cartoons, anime is regularly produced in several different formats.
Movies, TV shows, and direct-to-video-each of these formats are
common for anime, and have different budgeting and scheduling requirements
a brief look at each of these major formats.
There's a relatively
small proportion of anime movies; however, they tend to be the biggest,
most expensive works. The production quality is generally very high.
are stand-alone movies - studios such as Ghibli thrive on high-budget,
original movies - most anime movies are based on an ongoing, popular
TV show anime or a widely read manga. A TV series will gather a
steady following, and the climax of its story arcs will be resolved
in a movie release, as is the case with Neon
is produced for television in half-hour episodes with a single commercial
break in the middle. A series will generally air weekly; a season
is 13 episodes long.
complex, detailed narrative across seasons of TV shows, so that
while it are necessarily episodic, the ongoing story is generally
much more developed than is common in American TV.
anime TV shows are generally sold at a slightly higher price than
a domestic film, with two to four episodes on a single VHS tape
or DVD. Opening and closing credits and music will be shown with
Animation - OVA
- is the term for direct-to-video anime. OVAs do not have the stigma
generally attached to direct-to-video films in America. Rather,
the OVA format is viewed as a chance for the animators to create
higher-budget, less restricted animation than TV shows.
OVA episodes tend to be of variable length, usually between 30 minutes
and an hour-and sometimes longer than that. The freedom from the
half-hour format of TV production allows for experimentation in
pacing and story structure.
OVAs are usually sold like TV shows, although the number of episodes
per volume may differ. Remember, though, that you're probably not
getting shafted; although you'll get one or two fewer episodes,
they'll be longer and more movie-like than a TV series.