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The Face of the Enemy by Isaia The Face of the Enemy by Isaia
Illustration of this original oneshot fanstory idea for Avatar that I had about the first group of waterbenders and firebenders who did not survive the Siege of the North... among them a waterbender named "Ikiyak" and a firebender named "Yuushin"

...their final moments and feelings of doubt as soldiers before the chaotic battle between them took place, and that...they don't even know that though they are enemies that are going to kill each other in this war, have more in common than they thought. Not intended to be a deep ass generalization on war and peace itself OwO;, but just a story idea for these two characters that I had in mind.

Which I got kind of sad over when I drew it down. (embarrassed)
It spawned from me when I heard the song "Ai no Rinkaku" which is like for me...THE most saddest, haunting sounding anime songs I've ever heard. (and I don't even understand the japanese lyrics) :o

...(The name "Ikiyak" or "Ikkiak" means 'brave' in Inuit...
while the name "Yuushin" coming from the word "Yuushi" also means 'brave' in Japanese)

Avatar: The Last Airbender and other concepts (c) Nickelodeon (Bryan Konietzko, Mike Dante DiMartino)
"Ai no Rinkaku" (c) Yoko Kanno
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akainu0 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2015
IT would've been so much easier to just make the Fire Nation the evil bad guys, but what made this show so good, was that it was not the Fire Nation that was evil, it was the Fire Lord, and we see that fire is just as essentially as the other elements.  Major props to Mike and Bryan.
steave1425 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is soo good. :clap:
Kimberly-T Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015
I've seen this before, and should have faved it the first time I saw it!
Did you know this is now mentioned on TVTropes?…
moljames Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Sometimes good and bad depend on the point of view, every coin has two sides.
So much said in just a tiny frame, great art!
EliseAlpha Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015
Once more proving there is good in everything we consider bad and visa versa.
Phage-Marrowice Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015
Not subtle. But very well done. Got here via TvTropes, so you've made a little splash.

Once again, well done.
noli-enchantrix Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015
So true!!
ShortLemonie3 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If only i could fave this more than once
OutcastClankzilla Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Student General Artist
At the end of the day, people really are only people. Sure, you've got your Aangs and Ozais and everything, but people will always be people - not heroes, not monsters, just people. Yeah, we make mistakes and all, but we really do have things that make us all the same: We want to protect those we love, and more importantly want to go back to those times where we don't have to worry if the world around us will crumble like dust.

This piece is definitely something that needs to stay with all of us: A reminder that we all want to live happy, healthy, and just be there for the ones we love. Saying that one's better than another is just another folly.
LOOPIEGIRL Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Student Artisan Crafter
heartwarming Waaaah!  and so very true Nod 
OutcastClankzilla Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015  Student General Artist
Wow! Thanks!
Taranko Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Double favoriting
KaityCameleon Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Did you use water colors?
yuffieHeart Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
so deep...the feels... T^T
naphtali Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
superiornite Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013
Beautiful message here. Beautiful. People always tend to think that Fire Nation is nothing, but evil souless stormtroopers, but in reality, they are soldiers. They have a duty to serve their country and defend it.
xChocolata Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this. You put so much thought into it and the art looks amazing too. Really wonderful work !
xChocolata Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
how i love this. your art is amazing !
Fudge-Cake Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
So tragically beautiful; you really wove two seemingly different people into one story
black-luna Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2012
wow. i really like this piece. wonderful work.
rosablanca5 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
I know this is from several years ago, but I gotta say, the appearance of both characters is really cool (to me at least). Ikiyak looks kinda like a male Korra, and Yuushin's hair almost looks like a combo of Mako and Bolin. Impressive!
NotCras Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
gosh great comic, and great point. Plus, the same thing could be said for almost every conflict ever. Love it.
Asianninja13 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012
This is so amazing, especially since in the first season, the fire nation is really demonized.
xXxOhime-SamaxXx Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Such a beautiful concept~!
SRSLYsarcastic Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very well done. I love it.
jawldeen Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist
love love is good!yeeah
ChyGuy Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
Absolutely love everything about it. The story, the message, the art style, everything.
IveWasHere Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great love this page, it's all so interesting. :D
Nick2802 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I know this all to well
DarkestTruth Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
War is loss, no matter how you look at it...
pengwens Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
Wow....I don't know what to say:|
This is really good.
FleurduFeu Featured By Owner May 6, 2012
This is wonderful!
Vane553 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
WOW...You have to be one of the DEEPEST Avatar fan artists out there! I absolutely LOVE your conceptual artwork...

You really are a complete artist (you draw and you write) Keep the good work! ^___^
Master-of-the-Boot Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is a rather magnificent picture that does raise some great points about human nature. I love how you brought in those Water tribe hoods, to put them in equal footing with the masked Fire nation soldiers. Awesome work
Koy-chan Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012
Is a great pity that many people in the world don't see that the suffering of the enemy is the same as ours.
Because if they saw this, certainly there wouldn't be many wars in the world today. Don't you agree?
sofianime018 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Student
ang galing mo talaga i can't even
TrueImmortality Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Oh, wow, it was a bad time to listen to this: [link] (It's a Harry Potter vid but I mostly listen to it for the audio XD)
Christi109 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
I am so stunned by your amazing work, great work! :)
RunawayComics Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Student General Artist
the important thing to remember is that were all human.
we are all the same deep down,
no matter how different we are on the outside.
Omixgirl10 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011  Hobbyist
Just reading this almost made me cry, and that doesn't happen often... this is really well done. And, as far as the art goes, it's beautiful. The layout is perfect for this comic, too.
xxxnarutoxsk8 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
thats so true.....we fear our enemy but they have the same feelings as us (for the most part)
TheSUNGlassKid Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I think "To Tell the Truth" from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Vol. 2 would work quite well here too.
Hoshi-dono Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow.... AWESOME! :D
stillnotking Featured By Owner May 12, 2011  Student Writer
First of all, the art is gorgeous. But this piece is so much more than just the art--it's the story that gives this such depth and soul. I'm amazed at how you took two characters and made me care about them and feel deeply sad for what I know must have happened to them in the space of a single page. Well done.
hadescall Featured By Owner May 11, 2011
"To protect the greater good"

oh god i got so hard trolled!
Catdammerj Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
Besides being really well-drawn, this makes a really good point......I like it a lot.
CandyAxe Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2011
Which I got kind of sad over when I drew it down. (embarrassed)

Don't be embarrassed; I pretty much wanted to cry when I was reading it.
Kisanaki Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011
This makes me want to cry. It is very beautiful though!
101silverspirit101 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
Aw, that's kind of depressing D:

The illustration and the description are enough to snap a flying story through my head... the music is also so sad _
I found it's english translation. [s]it's sad too.[/s] Would you be interested in it?
i-love-flutes Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
I love this... the drawings are great and it makes a good point too
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Submitted on
February 27, 2006
Image Size
318 KB


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