As compared to an anime series, a particularly humorously bad OVA is a lot more manageable; designed to be a short addition rather than a plot drawn out over months, the interesting aspects can be even better appreciated. For instance, an entire show dedicated to over-the-top and yet entertaining gore might be too much to handle, while an hour or so is the perfect amount.
These ten shows listed are truly the best of the worst OVAs. With horrible dubbing, animation effects, plot ideas, and nearly everything else about them, these movies are a horrible mess. But what a fun mess they are. If you’re looking for a fun time, any of the OVAs mentioned on this list are bound to be endlessly entertaining.
10. Crystal Triangle
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 22, 1987
Just when you think this OVA has gotten as crazy as it possibly could get, something else happens. Crystal Triangle begins with the idea that in the ages of Moses and the Ten Commandments, God hid a message that was soon forgotten. For years, this message lay dormant, only to be discovered by the Japanese version of Indiana Jones, Koichiro Kamishiro. Suddenly, life is thrown into a chaos that is both messy and downright enjoyable.
What starts out as a mix between God and Indiana Jones, soon involves both the KGB and the CIA, a lot of gratuitous romance, superpowers, and aliens. If that’s not enough to amuse you, God end up being a worm creature. Every few scenes or so, the plot continues to derail further, until sanity is no longer a viable option. And it is precisely that type of craziness that makes Crystal Triangle the start to the list of ten best worst OVA.
9. Mad Bull 34
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Dec 21, 1990 to Aug 21, 1992
Inspired by the already cheesy and trite cop films from the 70s and 80s, Mad Bull 34 attempts to achieve a gritty, noir feel that is not even close to being successful. The elements of pop culture that were intended to be infused, such as New York cops and American glam, appear erratically wield together. All in all, this show is a mess. And yet, at the same time, is one of the funnest things to watch.
With limited production quality and soundtracks, unrealistic plot, repetition, and unforgivably awful dubbing, there is a lot wrong with Mad Bull 34. But it precisely these flaws that make the OVA so thoroughly enjoyable. The film uses explicit language and shows occasional nudity, as well as lots of gore, which only add to the humor. It attempts to be serious and yet is considered nothing more than a comedy.
8. Angel Cop
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Sep 1, 1989 to May 20, 1994
In this archaic OVA, a specially skilled task fighter known as Angel fights against a group of psychics known as the Hunters. Set in a futuristic Japan where terrorism occurs quite frequently, The Hunters dominate, specializing in killing criminals in grisly and brutal ways. However, while two of the Hunters have a moral awakening, the third goes rogue, and has to be stopped. The only question is, can he?
“If this is justice…then I am a banana.” Perhaps one of the most memorable quotes from Angel Cop, the glory to the OVA is best showcased in the dubbing. Liberally interpreted from their original intention, the awkwardness of the dialogue is endlessly entertaining. The violence as well, paired with the swearing and ‘American’ vibe, makes Angel Cops an OVA that must be experienced first hand.
7. Violence Jack: Jigoku Gai-hen
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Dec 6, 1988
With a name for a dystopian war ravaged area as creative as “Evil Town” (sadly, that is not a joke), expectations for the awfulness of this anime OVA should be high. Following the story of Violence Jack, a particularly savage and brutal warrior who possesses unimaginable strength, the OVA possesses plenty of gore and gritty violence that goes over the top. Awful, yes, but satisfyingly so, Violence Jack is a saga that must be watched.
Once again, poor dubbing proves to be an endless source of amusement. The dialogue, paired with disembowelment and R rated scenes, proves to be a comedic pair. Jack’s personality is also very monotonous, in a way that is both aggravating and entertaining. Banned in several countries due to the adult themes, the sheer insanity in Violence Jack makes it a must watch OVA.
6. Byston Well Monogatari: Garzey no Tsubasa (Garzey’s Wings)
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: Sep 21, 1996 to Apr 9, 1997
The OVA starts with a flash; Chris, a normal high school student whose sole ambition is attempting to get into college, is suddenly transported into an alternative universe by ethereal wings. Without any explanation, Chris must learn not only how to survive in this new world, but also attempt to do his part in the soon approaching bloody revolution. With a plot as erratic as Garzey’s Wings, it’s only natural to not take it seriously, and only appreciate the comedic elements.
