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Top 10 OVA Anime Series of the 20th Century

PK is an anime enthusiast. She has spent most of her life researching and delving into the mystics of the animated world.

OVA (Original Video Animation) series is an animated film often produced as a standalone episode or a group of fewer episodes than the original series. The first official OVA series was produced in 1983, "Dallos" directed by Mamoru Oshii. Since that, many series have been produced and have gained immense popularity across the globe. Tracing back the history of OVA in the 20th century, here is the list of 10 most popular OVA anime series.

Top 10 OVA Anime Series of the 20th Century

1. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of the Galactic Heroes)

2. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen (Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal)

3. Kyou kara Ore wa!! (From Today, It's My Turn!!)

4. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

5. Golden Boy

6. Top wo Nerve! Gunbuster (Aim for the Top! Gunbuster)

7. Giant Robo the Animation: Chikyuu ga Seishi Suru Hi (Giant Robo the Animation: The Day the Earth Stood Still)

8. Master Keaton OVA

9. Ranma 1/2 OVA

10. Black Jack

Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu

Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu

1. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu

Date: January 8, 1988, to March 17, 1997

Number of Episodes: 110

After 150 years, the stalemate between the Galatic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance (FPA) is finally over. The universe is agitated by the arrival of new leaders, Reinhard von Lohengramm, the military genius, and Yang Wenli, the FPA historian.

Reinhard aims to unite humanity under one true ruler. With his friend’s help Siegfried Kircheis, Reinhard is climbing the ranks and fighting the crumbing Goldenbaum Dynasty to free his sister from the king.

On the other hand, Yang is an ardent supporter of democracy and aims to prove to his disciple, Julian Mintz, that autocracy is an invalid notion. As these two mastermind characters indulge in the clash, they need to discover the real purpose of the ongoing battle.

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen

2. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen

Date: February 20, 1999, to September 22, 1999

Number of Episodes: 4

The fear of death no longer haunts mankind and thus, there exists a little for those who aim for honest livelihood. The anime follows the story of a young boy who was enslaved by two bandits and is later, rescued by an elite swordsman. His real name is Shinta, but now he is called Kenshin Himura. By faith, he is certain to become a swordsman. However, his gentle attitude doesn’t relate to the personality of a true warrior, but he has a firm determination to protect the innocents.

Later, Kenshin becomes the most feared swordsman in the town and is known by the name of Hitokiri Battousai. His oath to never kill breaks and he turns into a merciless assassin. Now, the faith of the nation rests on his shoulders as he struggles between justice and corruption.

Kyou kara Ore wa!!

Kyou kara Ore wa!!

3. Kyou kara Ore wa!!

Date: December 11, 1992, to December 21, 1997

Number of Episodes: 10

Mitsuhashi Takashi and Itou Shinji are fed up with their normal daily life routine and are anxious to try on something. When they arrive at a new school as transfer students, they take it as a golden opportunity to change their image once and forever. Leaving behind their monotonous image, they turn into delinquents.

Their mischievous acts and individualistic sense of justice bring in a clash between them. But with time, they soon become best friends. Their combined misadventures take various crazy turns and now they are the greatest delinquents across Japan. What comes next for these young ruffians is an expected and unexpected turn of events.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

4. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

Date: January 25, 1996, to July 25, 1999

Number of Episodes: 12

The anime is set in the year 0079 when the Earth Federation has launched a full-scale assault to capture a Ukrainian city. This is called Operation Odessa and is turn out to be a huge success. However, the remaining Zeon forces, who previously ruled the city, have dispersed across the globe. To capture these stragglers, the Earth Federation has appointed ground troops to ensure their upper hand in the one year battle.

Ensign Shiro Amada, the protagonist, is given the command of the 08th MS Team, a special team of ground type pilots. In his first mission, he initiates a guerrilla operation and manages to discover a secret Zeon weapon. Shiro is gaining success in his mission but it is soon put to a halt when he meets Aina Sahalin, an elite Zeon pilot. Shiro’s resolve is weakened now. The future is bleary, it’s unknown if he can prove his loyalty to his nation or will be branded a traitor.

Golden Boy

Golden Boy

5. Golden Boy

Date: October 27, 1995, to June 28, 1996

Number of Episodes: 6

What is true education? The anime Golden Boy is here to give you all the answers. Kintarou Ooe earns a living through part-time jobs. He rides in different parts of Japan on his beloved ride, the Mikazuki 5, and find employment wherever possible. His adventurous spree not only feeds him with infinite entertainment but has all taught him real-life lessons. He is well-aware of political corruption and also understands the delicacy of a woman’s heart.

