What Does An OVA Mean In Anime


Welcome, fellow anime enthusiasts! Today, we’re delving into the fascinating world of OVAs in anime. If you’re wondering what an OVA is, how it differs from regular anime, and whether it’s worth your time, you’re in the right place. At ChatGPT News, we strive to make complex topics easy to understand. So, let’s embark on this anime adventure together.


What Is an OVA?

OVA, which stands for Original Video Animation, is a special type of animated content created for specific anime series. Unlike regular anime episodes, OVAs don’t air on television. Instead, they are typically released on DVDs and VHS tapes. OVAs serve the purpose of keeping the audience engaged in an anime series, especially when there’s a gap between seasons.


What Sets OVAs Apart from Regular Anime?

The key distinction between OVAs and regular anime lies in their distribution. While regular anime episodes are broadcast on television or made available online, OVAs often require a separate purchase. In the past, fans had to buy DVDs to watch OVA episodes, but nowadays, they can be found online for free.

Regular anime episodes are usually closely tied to the manga source material, with filler episodes being the exception. In contrast, OVAs may or may not be related to the main storyline. Some OVAs provide additional insights into the story, while others are purely for entertainment purposes.

One crucial difference is that OVAs are not bound by the same content restrictions as regular anime, as they aren’t intended for television broadcast. This creative freedom allows OVAs to explore different themes and styles.

Let’s clarify with an example: consider the popular anime series “Naruto.” The chunin exam arc, which follows the manga closely, aired on television, making it a regular anime episode. On the other hand, “Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival” is an OVA unrelated to the main story and was never broadcast on TV. This distinction highlights the difference between regular anime and OVAs.

How Are OVAs Different from Special Episodes? Special episodes are worth discussing alongside OVAs. Special episodes are also not part of the manga source material but are designed for television broadcast. The main difference between OVAs and special episodes is their length. OVAs are typically shorter, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, while special episodes can span up to two hours.

Furthermore, special episodes must adhere to television industry guidelines, while OVAs have more creative freedom. This freedom often results in OVAs featuring content tailored to the desires of anime enthusiasts, commonly referred to as otakus.

For instance, “Highschool of the Dead” is renowned for its fan service, with its OVA episode set on a beach providing a prime example. In contrast, “The Promised Neverland” had a special episode titled “episode 5.5,” which aired on television and adhered to TV broadcasting standards.

Distinguishing OVA from OAD Now, let’s talk about OAD, which stands for Original Animation DVD. OADs are DVDs that contain animated content directly adapted from manga source material. When an anime series airs, corresponding OADs are released, allowing fans to collect and re-watch the entire series.

The key difference between OVAs and OADs is the source material. OVAs do not necessarily follow the manga or anime’s main storyline, while OADs faithfully adapt content from the manga. In simpler terms, OVAs come with surprises, while OADs provide a manga-based experience.

What Is the Purpose of an OVA? You might wonder why OVAs exist if they often deviate from the main story or manga. The primary purpose of OVAs is to engage the audience. When an anime series airs on television, it must adhere to content guidelines, such as limitations on violence and nudity. OVAs, however, have no such restrictions since they are not televised.

Consider “Redo of Healer” as an example. While it explores darker themes, an OVA can venture into even more explicit content without worrying about broadcast regulations. This creative freedom allows OVAs to cater to diverse tastes and maintain viewer interest.

Additionally, OVAs serve as a way to keep fans connected to an anime series during gaps between seasons. When an anime concludes one season and fans eagerly await the next, OVAs can provide a bridge to satisfy their appetite for more content.


Is OVA Canon?

Now, let’s address a common question: Are OVAs considered canon? In the world of anime, canon episodes are those that contribute to the main storyline, even if they are not part of the original manga. Canon episodes are crucial in providing character development, backstory, or advancing the plot.

There are two types of canon in anime: manga canon and anime canon. Manga canon episodes appear in both the manga and the anime, playing an essential role in the main storyline. Anime canon episodes, while not part of the manga, are still significant for the anime’s narrative.

Regarding OVAs, their canonicity varies and ultimately depends on the creator’s intentions. Some OVAs can be considered canon, as they offer essential insights into the anime’s plot. For example, “Attack on Titan” OVAs contain hints about future developments, making them must-watches for fans. However, most OVAs are created for entertainment purposes and do not contribute directly to the main storyline.


Is OVA Worth Watching?

The big question remains: Are OVAs worth your time? The answer is a resounding yes! OVAs offer a unique and often entertaining experience. While some may not be directly tied to the main storyline, others provide valuable context and hints about the anime’s future.

OVAs are typically shorter, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, making them easily digestible. They offer diverse content, from comedy to action and fan service, ensuring there’s something for every taste.

Furthermore, with the convenience of online streaming, you can access OVAs without purchasing DVDs. These episodes often have standalone plots that can enhance your enjoyment of the anime.

In conclusion, OVAs are a valuable addition to any anime enthusiast’s watchlist. While skipping them won’t drastically affect your understanding of the main story, they provide an extra layer of enjoyment and insight into your favorite series. The choice is ultimately yours, but don’t miss out on the fun OVAs have to offer.



In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored what OVAs are, how they differ from regular anime and special episodes, and their role in the anime world. We’ve also discussed the distinction between OVAs and OADs, their purpose, and their canonicity. Finally, we’ve concluded that OVAs are indeed worth watching for any anime fan. So, the next time you come across an OVA, give it a try—you might be pleasantly surprised by the unique experience it offers. Happy anime watching!