Avatar has been dubbed into many languages and shown in many countries, but sadly it has never aired in Japan. It is particularly sad for us because the show was largely made as a love letter to the tradition of Japanese animation that had inspired us over the years.
We recently learned that Books 1 & 2 of Avatar were officially dubbed in Japanese, but then the Nick Japan network was closed and they were never broadcast. Our line producer Tim Yoon tracked down the masters of the dubbed episodes in a vault somewhere at one of Nickelodeon’s Southeast Asian networks. We all wish there was a way to finish dubbing Book 3 with the same cast and air the whole thing in Japan, even if it is just online. It is a long shot, but maybe we can figure out a way to do that someday.
Last week, Ian Graham showed me this wealth of Avatar fan art from an artist on DeviantArt under the name knknknk. The level of quality of this work is astonishing, and it is so incredibly authentically anime styled, that I just keep gawking at them, slack-jawed. Curiously and amusingly, she (I’m assuming she is a she, but sorry if I’m mistaken there) also has a wealth of Hey Arnold! fan art on display. So it seems that at least one person in Japan has seen Avatar. That’s a start!
I’m going to reblog a bunch these amazing pieces. They’re so good they make me feel like our show was the fan art of her work.