Avatar Book 1, Vol. 2: The Last Airbender (Bilingual)
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Avatar The Last Airbender, Book 1: Water, Volume 2 continues the adventurous if half-comic journey of 12-year-old Airbender Aang, reincarnation of an ancient avatar, and his friends Katara and Sokka as they seek a teacher to help Aang fulfill his peacemaking destiny in a war-torn world. The four episodes on this disc, a follow-up to the elegant, magical series introduction, find the trio wandering through sundry Earth Nation cities, where they encounter signs of troubles between the once-harmonious, elemental tribes representing fire, earth, air, and water. They also bump into trouble with the occasional evil kingdom, as in "The King of Omashu," where Aang must go through various trials to save Katara and Sokka from a bizarre execution. (They're encased in growing, crystal structures.) "Imprisoned" finds Katara inadvertently responsible for the arrest of an Earthbending boy who dares to use his powers while his people are under Firebender occupation. The ambitious, two-part "Winter Solstice" is the best production in this collection, a pairing of storylines involving the capture of a Firebender war criminal and the hopes of a frightened village that turns to Aang to defeat a monster from the spirit world. The action is still original and fun on this sequel--most of it continues to be based on exciting uses of the elements--and the lead trio's characters (Aang the scamp, Katara the idealist, Sokka the skeptic) are still a pleasure to be with. --Tom Keogh