Saturday, July 7, 2007

OVA won't you play

As any anime fan knows OVAs (only for video releases, basically straight to video tv shows) tend to beat regular tv shows in quality. I always wondered why we didn't have them in the US. Now in fact we are actually starting to see some with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Futurama planning straight to video releases. But in Japan you have shows that have never had any precedent on regular tv released on video, and that is still unlikely to happen. I understand now why though. Most OVAs are released piecemeal, one episode at a time, afterall it's difficult to invest a lot of money unless you know the project is going to go well, and the production time on a full OVA series is often immense. In Japan, where people I think are more comfortable with buying mass quantities of videos and DVDs, that might work, but in the US most people are going to see buying a single episode of a show they haven't seen a bit of a rip. I know I would. On the other hand there are some non-mainstream niches where OVA stuff does well, where mainstream TV doesn't usually go. But I suppose we'll never have a OVA market as rich and diverse as Japan as long as the US is full of cheap-skates like me.

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