On December 26, 1983, Bandai (though its newly-launched Emotion label) released Episode 2 of Dallos in Japan, becoming the first anime ever released straight to home video; yes, Episode 2 came out before Episode 1, so as to promote sales though a more action-packed offering. This would come to be known in Japan as the "Original Video Animation", or OVA for short; "Original Animation Video/OAV" is also often used. While Dallos was a success, though, it wouldn't be until the smash hit release of Megazone 23 (Part 1) on March 9, 1985 that the OVA would truly be considered a viable way to produce & release anime. Ever since then, the OVA has continued to exist in some form to this very day, though now they may be known more as an "OAD" (for disc-based media) or even an "ONA" (for online-first distribution). However, the OVA's greatest heyday was most definitely from 1986 to 1991, when the Japanese "Bubble Economy" allowed seemingly anyone with an idea & money to make their own anime. Even after the bubble burst, though, the OVA continued to see use as a means to release anime, which has resulted in just too many anime to count that saw release straight to home video. I've wanted to explore the depths of the OVA for a long time now, and have finally decided to start dipping my toes into these waters by relying on a format very similar to that of multi-series Demo Disc volumes.
Welcome to Oh Me, Oh My, OVA!
Just like those types of Demo Discs, every OM, OM, OVA! article will feature four anime that were released straight to home video, but with one major restriction: They can't be any longer than two episodes. Once you get to something that has three episodes or more, you start entering the potential for it to be worth giving a proper review of, since you have much more content to work with & write about; also, trust me when I say that there's already way too much anime I can rely on with this restriction. A little over a month ago I did a poll over on Twitter asking how I should tackle this series, and the winner wound up being "Theme Each Set of Four", so that's how I'll be handling OM, OM, OVA! from here on out. However, a decently close second place was to just handle this chronologically, so I think there's no better way to start OM, OM, OVA! off than to take a look at the some of the earliest OVAs ever released. Let's see what happened in between Dallos & Megazone 23!