Original Animation Video. This refers to the practice in Japan of creating some anime specifically for direct-to-video release. In Japan, direct-to-video does not carry the stigma of low quality or low studio confidence that it does in the west, and it is seen as a legitimate medium for releasing series that are too short for television yet not right for movie theaters.

OAVs may stand alone, or may be released as part of franchises such as Macross or Lupin III that also include television series and movies. In terms of animation budget and quality, OAVs are usually between television series and movies.

The first OAVs included Battle for Moon Base Dallos and Megazone 23 in the early 1980s. Some of the more popular recent OAVs include Tenchi Muyo, Macross Plus, and Armitage III.

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