And here’s part three of my fledgling contribution to the Supernatural fandom… I wish I had more to offer…
Anyway! This post will contain spoilers for the first three episodes of the Supernatural anime series as well as season 1 episode 9 of the original TV series.
(Remake of season 1 episode 9 “Home”)
Written by Takayama Naoya
Original written by Eric Kripke
Sam and Dean return to their childhood home after 22 years and discover the mother and child who live there are haunted by a powerful poltergeist. When the brothers attempt to drive it away, they receive help from the fiery ghost of their mother.
Today’s episode introduction includes both Jared and Jensen and apparently, this is Jensen’s favorite season 1 episode. Like, this is such an important episode. Don’t fuck this up, anime!
Dean’s voice sounds a bit like teenage Dean from “After School Special” (season 4 episode 13), but older. Close, but still not Jensen Ackles. (Hey, I warned you I’d whine about this every episode…)
The rest of the voice acting reminds me of why I don’t watch dubbed anime anymore. Like, Padalecki and Farrar are mostly fine, but the voices of the mother and her children (oh god, her daughter’s voice is atrocious) are awful. And Mary… and Missouri… even John. Just… why?! Unlike with Dean, I’m not upset that they didn’t get the original actors for these minor characters. That’s not enough to kill the mood for me when watching this. But the actors they did get are just so bad. With the exception of John, I guess, but he didn’t really have enough lines to fully judge. The voices are just so cartoon-y. It hurts my soul!
The episode seemed rushed, but only because they were attempting to take a 45 minute story and squeeze it into 22 minutes. The pacing was pretty good in spite of that, but much of the emotion from the original episode was missing. I think part of that is also because, when watching the TV series, we have half a season of backstory and emotional baggage to take with us into this episode. But with the anime, this is only the third episode. So even though I have all the knowledge of these characters’ lives that I should have going into this story, much of that knowledge hasn’t actually been presented to me in animated form. If I’m missing the emotional impact that I should be getting from this after having seen the TV series, what’s the experience of someone watching this as a blank slate. Do you care about the characters? Can you?
This is the same issue (one of many) that I had with Sailor Moon Crystal. On it’s own, there’s not enough depth to really feel anything about the characters and their story. But with knowledge of the original series, the remake is ultimately a disappointment.
Hopefully, the anime-only episodes of this series will be better. I mean, if they were making this under the assumption that the audience would be made up of Supernatural fans, why bother reusing episodes? Just have the first episode give us a basic backstory and then every episode after that can be a brand new adventure. As it is, this is like someone trying to include bits of canon into their fanfic and getting it completely wrong, emphasizing the wrong details.
I’m only three episodes into this and I’m already wishing they’d redo it and try again.
Dean, ever the problem child, continues to be my only real issue with the Japanese voices. Even young Dean in the flashbacks… He sounds like a teenager. Isn’t he only supposed to be, like, four when their mom dies? Why does it sound like he already hit puberty?
Better yet, why does it look like he’s already hit puberty. Dean in that photo is way too big to be four years old. (Or six? How much older than Sam is he supposed to be?)
Side note: I have to ask… why is Dean’s jacket quilted?
Anyway, Missouri’s Japanese voice is actually closer to the original TV series actress than the English version. I still don’t understand why she’s a creepy looking old woman here, though.
Okay. So. In the English version, while Dean is trying to get ahold of John, he says “I love you” to John’s voicemail. In the Japanese, he says “I miss you.” In the original episode, didn’t he say something like, “I don’t know what to do.” I don’t think Dean “No Chick Flick Moments” Winchester would say these things to his equally emotionally closed off father.
This is a little awkward…
And finally, Baby remains the best animated and most beautiful character on this series so far.