10 Visually Stunning Animated OVAs With Incredible Animation

The medium of anime encompasses such diverse and creative content that there truly is a series for everyone. There is endless versatility when it comes to the eclectic stories and genres that make up anime, but there are even a variety of formats in which the medium can be experienced.

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Anime series and movies make up the bulk of the industry, but there are also OVA (original video animations) that tell stories more concisely. Anime OVAs can tell exciting stand-alone tales or help expand existing worlds. However, there is frequently a interesting animation style it’s exposed, which for some OVAs becomes the most appealing aspect of the production.

ten FLCL creates smooth action sequences that blow your mind


Anime has an incredible ability to tell unconventional coming-of-age stories that blend multiple genres as an effective way to illustrate the chaotic nature of adolescence and life in general. Few anime do this better than FLCL, a six-episode OVA from Gainax that started out as a cult classic but only found a wider audience over time. There’s an unpredictability to everything Haruko Haruhara does, which is effortlessly captured by the manic animation bombarding Naota Nandaba. FLCLit’s two follow-up OAVs are also beautiful, but it’s hard to top the original.

9 Gunbuster focuses on attention to detail to bring its dark Mecha world to life


Gunbuster is an important part of anime history, both as a groundbreaking project from the animation studio Gainax, but also because it is the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, the author from the anime that would become the mastermind Neon Genesis Evangelionit’s animated series. Gunbuster is a six-episode OVA that looks a lot like if Superior gun has been about mech warfare in place. Gunbuster excels when it comes to its portrayal of realistic space warfare, but also the human toll of this line of work. Gunbuster was released towards the end of the 1980s, but its animation is a triumph of the decade and gives a distinct look.


8 Battle Angel’s OVA Makes Its Cyberpunk Future Look Lived In And Real


Battle Angel Alita is one of Japan’s most revered cyberpunk franchises. There have been a few curious attempts to popularize the franchise outside of Japan, but their struggles speak to the complexity of battle angelit’s rich world. A two-episode OVA for battle angelalso known as Gunnmwas produced by Madhouse in the early 1990s.

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Both of these episodes do a decent job of introducing newcomers to this futuristic world, which is passionately brought to life through meticulous animation. The gaze of battle angelit’s OVA is very representative of the late 80s and early 90s, but the attention to detail is essential for a series that consumes technology and anatomy.


7 Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack captures the intensity of the classic Junji Ito


Junji Ito is one of the most unique artists currently working in the horror genre. Ito is responsible for dozens of scary storiesbut it proved to be quite difficult to properly translate its horror stories into anime. Junji Ito Collection is the most vivid example of this, but there is a 75 minute OVA of Ito Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack it’s quite faithful. The story relates a devastating invasion of “walking fish”. Ufotable has been making waves recently with their stunning work on demon slayerbut they also ensured that Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack is a visual masterpiece.


6 Little Witch Academia is a magical explosion of pure joy


Little Witch Academy delves into a very familiar story, where Akko and a group of budding witches enroll in the Luna Nova Magical Academy to hone their skills and become the next generation of wizards. Studio TRIGGER first produced a 26-minute OVA and The Enchanted Paradea film of just under an hour, before developing them into a complete film Little Witch Academy animated series. TRIGGER never slackens when it comes to visual aesthetics, and it is easy to see why these brief glimpses of Little Witch Academy created demand for a complete series. The magic, the flight and the expressions of the characters are to be seen.


5 Yurian Naoko-San uses sleek aesthetics to capture his surreal premise


Yurian Naoko-san is a completely surreal slice of silliness. The absurd premise centers on Naoko, a “Yurian”, who is obsessed with “yurifying” the world through intense displays of eroticism. This ridiculous premise is mostly a conduit for gags, but it translates into wild action sequences where Naoko’s doppelganger attempts to change the world.

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Yurian Naoko-san is empty fun, but it’s animated by ufotable, which ensures a better level of quality when it comes to the visuals of the OVA. There’s a satisfying use of color and smooth animations that make Naoko’s actions look even more like a fever dream.


4 Voices from a distant star embrace epic environments through its human history


Makoto Shinkai is one of the best storytellers currently working in the anime industry. All his feature films are emotional masterpiecescorn your name and grow old with you are considered modern totemic classics. Voice from a distant star is a 25-minute OVA from Shinkai that engages in another devastating story about friendship, connection, and loneliness that doesn’t waste a single minute. Two teenagers are separated as one is sent into space to fight aliens and the text communications between them become even more disconnected. Voice from a distant star makes sure everything from the gear on Earth to the most fantastic footage in space looks amazing.




3 Gunsmith Cats create a distinct crime-filled Chicago


Gunsmith Cats is another 1990s anime relic which represents some of the best and worst stereotypes of the decade. Gunsmith Cats indulges in “fan service” and thin characterization, but the three-episode OVA adaptation offers constant action that happens in a unique depiction of Chicago. Gunsmith Cats is incredibly detailed when it comes to its depictions of guns and cars, which helps elevate the many action scenes. Rally, May and Becky can often feel one-dimensional, but their chemistry is very real and Gunsmith Cats is still an encouraging change of pace from the 1990s.


2 Angel’s Egg is great art that moves the viewer


Mamoru Oshii is a renowned name in the anime industry thanks to his work on projects like ghost in the shell and patlabor. Oshii has helped advance the cyberpunk genre moving forward in a big way, but his lifelong fascination is with existentialism and a lack of faith in religion. angel egg takes place largely without dialogue, which puts considerable emphasis on its detailed visuals. angel egg is a polarizing project that many consider too experimental, but it is full of deliberate visuals that are undeniably beautiful and will deeply affect the viewer.


1 Blue Submarine No. 6 mixes the familiar with the unknown to reinforce its themes


There are many excellent anime series out there that present audiences with thought-provoking insights into Earth’s doomed future and humanity’s tendency to ruin its home. Blue Submarine No. 6 examines a fractured futuristic view of the world where rising oceans have consumed most of the Earth, which has also resulted in semi-aquatic hybrids. A war breaks out between these different peoples and their contrasting ideologies. Blue Submarine No. 6 tells a significant story over the course of four episodes, but there’s also stylized art design that feels appropriate for this bizarre version of the world.

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Tanjiro smiling (left);  Tanjiro using hinokami kagura (right)


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