The Pop Culture Lens

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Episode 26: Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)

July 19th, 2016

In the twenty-sixth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard welcome friend of the podcast and return guest, Aaron Kashtan, to discuss the immensely popular hit from the early 21st century, Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008).

In this episode -- which at times features poor audio due to issues with Skype, for which the co-hosts apologize -- Aaron and CarrieLynn address the question of whether or not the series can be called an anime. This conversation focuses on the issues of being a transcultural and transnational media text, and if the series represents a form of cultural appropriation or just cultural appreciation. Overall, the series' status as being a part of a transmedia storyworld becomes the final point, as it spawned comic books, a sequel, and a doomed film adaptation.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website