Supernatural: The Anime Series is available to purchase on Amazon and Vudu. Yes, you read that correctly; there is an anime version of Supernatural. Watch the trailer below to see a glimpse of just how crazy it gets.
Also called Supernatural: The Animation and Supernatural: The Animated Series, this manga-inspired take on the original live-action American TV series was released digitally from February to April of 2011. Produced by animation studio Madhouse, the series was also released on DVD and Blu-ray by Warner Home Video. Its first and only season ran 22 episodes and was originally released in Japan.
Supernatural: The Anime was the first anime adaptation of a live-action American series.
Supernatural fans will be glad to hear Jared Padalecki as the voice of Sam Winchester throughout the English language version of the series, though Jensen Ackles was not available to record the voice of Dean Winchester for the majority of the series. The role of Dean is played by Andrew Farrar throughout the first 20 episodes of the series, though Ackles takes over for the final two episodes. The shift in the voice of Dean is not the only change that happens in this version of the Winchester Saga, as animation allows for a great deal of creativity that was not available on the CW.
As can be seen in the trailer for Supernatural: The Anime, the series is able to encompass a wide array of insane visuals and mind-bending concepts. It also plays a bit loose with the appearance of the Winchester boys, as is to be expected in an anime production. The distinctive appearances of Jordan Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have been altered to better fit the prevailing style of Japanese animation used in the production of the series.
The animated version of Supernatural can be seen as running concurrently with the original series’ first and second episodes. This is because 12 of the episodes are reinterpretations of stories from Supernatural Seasons 1 and 2. The rest of the stories featured in the animated series are original, giving fans who are always hungry for new adventures of the Winchesters something to enjoy that they might have missed in its original appearance.
Jared Padalecki voices Sam throughout Supernatural: The Anime but Jensen Ackles also provides the voice for Dean during the last two episodes.
Supernatural‘s creator and original showrunner Eric Kripke is also credited as the creator of Supernatural: The Anime, meaning this is a genuine exploration of the further adventures of these beloved characters, no matter how far afield it may go from what was depicted in the live-action version. The characters of Sam and Dean are even voiced in the original Japanese by the same actors who dubbed those roles for the Japanese release of the live-action series.
Both Supernatural series follows brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they battle with angels, demons, and all sorts of otherworldly entities on a quest to find their father. Their iconic car features prominently in the animated series as in the original. What’s new here is the extreme, nearly psychedelic visual style that includes graphic violence sequences of bizarre mutations and other imagination-stretching events that are only available in animation.
Supernatural: The Anime was eventually released in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Indonesian. Whether its short run was planned or the series was not able to continue further is unclear, but the fact that it contains roughly an extra half-season of episodes that have not been seen anywhere else before, not to mention animated reinterpretations of familiar episodes from the original series makes it an interesting and enticing entry into the Supernatural universe.
Supernatural: The Anime includes a dozen episodes with original stories not found in the live-action series.
Fans of the series will surely find the fresh take on the characters and world of Supernatural intriguing, whether or not they ultimately prefer the live-action version.
The creation of an animated version of Supernatural was a unique challenge and an ambitious idea that only goes to further show the popularity of this franchise and the appeal of its characters. Not only will fans get a glimpse into the lives of secondary characters within the animated series, but they will also be treated to more background information on the Winchester boys’ younger years over the course of the original episodes.
So, if you’re interested in seeing more, you can purchase Supernatural: The Anime, available now on Vudu and Amazon.