A lot of the bending in Avatar: The Final Airbender and The Legend of Korra communicates visually what is never mentioned explicitly. One of many treats of novels like The Shadow of Kyoshi is that the prose has a chance to clarify the delicate particulars from the animated sequence which are simple for followers to gloss over. Maybe probably the greatest moments to display this happens throughout a struggle scene the place Avatar Kyoshi notes simply how highly effective airbending is when confined to a small hallway.
Wanting over Kyoshi‘s phrases after which again on the animated sequence, this remark is totally proper. Followers might anticipate airbending to be at its strongest out within the open, however it’s in confined shut quarters that the basic martial artwork proves its true energy.
The scene in query from Shadow of Kyoshi happens late within the novel, properly after the younger Avatar Kyoshi already has proficient use of all 4 parts. Naturally gifted with uncooked energy, a lot of Kyoshi’s coaching centered on refining her focus in every martial artwork. Nonetheless, as she pursued elite firebenders in an enclosed hallway, she makes an remark concerning the further energy airbending can have within the setting that reveals how uncooked energy can typically be sufficient. Kyoshi states that the soiled secret of airbending is that it’s “absolutely devastating in close quarters.” And searching again on the animated sequence, she’s actually not flawed.
Setting performs an enormous issue within the dynamics of the fights all through the Avatar franchise, with waterbending and earthbending most keenly affected by the encircling supplies obtainable. In early episodes like the unique sequence’ “Imprisoned,” viewers learn the way some benders might be nearly helpless with none materials obtainable for them to bend, however that airbending and firebending show advantageous as a result of their parts are all the time available. Nonetheless, in contrast to firebending, airbending is definitely boosted by confined areas or slender hallways, the place the setting amplifies gusts and blasts of air that develop into nearly unattainable to keep away from.
As early because the second episode of the unique sequence, Aang demonstrated the efficiency of close-quarters airbending whereas on Zuko’s ship. Whereas most of Aang’s confrontations with Zuko outdoor present the 2 preventing nearly evenly — when Aang makes use of the open setting to evade a confrontation — he proves simply as agile on board the Hearth Nation ship, the place his personal assaults are nearly unattainable to keep away from. The Legend of Korra maintained that very same benefit even because the sequel sequence put its distinct model on bending. In actual fact, it made using airbending in slender hallways a climactic second of its first season.
Robbed of the remainder of her bending and on the mercy of Amon puppeteering her physique, Avatar Korra remarkably overpowered Amon by immediately bending an airblast down the hallway that he couldn’t keep away from. Regardless of by no means even airbending earlier than, the artwork proved so helpful within the setting that Korra rapidly blasted Amon out a window, the place his identification was uncovered to all beneath. The element proved delicate and efficient, exhibiting a consistency in Avatar‘s world maintained all through the franchise however solely made express within the newest novel.
At no different level do the characters of Avatar comment on the efficiency that airbenders have in such shut quarters, but lots of the most notable fights underline this element. Out within the open, equivalent to with Aang going through Zhao in “The Deserter” or Korra going through Kuvira in “The Battle of Zhaofu,” airbending enhances the house between combatants with out actually pinning down knockout assaults which are effectual.
In comparison with Aang’s confrontation with Zuko in “The Phoenix King,” the place he blasts the Prince out a second-story window, or Korra’s superior efficiency inside Kuvira’s mech throughout “The Last Stand,” it is clear simply how essential the world is with regards to an Avatar struggle. Particulars make all of the distinction with regards to conveying participating motion, and it wasn’t till The Shadow of Kyoshi that one in all airbending’s subtlest particulars might be absolutely appreciated.