- Avatar: The Last Airbender (season 2)
Book 2: Earth
Cover for "The Complete Book 2 Collection" DVD
Country of origin United States No. of episodes 20 Broadcast Original channel Nickelodeon Original run March 17, 2006 – December 1, 2006 Home video release DVD release date September 11, 2007 (NTSC)
July 20, 2009 (PAL)
Season chronology ← Previous
Book 1: Water
Book 3: Fire
Season Two (Book 2: Earth) of Avatar: The Last Airbender, an American animated television series on Nickelodeon, first aired its 20 episodes from March 17, 2006 to December 1, 2006. The season was created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and starred Zach Tyler Eisen, Mae Whitman, Jack DeSena, Jessie Flower, Mako, Grey DeLisle, and Dante Basco as the main character voices.
In the season's beginning, the protagonist Aang and his friends Katara and Sokka are on a quest to find an Earthbending teacher, which finishes when they recruit Toph. Sokka finds important information concerning the war with the Fire Nation. Aang quickly becomes single-minded in looking for his kidnapped flying bison Appa. His search leads him to Ba Sing Se, the capital of the Earth Kingdom, where he uncovers the great internal government corruption of Ba Sing Se. At the season's end, Ba Sing Se falls to the Fire Nation and Aang escapes with his friends on a recovered Appa.
Throughout the season's airing, the show received much critical acclaim, with praises such as, "As a flat concept, Avatar the Last Airbender is nothing special, but in execution, it is head and shoulders above other children's entertainment", and that "as a whole, the look of Avatar is consistently excellent." Season 2 has won multiple awards, including the "Best Character Animation in a Television Production" award from the 34th Annie Awards and the "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" award from the 2007 Emmy Awards.
Between January 23, 2007 and September 11, 2007, Nickelodeon released five DVD sets for the season: four sets containing five episodes each, and a fifth DVD collection of all twenty episodes. All DVDs were encoded in Region 1. In the UK, only the season boxset was released without being released in four volumes first. The boxset was released on July 20, 2009.
The season was produced by and aired on Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom. The season's executive producers and co-creators are Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who worked alongside episode director and co-producer Aaron Ehasz. Most of the individual episodes were directed by Ethan Spaulding, Lauren MacMullan and Giancarlo Volpe. Episodes were written by a team of writers, which consisted of Aaron Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch Ehasz, Tim Hedrick, John O'Bryan; along with creators DiMartino and Konietzko.
Most of the main characters who made their debut in the first season remained the same, with Zach Tyler Eisen as Aang, Mae Whitman as Katara, Jack DeSena as Sokka, and Dante Basco as the anti-hero Zuko. However, several new characters appear: Toph voiced by Jessie Flower, Azula voiced by Grey DeLisle and Long Feng voiced by Clancy Brown. Two antagonists, Mai and Ty Lee, are introduced as Azula's minions who are tasked with capturing Aang. They were voiced by Cricket Leigh and Olivia Hack, respectively. Mako, who voiced Iroh, died during production and was replaced by Greg Baldwin.
In a review of the Volume 2 DVD Release for Book 2, Gabriel Powers from DVDActive.com described the series as one of the best children's series in recent times, making comparisons with Samurai Jack and Justice League, and complimented it for its depth and humour. Powers also comments:Without dumbing down its characters, plots, or humour, and without overtly taming-up the action or peril, Avatar manages to enthral children and adults, ages 4 to 56...There is a genuine classic feel to the series, which uses actual Asian culture and lore as its base. Like Star Wars, the creative forces behind the show have tapped into that basic, generation spanning storytelling that will live long after the series' youngest fans are old and bitter.
For the video and audio quality, Powers says "Season two generally looks better than the bulk of season one, but still has some issues" concerning image sharpness. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 87% fresh rating in 2008. Jamie S. Rich from DVD Talk says that "As a flat concept, Avatar the Last Airbender is nothing special, but in execution, it is head and shoulders above other children's entertainment", and that "as a whole, the look of Avatar is consistently excellent".
