Does The CW Network’s ‘Supernatural’ have an anime adaptation?

Dean and Sam Winchester
Image via The CW

Supernatural was the title of the CW Network’s longest-running TV show, which went on for 15 seasons between September 2005 and November 2020. During those years, 327 episodes were aired, focusing on the misadventures of Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who were raised as supernatural hunters by their father.

In earlier seasons, each Supernatural episode would focus on a different monster or entity wreaking havoc in small communities. The scariest episodes in the whole series can be found among seasons one through three, as the show tended to focus more on spooks, while still maintaining an overarching plot. In season four, however, the Supernatural universe expanded with the introduction of Angels, and the narrative took a turn of biblical proportions.

Over the years, the series cultivated a large and dedicated following of fans, which allowed Supernatural to thrive for as long as it did. This success also led to the development of two spin-off shows, Supernatural: Bloodlines, — a project that ultimately fell through — and later, The Winchesters, a prequel to the main series which premiered in 2022. Before all that, however, the American TV show expanded beyond national borders, receiving its very own animated adaptation, Supernatural: The Animation.

Is Supernatural: The Animation an anime?

As wild as it might be to believe, this Supernatural adaptation is not a mere cartoon, but an actual anime. The series was produced by Madhouse, a popular Japanese animation studio, known for works like Hunter x Hunter, Death Note, Beyblade, Death Parade, and the first season of One Punch Man.

Also known as Supernatural: The Anime Series, the adaptation followed the first two seasons of the original TV show, with Dean and Sam hunting ghosts and demons while searching the country for their father, who had disappeared on a hunting trip. Rest assured, though, this isn’t a simple repetition of the plot Supernatural fans already watched on the CW. The anime makes sure to incorporate original content, mainly developing supporting characters and portraying the Winchester brothers’ childhood.

Unfortunately for anime fans, the anime only ran for a single season, with 22 episodes released in Japan between January and April 2011. As a treat for viewers of the original series, Jared Padalecki — who played Sam in the live-action — voiced the same character for the English dub release of the anime. Sadly,  the same cannot be said about Jensen Ackles, who played Dean, as he ended up only voicing his character for the last two episodes of the anime due to schedule conflicts.

Supernatural fans who also enjoy anime would do well to check out this adaptation on Vudu or Prime Video.