Spoiler Alert: Although the plot should come as no surprise for fans of the live-action Supernatural series, I do want to detail all the hilarious reasons you should binge watch this brief revisiting by Japanese production company Madhouse.
Despite being determined not to like Supernatural when it began, I eventually warmed up to the Winchester brothers and have enjoyed every second of their journey. I’m in full fangirl mode over this series so it came as a shock that I didn’t discover Supernatural: The Animation until recently even though it was released in the US in 2011. The most likely cause is that didn’t get quite the expected reception among Supernatural fans, and thus was quietly swept under the rug. I, however, think that anime and Supernatural fans alike should check out this series and love it for the imperfect yet amazing gem it is.
As far as Japanese animation (or anime) goes, this 22 episode series is hilariously flawed but it’s these flaws that really make the show a treasure. First off, you must watch the English dubbed version because Jared Padalecki actually voices Sam, with Jensen Ackles taking over Dean for the last two episodes. The lip sync is usually very off, which caused many complaints by viewers but made me love it even more. I have a weakness for terrible foreign B-flicks so I was giggling like crazy with the first episode right away.
The series itself takes from the first two seasons of the live-action Supernatural, sometimes simply condensing the plot of specific hour-long episodes into 20 minute ones, and sometimes just playing on the source material while telling it’s own stories entirely. There’s a lot of flashbacks to things that didn’t happen in the live-action show, but easily could have. This also aids in character development because there’s a much shorter time to get out a lot of needed information about the Winchesters. I enjoyed having a bit more of a story behind small side characters, but was disappointed at all the content in the two seasons they chose not to pull from at all.
The real beauty, though, comes in the form of the small anime-style embellishments. In this version Sam can explode things with his mind from a very young age, Bobby has a helicopter for no reason, John Winchester can do a donut with the car that somehow makes a devil’s trap, they both seem to have lightning fast reflexes and then some. If that’s not anime enough for you, they also exorcise a demon from a giant…mech/robot. These aren’t even all of the odd additions, but I don’t want to spoil everything.
After some snooping I discovered there were plans to do more than just one season of Supernatural: The Animation, but obviously that idea has been dropped. It’s a shame really, for all the hilarious problems found in this series I still want to see Japan take on the entire Supernatural adventure. In fact, I think it’s because of the flaws that I really want to see it.