hymnia: (Avatar group hug)
I’m finally on the home stretch, with the first part of the four-part finale. Yay!

Chapter 18: Sozin’s Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King )

Commentary track )

Joie
hymnia: (Avatar group hug)
Commentary track on “The Southern Raiders”, including Dante Basco )

Commentary track on “The Ember Island Players”, including Jack DeSena and Jessie Flower )

*****

I don't have much to say about Ember Island Players, so I'm not going to post a separate review of it. I think it's clever that the creators managed to come up with a creative way to review the story before the finale, and I like the way they poke fun at their show, its genre, and fan reactions/expectations. But the best part of the episode is how the characters react to their own past actions and to each other's. My favorite examples of this are:
  • The awkward look Aang and Zuko give each other when the Blue Spirit “rescues” actor Aang, who pronounces him “my hero”. (In a bizarre twist, the play stages it as the Blue Spirit rescuing Aang from Prince Zuko.)
  • The pained look on Zuko's face when he watches his actor self betray his uncle in Ba Sing Se and Katara asks if he really said those horrible things to Iroh.
  • The horrified looks of all the characters when they watch their own defeat at the hands of Azula and Ozai.
In general I love Zuko's reactions the best in this episode. Of all the characters, he has the most to look back on with shame and regret, and the faces he makes as he watches the show range from priceless to heart-breaking. I like the way Toph cheers him up during the intermission, too. :)

All that's left now is the four-part finale. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to break up the posts, but right now I'm leaning toward one for parts 1-2, one for parts 3-4, and one for all the commentary tracks, so a total of three posts. I reserve the right to change my mind, though. :P

Joie
hymnia: (Katara bend not break)
I mentioned in my spoiler addendum to my review of “The Firebending Masters” that the set of episodes starting with that one and ending with this one is a series of “field trips” in which Zuko has an adventure with each of the original members of the Gaang—that is, the three that he chased across the globe in Season 1. Later, in “Sozin's Comet, part 1” Toph complains that she doesn't get a field trip—but she doesn't need one, since she has no real grudge against Zuko, no painful history with him that needs to be undone like the others had. It is the original three (and not Toph, Suki, or any of the auxilliary characters) that Zuko most needs to bond with. Or it might be more accurate to say that they need to bond with him. All three field trips serve to connect Zuko to one other member of the Gaang by exploring what they have in common and what they can learn from each other. Let's review!

Aang and Zuko's field trip )

Sokka and Zuko's field trip )

The most emotionally intense field trip is saved for last. Zuko's common ground with Katara is more complex than what he shared with Aang or Sokka. In this episode, we revisit the moment they bonded over the loss they share—having their mothers taken from them by the Fire Nation—but this time, the angle is shared anger rather than shared sorrow. Zuko, in an effort to prove his worth to Katara, offers her something the others can't. He not only offers inside knowledge about the Fire Nation that helps to identify her mother's murderer, but he also affirms her anger and her need for justice—or at the least, for closure.

Ever since Zuko came, Katara has been in an almost constant fury—her face set in a rough and cruel expression, her body language tense and hard. She casts her blame on him. Why does she do this? And why does she grieve for her mother in a way that Sokka does not?

Chapter 16: The Southern Raiders )

This review ended up being a bit long, so I'm going to save the commentary track highlights for my next post, which will probably be combined with my review of “The Ember Island Players”.

Joie
hymnia: (Mai waiting)
This story arc could be summarized: “Sokka and Zuko go on a bachelor's getaway to deal with manly stuff like lost honor and daddy issues—only to find that they need their girlfriends more than ever.” XD

Chapters 14 and 15: The Boiling Rock )

This episode didn't have a commentary track, so I'm not making a separate post for it. I also don't have any friends or family members I expect to read this that need to stay spoiler-free, so don't worry about posting spoilers in the comments section. (I've also dropped the kiss count; I decided it was kind of silly.)

Joie
hymnia: (Aang dragon dance)
After a very long hiatus, I'm back to my Avatar re-watch project. The irony is that I've actually had two nearly-completed episode reviews sitting around on my hard drive for...um, over two years! But Mark Oshiro (of Mark Reads/Watches) has now passed me up with his ATLA reviews, so I thought I'd better get a move on, and finish what I started.

