I’m probably going to get a lot of stick for putting this down as an anime…
…but in my opinion Avatar: The Last Airbender is an anime, not a cartoon.
Yes, it was created in America, not Japan.
Yes, it was recorded in English first, not Japanese.
But it has all the elements that an anime does.
It has awesome magical powers
A fantastic world that is based on different parts of Asia
And an awesome plot
ATLA just feels like an anime, not a cartoon. The story line has so many morals and messages about power, friendship, prejudice and revenge. Whereas cartoons are created mostly just for entertainment purposes – something mindless for kids to watch – ATLA is more grown up. It has the same depth to it that anime does. It’s most definitely a shounen anime.
I loved this show so much I downloaded all the episodes onto my iTunes. I rewatch them when I’m feeling down, and they never fail to entertain me. Sokka always makes me laugh, and I’m always awed by Toph’s beautiful Eathbending style.
It’s just an amazing show. I highly recommend you watch it if you haven’t already done so.