The show also received acclaim for its visual appeal. In the 34th Annie Awards, the show was nominated for and won the "Best Character Animation in a Television Production" award, for Jae-Myung Yu's animation in "The Blind Bandit", and the "Best Directing in an Animated Television Production" award, for the episode "The Drill". In 2007, the show was nominated for "Outstanding Animated Program" in the 2007 Emmy Awards for the "City of Walls and Secrets" episode, though it did not win. However, the show did win the "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" award for Sang-Jin Kim's animation in the "Lake Laogai" episode.
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
21 1 "The Avatar State" Giancarlo Volpe Aaron Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch Ehasz, Tim Hedrick & John O'Bryan March 17, 2006 201 Aang and his friends rest at Earth Kingdom Outpost after their journey from the North Pole. They are to be escorted to Omashu , where Aang intends to find King Bumi to teach him Earthbending. But General Fong , inspired by Aang's battle-determining actions during the Siege of the North, suggests that Aang defeat the Fire Lord and end the war immediately by triggering the Avatar State. In the meantime, Zuko and his uncle are visited by his sister, Azula, who has come bearing a message from the Fire Lord, requesting their return home. After many failed attempts, the General finally succeeds in triggering the Avatar State by faking Katara's death. Aang nearly destroys the base in anger and the group decides to go to Omashu alone. Zuko and his uncle discover Azula's summons to be a disguise in order to imprison the pair. They escape however, but are subsequently forced to become outcasts, realizing that they are to become fugitives of the Fire Nation after Iroh's treacherous saving of the Moon Spirit at the North Pole, and Zuko's failure to capture the Avatar. 22 2 "The Cave of Two Lovers" Lauren MacMullan Joshua Hamilton March 24, 2006 202 While on the way to Omashu, Aang and the group meet a group of carefree traveling bards, who take them through a vast tunnel known as the Cave of Two Lovers. Zuko and Iroh are sheltered by kind villagers after Iroh accidentally drinks tea made of a poisonous plant. Song, a young and compassionate healer, shows Zuko the effects of war from a normal citizen's perspective. Aang and Katara grow closer as they discover the origins of the cave, which includes the tombs of the first two earthbenders. In the process, they share their first kiss together, allowing the group to escape and make it to Omashu...which is under Fire Nation control. 23 3 "Return to Omashu" Ethan Spaulding Elizabeth Welch Ehasz April 7, 2006 203 Omashu has been captured by the Fire Nation. Aang and friends sneak in and are nearly captured, but Sokka fakes a deadly illness to scare off the guards. They meet a resistance movement, and help the whole city escape with the same fake epidemic. The Fire Nation Governor's son accidentally leaves with the citizens. Aang attempts to trade him for King Bumi, but Princess Azula calls off the trade. Aang manages to rescue Bumi after a fight with Azula, but Bumi allows himself to be recaptured, saying that he must wait for a more proper time. He instructs Aang to find an Earthbending teacher who "waits and listens". 24 4 "The Swamp" Giancarlo Volpe Tim Hedrick April 14, 2006 204 While flying, Aang and friends are attracted to a mysterious swamp and get separated from one another. They begin to see unique illusions in the swamp: Sokka sees Princess Yue, Katara sees her dead mother and Aang sees a mysterious giggling girl. They are reunited and attacked by a swamp monster, who turns out to be a wise man from a tribe of swamp Waterbenders. He explains the nature of the swamp and their visions, including that the girl is Aang's Earthbending teacher. Meanwhile, Zuko and Iroh are forced to live life as commoners. Disguised, Zuko resorts to using the Blue spirit to help himself. 25 5 "Avatar Day" Lauren MacMullan John O'Bryan April 28, 2006 205 Aang and friends stumble upon a town celebrating an Anti-Avatar Day. The villagers blame the Avatar for killing their leader, Chin the Great, in a past life. Aang is arrested and put on trial for his crimes. Zuko disguises himself as the Blue Spirit to steal food for him and his uncle. Iroh is not happy with what Zuko is doing, and Zuko decides to leave him. After Fire Nation soldiers attack the village, Aang is pardoned after he defeats them. The town changes the anti-Avatar celebration to a pro-Avatar celebration. 