What Does OVA Mean in Anime? Original video animation

Understanding the Term OVA in Anime Entertainment

What Does OVA Mean in Anime
What Does OVA Mean in Anime

Are you an anime fan? If you’re just starting out, some of the terminologies may be confusing. For example, you may not know the OVA meaning in anime. OVA is an abbreviation for original video animation. It is a very common term in anime or anime films that originate in Japan.

As you may already know, Japan remains the most popular source of anime from Bleach to Initial D. Read on to find out more about original video animation and its significance in the anime community.

What Is OVA?

There is no single OVA definition in anime. Original video animation refers to a distribution format in Japan. Anime or animated films within this category are the ones directly distributed to viewers’ homes.

This is different from the televised or streaming release that many of us are so familiar with. This distribution model, however, is more common in Japan than in other parts of the world. Mainly since OVAs are usually meant for distribution in Japan only, at least initially.

Of course, this can be very confusing for new anime enthusiasts. Anime entertainment is vastly different from most western entertainment and distribution models. Some anime is released in the form of TV series, with episodes, seasons, arcs, and the occasional filler.

On the other hand, other anime releases may take the form of “specials” or one-off episodes that can often be as long as a full-fledged feature film. There are also, of course, actual anime movies. These may be distributed as prequels, sequels, and trilogies. However, anime films (at least in Japan) are theatrical releases instead of on standard anime channels, streaming websites, or streaming platforms.

How Are OVAs Different from Other Formats?

For the casual observer, the OVA format may not seem very different from other ones. However, there are certain key differences that set it apart from TV, specials, or films. An OVA is typically a filler animation associated with a popular anime TV show. Moreover, it is usually an uncensored version that may or may not make it to non-Japanese markets. An OVA will typically come with an original script and animation.

However, unlike mainstream episodes, they do not require censorship. Mainly because they aren’t intended for TV or theatrical releases. You can still find them in Western anime markets. But you probably won’t see them on regular channels, so don’t try to give your TV provider a hard time with angry calls to the Cox customer service number. These anime types are typically for the Japanese domestic anime market only.

Do OVAs Have Any Significance?

An OVA episode is usually unrelated to the main arc or storyline that the TV show is following. However, in certain cases, it may play a key role in linking episodes within an anime TV show together. For example, it could reveal the backstory or origins behind a new character introduced in the preceding episode.

What Is OVA Anime
What Is OVA Anime

A new protagonist or antagonist may emerge out of nowhere in an episode and offer a lot of shock value. But after the initial shock, it is important for the new character to still have some cohesion with the storyline.

This is where the OVA is so significant since it will reveal how the new character factors into the remaining season or storyline. However, an OVA can also be non-canonical. In other words, it may have the same recognizable characters as an anime, but the story may have nothing to do with the two episodes that precede or succeed it.

In many cases, an OVA could be simply a promotional video sponsored by Japanese businesses that understand the popularity of a specific anime and the audience it can reach.

Of course, OVAs can and do cover background, origin stories, motivations, and even traumatic stories that create a new villain or hero. The first ever OVA for an official anime series goes as far back as 1983. From that point on, OVAs slowly made their way into mainstream anime industries. Some manga series may also have OVAs, such as the Kamisama Kiss OVA.

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The Takeaway:

For the average reader or someone with a very casual understanding of anime entertainment, this distinction may seem more like a discussion on semantics. However, people that are more in touch with the genre understand that anime is an art form. That means it has several categories, mediums, and ways for its audience to enjoy it.

There are anime television series, feature films, specials, and of course, original video animation. Just like there are classical, contemporary, abstract, and digital forms of artwork. Or oil, watercolor, or even pencil drawings or sketches. Anime is hardly any different.

In fact, the anime industry is much larger than most people give it credit for. Accordingly, it has many different forms of entertainment and distribution mechanisms. With a range of shows ranging from fantasy to kids’ shows to motor racing to even space-age science fiction, there is something for everyone when it comes to OVA. While original video animation or OVA may not be as mainstream as other forms of anime can be, it is still something you would do well to know about.

Additionally, if you are an anime fan, you shouldn’t try to stream shows, movies, or original video styles of anime illegally. In fact, you should discourage the people you know from doing the same as well. Only watch anime that is properly licensed and/or distributed through subscription-based streaming services.

Otherwise, you harm the entire ecosystem and make it harder for the industry to grow. If you want studios to keep coming out with the shows and content that you and others like you enjoy, watch their content legally.

FAQs For OVA Mean in Anime:

  1. What is an OVA?

An OVA is usually a filler or promotional episode in a mainstream anime TV series or manga.

  1. What does OVA mean?

It stands for original video animation and refers to a Japan-only distribution format.

  1. What is an OVA episode?

It is a filler episode that may link two episodes, offer background on new characters, or even simply promote the anime itself.

  1. What is OVA in anime?

A direct-to-home distribution format that intends an uncensored anime episode to only be released in Japan.

  1. Where to watch Given OVA?

Sires like Bilibili and GogoAnime are good places to watch the Given OVA as well as the whole series.

  1. What does OVA mean in anime?

It is usually a filler episode that may or may not be related to the main storyline or arc of a popular anime TV series or manga.

  1. In anime what does OVA mean?

An original video animation with an original script that does not release on TV or in theatres.

  1. What is OVA anime?

It is usually a non-canonical episode or a filler that introduces a new character. But it may not always be related to the anime itself even if it has the same characters.

  1. OVA meaning anime?

Original video anime.

  1. What is OVA?

It stands for original video animation and is a separate distribution model for anime entertainment in Japan.

  1. What is an OVA in anime?

Usually, an episode that creates a significant break mid-season, or a promotional episode that has nothing to do with an existing storyline.

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Written by John Baker

Born and brought up in Vancouver, Freddy loves to write since his school days. Now, he has become an experienced content writer. He loves to explore what’s happening around the world and create stories on that. Freddy is known to pick information only from trusted sources before bringing it in front of his audience.

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