The Best OVA’s of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The expansive anime universe offers many different tales with compelling characters, engaging plots, and epic moments. While some anime come and go, many deliver outstanding and memorable experiences. OVAs are routes certain animators like to take to give viewers extra content for a series that’s concluded or to give specific stories a fresher take.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, we’d like to highlight the best anime OVAs of all time. From chilling horror series to complex space operas, the OVAs below should keep you hooked from start to finish.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll add them when we can!

Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing Ultimate is a dark, action-packed anime that acts as a superior version of the original 2001 adaptation. It revolves around a secret group called the Hellsing Organization which must eliminate their world’s supernatural threats. Alucard, the anime’s protagonist, is a formidable vampire who works for the organization alongside his companion Seras.

Alucard is an intriguing fellow with a mysterious past and an arsenal of powers. In addition to having a sinister voice that adds more nuance to his character, Alucard is a force to be reckoned with throughout Hellsing Ultimate’s run. The supporting cast, including Seras and Integra, are fascinating to watch too because of their distinct personalities and backgrounds.

This anime’s fights are thrilling and gory. You’ll adore seeing Alucard run rampant through hordes of zombies and fight off formidable priests and other vampires who stand in his or his organization’s way. Each fight is well-animated and has a unique visual style that emphasizes the anime’s dark, gothic atmosphere. Give this anime a watch if you’re looking for an intense vampire anime to watch.

Legend of the Galatic Heroes

Legend of the Galactic Heroes is hailed as one of the best-written anime of all time. It’s not an anime for everyone due to it having slow-pacing and information-heavy story beats, though. Nevertheless, this anime will surprise folks with its well-written characters, complex storyline, and fun galactic warfare.

This story follows two characters named Reinhard and Yang. They manage specific superpowers that are at war with each other and desire victory. They must watch their specific fleets and deal with personal issues that will challenge them. Reinhard and Yang are complex characters with rich backgrounds and personalities. This anime’s not afraid to delve into intricate ideas about politics, the military, strategy, and human nature.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes features great world-building. Many will find its world meticulous and detailed. It takes great care to portray the realities of warfare in an interstellar setting. In addition to having well-animated space fights and incredible character designs that match the anime’s space theme, Legend of the Galatic Heroes is an incredible 110-episode OVA you shouldn’t overlook.



FLCL isn’t the only 6-episode OVA series from Studio Gainax you should watch. Gunbuster is an entertaining, action-packed sci-fi series that will get you pumped. It follows Noriko, a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot and fighting aliens. It’s known for its great animation, compelling characters, and fun storytelling. Gunbuster’s animation will pull you in the most.

Its visuals are astonishing, as its fluid animation helps bring the show’s various space battles and robots to life in exciting ways. Gunbuster also has some fun characters. Noriko is a fabulous protagonist and viewers will enjoy seeing her become a competent and skilled warrior by the OVA’s conclusion. The storytelling is decent and employs a decent amount of flashbacks to keep you engaged. Give this a watch if you’re looking for an enjoyable mecha series with amazing animation.

Record of Lodoss War

Isekai has been a hot trend in the anime sphere. However, some may desire shows that give them a classic fantasy tale that doesn’t involve humans from realistic settings transferring over to magical realms or vice versa. Enter Record of Lodoss War, an anime about a group of mixed-race champions who must prevent an evil witch from ruining the world’s peaceful political environment.

This anime’s known for having incredible world-building. The show’s setting is rich and detailed, with different races, cultures, and factions hoping for power and influence. You’ll be in love with how much effort went into each of the separate kingdoms’ history and political structures. The characters are entertaining and diverse. They all have different motivations and skills to stand out.

The animation is top-notch and the hand-drawn style is beautiful. It features enough fast-paced action scenes and dramatic sound effects to keep you on the edge of your seat too. If you’re okay with an anime that follows a good versus evil premise but evolves into something richer over time, I’d recommend watching Record of Lodoss War.