26 6 "The Blind Bandit" Ethan Spaulding Michael Dante DiMartino May 5, 2006 206 Aang is searching for an Earthbending teacher, but with little success. While at an Earthbending tournament, Aang finds a talented blind Earthbending girl named Toph, who Aang saw in a vision in the swamp. She cannot become Aang's Earthbending teacher, due to being unable to leave her overprotective parents. Though she saves Aang after he is kidnapped, Toph is forbidden from fighting any longer. She runs away from home and joins the group, becoming Aang's Earthbending teacher. 27 7 "Zuko Alone" Lauren MacMullan Elizabeth Welch Ehasz May 12, 2006 207 After leaving his uncle, Zuko continues his journey to an Earth Kingdom town alone, where a young boy named Lee brings him home for dinner. After bonding with Lee, Zuko helps defend the family from rogue soldiers who terrorize the town and has flashbacks about his life before banishment. Zuko's identity as the Fire Prince is revealed, and the boy and his family reject him because of it. 28 8 "The Chase" Giancarlo Volpe Joshua Hamilton May 26, 2006 208 Aang and his friends are chased by a mysterious machine, which makes it impossible for the group to stop and sleep. The lack of sleep makes everyone irritable, and causes a quarrel between Katara and Toph. Aang acts as a decoy to lure the followers away, but he is cornered by Azula. His friends, plus Zuko and his uncle, arrive to take Azula down together, but she injures Iroh in the moment of distraction and escapes. 29 9 "Bitter Work" Ethan Spaulding Aaron Ehasz June 2, 2006 209
Aang finally begins his Earthbending training with Toph, but loses confidence in himself when he encounters difficulty with the earth element, the natural opposite of air. While Toph is teaching, Sokka gets stuck in a hole, and spends the whole day trapped. The group begins to get worried and search for him. Aang is the one to find Sokka, and is forced to save him from a Saber-Tooth Moose-Lion. Toph uses the situation as proof that Aang has the attitude and mindset required to learn Earthbendinig. Meanwhile, Iroh resumes his Firebending instruction with Zuko, showing him how to re-direct lightning, so he will be better equipped to fight Azula.Note: TV listings state that Aang, Katara, and Sokka question Toph's methods of teaching.
30 10 "The Library" Giancarlo Volpe John O'Bryan July 14, 2006 210
At an oasis, the group encounters a professor who tells them about a hidden Spirit Library in the desert. Inside, Sokka discovers a crucial weakness to the Fire Nation that could end the war: the date of the upcoming solar eclipse which will cripple the Firebenders' Firebending. The spirit of the library, Wan Shi Tong, refuses to allow them to leave with the knowledge and sinks the library into the sand. Meanwhile, Appa is kidnapped by Sandbenders. They all escape from the library but are devastated by the loss of Appa.Note: This is Zhao's final official appearance. He is shown in a clip from "The Siege of the North" at the beginning, recapping that Zhao found the library years ago. It is, however, a younger version due to the fact that he was a lieutenant at the time. He is mentioned once more in "The Western Air Temple."
31 11 "The Desert" Lauren MacMullan Tim Hedrick July 14, 2006 211 The gang is stranded in the desert, helpless without Appa. A secret society helps protect Iroh and Zuko from the Fire Nation. While there, they are recognized by the men hired by Toph's father, who plan to capture them for the reward. After going through the many perils of the desert, Aang tracks down the Sandbenders who stole Appa, and learns that Appa was traded to a merchant in Ba Sing Se. Upon hearing that Appa was muzzled, Aang becomes so mad that he enters the Avatar State, almost wiping out the Sandbenders, but is calmed down by Katara. 32 12 "The Serpent's Pass" Ethan Spaulding Michael Dante DiMartino & Joshua Hamilton September 15, 2006 212 After leaving the desert, the group meets up with Suki, and attempts to lead a couple through the Serpent's Pass. They are attacked by a giant serpent, but ward it off and make it across. Meanwhile, Zuko and Iroh are also on their way to start a new life in the Earth Kingdom capital of Ba Sing Se, and encounter Jet and some of the Freedom Fighters, with whom Zuko starts to bond. The group finally makes it to Ba Sing Se only to find the Fire Nation is about to send a gigantic drill to destroy the city's wall. 33 13 "The Drill" Giancarlo Volpe Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko September 15, 2006 213 Having successfully crossed the Serpent's Pass, Aang is determined to go to Ba Sing Se where he hopes to find his lost bison, Appa. However, he discovers a Fire Nation drill heading straight for Ba Sing Se, intent on destroying the wall. Aang and the group succeed in stopping and destroying the drill from the inside. Meanwhile, Jet wishes to recruit Zuko for his Freedom Fighters, but learns that Zuko and Iroh are Firebenders. 34 14 "City of Walls and Secrets" Lauren MacMullan Tim Hedrick September 22, 2006 214 Aang and the rest of the group arrive in Ba Sing Se to find Appa and inform the Earth King about the solar eclipse, but they are constantly hindered by their tour guide, Joo Dee. They soon learn that any mention of war is forbidden and enforced by the Dai Li, secret police of Ba Sing Se, and their corrupt leader, Long Feng, who appears to know something about Appa. Elsewhere, JJet repeatedly tries and fails to gather evidence that Zuko and Iroh are Firebenders. His last attempt, challenging Zuko to a sword fight, ends in his own arrest. 35 15 "Tales of Ba Sing Se" Ethan Spaulding Joann Estoesta, Lisa Wahlander, Andrew Huebner,
