The Legend of Aang: Water

[SOEE #74]

This is the second of five Avatar shows, covering the first season of this amazing animated series.

If you haven’t heard it yet (and that’s unlikely as it’s been the most popular Gonzo episode of all time) then go check out our spoiler-free introduction to the show and movie review first. This episode here has spoilers so we don’t recommend you listen until you’ve seen Book 1: Water.

Joining me once again to talk about Waterbending, Frozen Frogs and Koh the Face Stealer I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and from Gonzo Planet, Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Duane Griffiths.

Next week, Book 2: Earth

Author: Alex Shaw

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  1. Another awesome show guys, I really enjoy listening to your analysis of the characters. I was genuinely surprised at just how funny the series turned out to be, both in dialogue and through the character animations, it really adds to what is already a fantastic story.

  2. First-time viewer here: overall, I love this discussion, and It’s nice to have one of my favorite shows dissected by people who really know their brass-tacks animation and film knowledge, but there’s one piece of criticism I *really* feel needs to be brought up.

    You need to stop playing music over the hosts.

    The small digressions to various scenes with brief cuts of audio of the scenes in question; that stuff is fine. It’s a good touch. But there was more than one occasion where I’m trying to listen closely to understand what the host is saying, because the music is drowning them out.

    Transitions? Sure. Fine. But when a host is talking, or if multiple hosts are discussing something, then they’re the only sound I want to hear.

    • Hi Xirema and welcome to the show. The music is a delicate balance I try to keep. I’ve put out over 300 podcasts by now (209 in a previous show called Digital Cowboys) and music is so integral to my style and the experience that most of my listeners would agree it keeps them coming back and adds flavour and mood.

      But it has to be used in the right way. I have to balance it so that the speakers are always very clear. I never have music with lyrics in it behind dialogue but usually if the volume levels are kept appropriate it makes what’s being said even more compelling. In the worst case scenario it distracts and obscures and it looks like this must have happened several times in this episode for you. For that I apologise.

      But trust me and stick with the show. Maybe check out some of the back catalog and see what I did there. I will pay extra attention to the rest of the Avatar episodes to make sure that even though there is overlap, that the speakers are distinct.


      • Well, for what it’s worth, it wasn’t a big enough issue to dissuade me from listening. Also, I didn’t notice it in the previous episode, so maybe it was an isolated issue.

  3. Yeah, this is my first time here too, thanks to Dan from EC. I just finished listening to these two podcasts, and it seems that my work efficiency has almost doubled during that time!

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your Avatar reviews, so I’ll for sure be checking out your other things while I wait for Book 2!

    One more thing on the music (in response to Xirema). There were a couple parts where it was hard to hear people speaking due to the music, but for the most part I think it added some variety. Maybe just turn the music down a notch or two if it’s distracting at all.

    Thanks a bunch!

  4. this was a great review/podcast. do you have a set day for when the next will be up

    • New Gonzo episodes are up by early evening UK time every Thursday. If you’re hungry for more, browse the back catalog in the “About Us” tab and see if some of the previous show topics are appealing. I recommend the Star Wars and Harry Potter reviews as well as the Never Mind the BuzzGeeks quiz and the 50 Greatest Video Game Characters shows.

  5. Loved this episode, specifically the stuff discussed about female characters. The fact that all of the four primary characters of the series (Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph) are possess character traits ascribed to both gender-roles shows that none of them adhere to gender stereotypes and are well-rounded people who…are just being THEM. And that’s really what makes them so strong and likeable as characters.

    Toph is a badass but has a sensitive side and deep down just wants to be accepted for who she is and loved for that.

    Sokka is smart and critical but has insecurities and cares about ‘accessorizing,’ whether that means a boommerang or a fancy bag. ;P

    Aang is powerful and athletic and takes on responsibility, but also grapples with guilt and is a pacifist who is sensitive of others.

    Katara is very motherly and caring and supportive but also desires to stand strong and be a powerful fighter to protect who she loves.

    The fandom likes to stereotype these brilliant characters, which is ironic IMO. But they’re well-rounded and realistic in these regards.

    And also, as a male writer whose strength rests in writing from a female perspective I can definitely relate with the perspective of this show, which does the same.

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