Sunday Select: 7 Psychological OVA Series

Welcome. For today, I’ve picked seven short OVA series that I enjoyed discovering. Each entry must be unconnected to an anime TV series, which exludes things like the One Punch Man OVAs, for instance. In addition, there must be at least two episodes for it to be counted as a “series.” I’ll give a few notes about each one but not detailed synposes. These OVAs are in alphabetical order rather than ranked in any way. With this mind, please enjoy!

1. Ai no Kusabi

“Ai no Kusabi” means “wedge of love” since the themes of the series focus on different forms of love and how they can drive people apart. Two 60-minute episodes were released between 1992 and 1994. This short series is classified as a yaoi OVA, but it’s the most unusual and interesting one that I have ever seen.

There are fascinating elements of sci-fi and dystopia, as well as excellent animation for the 90s. Ai no Kusabi is not about a romance for fangirls to squeal over, but rather a dark take on sexual and possessive love. It’s dirty, messed up, and the OVAs in no way glorify, romantisize, or normalize it. The psychology of main character Riki is my favorite thing about these OVAs. Definitely give this try if you like dark psychology and don’t mind strong sexual elements.

2. Alien 9

Alien 9 consists of four episodes, each half an hour long. It was an experimental anime production by JC Staff in 2001. Genres include sci-fi, school, and psychological. The story is about a team of girls who use sci-fi weapons and equipment to fight alien creatures (Borgs). I enjoyed watching this because of the twist concering the main character, Yuri. The truth is revealed slowly and the series does a great job putting you in Yuri’s head. Check it out if you like shows like Gakkougurashi or Madoka Magica.

3. Cossette no Shouzou

Also known as Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, this series consists of three episodes, 36 minutes each. The episodes were released in 2004. A young man who works in an antique shop becomes connected to a strange entity (Cossette) trapped in another dimension. Cossette no Shouzou is not the kind of series where there is exposition and clarity about things. It’s a story symbolic and thematic in nature, full of imagery and hidden meaning. I enjoyed it immensely for its psychological elements as well as stunning artwork. If you need another reason to check it out, well– Cossette happens to be an gorgeous Gothic Loli. XD

4. Denpa-teki na Kanojo

This psychological mystery thriller from 2009 is made up of 2 episodes, 42 minutes each. The title can be translated as Electromagnetic Girlfriend. It was one of the first anime OVAs I watched, if not the very first, and I really love it. A girl named Ame Ochibana is considered strange and creepy, seeming to believe that she can read “waves” from people. Lead male character Juu Juuzawa gets involved with her and they end up solving a few gruesome mysteries together. Electromagnetic Girlfriend explores the idea of mental illness in a way I appreciate.


I didn’t know this until a few days ago, but the famous and classic series FLCL did not originally air on TV. It’s an OVA. Anyway, most of you have heard of FLCL so I won’t write a lot. But in case you don’t know what it is, FLCL is about a boy named Naota whose entire life starts to change and get crazy after a certain motorbike-riding girl hit him over the head with a guitar. The series includes comedy, parody, dementia, sci-fi, and psychological elements. FLCL has 6 episodes of 25 minutes each that were released in 2000.

6. Genocyber

The five episodes of Genocyber were released in 1994. There was no way this could have aired on TV in the 90s because of the insane violence. Unlike some entries on today’s list, Genocyber isn’t a series I really enjoyed personally. I respect it as a roughly thrown together experimental production to push the limits of what anime could depict. But it would have been much more enjoyable and substantial if the slightly deeper elements had been developed. Genocyber is a sci-fi and horror production whose main character, Elaine, becomes an altered human-cybernetic creature capable of evolving.

7. Interlude

Three episodes of 40 minutes each make up the 2004 OVA Interlude. This one pushes the limits of how much dementia and lack of clarity you can handle. It makes Cossette no Shouzou seem simple by comparison. I’m not even sure how describe it, but it’s a lot of action and mystery with five main characters. To be honest, I need to watch it again to get a better idea of the central points, but I still remember Interlude being very thought-provoking and intriguing, if also confusing.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading. I greatly appreciate it. Have a good day now!


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