Gary Scheppke, Lauren MacMullan, Katie Mattila, Justin Ridge &
September 29, 2006 215 "Tales of Ba Sing Se" is a set of vignettes about each of the main characters' adventures in Ba Sing Se, providing a glimpse of their personalities and private lives. Katara and Toph have a girls' day out; Iroh helps people in town before celebrating the birthday of his dead son, singing Leaves from the vine; Aang helps a zookeeper build a new zoo; Sokka accidentally ends up in a poetry club; Zuko goes out on a date; Momo looks through Ba Sing Se for Appa. Iroh's mini-episode was dedicated to his voice actor Mako, who had just died. 36 16 "Appa's Lost Days" Giancarlo Volpe Elizabeth Welch Ehasz October 12, 2006 216 After being abducted, Appa is traded to the Fire Nation Circus where the Circus Trainer mistreats him, though the Sky Bison soon escapes with the help of a small boy. He later unwillingly enters a fight with a Boarcupine, and though wins, is badly wounded. By fortune, Suki and the Kyoshi warriors come across Appa and help him recover from his injuries, but are later attacked by Azula and her team and Appa is forced to flee. He returns to his childhood home at the Eastern Air Temple, where he encounters a mysterious guru. The guru aids Appa in his search for Aang, telling him to find Aang in Ba Sing Se, but before he is able to, he is captured by Long Feng. 37 17 "Lake Laogai" Lauren MacMullan Tim Hedrick November 3, 2006 217 Finally having had enough of the rules of the city, the group decides to go against the law to find Appa. As they do so, the gang meet Jet again. They find Smellerbee and Longshot and realize Jet was brainwashed by the Dai Li. They travel to Lake Laogai in the hopes of finding Appa. Instead, they encounter Long Feng, who mortally wounds Jet. Elsewhere, Zuko finds Appa and discovers that Aang is in the city. However, with encouragement from his uncle, Zuko decides to free the Sky Bison and give up the Blue Spirit once and for all. After an intense battle on the surface, Aang and Appa are reunited. 38 18 "The Earth King" Ethan Spaulding John O'Bryan November 16, 2006 218 The group breaks into the Earth King's palace to warn him about the War, which the Dai Li kept hidden. They eventually convince the Earth King by showing him the destroyed Fire Nation drill and Long Feng is arrested for treason. Meanwhile, Zuko succumbs to an illness which Iroh calls a metamorphosis caused by his conflicting destiny and is haunted by nightmares. Azula and her friends, now disguised as the Kyoshi warriors, have infiltrated the city. 39 19 "The Guru" Giancarlo Volpe Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko December 1, 2006 219 After the group receives letters that were confiscated by Long Feng, Aang meets Guru Pathik, who trains him to master the Avatar State through the unlocking of chakras. Toph is captured by Xin Fu and Master Yu, who transport her back to her parents, though she escapes by inventing Metalbending. Long Feng offers a scheme with Azula by handing her Aang in exchange for him resuming control of the Dai Li and the entire Earth Kingdom. Katara is captured as a result. Aang sees a vision of Katara in danger, and abandons the training early to save her, against the wishes of the Guru. 40 20 "The Crossroads of Destiny" Michael Dante DiMartino Aaron Ehasz December 1, 2006 220 With Long Feng released, he presumably retakes leadership of the Dai Li. However, Azula explains that the Dai Li are not convinced on who to take orders from yet. She betrays Long Feng by revealing his history of conniving and cheating his way to power, forcing him to step down permanently as leader of the Dai Li. When the group attempts to stop Azula, Zuko, after some deliberation over the consequences of his actions, betrays his uncle's trust and chooses to attack the Avatar. Aang is fatally injured by Azula while in the Avatar State, but Iroh intervenes and gives his friends enough time to escape. With the Earth King overthrown, Ba Sing Se falls to the Fire Nation. Katara uses the spirit water to heal Aang and he survives.
