Supernatural: The Anime Series
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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 animé 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 animé.
Interviews with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Series Creator Eric Kripke, Directors Shigeyuki Miya and Atsuko Ishizuka and Voice Actors Hiroki Touchi and Yuuya Uchida
Episode Introductions by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
Trailers and TV Spots
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Reluctantly, though, I decided to pick up the set and give it a second chance. I actually ended up enjoying this 22-episode set much more than I thought I would, but before picking it up yourself there are a few things you should expect:
1. The English dub is pretty bad.
The story is strong and the episodes are pretty creative, but I had to watch the entire series in Japanese to be able to stomach the dialogue. The main problem for me is that Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean in the live-action show, does not voice Dean in the anime except for the last 3 episodes. When paired with the voice of Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam in the live-action show, it can be very disconcerting. No offense to the guy playing Dean in English - he did his best - but he is just not Jensen. And, I'm sad to say, Jared Padalecki isn't a great voice actor himself. He's phenomenal in the live show, but when he's trying to do a whole scene without actually "acting it out" his voice is extremely flat and wooden.
Another issue I had with the English dub is that some of the translations are pretty far off. When I would watch a scene in English and then go back and watch it in Japanese, some sentences aren't even REMOTELY close when translated. I know they had to try and make the mouth movements sync up between languages, but it honestly makes the story a little disjointed sometimes when watching in English.
2. A couple of the important characters' designs have been drastically changed.
For real purists of the show, this might be a bit of an issue. Bobby Singer, rather than looking like real-life actor Jim Beaver, is now a fat, bald, clean-shaven man who constantly wears a fedora instead of a baseball cap and does not own a scrap of plaid clothing, as well as speaking with a slight Brooklyn accent. John Winchester, rather than looking like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, now sports a bald head covered with a black newsboy-cap and wears a long black trenchcoat. And Missouri Moseley, the psychic from the Season 1 episode "Home," has now been made into a squat, eccentric Jamaican stereotype of a psychic who can't be more than 4 feet tall. The Yellow-Eyed Demon Azazel has also been redone, looking a bit like the Supernatural version of Slenderman.
3. Sam and Dean act very out-of-character at times.
In this version of the series, Sam is often very snappy and cynical, way more than he ever is in the show. He often has a quick temper for no apparent reason, another trait that is unlike Sam in the live-action show.
Dean, in this version, is often a bit of a crybaby. I know he has cried often in the live-action show as well, but only under times of extreme duress. In this version, it is almost every episode; sometimes he even cries for comedic effect. He is also characterized as an idiot, often bumbling and clumsy and needing Sam to fix something he messed up during a hunt. I know that Dean is often the comic relief in the live-action show as well, but it's through witty and clever banter; he's never been characterized as an idiot.
All in all, I really enjoyed this 22-episode set. The story follows very closely to the one in the first 2 seasons of Supernatural, with a few plot alterations and new characters, and the art style is very nice to look at. I ended up watching the entire box set within a few days, and I was actually a little sad when it was over.
My advice, to anyone who finds the English dub a little too painful to listen to like I did, is to listen to it exclusively in Japanese with subtitles. That way you can get the full "anime" experience, Japanese language included.
The actual series though is pretty good, the voice actor for Dean isn't Ackles, but you get used to it. There's a short introduction before each episode given by Ackles and Padelecki, explaining and giving their thought about the episode. I really like the series, it's not in total anime style, more comic book, but it fits well with the series. The characters are quite animated as well, with the characteristic anime expressions and such.
A good buy overall.
I watched the first episode, seems pretty good so far. Only downside is the case arrived damaged, has a big slice through the cardboard and plastic cases, reason for lowered review. So far doesn't seem like any of the discs were affected.