Review: SPN:TA 1.02

Continuing with Supernatural: the Animation, we skip ahead to s2 for the story "Roadkill", though keeping the "we must find Dad!" throughline in the background.

This story definitely lends itself better to the abbreviated format than "Skin" did, and the visuals are quite well done. It's a very visually atmospheric episode. However, we're continue the trend of anime ghosts being much more acrobatic than their live-action cousins, and there are some very odd bits and pieces, such as a random guitar case in the backseat of the Impala, and Dean using his shirt as tinder to burn a damp body (seriously).

There's a little more brotherly banter, and some of Dean's lines are pretty good, but the "we must find dad!" stuff still feels very pasted-on and the exposition is extremely clunky. Despite the improvement in dialog, Dean continues to be more stereotype "tough guy" than, well, Dean. Granted, they really don't have much time to fit in character work, but it's a shame. Sam suffers a bit, too. He completely botches the first "David's still alive" reveal, and then kind of botches it the second time, and the only reason he doesn't feel as out of character as Dean is that he's basically just serving as walking exposition, which allows him to kind of dodge this issue.

I do give this script props for not just doing a basic rehash of the original episode--the action sequences all do new things, and have the bonus of being much tighter than those of SPN:TA 1.01. I'm guessing they had to drop the musical radio cues because of copyright issues, but the grandfather clock, despite feeling kind of random, functions pretty well instead. Also they throw in a new element which I wasn't expecting at all, but fits with the overall altered tone of the show thus far.

Final verdict? Much better constructed than the previous episode, but still lacking something
This one was definitely better than the first episode, though part of my reaction might be because it lined up with the original episode much better...They shifted the scariness of it from Greely's ghost to his wife's ghost, but I was okay with that change, though I was waiting for scary Greely and never got it, whereas in the actual episode Greely was terrifying...

I liked the artistry of the animation in this episode--except for how they draw the boys, especially Dean. (Scoobynatural didn't get Dean right either. Why is such a beautiful man so hard to draw???)

And the brotherly banter is sadly lacking...

What is the new element that you weren't expecting?
Greely's wife showing up in the river was an outright surprise, but one that worked pretty well within the episode. Though alas for the ongoing deficiency in banter--and brotherly affection in general.

I think the problem with Jensen/Dean is that his facial proportions are so pleasing that they're almost impossible to simplify without also distorting them somehow.