The dialogue of Garzey’s Wings is stiff, unrealistic, and therefore, inadvertently comedic. Poor dubbing can always be relied upon for unintentional humor, and this OVA is no exception. The voices sound stilted and inhuman, and deliver their lines without any sort of awareness. While receiving horrible ratings and criticisms, Garzey’s Wings is actually a high quality OVA, if the intention is humor and not actual skill of course.
5. Maken Liner 0011 (Maken Liner 0011 Henshin Seyo!)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 16, 1972
A film about dogs. Not only that, but a film about dogs in space. If there is a plot more appealing than that, then the world as we know it might be ending. But that’s not all. The dogs also merge into one and become the space ship “Liner” at certain points during the film. Plus they’re battling giant insect creatures from a distant planet. Plus that planet’s name is Planet Devil.
With a plot summary like that, it should be evident how entertaining Maken Liner 0011 is fated to be. It’s childish design and chaotic artwork only enhance to the over-the-top vibe that the OVA gives off. At only 50 minutes, it can enjoyed in a short period of time without extending longer and causing a headache. Pure, crazy, and thoroughly enjoyable, Maken Liner 0011 makes it to number 5 on the list of ten best worst OVA.
4. Suki Desu Suzuki-kun!!
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Dec 18, 2009 to Jul 26, 2010
What was once a decently enjoyable manga has been turned into an incoherent muss of a plot-less, nonsensical OVA. And the disastrous results are nothing short of comedic genius. Suki Desu Suzuki-kun!! follows four students who have only recently entered high school —two of which are conveniently named Suzuki (no relation). The OVA deals with untangling their romances with each other, but never quite seems to make sense.
However, that confusion is precisely what makes Suki Desu Suzuki-kun!! so great. The OVA attempts to come across as a romance, high school anime, but that true aim is lost in the chaos. The moderate production quality, naturally, does nothing to improve the anime’s seriousness. At the end of the show, it is quite possible the viewer might have no idea what actually occurred. But it will be certain that regardless of understanding, they will have enjoyed the ride.
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Dec 8, 2004
At a short 19 minutes, Skelter+Heaven manages to make the most memorable impression despite the brevity of its length. Well-known by many for the messy chaos that ensues in the OVA, the company that produced Skelter+Heaven also produced the most notoriously bad OVA, Mars of Destruction. The plot takes place in the near future, with the world threatened by an unidentified object approaching from space.
It seems impossible to enumerate everything wrong with Skelter+Heaven. The thoughtless plot and character design are entertaining, as the characters seem to lack any distinctive separation from each other except for hair color, but perhaps most hilarious is the awful use of CGI. You’ll never look at extraterrestrial squid tentacles the same way again after viewing this movie. A timeless classic, Skelter+Heaven is an OVA that absolutely must be watched.
2. Psychic Wars (Soujuu Senshi Psychic Wars)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Feb 22, 1991
You’ve heard of people fighting cancer. Now, you can watch it literally, as surgeon Ukyo Rettsu must go back in time to literally punch mutant cancer in the face. In an OVA such as this, it is a struggle to figure out what the truly worst aspect is. Is it the plot? The animation? The sheer ridiculousness of it all? The correct answer is all of the above.
An OVA like Psychic Wars is truly an experience. For a show that takes itself seriously, Psychic Wars is anything but. An incoherent mess of an OVA, it creates a beautiful combustion that is down-right hilarious to watch. Mixing dream-sequence narratives with unidentified super powers, the surgeon must battle disease in attempts to save people. Psychic Wars is truly an OVA worthy of watching, if only for the sake of laughing.
1. Mars of Destruction
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 8, 2005
Infamous in the anime community for its horrible ratings, Mars of Destruction is undeniably number one on the list of hilariously bad OVA. The movie is a short 20 minutes of chaos and confusion, and will the viewer bewildered, yet laughing. In it, a hero named Takeru wields the Mars suit, with the help of a group of girls, attempts to fight aliens. Billed as a fantasy/sci-fi show, a more aptly suited genre would have been comedy.
While the movie attempted to be serious, there is absolutely nothing in it that could possibly redeem it. Nothing realistic ever occurs, which leads to both disbelief, and comedy. The details of the plot never materialize, while the girls that assist Takeru never seem to make a level-headed decision. Lacking an opening and closing song, not even the soundtrack can save this show. The epitome of a train wreck, Mars of Destruction is a must watch.
None of these OVAs are listed in the comedy genre, but they might as well be. Picking any movie off of this list will ensure a good time had by any who watch. Do you agree? Can you possibly think of even worse OVAs that exist in the world other than these? Let us know what you think in the comments below!