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Why ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ is Trending 15 Years After Its Premiere

Netflix released all three seasons of the animated show May 15

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” is now available to stream in its entirety on Netflix, fifteen years after it debuted. And fans took to Twitter to rejoice.

The animated series was created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino with head writer Aaron Ehasz and aired from 2005-2008 on Nickelodeon. It follows protagonist Aang (played by Zachary Tyler), a 12-year-old monk that quickly finds out he’s the Avatar, a being capable of mastering and moving (or “bending”) all four elements. Aang and his water bender friends Katara and Sokka spend the show’s three seasons on various quests as they fight to take back the land from the nefarious invaders of the Fire Nation and its conflicted Prince Zuko.

Actress Mae Whitman voices Katara, and Zuko is played by Dante Basco. All 60 episodes are on Netflix, but aren’t remastered or widescreen and instead remain in the 4:3 aspect ratio they were originally filmed in.

During its live run “Avatar: The Last Airbender” won a Peabody Award and Primetime Emmy award. Its sequel spinoff show, “The Legend of Korra,” was developed in 2012 by the same creators and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy and Gracie Award. Both shows have a line of comics published by Dark Horse Comics that continues the stories of the respective Avatars.

A film adaption of “The Last Airbender” directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Dev Patel as Prince Zuko came out in 2010, to less than favorable reviews from both critics and fans. The adaptation was reportedly not to the satisfaction of the original creators, who told the original Zuko actor, Dante Basco, not to even see the final version. In a Reddit discussion several years ago, Basco said he “had lunch with Mike and Bryan, the creators of ‘Avatar’… they told me to never see it!”

A live-action version of the show is being developed for Netflix in partnership with Nickelodeon and began production in 2019 — but it remains to be seen when the show will be completed.

Fans quickly took to Twitter expressing their excitement over the series finally coming to streaming, with “Avatars is on Netflix” and “Katara” trending. Prior to the Netflix deal, fans that didn’t own the box set of DVDs had to rent individual episodes on Amazon, or go the riskier route and torrent them from insecure anime sites.

Check out some of their impassioned responses below: