Anime Review - Supernatural: The Anime Series

Supernatural, the award winning series from US powerhouse The CW, has spawned a number of spin offs including novels, comic books and now an anime series. The anime offshoot covers a handful of stories from the first two seasons, re-imagining episodes suck as "Roadkill" and "The Devil's Trap", while also creating all new stories which not only expand upon the stories of the main characters, the Winchester's, but also those of some well known secondary characters.

With stories from the original series and animation from the all but faultless studio Madhouse, Supernatural: The Anime Series should be a great tie in to a great TV series.

Check out the full review after the jump!

The otherworldly TV phenomenon that is Supernatural makes history entering another world: as the first-ever live-action television show to be reimagined as an anime series. The internationally acclaimed animation powerhouse Madhouse Studios produces the show with the blessing of original series creator Eric Kripke. With storylines mirroring Supernatural’s first two seasons plus supplemental tales derived from prequels and spinoffs, this 3-Disc, 22-Episode Collection expands the dimensions of the familiar Winchester mythology. Journey down the backroads of America with brothers Sam and Dean as they search for clues to their father’s disappearance, hunt down the supernatural in all its unearthly forms and enter into the unexpected mystery of their destinies – in vibrant, exciting anime. - Warner Bros

Supernatural is a series that benefits from the anime treatment. The main reason for this is due to the focus of the series itself, the supernatural and the fact that the supernatural, spiritual and mythic hold such importance in Japanese culture - a fact that is infused in Supernatural: The Anime Series. The cultural importance of obake, yokai and the menacing yurei is infused in the delivery of Supernatural. While this assists in the supernatural aspect of the series, it also transfers into the visuals which are supplied by prolific anime studio, Madhouse.

While this may not be Madhouse's most impressive work, it is of a better quality than many series out there. With the source material being so well known and established for eight seasons at the time of writing, Madhouse have placed great importance on matching the likenesses and overall aesthetic of the source material. While they have done a great job of matching the look of the series, they have created a series which is distinctively anime. This is most evident in action and horror sequences which use anime sensibilities to deliver a more stylistic look and feel than could ever be captured on celluloid.

The anime series is more or less a supplementary to what was already established in seasons 1 and 2 and could actually prove confusing to those unacquainted with the franchise. While there are a small handful of original episodes, the series spends the majority of its time retelling well known episodes and, arguably, delivering an even more over the top view of the crazy life of the Winchesters. Visually, their likenesses are an extraordinary match and so too are the voices of the Winchesters. From episode 1 Jared Padalecki reprises his role as Sam Winchester while Andrew Farrar steps in as Dean and does a damn fine job too. Jensen Ackles steps back into the role during the last few episodes although managed to film a number of episode introductions with Padalecki. 

Ultimately, Supernatural: The Anime Series is a great addition to the Supernatural franchise through retelling and adding to the already established lore. While not essential viewing, it would find pride of place on the shelf of Supernatural fans. 

Supernatural: The Anime Series is available now on Blu Ray and DVD