Su­per­nat­u­ral

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray -

Re­lease Date: 22 June

1990 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Di­rec­tors: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi Cast: Yoshino Takamori, Noriko Hi­daka, Akio Oht­suka, Ku­miko Tak­izawa, Mo­tomu Kiyokawa, Kikuko Inoue

This anime

steam­punk epic from 1990, get­ting its first Bri­tish re­lease, veers be­tween bril­liance and aw­ful­ness. It starts as a cosy- feel­ing com­e­dyad­ven­ture. A be­spec­ta­cled boy in­ven­tor, Jean, en­coun­ters a beau­ti­ful black girl, Na­dia, on top of the Eif­fel Tower in 1889. They’re has­sled by com­edy crooks, then by a far dead­lier masked vil­lain with world con­quest in mind. Mean­while, an op­er­at­i­cally tragic Cap­tain Nemo crashes into the story…

A rip­ping steam­punk yarn from be­fore the genre be­came fash­ion­able, much of Na­dia is supremely en­joy­able. The tech­nol­ogy ranges from the anachro­nis­ti­cally be­liev­able ( Nemo’s su­per- mod­ern Nau­tilus sub­ma­rine) to the frankly loony ( a gi­ant robot crab!). The kids are en­gag­ingly awk­ward, es­pe­cially Na­dia, who’s ter­ri­fied by who she may re­ally be. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see the show evolve, from a Stu­dio Ghi­bli- style fam­ily adventure into some­thing far more adult, angsty and Freudian.

Yet the se­ries never loses its love of mad­cap silli­ness… which un­for­tu­nately takes over com­pletely for a lot of this 39- part se­ries ( parts 23 to 34). Th­ese episodes get so poor that you can skip most of them ( only part 31 is im­por­tant to the plot). Thank­fully, the last five parts are a mag­nif­i­cent slam­bang fi­nale, which takes the show to the stars in trib­ute to Space Bat­tle­ship Yamato.

Clean cred­its and trail­ers. Cap­tain Nemo is voiced in Ja­panese by Akio Ot­suka, who also voiced Ba­tou ( the huge male cy­borg) in Ghost In The Shell.

The hunt goes on... and on...

Re­lease Date: 8 June

2013- 2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Showrun­ner: Jeremy Carver Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ack­les, Misha Collins, Mark Shep­pard, Erica Car­roll, Tah­moh Penikett

This sea­son of

Su­per­nat­u­ral took so long to reach Bri­tish TV screens that it must surely have shed view­ers like a de­mon shed­ding ves­sels along the way. So was it worth the wait? As usual, yes.

Highs this year in­clude just about any scene con­tain­ing Crow­ley, with the King of Hell find­ing him­self knocked down a peg or two by those pesky Winch­esters, as well as an in­trigu­ing arc- plot fo­cus­ing on Dean mak­ing a dodgy deal with a fallen an­gel. Oh, and Feli­cia Day’s de­light­ful Char­lie also gets to hang out with The Wiz­ard Of Oz’s Dorothy in the barmy “Slum­ber Party”.

Lows in­clude Castiel wan­der­ing about aim­lessly for half a sea­son amid a dull fallen an­gels sto­ry­line, an off- key re­turn for Garth, and an ut­terly dread­ful episode named “Blood­lines” which was mooted as the pi­lot for a spin- off se­ries that thank­fully never hap­pened.

Su­per­nat­u­ral isn’t quite as spunky as in the old days, true, but its wise­cracks, gory deaths and end­less broth­erly angst are still com­pelling to watch, even if you feel as though you’ve seen most of this be­fore.

Three commentaries ( with Mark Shep­pard and Misha Collins lend­ing their vo­cals for once), an amus­ing be­hind- thescenes mock­u­men­tary ( 18 min­utes), sev­eral fea­turettes ( 54 min­utes), the team’s Comic- Con 2013 panel ( 29 min­utes), and a gag reel ( eight min­utes). Jayne Nel­son The CW are still keen on hav­ing a spin- off, and showrun­ner Jeremy Carver says it, “con­tin­ues to per­co­late in dis­cus­sions”.

The new IT team rocked.

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