A couple of notes on the format:

1. In the home stretch, I've decided to do two episodes at a time, so that I can really dwell on all of my favorite moments from the series' dénouement.
2. I’m also going to write about each episode in the style of a review, rather than just doing a drive-by reaction the way I used to. (This is the main reason why this post has been held up for TWO YEARS.)
3. Just a reminder: I will do one spoiler-free review that only contains info through the current episode, and then I will do a second post with anything I may have to say that relates to later episodes. Please keep comments to *this* post spoiler-free.
4. I'll still include info from the commentary tracks, as appropriate, but I'm going to put all commentary info in the spoiler post.

Chapter 12: The Western Air Temple )
Chapter 13: The Firebending Masters )

Joie

P.S. Remember to keep comments to this post SPOILER-FREE. Spoiler-y comments can go on the next post.
hymnia: (Default)
This post is for commentary with SPOILERS for episodes beyond Book 3, Ep. 11.

I don't have much more to say at this point, though, probably because there are only a few episodes left in the series, and therefore not very many spoilers if you've watched up to this point. There was just one little thing on episode 11:

Chapter 11: The Day of Black Sun, part 2: The Eclipse – SPOILERS )

Joie
hymnia: (Default)
Finally, I've got some time (and energy) to do another Avatar re-watch post. From here on out, I'll be doing two episodes at a time, because there's just so much good stuff from here until the end, and I don't want these posts to be TL;DR.

Info from the commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 10: The Day of Black Sun, part 1: The Invasion )

Chapter 11: The Day of Black Sun, part 2: The Eclipse )

Joie

P.S. Remember to keep comments here spoiler-free! If you have something spoiler-y to say, even if it's in response to this post, please comment in the next post instead. Thanks!
hymnia: (Default)
I've been meaning to post these pics for over a week now. My brother and one of my friends ([livejournal.com profile] demonalchemist9) and I did an Avatar cosplay group at Megacon weekend before last, and I thought the Avatar fans on my flist might enjoy seeing them. My bro and I dressed as Sokka and Katara (both costumes made by me, with a little help from [livejournal.com profile] demonalchemist9 and [livejournal.com profile] nessabutterfly), and [livejournal.com profile] demonalchemist9 dressed as Toph.

Avatar cosplay at Megacon 2009 )

And here are a few other pics of me and my friends at Megacon:

More Megacon 2009 )

Also, we finally got access to pictures form a photo shoot we did at JACON last year done by Wasabi Anime. The photographer was fantastic, and these turned out to be some of my favorite cosplay pictures I've ever had taken:

Risa Harada from DN Angel )

Rozen Maiden )

Sailor Moon )

Also, some quick notes about my Avatar re-watch posts and Furuba chapter discussions:

I have not forgotten my Avatar re-watch posts! I've been very busy, and it's sort of ended up on the back burner, but I have another post 90% done and should be posting in the next few days, and I do plan to finish up the rest of the series (and the season 3 bonus features).

Also, I wanted to let my friends from RandomFandom.com know that I've pretty much given up on the Furuba chapter discussions. However, when I finish my Avatar re-watch, I do plan to make similar Furuba chapter reaction posts on my own LJ (picking up where we left off, with "Sorta Cinderella"), and I hope that the Furuba fans on my flist will read them and leave comments, so in some way the discussion will go on. I just don't see the point in continuing at RF.com anymore, when it seems like no one besides me and [livejournal.com profile] umadoshi and maybe one or two other sporadic visitors was even reading the threads, much less commenting.

Joie
hymnia: (Default)
This disc has audio commentary on chapter 6. Info from the commentary tracks will be marked with a "C". (There is also commentary on Chapter 10, but I'm doing that on the next post.)

Chapter 6: The Avatar and the Firelord )

Chapter 7: The Runaway )

Chapter 8: The Puppetmaster )

Chapter 9: Nightmares and Daydreams )

I'm going to save the first part of "The Day of Black Sun" for the Disc 3 commentary, so I can do the two-part storyline in one go. What a bad place to break the discs up, you know?

