Monday, February 27, 2012

Character Study-Aang

                I think Aang is a great protagonist, and maybe my favorite in a Western cartoon is quiet a while. I think it's mostly because he feels like a kid. He's a show-off, gets bored easily, flighty and silly. But he's also wise, intelligent, and a major badass, especially for his age. His development over Season 1 is actually pretty cool. He learns not to be so cocky, to trust his friends more, it's okay to lie to a people about their history if you think it will help (okay, I'll let it go), and own up to his mistakes. I think what really makes me like Aang is that despite his tragic past, he isn't aangsty (Except in the movie, where he is very aangsty with a hard a). He sometimes is overcome with sadness, grief, or self-disappointment but what matters to me is that he doesn't let that get him down. His mood his easily changeable, and he gets out of his rare funks pretty easily.

              He's voice acted by Zach Tyler (I really want to say/type Taylor, and I don't know why), who I just discovered is 7 months younger than me. The more you know. The only other big role he had was in some movie called The Ant Bully, which I never saw. From his work in this season alone, I would say he's a pretty decent voice-actor, and young enough that he sounds more like a kid than if they had gotten a woman to do it like they usually do.

            In a new little segment, I say what color from Magic: the Gathering I think the character is. With Aang I'd have to go Blue, with a splash of white and a smidge of black in this season. I think that the Air Nomads, as a culture, were Blue. I thought of this long and hard, and it seemed much better than the seemingly more natural choice of White. White is about life gain and vigilance and a little flying on the side. How would a Air Bender heal you? Blue is the color of tapping, removal, and in general indirectly screwing with the opponent, much like the fighting style of an Airbender. Also, the 'goal' of White is to make peace, and while the monks were peaceful, from what I saw they weren't the kind to oppose others or force their wills. They were Nomads, and the Blue philosophy of 'Learning everything' seems much more their style. Plus, he learned Waterbending this season, so he gets a splash of White. The black comes from the several episodes which show his selfish side.

             Overall, I think Aang as a character is one of the reasons I got interested in the show, because they were going for a character who felt like a real kid, and never came off as trying to be 'cool' any more than a kid does at times for fun.

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