SPNA – All Hell Breaks Loose (part 1 & 2)

Was going through my archives, and realized I never had finished reviewing the final two episodes of the Supernatural anime.  Time to fix that!

Obviously AHBL is one of my favorite episodes of the show, if not the standard by which I judge the episodes.  So yeah I’m going to be a bit biased with this episode.

Maybe it’s just the fact that Jensen is actually present to do the voice for Dean in both parts, but of all the episodes in the anime, this one is the closest to the source.  Everything not absolutely needed in the original episodes are trimmed for these lean, 30 min romps – yet it doesn’t quite feel rushed like it has in the past.

There are some minor adjustments which don’t change the overall motifs of the story but do fit within the anime world.  Like we have more time with Jake rather than Andy since the anime had an entire episode devoted to the former rather than the latter.  Since the anime never had the Roadhouse, it is Missouri’s house that is burned down.

The anime does take advantage of its format to also go more over the top.  Lily isn’t just killed off screen, she is found crucified to the underside of a bus that is stand on its front end.  Ava doesn’t summon a demon to attack Sam, but slams him against a brick wall twenty feet off the ground.  When the YED shows Sam the truth about that night in his crib, he does so while manifesting as a giant eyeball that Sam is standing on.  Sam lives to the credits, but post credits, Jake punches a freakin’ hole in Sam’s chest. While I admit that I prefer the more grounded realism of the original show, there is something fun to the sheer insane lengths the anime pushes.  There’s even a bit of satisfaction in watching Sam blow a crater around himself when he uses psychic powers to knock Jake back.  I assume it’s those same powers Sam uses later on when he rips Jake’s arm off and proceeds to beat the guy to death with his bare hands.  At the very least, Sam fans should really enjoy these episodes.

All told, these two episodes and the stand alones really make me wish we had gotten to see the next 3 Kripke seasons of Supernatural adapted to anime.  Just imagine a S3 depiciting the war Kripke had originally envisioned.  Or the trials an anime S4 could have shown us.  Or a S5 actually showing us the end of the world as the brothers fight to save it.  Anime Castiel and Crowley?  Sign me up!  I understand it will probably never happen, but a boy can dream.

So is it as good as the original 2 parter?  Not quite, but it is damn good and entertaining.  On the anime scale, both parts put together, still rank:

Out of 5.

In the end, I enjoyed the anime and cheer that Supernatural got something unique to commemorate it (I don’t recall any other shows being turned into animes like this).  Newer fans may not realize it, but back in the day, this and some tie-in novels was the closest we fans had to any swag of the show.  No minature Impalas… no stuffed Sam & Dean… no funko pops… no license plate replicas… it was pretty much fan made stuff, DVDs of the show, and this anime.  I guess that’s why it will always hold a special place in my heart.

So here’s a raised glass and a toast to the Supernatural anime.

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