The List
7 1990s OVAs to Revive After Ushio & Tora

by Lynzee Loveridge,

The gritty aesthetic of late 80s and early 90s anime is experiencing a small renaissance right now. Companies are reaching back into the vault and dusting off the action and sci-fi series, dated character designs and all, and giving them the anime treatment they missed out on during their hey-day. It's an interesting decision, as there manga counterparts are long concluded. This season we have Ushio & Tora, originally a 10-episode OVA picked up for a 39-episode television series. Parasyte -the maxim- and Heroic Legend of Arslan is another (although a new manga helped the latter out) and of course, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Other long-running popular franchises are gracing TV sets again, like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z.

Quite a few works that came over the U.S. in the 90s and populated the shelves of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were straight to video anime releases. If production committees in Japan are feeling inclined to reach back to the "good old days" for full series adaptations, I have seven favorites that deserve a proper series.

7. Devil Hunter Yohko Devil Hunter Yohko is a Sexy Magical Girl show that combines martial arts, demon-fighting, and a heroine with ridiculous hair. The show carries a lot of campy charm, to its unabashed nudity and transformation sequence, to its obsession with bad guys with pauldrons and a heroine that is, of course, a total ditz. Each of the OVAs episodes are more or less self-contained and without a source manga to go on, revisiting the series would require another visit to the drawing board. However, the show's cast grows large enough and its base is simple enough that there are plenty of room for more sexy demon hunting adventures.




6. 3x3 Eyes The OVAs for this long-running manga series only cover around the first five volumes out of a total of 40. The story follows Pai, an immortal triclops plagued by her past and searching for a way to become mortal. She accidentally becomes tied to a human boy Yakumo who ends up sharing a life force with her. Both immortals begin questing for a way to solve their problem but Pai's status draws unwanted attention from demon god worshipers and other supernatural foes. The OVA adaptation, understandably, didn't pull off the conclusion needed for such a long-running series and its plot is, at times, disjointed. If fans still have room for a monster-action series, this one is worthy




5. Bastard!! Bastard!! is an over-the-top, ridiculous fantasy series in every sense of the word. Comparisons to JoJo aren't without merit, from its sense of comedy to its heavy metal-inspired names. The story follows Dark Schneider, the most powerful wizard ever as he lays waste to anything and everything while boasting about how fantastic he is. The only caveat is that he's trapped in a young boy's body and can only be released when the boy is kissed. The manga is raunchy in every sense of the word. JoJo might have included feeding an (evil) baby feces but that kind of gross-out humor is pretty tame compared to all the constant groping and sex. Given how late television anime are now, it'd likely be heavily censored but not impossible to get approved.




4. Tokyo Babylon The prequel to X but it includes an actual conclusion! The story follows 16-year-old exorcist Subaru Sumeragi, his always elaborately dressed twin sister Hokuto, and his seemingly enamored, much older suitor (thanks CLAMP) Seishirō. Early on Subaru tackles cases like a ghost haunting Tokyo Tower and a group of girls engaging in a psychic cult. An overarching plot of competing clans, the secret behind Subaru's gloves, and Seishirō's true identity build up to the manga's tragic conclusion. At only seven volumes, an updated series with a less muted color palette could be done in a single cour and reintroduce fans to CLAMP before shows like Reservoir Chronicle.




3. Please Save My Earth A tragic story of reincarnation and love, Please Save My Earth details what happens when a group of kids begin having dreams from their past lives and the past decisions begin affecting their current selves. The manga and OVA series are well known for their deep emotional impact while blending sci-fi and romance elements. The anime bows out about halfway through the story, leaving unanswered questions about the now psychic group of teens.




2. Battle Angel There isn't anyone left who's holding out hope for James Cameron's long-delayed Battle Angel film. Instead, now seems like the perfect time to revisit the Blade Runner-esque world of Tiphares and the Scrap Yard below that houses the refuse and robots. Battle Angel is an action cyberpunk series, cut from similar cloth as Kite. The well-received OVA only scratched the surface of the show's setting, which has now expanded into a spin-off featuring class warfare and more destruction.




1. Gunsmith Cats Original manga creator Kenichi Sonoda has contributed character designs to Bubblegum Crisis and Otaku no Video, but he also caught attention with his Western-friendly Gunsmith Cats manga about bounty hunters, muscle cars, and the mob set in Chicago. Irene "Rally" Vincent and the bomb-toting Minnie May Hopkins face an ex-KGB hit-woman in an OVA original story line. It works as an introduction to the characters and as a fun, stand-alone piece but Sonoda's manga villains deserve their own time in the spotlight, like the reoccuring mafia head Goldie Musō and sometimes ally Bean Bandit.




The new poll: What's your favorite zombie-based anime series?

The old poll: Spring season is over! Which show was the best this season? Here's the top 20 results!

  1. Blood Blockade Battlefront 17.2%
  2. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! 10.6%
  3. Sound! Euphonium 9.7%
  4. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works 8.0%
  5. My Love Story!! 7.8%
  6. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? 6.3%
  7. Gintama 5.5%
  8. Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma 4.8%
  9. The Heroic Legend of Arslan 3.7%
  10. Seraph of the End 3.2%
  11. Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine 1.8%
  12. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches 1.7%
  13. Punch Line 1.5%
  14. High School DxD BorN 1.3%
  15. Plastic Memories 1.3%
  16. Hello!! KINMOZA 1.1%
  17. The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan 1.0%
  18. Ninja Slayer From Animation 0.9%
  19. Ace of Diamond: Second Season 0.8%
  20. Kyōkai no Rinne 0.8%


When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

discuss this in the forum (78 posts) |
bookmark/share with:

The List homepage / archives