Have you noticed that OVAS are completely gone these days? Ok, maybe saying isn’t completely fair. Especially since OVAS did exist in some form. In recent times, I think of them like an expansion to a t series that just came out. Think of something like the Laid-Back Camp OVAs or similar that allow a person to see their characters for a little longer. Nowadays, it feels like television series and movies are the soul print of anime these days. You know, for the most part? I would consider the Princess Principal and Girls Und Panzer sequel series to be OVAs based on how they are released as OVAS, but they are serial movies produced in a short amount of time. It feels like Gundam is among the only franchises that still creates OVAS like the older days.
So, what is an OVA? Well, some people to call them OAVS. The initial still stand for the same things. The O is for Original. The V is Video with the A being Animation. The tenses and terms do change a bit depending on the order one takes it, but the meaning is still the same. The fad started in the 80’s with Mamoru Oshii’s Dallos and kept going until the early 2000’s to become what it was today. What were the 80’s and 90’s ovas for? Well, creating original stories in a manner we didn’t expect with all sorts of great visuals behind them. It was a form of media that gave anime creators all sorts of freedom to create what they wanted regardless of money. I mean, these did start during the bubble economy of Japan so there was obvious some great things produced there.
A lot of these OVAS are things still have such a huge impact to a lot of media these days. Or at the very least, are exceptional things we will never see again. I think Megazone 23 influenced a lot of media after it. I think that Gunbuster’s importance could never be overstated by how it influenced Hideaki Anno’s directional style and creative ideas. I think that the gigantic Giant Robo OVA is one of the coolest things that could ever exist and I couldn’t say enough about it even if it’s a bit flawed. The power of creating whatever you want under, even if it takes a long time to get a budget in the 90’s, is pretty fun and can create some cool experiences that haven’t been seen before. Especially since they are not censored for tv.
What else needs to be stated here? Well, not all OVAS are magical or the best things ever. As usual, the most ground breaking ones are at the peak of what they are. You can listen to the Retro Anime podcast to see some idea of what older OVAs have appeared that just plain not good or the worst things possible. As previously stated, what really sells them is the level of creativity behind them. They are allowed to be bad in some interesting ways and I think that is why we need to bring back OVAS to where they should be before hand. That is a shot out to the Get in the Mecha Podcast with his own episode a reference to this too. Most of them are bad, but the best ones make the older OVAS worth watching. Especially since they didn’t rely on source material for their stories to be told. Walk in, watch an original story, and the walk out. Easily. That is the magic behind them.