series is very up beat.

The character development is great also. At the beginning of the series Aang is so carefree and fun-loving, Saka is so cautious and prejudiced, and they remain that way for the entire series but as more and more things happen to them we see them mature. They still keep their vitality and energy, Aang is always optimistic and Saka, though he's the comic relief, is always something of a buzz kill, but they grow from their experiences and become a little bit wiser with each encounter. The same thing with Katara, but her transformation isn't as apparent. In the entire series, she is the character that is the beacon of hope for all whom she meets. She always believes that any situation is possible and that the world will be saved and that all people are or can be essentially good. Many instances in the series she stops the journey to help someone who has lost hope or who is being taken advantage or abused, despite the rest of the group's urgings to push on. Their adventure began by Katara first breaking Aang out of the ice and then insisting on journeying with him. She's more practical and almost motherly compared the other characters, but she is also the gutsiest of the group and is most likely to do what is right no matter the consequences. She is also a very strong female character, which is hard to find many tv shows, for both kids and adults. If there is action the woman is either wilting and useless or hard-hearted and ruthless. There is rarely a female character that displays a quiet strength in the way Katara does. She's one of my favourite characters. Toph, a character in the later seasons, has just as much inner strength as Katara, but again displays that differently. She is a little more rough around the edges, and is blind, which I thought was great because blind people are rarely main characters, and if they are their blindness is most often seen as a weakness or a crutch. But many times Toph's blindness is a strength, as she has used that handicap to heighten other senses. Many times I forgot that she was blind. She also grows immensely, more emotionally than anything else.

The animation is good, if somewhat childish. Basically the animation is presumably targeting an elementary aged audience, and the content is appropriate for that level. However this somewhat underplays the show's potential for an older audience. Many people I've spoken to have heard of the show, but haven't watched it because it looked like a kid's show, which of course it is, but then again so is Harry Potter and that has a world-wide audience of all ages. The characters are rich and multi-faceted. I won't go into too much detail so as not to spoil anything, but the characters' growth as well as characters' break downs are very well done. Also, the ways the creators thought of using the bending was really ingenious and well thought out. My favourite example of this I cannot tell you, because if you're watching the show and think as I do, when you discover that part it will blow you mind with awesome a little bit. For those who have seen the show it's the part in the third season when Katara meets that old woman. This may just be my inner nerd breaking free, but it's pretty cool to say the least. So bottom line, if you haven't seen this show you should. It has adventure, romance, heart-break, combat, political intrigue, and magic. A little bit of something for everyone.

Also, the movie fails in comparison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Show, Jan. 25 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
Avatar: The Last Airbender is an amazing series created by Nickelodeon. Copying the artistic styles from Japan, Avatar manages to tell an amazing story of a boy, Aang, who needs to save the world from an evil tyrant (the Fire Lord). Throughout this journey he meets many people, some who become his allies and others who will become his enemies. In this part of the series, Aang must learn the power of waterbending and must travel to the North while facing many challenges.

Although the story has a basic premise it still manages to be extremely unique due to the charming and endearing characters. Aang is joined by many people, two of whom (Katara and Sokka) become his traveling allies during his journey to defeat the Fire Lord. Throughout their journey, they all learn to depend on one another and often the witty dialogue between the three of them is the main source of comedy. Aang is also being hunted by the Fire Lord's son, Zuko, who while has evil intentions, is still a very well-rounded character whom we feel for.

Many people in the world of Avatar have unique powers that allow them to move the elements of the world (water, wind, fire, earth). Aang is the last being who can bend the element of air (and thus the name airbender) but he is also the Avatar, a being who has the power to learn all four elements. Each element is presented differently and is very noticeable when they fight (earthbenders are more sturdy and powerful while waterbenders rely on flow and fluid movement). The fight scenes are amazing in Avatar and it is very obvious that the animators have spent time studying the fighting styles each characters uses.

While I find Avatar: The Last Airbender to be and amazing series, I didn't give the box set a perfect score for a few reasons. Although the box set includes a few extra bonus features, like commentaries from the cast and creators, and a few short videos about how they created the concept, there isn't a subtitle option. I know this may seem a bit petty in comparison but the subtitles are something that should be automatically included in every DVD/Bluray movie/tv series. Subtitles also many be needed for the viewer.

With a few things lacking in the box set, I find that overall Avatar: The Last Airbender to be an amazing series that needs to be watched.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discovering a masterpiece., Aug. 14 2007
By 
Valerie Gravel "Electrastar" (Quebec, Canada.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have to admit that when I saw television commercials of "Avatar: The Last Airbender", I didn't think much of it. I though to myself:"Another atempt at "American Anime""
Well, I kept hearing more and more about it on the Internet, rave reviews and massive fandom...my interest grew.
I finally decided to buy the boxset, and mind you, I do not regret it (even if I feel the price is a little high).
Avatar is an instant hit. Fans of martial arts movies and fantasy buffs alike will like this title. Its just fun to see the story and its characters evolve from episode to episode. It's an epic "quest" to save the world, and even if has been done before, this one has its own orignal twist with a world all of its own based on ancient China.
Great animation, which is surprising for an American title (must be because all the animating took place in Korea). The voice acting and music are well done too.
Adults and children alike will like this series. I'm 24 (soon to be 25) and I own all of the dvds that have been released to date and I am eagerly awaiting the release of Book III-Fire-Volume-1
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of four elements, June 5 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
Most western animation for children is, to put it simply, really wretched. At best, it's tolerable.