Nickelodeon began releasing DVDs for Book 2 on January 23, 2007. The first five DVD releases contain one disc that consisted of four episodes each. The final DVD was the "Complete Book 2 Box Set", which contains all of the episodes in the season on five discs, and packaged with a special features disc. All of the DVD sets for Book 2 were released with Region 1 encoding, meaning that they can only play on North American DVD players. Book 2 was released on Region 2 on July 20, 2009.
Volume Discs Episodes Region 1 release Region 2 release Region 4 release 1 1 5 January 23, 2007 Not released June 04, 2009 2 1 5 April 10, 2007 Not released August 06, 2009 3 1 5 May 22, 2007 Not released October 29, 2009 4 1 5 August 14, 2007 Not released March 31, 2010 Box set 4 20 September 11, 2007 July 20, 2009 September 09, 2010
- 1.^ Production code format taken from the commentary for "Sozin's Comet: The Phoenix King"
- "Season 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. IGN. http://tv.ign.com/objects/860/860979.html. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- "Season 2 DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. February 24, 2005. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/shows/Avatar-Airbender/8931. Retrieved September 6, 2008.
- ^ a b "IGN: Avatar: The Last Airbender: Season 2". IGN Entertainment. http://tv.ign.com/objects/860/860979.html. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
- ^ a b "Avatar: The Last Airbender Search". Amazon.com, Inc.. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Avatar%3A+The+Last+Airbender+%22Book+2%22+-CHK+-6PC&x=0&y=0. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
- ^ a b c d e f "Avatar: The Last Airbender Cast and Details". TVGuide.com. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/avatar-airbender/cast/194673. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
- ^ a b Rich, Jamie S. (September 12, 2007). "Avatar The Last Airbender — The Complete Book 2 Collection". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/30417/avatar-the-last-airbender-the-complete-book-2-collection/. Retrieved June 6, 2008.
- ^ a b "Annie Awards: Legacy - 34th Annual Annie Awards". International Animated Film Society. February 9, 2006. http://annieawards.org/34thwinners.html. Retrieved April 26, 2008.
- ^ a b c Mesger, Robin (September 8, 2007). "59th Creative Emmy Awards Winners" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. pp. 11–12. http://www.emmys.tv/downloads/2007/CTA59themmywinners.pdf. Retrieved June 5, 2008. [dead link]
- ^ a b "Season 2 DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. February 24, 2005. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/shows/Avatar-Airbender/8931. Retrieved September 6, 2008.
- ^ DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan (August 29, 2005) (Transcript). Interview with "Avatar" Program Creators — Page 3. Interview with Aaron H. Bynum. Animation Insider. http://www.animationinsider.net/article.php?articleID=841&document=3. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
- ^ DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan (August 29, 2005) (Transcript). Interview with "Avatar" Program Creators — Page 4. Interview with Aaron H. Bynum. Animation Insider. http://www.animationinsider.net/article.php?articleID=841&document=4. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
- ^ "Dante Basco". 2005. http://voicechasers.com/database/showactor.php?actorid=2933. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
- ^ Fox, Margalit (July 25, 2006). "Mako, 72, Actor Who Extended Asian-American Roles, Dies". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/arts/25mako.html. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
- ^ a b Powers, Gabriel. "Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 2, Vl.1". DVDActive. http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/avatar-the-last-airbender-book-2-vl-1.html. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
- ^ Powers, Gabriel. "Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season Two Collection". DVDActive. http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/avatar-the-last-airbender-season-two-collection.html. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
- ^ "59th Creative Emmy Awards Nominations" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2007. p. 1. http://www.emmys.tv/downloads/2007/59ptemmys_noms.pdf. Retrieved June 5, 2008. [dead link]
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