This month we bring you a very special anime challenge. If you don’t know of the series Supernatural, which is entering their 15th and final season this year, you need a whole lot of catching up to do. The series is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester who grow up to become demon hunters after a demon murders their mother. There is much more about the series’ plot but it is up to you to discover.
Our challenge is Supernatural The Animation, an anime series based on the American hit horror series, Supernatural. The anime was announced in 2010 by the official Japanese Warner Bros. Website. The anime debuted in 2011, was produced by Madhouse and ran for 22 episodes. The series was co-directed by Shigeyuki Miya and Atsuko Ishizuka, with Eric Kripke credited as the project creator. The series executive producer was Madhouse co-founder Masao Maruyama, Takahiro Yoshimatsu designing the characters. The same voice actors Yuya Uchida and Hiroki Touchi, who voice Sam and Dean for the Japanese dub of the live-action series, reprises their roles for the animation. The series covered the first two seasons of the live-action American series but also included original content exploring the Winchesters’ childhoods and expanding upon secondary characters.
Week 1 - 7th October to 13th October 2019
Episodes to watch: 1 – 5
Konnichiwa Minna! Welcome to week one of our Supernatural The Animation Challenge, we hope you are as hyped as we are to see Dean and Sam kick some paranormal butt. Speaking of which, let’s look at the vocal talent behind the anime’s characters. Yuya Uchida and Hiroki Touchi are both voice actors who voice Sam and Dean on the live-action Japanese dub of the super-popular Supernatural series, and they both reprises their roles for Supernatural The Animation.
Yuya Uchida was born November 29, 1965 in Misato, Saitama and is a member of the Haiyuza Theatre Company. He is the voice of Sam Winchester. Some of his anime voice actor roles include
Soul Eater (Franken Stein), Soul Eater Not! (Franken Stein), Tokyo Ghoul (Arata Kirishima), One Piece (Charlotte Perospero) and No Guns Life (Cronen von Wolf). He also voice man dubs of live-action movies and series. One of the actors who he voice a lot is none other than Leonardo DiCaprio‘s work. He voiced Jack Dawson in Titanic (2004 Fuji TV edition), Billy in the Departed, Roger Ferris in Body of Lies, Cobb in Inception and Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby. He also voiced Green Arrow in the American animation series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Next week we will talk more about the voice actors. As for our challenge, this week we will watch episode 1 to 5. So let’s carry on my wayward sons, and daughters, enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week, minna!
Week 2 - 14th October to 20th October 2019
Episodes to watch: 6 – 10
Konnichiwa Minna, it is week two of our Supernatural The Animation Challenge. Last week Sam and Dean were quite busy. They faced a shape-shifting skin walker, a haunting farmer, a ghost in their old house, a evil spirit car and bullies (or is it vampires?). If you have not started to be part of the challenge you missed out. Fanatiks of the live-action Supernatural series might have recognized two episodes based on the live action series, and it is nice to see animation versions of those episodes, isn’t it?
Dean’s voice actor is Hiroki Tochi. He was born May 26th, 1966 in Tokyo. He is a voice actor affiliated with Office Osawa and won a Male Character Voice Prize in the 2011 Famitsu awards. Some of his voice acts include Hunter × Hunter (the 1999 series) as Ging Freecss, Seishiro in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Baldroy in Black Butler, Panther Lily in Fairy Tail and Delphy in 91 Days. He is also the voice actor that dubs Will Smith’s voice. He voice acted in the Men in Black series as Agent J, The Pursuit of Happiness as Chris Gardner, After Earth as Kitai Raige, Suicide Squad as Floyd Lawton / Deadshot and Collateral Beauty as Howard Inlet.
Our challenge this week is episode 6 to 10. So let’s carry on my wayward sons, and daughters, enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week, minna!
