What Does OVA Mean in Anime

Anime fans don’t have it easy: almost everywhere are unknown terms like OVA, OAD, ONA, where not everyone immediately knows what they exactly mean. In this article, I will explain to you the meaning of them. Let’s dive right into it:

OVA/OAV – Original Video Anime/Original Anime Video

Both terms stand for the same thing. The first one is preferred, especially in English speaking countries, to avoid confusion with adult video.

These are productions that were released on videotape at the time, and will most likely adapt to DVD/Blue-Ray. They can sometimes be just one film, or they can have several parts.

The difference to normal TV-productions is that there is no manga adaptation in the background. Also, borrowings from TV-series are rather rare, and if, the OVA’s also like to move away from the story and go their own ways.

The quality of the animation is usually better because there is often a higher budget available than in average production for TV.

Especially pornographic series, Hentai, are published this way because they are rarely suitable for normal broadcasting.

ONA – Original Net Animation

These are anime that have been published exclusively, or at least first as an Internet series. Successful series then appear either on DVD and Blue-Ray or on television. Apart from a few exceptions, such as Xam’d: Lost Memories, which had the normal 25 minutes per episode, the episodes are usually shorter and range from 3 to 15 minutes, e.g., Chocolate Underground, about 3 minutes per episode; Time of Eve, about 15 minutes per episode and Hetalia Axis Power, about 5 minutes per episode.

OAD – Original Anime DVD

Moves in a similar way to OVA. However, it is OVA productions that are released directly on DVD and then added to a manga volume release. It’s a relatively new practice, most likely started in 2008.