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KutovoiAnton



Joined: 03 Mar 2013
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Location: Vladimir, Russia
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:17 pm Reply with quote
But all in all, my two top anime were made in OVA format - Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal.
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Ushio



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:53 pm Reply with quote
I miss the OVA for exactly the reason mentioned, they were different while now it seems 2/3rd's of new anime follow the same tropes every season.

I like anime but the more that comes out the less I end up watching it all blurs together in sameness.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:53 pm Reply with quote
The tumult of the early OVA market is a very classic example of what can happen when a medium enters a new media format. There was really no rules or sense of rules for the market, so a lot of companies seemed to go crazy with pushing out any idea they had. They had no inclination as to what would and would not work. I imagine a lot of companies lost a ton of money or outright went bankrupt from the betting that went on back then. Some series may have been good enough to even continue, but the companies behind them were spread so thin or weighted down by other failed projects, they just couldn't continue with anything really. Time goes by, the staff moves on to other projects, and it ends up a lost project in the end. It really was a crazy time in the 90s.
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rizuchan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:56 pm Reply with quote
The discussion of "worst anime ever" put OVAs on my mind recently. As an anime fan that got started in the early 2000s, 'older anime' to me is series from the 90s and I completely missed the 80s/early 90s OVA boat. A few years back I met a couple of guys who had really been into OVAs "back in the day" and recommended a couple to me.

...I just couldn't get into any of them. But when I think about it, every OVA I've seen is an adaptation of a manga series - which usually means either condensing 10+ volumes of manga into 2 episodes or making a sequel/tie-in that's completely incomprehensible without seeing the original.

So what is the fondness for OVAs? Nostalgia, because that was the only anime you could really get at the time? Or is there some legitimately good stuff out there?
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:06 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
So what is the fondness for OVAs? Nostalgia, because that was the only anime you could really get at the time? Or is there some legitimately good stuff out there?

I think the fondness comes from (good) OVAs having more length than say a movie (or, in some cases like "Battle Angel" and "Dragon Half", the feeling that they COULD (or should) have more length) but still being more "compact" than a TV series. (in the DVD age, you could give an entire set of OVAs (in most cases) to someone on a single DVD)

Two great OVA sets are Gunbuster and Read or Die. Both are short and well contained (Read or Die has a sequel TV series). They tell a coherent story that you can knock out in a short period of time and have good production values. Other enjoyable OVAs (some of which ALSO have TV series):
-Bubblegum Crisis (original)
-Bastard!
-Tenchi Muyo (the original 6, they were successful enough that varying continuations, sequels, etc were added on)
-Magic Users Club
-Riding Bean
-Oh My Goddess (original 5 OVA set)

I know Giant Robo was also popular, not a personal favorite though. I like Hades Project Zeorhymer, but I don't know that I'd call it "good". I think most of ADVs initial catalog was all OVAs. (of varying quality)


Last edited by HeeroTX on Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:06 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
This led to a huge amount of series in the early 90s that were cancelled after two episodes


Happened to the Seven Cities Story, which I remember you didn't love, but I saw a ton of potential in because the setup seemed interesting. Yeah it towed the same line as LoGH, that's why I watched it.

Notably, didn't Bubblegum Crisis also end prematurely, only to come back as the cheaper Crash?
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Themaster20000



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:12 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Quote:
This led to a huge amount of series in the early 90s that were cancelled after two episodes


Happened to the Seven Cities Story, which I remember you didn't love, but I saw a ton of potential in because the setup seemed interesting. Yeah it towed the same line as LoGH, that's why I watched it.

Notably, didn't Bubblegum Crisis also end prematurely, only to come back as the cheaper Crash?


Yep,Bubblegum Crisis sadly got canned because of the companies fighting over it's rights.
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Mr. Oshawott



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:18 pm Reply with quote
Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, Variable Geo, Vampire Princess Miyu, Agent Aika...Those OVA shows and more that I've watched were among the best shows of the 1990's that I've enjoyed to their fullest. It was unfortunate that many of these OVAs ended in cliffhangers due to the studios' budgeting issues over in Japan, but I had fun with these shows while they lasted. Smile I express my sincere thanks to the people that bought them over for us American viewers to enjoy, both subbed and in our own language.
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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:28 pm Reply with quote
To this day I've always wondered what Megazone 23 would have been like had it become the TV series that it was originally planned to be!

