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I have a weakness for genre shows, especially good genre shows. Renewed for a seventh season, SUPERNATURAL is not only a very good genre show, it is also a highly successful one. Successful genre shows have ardent fans, that can’t get enough of the universe that their favorite characters inhabit. Sometimes this fan fervor gives rise to a series of novels featuring those favored characters, and sometime its comic books. In the case of SUPERNATURAL, both novels and comic books serve to expand the television series’ universe. But in addition to printed media, fans of SUPERNATURAL also have an anime series to immerse themselves in.

Sometimes referred to as SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIMATION or in the case of the Blu-ray release, SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES ($55) is a familiar, but decidedly different take of the popular live action television series. Produced by famed Japanese anime studio Madhouse, SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES distills and reinterprets stories told during the first two seasons of the show, while adding some new tales to the universe in which the popular characters inhabit. Like the live action show, SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES follows the adventures of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, who are searching for their missing father John, while at the same time carry on in the family business of hunting down all sorts of supernatural beasties that haunt the highways and byways of America. With a lot more blood and gore than what is found in the live action American television show, SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES has the stylistic earmarks of a Japanese animated production. Fans of the American television series will be happy to hear Jared Padalecki voicing Sam in all the episodes. However, Jensen Ackles only makes vocal appearances in the final two episodes.

SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES comes to Blu-ray in a two-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes: The Alter Ego, Road Kill, Home, Savage Blood, Ghost On The Highway, Till Death Do Us Part, Temptation Of Demon, Everlasting Love, Diety Of Vegas, Moon Light, Nightmare, Darkness Calling, What Lives In The Lake, Reunion, Devil’s Trap, In My Time Of Dying, Rising Son, Crossroad, Loser, What Is And What Should Never Be, All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1 and All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The presentations are fairly crisp, sharp and well defined, just the way one would expect 2D anime to appear in high definition. Colors have a moody, dusty quality that only becomes intense during key moments. Blacks are perfectly inky, while the whites are clean. Contrast has a stylized quality. Not produced on film, SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES is free from the grain and print flaws.

All of the episodes that constitute SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. For the most part, these are fine direct-to-video styled sound mixes. As expected, the sound designs tend to be front heavy, delivering modest amounts of information to the rear channels. Fidelity is very good, but the material isn’t particularly taxing on one’s home theater sound system. Dialogue is always clean and easy to understand. Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 channel stereo soundtracks are also provided for the episodes. Subtitles are available n English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the extras. Starting things off are Episode Introductions by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. A two-part Featurette entitled The Making Of Supernatural: The Anime Series is also included. Additionally there are Interviews with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, as well as the live action series creator Eric Kripke, plus directors Shigeyuki Miya and Atsuko Ishizuka, as well as Japanese Anime voice actors Hiroki Touchi and Yuuya Uchida.

SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES is a well-done reinterpretation of the live action genre series. The Blu-ray presentations are clean, crisp and solid. Recommended.


Supernatural: The Anime Series [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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