Yet another list, this time it’s my favorite anime OVA’s. I’ve put a few limitations on this one. OVA’s longer than 4 episodes were not included, as I wanted to exclude things like Hellsing Ultimate, which I think is far too developed and lengthy to be considered an OVA by my definitions. I do not put any limits on the length of the episodes though, so I have 5 minute as well as 1 hour-long episode OVA’s on this list.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are my top 7 anime OVA’s.
#7: Pale Cacoon
Pale Cacoon is an interesting piece of animation. We are brought to a dystopian future where a data trawler who works for the surviving members of humanity becomes intrigued by images he sees of a world long gone. In under half an hour, we are given a tour through the mind of a survivor who wants to desperately learn what life was once like, and the experience is a beautiful and thoughtful one.
This OVA is by Yasuhiro Yoshiura (whose first and last names are anagrams of each other, just noticed that) and Studio Rikka. Studio Rikka also made Eve no Jikan, which is considered to be their most popular work. I chose Pale Cacoon instead because it seemed to hit more of the points that it wanted to hit than Eve no Jikan did. I think both are very good, but I felt that Pale Cacoon was just more effective overall.
If you are looking for a quick dystopian tale and are okay with very dark anime with shading and realistic animation, then this is probably the thing for you.
From the guy that gave you Aria, here’s a 4 episode OVA about a girl who loves to take pictures with the camera her deceased father gave her. With her friends, she learns of the beauty in capturing the special moments in life and they go around enjoying themselves and reveling in the simplicity of their own existence. It’s a touching and healing tale, with happiness and glowing feeling. Seriously, it’s the guy who made Aria. What were you expecting? It’s very simple, but it does the job very well. Nice.
So Jesus and Buddha walk into a bar. Jesus says, “I’ll have some water.” Buddha says, “I’m good, thanks.”
Yeah, pretty lame joke, but that pretty much sums up the kind of stuff you see in Saint☆Onii-san. Basically, Jesus and Buddha decide to take a vacation on Earth and so they shack up in a standard 1LDK loft in Japan. It’s a hilarious ride to watch these 2 clearly ancient historically significant figureheads of modern religion having a tough time as civilians. From making printed t-shirts, to trying to make miracles happen as inconspicuously as possible, to avoiding arousing the suspicions of the old landlady, the antics of Jesus and Buddha are definitely some of the funniest things I’ve seen in an OVA.
Also, a quick note regarding the historical and religious context. There is no malice in the humor, and while people have said that it is in bad taste, I find no malicious intent in the jokes that they make. It’s just a fun and humorous piece of animation. If you want to be sanctimonious about it, there’s no need to watch it, but honestly I don’t think there is anything offensive going on here. I’m not a devoutly religious person myself, but I don’t think anything done here can be seen as particularly sacrilegious. That’s just my opinion.
#4: Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko
This one really hit me. Makoto Shinkai’s directorial debut came in the form of a 5 minute OVA from the perspective of a cat. Chobi (that’s the cat’s name) reminisces about his owner and his life in a rather aloof manner, and we see a woman going through her life and through relationships through the eyes of a cat that loves her. It’s a bittersweet love story about a cat and it’s owner who need each other and use each other to keep going. It captures all of that emotion in just 5 minutes.
Seriously. Makoto Shinkai needs to just calm down and watch a 1 hour loop of Pharell’s “Happy”. This guy is starting to bum me out.
#3: Nekojiru-sou (Cat Soup)
A quick note right away, this entry is referring to Cat Soup, the 1-episode OVA, and not Cat Soup Theater, the 27-episode OVA. There is a big difference.
Cat Soup is disturbing. Very disturbing. Basically, it follows 2 very capricious and malevolent cats as they journey through a seemingly endless and changing world and get into trouble as they go. Full of creation myth and philosophical discussion, Cat Soup is simply just too much. It’s evil. This is just the darkness of humanity concentrated and percolated into anime format. At moments, it just gets a little hard to watch.
Man… just…. wow.
#2: R.O.D. OVA
Ever since watching Read or Die: the OVA, I am of the belief that this is the best animation that anyone has ever put into 3 episodes. It follows the escapades of Yomiko Readman, the loveable and lethal librarian who has the power to turn paper into whatever form she chooses. Yomiko becomes involved in a conspiracy to clone historical figures and… something to do with diabolical deeds. You get the idea.
Yomiko joins Drake Anderson and the enigmatic “Ms.Deep” to try and stop the dastardly plot that is being hatched. It’s fast-paced, with action, adventure and humor. The plot is great for just 3 episodes and the twists keep on coming. It’s just downright fun, and a great entry #2.
#1: Denpa Teki na Kanojo
You have every right to disagree with this pick. In fact, I’m not entirely sure of it myself. That being said, this is definitely a great 2-episode OVA that deserves a heck of a lot more attention than it gets right now. Adapted from the novel of the same name, Denpa Teki na Kanojo is a look at the life of a delinquent Juuzawa Juu, who is put on the spot when a girl with bangs that cover her eyes starts calling him her master. Usually, this would be the premise of your typical harem or rom-com. However, this girl takes “master” very seriously. She protects Juu from any and all attacks on his person, breaks into his home, and just generally invades his personal space, with the excuse that she is defending him. She also asks Juu to help investigate the mysterious events that are going on in their city, and the pair get involved in cases of serial murder and cult suicide. A dark and mysterious show, Denpa Teki takes a look at the darker side of human relationships, from an odd perspective.
I found it very, very good, and was surprised by how little response both the OVA’s and the original novel have gotten.
That’s about it. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for other entries or arguments against the ones here, please put them in the comments below. Thanks, and have a great day!