Rising Son, another original animated episode, again draws on anime conventions while filling in some of the childhood background of Sam and Dean. Like the other orignal episodes (especially those with flashbacks like this) there is a certain amount of retconning here. And as we are heading hard to the anime version of the conclusion of season two, major players Ellen and Jo, not to mention the roadhouse are narrative casualties. On the other hand the show offers us more of Missouri Mosley (at least the west-indian chibi-form version of her, anyway.)
There are a number of aspects of this ep that rather play hard against the continuity of the live action series in this ep, while others support the original series. The first big blow is young Sam following john and Dean out on a hunt of what appears to be a demon moose. I kid you not. And Sammy blows up the creature with the power of his mind (resulting in some pretty bloody goore remeniscent of the kind of stuff we anime fans saw int, say, Princes Mononoke.) The story involves the inclusion into the family of Sam’s school teacher who John brings in as a surrogate mother, but turns out to be possessed by a demon serving the yellow eyed demon. The climax gives us both two things that the live action would never offer us. Firstly, a character resisting a demon possession, and secondly a giant anime robot (formed magically from wrecked cars). Yeah, for those of us who felt burned by the tease the live action series Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie, this is the ep for you.
Of course this ep also continues the divergence of emo anime Dean from the Dean we are more familiar wth, who, after the death of John, goes back to Missouri for comfort (scenes which are wrapped around the flashback ep. Again, while we are repeatedly shown Andrew Farrar’s Dean is the same character, he repeatedly written as a character emotionally younger and more vulnerable than Sam. And it still feels weird even seventeen eps in.
Rating: 4 out fo 5 (+0.5 for actually giving us the promised giant robot)