Thursday, July 19, 2012

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Part 2

Usually this would include a video review with Venessa but she wasn’t in the mood to participate.  She did however read The Promise Part 2.  Twice.  And so have I.  That's how much we love this series.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Part 2 picks up immediately after Part 1.  Now that Fire Lord Zuko is reluctant to force the relocation of the Fire Nation colonists from Yu Dao, Aang and Katara travel to Ba Sing Se hoping for a peaceful resolution between the Earth King and the young Fire Lord, taking a bit of a detour when they visit Aang’s fan club.  Sokka decides to join Toph at her metalbending school and finds she has her hands full with a firebending master coming back to reclaim the building that had once been his before the Harmony Restoration Movement and which Toph has been using for her metalbending school.  Sokka, hoping for a calm resolution, suggests Toph’s metalbending students face the firebending master’s students.  The problem is, Toph’s students have not mastered metalbending.  In fact, they haven’t even been able to bend metal at all!  And while Zuko’s under a lot of pressure by both Fire Nation citizens and his promise to the Earth Kingdom, his relationship with Mai has been neglected and she stands up for herself in a very surprising way.

In Part 2 we get to spend more time with Aang and we see a bit of Zuko too but we’re mostly following Toph’s story.  I think Aang got short changed again.  I was hoping to see more of him and how he’s developed but mostly what you get is fan girls squeeing over him which was already done in Book 1 Episode 4 The Warriors of Kyoshi.  This time he is much more mature about the situation but I feel like we’ve been there done that, so let’s move on please.  Things get more interesting once he and Katara meet with the Earth King but that is brief, yet troubling, and I hope to see more of Aang the Avatar in Part 3.

This was, like I said, Toph’s story and I really enjoyed it.  She’s still herself, calling her student’s lily livers and yelling at them.  We learn that after her experience teaching Aang earthbending she found she loves teaching.  She believes in her students and it eventually inspires them to want to succeed.  Toph is full of confidence and self assuredness, the very opposite of her students; three individuals who have never been challenged before and have never had anyone expect anything from them.  Seeing the start of Toph's metalbending school is very interesting.  For her to go from just three students to the Republic City police force with a well earned statue that stands in front of the building in her honor is a treat.  I also really liked the moments between Sokka and Toph.  You see a deep friendship and respect for each other.  There are also some really great exchanges and comic moments as they conspire to trick her students into bending metal.

The end to Part 2 has a very unexpected twist near the end.  Zuko’s girlfriend Mai is not happy with the way he has been hiding things from her and she makes a very bold decision that leaves him reeling but to find unexpected comfort from Suki.  I don’t have any problem with this and I can't wait to see where this leads to in Part 3.  It’s still a very surprising turn of events though.

It ends with the Earth King feeling like Zuko has broken his promise and insists that all Fire Nation colonists leave the Earth Kingdom for good.  Or else...  Does this mean another war is brewing?  Will Avatar Aang be able to keep the peace?  I don’t know and we have to wait until September to find out!

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