For me, the biggest OVA that comes to my mind as being ended prematurely was Dangaio, which ended with spoiler[the bad guys actually winning.] I remember waiting, to no avail, for there to be more episodes.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Its worth noting that I think OVAs were the PERFECT vehicle for helping seed anime fandom back in the pre-Downloads/streaming days. Mainly because many people were introduced to anime via anime clubs, and OVAs allowed clubs to show something to people that could cleanly be broken into parts while ALSO allowing for constant turnover of titles.

Nowadays, with most things being series of at LEAST 12-13 episodes, you're looking at a commitment of 6+ weeks to a show assuming you show 2 episodes per week. OTOH, if you showed a 4-6 part OVA, you could give people part of the show with incentive to come back next time but also have something new very soon if that didn't work for some people. It almost makes me wonder if it would be worth it for anime conventions to fund OVAs to give themselves an exclusive. Its interesting to ponder if a convention like Otakon could field something like a new Little Witch Academia each year. If we assume a $300k cost, that's less than $10/attendee from Otakon based on 2014 attendance. (the LWA2 initial kickstarter goal was $150k)
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Lynx Amali





PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:37 pm Reply with quote
HeeroTX wrote:
I like Hades Project Zeorhymer, but I don't know that I'd call it "good".


I'd argue its better than the source manga. The OVA tries to flesh out the antagonists more than the manga ever bothered to but the OVA just ends abruptly like the original manga. While I prefer the ending of the manga's conclusion (which came out around two decades later in 2007), the OVA did the best it could with the source material. Toshihiko Seki utterly nailed Masato and Masaki. Hell, the entire voice cast was great.

It's still a looker from what I remember, even though Zeo itself doesn't do much.
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John Thacker



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:39 pm Reply with quote
HeeroTX wrote:
rizuchan wrote:
So what is the fondness for OVAs? Nostalgia, because that was the only anime you could really get at the time? Or is there some legitimately good stuff out there?

I think the fondness comes from (good) OVAs having more length than say a movie (or, in some cases like "Battle Angel" and "Dragon Half", the feeling that they COULD (or should) have more length) but still being more "compact" than a TV series. (in the DVD age, you could give an entire set of OVAs (in most cases) to someone on a single DVD)


Though this was also at a time when most TV series were 26 episodes, instead of the one cour 13 episode series that became common later. (For some reason I remember Jubei-chan and the Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch as one of the earlier late night 13 episode series.)

There still are some huge OVA series today, though rather than the weird "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" I can mostly think of sure-fire franchises like Gundam (Unicorn, Origin) or Ghost in the Shell:Arise. Yamato 2199 sort of qualifies, as it was screened as seven movies a year before being shown on TV. All those are kind of like LoGH rather than the more experimental ones.

There also still are some essentially manga pack-in OVAs being made too; those are probably the closest comparison to the two and three episode OVAs (that depended on knowing the source material.) Here is Greenwood even just breaks the 4th wall and references manga volumes in some places, kind of like a Marvel comic.
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wonderwomanhero





PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:42 pm Reply with quote
I recall the hardcore OVA Legend of the Blue Wolves had a note before the credits explaining that the production company that worked on it ended up declaring bankruptcy, which is why it was left on a cliffhanger.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 4140
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Ushio wrote:
I miss the OVA for exactly the reason mentioned, they were different while now it seems 2/3rd's of new anime follow the same tropes every season.


I've seen/checked out a fair number of these OVAs and most of them blur together. Cyberpunk setting, same city, dark blue generic looking buildings, some man or young man as a main lead, something about a scientist or evil corporation has done something involving either robots or some human experiment, the plot potters around with long exposition and at some point a lot of people die.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:49 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
...I just couldn't get into any of them. But when I think about it, every OVA I've seen is an adaptation of a manga series


There certainly were a lot of OVAs like that but it was by no means all of them. I don't even think it was a majority of them.

Quote:
So what is the fondness for OVAs?

For me it was the latter--there's some really good stuff out there.

And like the article described, OVAs have a lot of advantages:
-the length (both per episode and per series) were totally flexible so there was no need to stretch a story to make it fill a TV season--they could be exactly as long as they needed to be: no need for silly filler like much TV anime has, and there was also more time to tell a good story compared to a film.

-there was no need to censor content for TV broadcast

-more room for directorial creativity

OVAs also tended to have better animation quality than most TV anime so that was a plus too.
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