But a shining exception would be the tale of the Avatar of all four elements, and to restore the balance in the world. "Avatar The Last Airbender - Book 1" serves as a solid first season to this series, with its colourful world, vivid action and complex characters. It may be aimed at kids, but it's a solid enough series to be enjoyed by any age.

South Pole Water Tribe siblings Katara and Sokka stumble across a glowing iceberg, with a young Airbender boy named Aang (and his flying bison) sealed inside. All Airbenders were killed long ago by the Fire Nation. You guessed it (and so does Katara): Aang is the Avatar who mysteriously vanished a century ago, and is the only hope against the Fire Nation. And, uh, he's a total goofball.

Unfortunately, a Fire Nation prince named Zuko has been wandering the world in search of Aang, and agrees to let the Water Tribe alone if Aang surrenders. Of course, Katara and Sokka set out to rescue their friend, and since Katara isn't experienced enough in waterbending to teach Aang how to do it, they set out for the North Pole to find a waterbending master.

Along the way, the three friends encounter hurricanes, woman warriors, a loopy old king who seems very familiar, Aang's ruined temple, a Spirit World Beast, a waterbending scroll, pirates, teenage rebels, two tribes locked in an eternal feud, a mysterious man in a blue mask, fortunetellers, a rogue Firebender, and an Air Temple turned into a steampunk palace.

But through the journey, Aang is confronted by the vast changes from the last century, and they are constantly attacked by the desperate Zuko, and his arrogant rival General Zhao. And when they arrive at the icy citadel at the North Pole, Aang finds that saving his friends may be far more difficult than he expected...

The highest compliment I can pay "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is that it's like a thoroughly solid action/fantasy anime, with lots of elemental fights. Though it starts off on a typical quest, it's graced with good writing, excellent animation, and a general look drawn from Asian and Inuit cultures.

Though most of "Book 1: Water" is made up of one-episode stories, the writers nevertheless weave subplots through it. The world itself is a simple but well-realized one, with different civilizations clashing against the steampunky armored tanks and ships of the Fire Nation. Assassinations, captures, escapes and spiritual journeys are all interwoven into this story.

That isn't to say that it's all grim and serious -- it's quite the opposite. Lots of amusing dialogue ("I'm too young to die!" "I'm not, but I still don't wanna!"), slapstick, and flashy fights involving eruptions of fire, swirling water and blasts of air. It all culminates in a brilliantly epic clash, which wraps up the season nicely while leaving the way open for Aang's next lessons.

And they do a good job with the characters -- Aang is a kind and selfless kid, but still a kid. He has plenty of inner guilt and turmoil over his role as the Avatar and his past mistakes, but is still down-to-earth enough to tell an amazed fortune-teller, "Yeah, yeah, I knew that already. But did it say anything about a girl?" Katara and Sokka make good companions -- a sensible, short-fused girl with waterbending powers, and her rather reckless, courageous brother.

And though technically the antagonist, scarred teenager Zuko also is worthy of note -- as the series winds on, we see how desperate he is to regain his lost honor, and the horrible event that led to his exile. He's the exact opposite of the nasty, proud Zhao -- and his lovably pervy uncle Iroh makes for good comic relief ("I'm certain you bathe regularly"), but there are hints that he's much more than that.

"Avatar The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1" has a few initial wobbles, but quickly blossoms into a brilliant little show. Definitely worth seeing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Season Review, July 12 2010
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
Ever since I completed this series I knew that I would be purchasing it for rewatching purposes. This series has amazingly fleshed out characters with believable motivations who evolve believably throughout the series, is brilliant and introducing natural moments of humor and most importantly has continuity that builds on itself and really sets this universe apart even among other well written shows (comparably in my mind to Terry Pratchett's Discworld.)

This first book sets the foundation for the other two, and while I prefer the last two seasons more as the characters have mastered more interesting skills, I can see myself rewatching this season many times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, Jan. 16 2011
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
Despite the bad review I recently watched the last airbender movie, and I really liked it. I couldn't understand the bad reviews, but they all seemed to be comparisons with Avatar the animated series. So I bought a copy of book one and went through it like nothing. I then went through books two and three. All I can say is it was an amazing series. I went back to the movie and was disappointed just like the reviews, the series was just so good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, but would also recommend that the movie is watched first to avoid the disappointment. Happy watching!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good animation picture for kids, Jan. 16 2011
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
As the first complete book out of 3 for Avatar - the Last Airbender, it is full of wonders and surprises and fun to watch! Although the pictures in this book are not of the same quality and sophistication'as those in the last two books, I have to admit some pictures are very artistic and beautiful. The story itself is amazingly attractive and provides good educational materials for kids on things like friendship, discipline, resolution, and hard work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great start, Aug. 31 2010
This review is from: Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (DVD)
The Book of Water is a great way to introduce the show. While it can be a bit inconsistent, it definitely finds its craft early on.
This season deals with discovering the Avatar for who he was before he was discovered in ice, the attacks of the Fire Nation and sets a direction for the next season.
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