Is Avatar An Anime: One question that has been lingering unanswered for many years is what can and cannot be considered anime? In definitive terms, anime is a Japanese term used for any kind of animation work originating from Japan. However, when used in the English context, the word anime holds a wider meaning that counts all animation works regardless of animation style and origin. But if the second definition is taken into account, then anime fans would not take out their knives when someone called their favorite show a ‘cartoon.’
Stuck amid in this debate is a show that wasn’t created in Japan but it does categorize as anime. Yes, we are talking about Avatar The Last Airbender. The 2005 series blurred the lines of American and Japanese animation. This Nickelodeon Animation continues to draw debates on whether it can be called an anime or not. So, Is Avatar An Anime? Let’s find out the answer to this.
By Japanese Standards
To answer the subject question, one has to consider where they are from. In Japan, regardless of the style, format, and story, almost everything is an anime. From Dragon Ball to Bojack Horseman to Rick and Morty, everything they watch comes under the wide umbrella of Anime. Thus, if a man of Japanese origin was to watch Avatar The Last Airbender, they would essentially call it an anime. However, the case with a non-Japanese parameter would be different.
For Western Audience: Is Avatar An Anime?
By western standards, Avatar the Last Airbender would not be considered an anime. This is mainly because of how Anime is described in the western world. Well, the American standard does not consider any show that is outside of Japan as anime. So, Avatar is also out of the list. For them, the show is an animated series whose animation style closely resembles the style of Japanese anime. In addition, the animation style of the show is something that has created the entire confusion in the first place.
From the way in which the fighting sequences are stylized to the conceptualization, it is evident that Avatar the Last Airbender was heavily influenced by the anime of those times. However, no matter how similar both styles are, Avatar is not an anime. Shows like Rick and Morty, Bojack Horseman, and The Invincibles continue to spread in the mainstream.
But because they all draw origin from American creators, these cannot be considered anime. And if you do not believe our word, then the showrunners themselves have confirmed the same news in 2012. In an interview with IGN, the makers mentioned that they never created Avatar as an anime series. Thus, it should also not be considered one.
More About Avatar The Last Airbender
Avatar The Last Airbender was first announced in the year 2004. And in a year’s time, the show was ready with its first season. South Korean Studios, JM Animation, DR Movie, and MOI Animation were hired to work on the project. These three studios worked at Nickelodeon Animation Studios for three seasons. Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko were the creators of the show.
The first season came out on February 21, 2005. Exactly a year after this, the second season also came out from the same companies. The sequel was released on March 17, 2006. The third season made it to screens on September 21, 2007. The series concluded almost a year after, on July 19, 2008. After this, fans went on to speculate about the arrival of the fourth season. But it was only in 2020 that Bryan Konietzko confirmed that Avatar The Last Airbender was concluded with the third season. And there would not be a fourth season of it ever.
But, if you are willing to rewatch the series, you will find all the seasons of the show in Netflix’s catalog. For more such exciting trivia, keep an eye on this space.