Hellboy Animated: Sword Of Storms (2006)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 2/19/18
Music: Christopher Drake
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Peri Gilpin, Gwendoline Yeo

"Things that go bump in the night are real. We're the ones who bump back."

A mystical Japanese scroll shows up and possesses a mythology professor, who then goes searching for an ancient cursed sword. The spirits of two storm demons are imprisoned in the blade, and they want to be freed so they can destroy the human race. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and Kate Corrigan (Peri Gilpin) go to Japan to investigate the case, and Hellboy gets whisked off to another dimension when he takes possession of the sword. Meanwhile, demons and dragons are awakening all over the planet, and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) are trapped on a small island in the middle nowhere when their plane crashes into the sea. Will Hellboy be able to defeat the storm demons, save his friends, and return home?

It's a delightfully dark and macabre adventure, and the rich Japanese folklore is wonderful. The monsters are creepy and scary, and the art direction is excellent. Christopher Drake's spooky music score does a great job of creating a tense and dramatic atmosphere. It's nice to have Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones reprise their movie roles for the show, and overall the voice acting is pretty good. Only a handful of supporting characters come off as a bit lackluster. Apart from several embarrassingly awful looking CGI effects, the animation is very good, although there's visual inconsistency with the agency's helicopter being alternately rendered as CGI and traditional art. It's a minor quibble, but it's very distracting. Overall, it's a fun show for fans of ghosts, monsters, and paranormal thrills.