Week 3 - 21st October to 27th October 2019
Episodes to watch: 11 – 15
Konnichiwa Minna, it is week three of our Supernatural The Animation Challenge. Sam and Dean dealt with a lot of spooky things that goes bump in the night in last week’s episodes. We’d like to focus on episode 9, which was titled ‘The Spirit of Vegas’ because it is an anime only episode, an original story that is not part of the live-action series. In the episode Dean is taken over by a Japanese ‘poverty’ spirit called a Binbogami and he tried to get rid of the spirit. He finds out that to do that he must fight the spirit of ‘prosperity’, because the two spirits are in a sense ‘two sides of the same coin.’ Instead of spoiling the episode for those who must still watch the episode, let’s learn the real myth behind the Binbogami.
As you know Japan has myriad myths of kami (gods) in the shinto religion. These kami are honoured and revered, shrines are build for them, or Kamidana (small home shrines) and offerings are brought to the kami in respect and they are prayed to for health, protection, god luck and prosperity. However, there is a kami no-one wants around. He is in the guise of a weak, ragged, dirty old man, binbogami.
He is the kami of poverty, and no he does not help the poor, instead he brings poverty to houses that he enters. Once he is in your life he is very hard to get rid off but according to lore it is not impossible to get rid of him. Some believe that the binbogami can be driven away by throwing beans at him, or that heat of the fire lit in the irori on New Year’s Eve will drive him away and it will invite fukunokami, the kami of good luck. We hope you enjoyed our mini kawaii kulture information on Japanese lore. Want to know more about Japanese luck gods? Here is our article about the seven kami of luck.
Our challenge this week is episode 11 to 15. So let’s carry on my wayward sons, and daughters, enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week, minna!
Week 4 - 28th October to 03rd November 2019
Episodes to watch: 16 – 22
Konnichiwa Minna, it is week four of our Supernatural The Animation Challenge. This whole series so far we have seen two brothers fighting back to back to put evil down. It will be remiss of us not to look at other great siblings in anime.
Edward & Alphonse Elric, from Fullmetal Alchemist
If you know the anime and manga then you know the story: Through the arcane science of alchemy, two brothers tried to resurrect their dead mother. But something went horribly wrong, and the resurrection failed, extracting a high price from the brothers. Edward Elric lost his entire right arm and part of his left leg and his little brother Alphonse, nearly dies but is plucked from death as Edward desperately fused his brother’s soul to a suit of armour with alchemy before he passed out. Alphonse took his body to their adoptive family, the Rockbells who happens to be prosthetic (called automail in this world) experts, who fitted Edward with automail limbs. They set out on a journey, after recovering and learning more on alchemy at a special academy, to become State Alchemists, which will help Edward to do research as he aims to get their bodies back through alchemist means.
Sasuke and Itachi Uchiha, from Naruto
Sasuke Uchiha is the last of the Uchiha clan, a clan of shinobi that possess the Sharingan. The Sharingan have two abilities: the ‘Eye of Insight’ and the ‘Eye of Hypnotism’. He is quite a character and known for never addressing anyone with honorifics at the end of their names (except his parents, clan members and his brother Itachi). He is also a ninja genius, while at the Academy, he had the highest grade in ninjutsu, taijutsu and genjutsu out of all of his peers.
In the Naruto anime, it is over time revealed that he wants to kill his brother Itachi Uchiha. Itachi Uchiha is a missing-nin from Konohagakure, a member of Akatsuki, partnered with Kisame Hishigaki and he is Sasuke Uchiha’s older brother. In his time at Konohagakure, he was an ANBU captain.
Eldest son of Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha, Itachi was praised by all as the best of his generation and a prodigy, he became a missing-nin after murdering his entire clan, sparing only his little brother Sasuke who walked in and saw this murderous act, which has put Sasuke on the path of vengeance. He joined Akatsuki and only after his death when Itachi’s motives were revealed we learned that he was a loyal Shinobi of Konohagakure to the very end.
The story of Itachi and his little brother Sasuke is one of the main story-line branches in the Naruto anime franchise. It is a path of sorrow, the path of two brothers and the pain of loss, the darkness of being the sole survivors, tested by blood and honour.
Our challenge this week is episode 16 to 22. It is a little more than usual, but when we finish this week’s leg of the challenge, we have watched a whole anime series together! Sugoi, ne! Enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week, minna!