Live action adaptations of animation rarely fare well, with Avatar: The Last Airbender being no exception. In response to this, a short video recreates the climactic battle between Fire Nation royal siblings Zuko and Azula in such a manner, doing a pretty good job in the process.
First off, if you’re unfamiliar with the series or haven’t yet finished watching it, I’d recommend skipping the video for now and coming back later, as the fight forms part of “Sozin’s Comet,” the four-part series finale, so viewing it without context or prior understanding of what’s going on makes it somewhat meaningless.
The video makes a few changes for dramatic effect, such as having Zuko and Katara arrive in a soaring ball of flame rather than on the back of Appa, or how the end plays out after Azula targets Katara, but it perfectly captures the emotion and drama of the scene. Zuko is calm and focused after overcoming the rage and self-loathing that drove him for so long, while Azula’s greater power is belied by her descent into madness, and the pair’s complicated personal history can be felt within the blast of every jet of flame. If M. Night Shyamalan had paid a fraction of this kind of attention to detail, then his own attempt to bring the series to life might not have been such a miserable failure.
The video is the creation of RE:Anime, a filmmaking collective frustrated by way the anime is often misrepresented when adapted across mediums, with other videos replaying key moments from the likes of Tokyo Ghoul, Naruto and Death Note.
An official live action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender is in the works and will hopefully still go ahead, but until then, this meticulously crafted few minutes will have to suffice. What else are you going to do? Watch The Last Airbender again?