How a “kid’s show” helped me grow up

Aang

Avatar the Last Airbender is and always will be my favorite show of all time. It was an animated cartoon series on Nickolodeon starring Aang, the last individual who could not only “bend” air but master all four elements (water, earth, fire, air). I know I am biased because I grew up watching this “kid’s cartoon show”. However, at that time, with all the invaluable life lessons, it was exactly what I needed. The Avatar series was more than mere entertainment. It was a deep representation of Asian culture that was cool… yet mature. It portrayed movement and martial arts in a colorful way. On top of that, the storyline and character development was intriguing along with the action scenes mixed in.

What moved me with the Avatar series was how deeply it spoke to me. Feeling under pressure to learn yet trying to find balance was something I felt as a Filipino-American student growing up. As a boy facing difficult challenges, struggling to find peace of mind spiritually was something I felt. Another relatable element was enjoying nature and life, especially the aquariums and trail hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A nice added bonus for me was listening to the voice of Filipino-American Dante Basco play Zuko, the exiled prince of the firebenders who had one of the most interesting character development arcs of all time. You may have recognized Dante Basco as Rufio from Hook, the Peter Pan story starring Robin Williams. Although I can say many more things about Avatar, I am going to keep this post short and finish off with videos that I hope you enjoy.

Here is the moving scene with Uncle Iroh & Zuko demonstrating real maturity and how to avoid getting caught up in emotions of anger, especially as a firebender:

Here is my personal favorite Avatar the Last Airbender AMV:

Last, but not least, as a dedicated fan, here is my Legend of Korra AMV:

 

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