Along with his odd jobs, Kintarou constantly pursues the joy of education, something which is not taught in a regular classroom. As he learns something new with every task he engages in, what’s going to happen next is a secret adventure in itself. But one thing is certain, it’s all going to be very educational.

Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster

Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster

6. Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster

Date: October 7, 1988, to July 7, 1989

Number of Episodes: 6

Top wo Nerve! Gunbuster is a futuristic anime where humanity has gained success in reaching the distant parts of the galaxy. In the mid of their discovery, they come across an unusual race of insect-like aliens called the “Space Monsters”. These aliens aren’t friendly and are determined to annihilate the planet Earth. To counteract, humans have developed ginormous war robots controlled by selected youth from different parts of the world.

The setting is in the year 2021. The anime follows the story of Noriko Takaya, the daughter of a renowned space captain, Yuzo Takaya. Noriko, despite her lack of piloting skills, is chosen as a pilot for the Gunbuster project.

The Earth is invaded by Space Monsters. Noriko along with her senior Kazumi Amano bears the major responsibility to enter into space and defeat the monsters. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to travel smoothly in the space as every time they move a little forward, time dilation occurs and they are sent into the future.

Giant Robo the Animation: Chikyuu ga Seishi Suru Hi

Giant Robo the Animation: Chikyuu ga Seishi Suru Hi

7. Giant Robo the Animation: Chikyuu ga Seishi Suru Hi

Date: July 23, 1992, to January 25, 1998

Number of Episodes: 7

The renowned scientist Dr. Shizuma has invented an ingenious renewable energy source named The Shizuma Drive. His futuristic invention has helped humanity to commence into a new age of prosperity.

Big Fire, a faction striving for world domination has disturbed the societal peace. To fight against them, the International Police Organization has forged a team of super-powered warriors including the skilled martial artists. The team also includes Daisaku Kusama, the owner of Giant Robo, which is said to be the Earth’s most powerful robot.

The resulting conflict will not only force Daisaku to prove his worth, but it will also reveal the true nature of the Shizuma Drive. The anime Giant Robo is given a retro-futuristic setting. It is heavily influenced by kung-fu cinema, classic Mecha anime, and Wuxia stories.

Master Keaton OVA

Master Keaton OVA

8. Master Keaton OVA

Date: December 21, 1999, to June 20, 2000

Number of Episodes: 15

The anime follows the journey of a multi-talented man named Taichi Keaton. He is an adoring father, historian, smart negotiator, traveler, archaeologist, and a formal survival instructor. His main job is that of an insurance investigator for Llyod’s of London.

Keaton has an unorthodox style of working, however, he gets his work done as per the demand. The reason why he is involved in so many vast fields is his curiosity to learn and teach himself something new every day.

Despite his humbleness and high intelligence, some people take him as an imposter, while others hail him as a master of life.

Ranma 1/2 OVA

Ranma 1/2 OVA

9. Ranma 1/2 OVA

Date: October 21, 1993, to August 19, 1994

Number of Episodes: 6

Ranma is a young highly skilled martial artist. Originally born as a boy, Ranma is now a half girl and a half boy after he fell into the Spring of Drowned Girl. As a result, he transforms into a girl when he is soaked with cold water and turns into a boy when doused with hot water.

He has a lover named Akane, who lives like a tomboy girl. But due to his involuntary entanglements, Ranma has brought in several other love interests including both girls and boys.

In the OVA series, Ranma continues his struggle to bring his life back to normal again. He is trapped in a series of hilarious situations with multiple girls. He has to learn to use his wits and martial arts lessons to maintain his sanity in every tricky situation.

Black Jack

Black Jack

10. Black Jack

Date: December 21, 1993, to December 16, 2011

Number of Episodes: 12

Black Jack is a legendary doctor who has a cure for every imaginable and unimaginable disease. He is in regular demand by the rich and powerful. He is extremely dedicated to his patients and would go to any length to save their lives.

His real name is Kuroo Hazama. He works along with his assistant Pinoko to save the people's lives who are stuck in impossible situations. Due to his exorbitant price demand, he is regarded as greedy and heartless. But everyone knows when it comes to understanding medicine and bizarre diseases, no one can defeat him.

However, the problem is Black Jack has an unknown past and he isn’t a licensed practitioner. The anime follows his journey and explores the mysterious and hideous world of underground medicine.

Conclusion

The 20th century was surely an inspirational time for anime development. Most of the creations that we see today are heavily impacted by the past century’s work. If you want to have the real taste of creativity, then these series are a must-watch.

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