Supernatural: The Anime Series [Blu-Ray]

Supernatural: The Anime Series [Blu-Ray]
It's important to note that what works about long-running CW series Supernatural is the irreverent tone, shockingly inappropriate violence, crude commentary and dynamics between Jensen Ackles' alcoholic goofball and Jared Padalecki's uptight, emotionally unstable character. In later seasons, the plots have become increasingly complex — stepping beyond monster-of-the-week territory — but the show works because of the inside jokes, double-entendres and occasional gag about Sam looking in Dean's trunk. This anime series takes away all of the clever dialogue, character dynamics and playfully sinister tonality in favour of pure, bland exposition. To boot, they've essentially taken existing episodes from the first two seasons and pared them down to the basic plots, with minor twists. The result is shockingly dull, especially given that these episodes weren't particularly brilliant to begin with on the basic story front. It's also hard to get past the fact that Jared Padalecki is the only actor performing any of the voice work. If there's anything positive to be said about this 22-episode experiment, it's that they occasionally take advantage of the animation medium, putting Sam and Dean in far more perilous situations than possible on the show, giving the characters opportunities to pull off ridiculous stunts. Otherwise, the only distinction is the constant blood squirting across the screen in true anime fashion. Since fans of the show will be familiar with the plotlines, it's hard to imagine anyone getting particularly invested in a crappy retread. Furthermore, it's hard to recommend this to newcomers, seeing as the actual series is far superior. Even fans of anime would find this collection somewhat perplexing, as the mythology and execution are sub-par for that lexicon. The Blu-Ray set includes introductions from Padalecki and Ackles, who both look genuinely lethargic while reading terribly worded cue cards. The "Making of" enthusiastically expands upon being the first series to pull something like this off without contextualizing why anyone felt compelled to do so. These supplements add little to a set that should be avoided by all but serious collectors of Supernatural paraphernalia. (Warner)