| || Good work, Unagi.
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While visiting Kyoshi Island, Aang engaged in a pastime of surfing on the elephant koi living off the coast of the island. Not long into his recreation, Aang encountered the unagi, who had began eating the elephant koi, including the one Aang had mounted, consequentially launching him into the water. The giant eel proceeded to pursue Aang, but the Avatar managed to escape to the safety of the beach before the unagi could swallow him. The creature was later referenced by the Kyoshi Warriors as a means of coercion by threatening to feed Aang and his friends to the unagi.
The unagi encountered the Avatar again several days later, when Aang had decided to attempt to ride the creature in order to impress a crowd of adoring girls, though seemingly in vain. Upon Katara's beckoning, Aang reconsidered and began advancing back toward the shore; however, the unagi arrived and initiated a chase. Before Aang had realized the creature's presence, the eel had already managed to lift him out of the water using a portion of his midsection. Glaring directly into the face of the vulnerable airbender, the unagi unleashed a powerful blast of water from its mouth, prompting Aang to brace himself by clutching the creature's fin. The eel snapped at him, albeit to no avail, as Aang had managed to parry the attack and grab hold of one of the creature's barbels. Infuriated, the unagi thrashed its head about in an attempt to fling off the Avatar. Eventually succeeding, Aang plummeted into the water and was rendered unconscious while the unagi continued to engage his prey from below the surface of the water. As Katara reached Aang in an effort to save him, the unagi emerged from underwater and launched at the two, though Katara managed to grab Aang and distance themselves from the creature with her waterbending. Enraged by their escape, the creature searched viciously for the two benders, spewing jet-streams of water in different directions toward the rocky shore.
The unagi had one final encounter with Aang later that day, when Team Avatar was leaving on Appa to escape the Fire Nation soldiers raiding Kyoshi Island looking for the Avatar; Aang jumped into the water and emerged atop the unagi. Using the barbels located on either side of the eel's head, Aang forced the creature to spew water on the burning buildings, extinguishing the flames consuming the nearby village.
The unagi's body is long and eel-like, with smooth, dark gray skin and no scales. Pointed finlets line the back of its body, evenly dispersed from head to tail.
A large dorsal fin protrudes from the top of its head and appears to be made of approximately six cartilage structures with connective webbing, which the unagi can expand and contract at will. Ventrally located from the fin on either side of its head are four bright yellow stripes.
The unagi has bright green eyes protected by a pair of vertically-oriented nictitating membranes in addition to the typical pair of horizontal eyelids. The creature's mouth is lined with sixteen pairs of sharp, interlocking teeth and on either side thereof are two long barbels. Inside its body, below its head, are glands that it uses to blast water at its prey.
Being a carnivore, the unagi is a considerably dangerous creature. It will eat almost anything that strays into its path, though elephant koi are its food of choice. It stuns its prey using powerful blasts of water.
Because of its vicious nature, the people of Kyoshi Island do not swim in the bay where it lives. However, unagis do have an instinctive fear of anything bigger than them.
The unagi appears to be based on a giant freshwater eel. It also finds its roots in old legends of serpent like sea monsters that roamed the oceans.
- Unagi (ウナギ, うなぎ) is the Japanese word for freshwater eel; it is a popular Japanese seafood and is often eaten as a sushi dish.
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ Malis, Nick (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 4, 2005). "The Warriors of Kyoshi". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Avatar Extras for "The Warriors of Kyoshi" on Nicktoons Network.