Project A-ko

Project A-Ko is a great retro anime with fun female leads. It’s set in Graviton City and follows two girls named Eiko and Shiiko. A girl named Biko challenges Eiko to a duel to determine who should be Shiiko’s rightful friend. On top of needing to handle business with Biko, Eiko must prevent a group of aliens from ruining Graviton City.

Project A-Ko’s animation is one of its best aspects. The fight scenes are incredibly fluid and dynamic with characters moving at incredible speeds and doing through each other’s attacks gracefully. The characters have enough differences and unique qualities that help them stand out. From Eiko’s confidence to Shiiko’s sweetness, you’ll adore seeing their personalities clash on screen.

This anime delivers remarkable humor with its witty one-liners and fun slapstick approach. With a bit of romance and sci-fi elements thrown in the mix, you’re in for a fun time with this old gem.

Area 88

Area 88 is one of Studio Pierrots’ oldest and most grounded tales. It follows Shin, a fighter pilot whose determined to earn enough money to break free from his contract and return home. To do so, he must assist his nation in a war for Aslan. As the battle gets more intense, viewers will realize how much of a toll this war has on Shin’s mind.

Shin is a relatable and rounded protagonist who undergoes a lot of trauma during this war. He’ll witness others enduring harsh situations involving isolation, depression, and suicidal ideation. This anime delivers impressive visuals and epic sky battles that will get your heart racing. The characters and their vehicles have incredible designs that will help viewers stay immersed in the story. If you’re looking for a realistic war-themed narrative with great characters, Area 88 is worth your time.

Battle Angel Alita

Thanks to the live-action film directed by Robert Rodriguez, more people became aware of Battle Angel Alita. While some are still clamoring for a follow-up film, the anime’s OVA is a great alternative to watch. Like the source material, it follows a young cyborg girl named Alita, who is discovered in a scrapyard by Doctor Ido.

After he revives her, we examine Alita’s journey to forge a life herself in a universe full of cruelty and mystery. This anime adapts the first two volumes of the manga and delivers a solid interpretation of the source material’s high-tech, gritty world. It’s brimming with dark alleys and towering intimidating structures. Viewers will feel like they’re walking side-by-side with Alita.

The action scenes are wonderfully animated and fans will get pumped seeing Alita battle her foes at incredible speeds. Alita is as much of a standout in the OVA as should be in the feature film and manga. She’s a fearsome warrior with a gentle heart and a love for justice. That said, Battle Angel Alita’s OVA is a must-watch for anyone whose a fan of the tale.

Golden Boy

Golden Boy is an entertaining series with great humor, likable characters, and great animation. Our story’s about a part-timer worker named Kintaro. He enjoys visiting multiple places and working different jobs. Through his adventures, Kintarou shares his love for education and women with everyone he meets.

For fans who watched classic American cartoons like Johnny Bravo, you know what to expect from Kintarou’s flirtatious endeavors. He’ll often get ridiculed for his remarks and actions. However, this will never break his spirit. Despite being a notorious pervert, Kintarou has his shining moments where he’ll motivate less fortunate people to achieve their dreams.

These are the moments where people will develop a deep attachment to his character. The animation is over-the-top and exaggerated. However, it’s not in bad taste as the weird animation adds to the show’s charm and makes every joke land harder than it should. For those looking for a short and fun comedy series with raunchy aspects, Golden Boy is the anime for you.

Detroit Metal City

Detroit Metal City is a great music anime with a comedic focus. It follows the adventures of Souichi, a kind-hearted and talented musician who struggles to balance his heavy metal career with his ordinary life. This story of a mild-mannered rockstar is hilarious, unique, and engaging. The humor is dark, twisted, and often vulgar, making it a hardcore comedy that pushes boundaries.

The death metal music is fabulous, with catchy riffs and pounding drums that will get you headbanging along with Souichi’s fans. The music is integral to the show’s story and gives it a realistic feel. Detroit Metal City also explores themes of identity and ambition. You’ll walk away from this show learning why it’s significant to stay true to yourself. For those looking for an entertaining OVA with excellent humor, music, and characters, check out Detroit Metal City.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best OVAs through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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