Joie

P.S. Remember to keep comments here spoiler-free! If you have something spoiler-y to say, even if it's in response to this post, please comment in the next post instead. Thanks!
hymnia: (Default)
This post is for commentary with SPOILERS for episodes beyond Book 3, Disc 1. Info from the audio commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 1: The Awakening – SPOILERS  )

Chapter 4: Sokka's Master – SPOILERS )

Chapter 5: The Beach – SPOILERS )

Joie
hymnia: (Default)
This disc has audio commentary on chapters 4 and 5. Info from the commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 1: The Awakening )

Chapter 2: The Headband )

Chapter 3: The Painted Lady )

Chapter 4: Sokka's Master )

Chapter 5: The Beach )

Well, I have a lot to say about the casting news for the live action film. But I'll save it for another day. For now, let it suffice to say that after some initial waffling, I am now whole-heartedly on board with the boycott crowd. Stay tuned for more on this topic.

Joie

P.S. Remember to keep comments here spoiler-free! If you have something spoiler-y to say, even if it's in response to this post, please comment in the next post instead. Thanks!
hymnia: (Default)
Just in case anyone has a spoiler-y comment to my last post, please put it here.

Joie
hymnia: (Default)
This post is for commentary with SPOILERS for episodes beyond Book 2, Disc 4. Info from the audio commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 17: Lake Laogai – SPOILERS )

Chapter 18: The Earth King – SPOILERS )

Chapter 19: The Guru – SPOILERS )

Chapter 20: The Crossroads of Destiny – SPOILERS )

All right, now I just have the bonus disc left and I will be done with season 2. After, that, I'm taking a little break until school gets out for the holidays, to keep myself from going crazy (and also to allow some friends to pass around my season 3 DVDs and get caught up).

Joie
hymnia: (Default)
This disc has audio commentary on chapters 17, 18, and 20. Info from the commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 16: Appa's Lost Days )

Chapter 17: Lake Laogai )

Chapter 18: The Earth King )

Chapter 19: The Guru )

Chapter 20: The Crossroads of Destiny )

An excellent (and very positive) review of Avatar was linked to in [livejournal.com profile] avatar_fans. I recommend reading it, if you haven't already.

Also, as evidence of Avatar's broad appeal I offer this: My 2-year-old nephew enjoys watching the show whenever his grown-ups put it on in his presence. His mom attests that he was saying something that sounded like "adatar" with excitement the other day while eating applesauce, and switched to saying something more like "appletar". His mom thinks this was his way of making a joke—baby's first play on words, maybe? Anyway, he can say all the main characters names, given a bit of prodding, which brought me and some friends who were over at our house the other night no end of amusement. His pronunciation of "K'tara" is particularly cute. Also, his mom says he runs around saying "Fire Nation" a lot, so apparently he's an FNS as well. :)

Joie

P.S. Remember to keep comments here spoiler-free! If you have something spoiler-y to say, even if it's in response to this post, please comment in the next post instead. Thanks!
hymnia: (Default)
This disc has audio commentary on chapters 12 and 14. Info from the commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 11: The Desert )

Chapter 12: Journey to Ba Sing Se, Part 1 – The Serpent's Pass )

Chapter 13: Journey to Ba Sing Se, Part 2 – The Drill )

Chapter 14: City of Walls and Secrets )

Chapter 15: Tales of Ba Sing Se )

Joie

P.S. Remember to keep comments here spoiler-free! If you have something spoiler-y to say, even if it's in response to this post, please comment in the next post instead. Thanks!
hymnia: (Default)
This post is for commentary with SPOILERS for episodes beyond Book 2, Disc 2. Again, info from the commentary tracks will be marked with a "C".

Chapter 6: The Blind Bandit – SPOILERS )

Chapter 7: Zuko Alone – SPOILERS )

Chapter 8: The Chase – SPOILERS )

Chapter 9: Bitter Work – SPOILERS )

Chapter 10: The Library – SPOILERS )

Joie

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