Kodansha Loves OAD’s, Eh? (Ah! My Goddess)

Kodansha Loves OAD’s, Eh? (Ah! My Goddess)

The folks over at Goddess Relief Office alerted me to the fact that Kodansha has gone back to the OAD (Original Animation DVD) format, this time adding their long running and very popular Ah! My Goddess to the mix. Very shortly after, long time Japanese anime and manga fan Hitoshi Doi suddenly came back to life after a VERY long absence with a post to his old school Aa Megami-sama e-mail list, including this image from the announcement.

Kodansha Loves OAD's, Eh? (Ah! My Goddess)
I’ve got a soft spot for this franchise to be sure. Back in 2002 when I started looking back into manga, the 5-episode Oh My Goddess OVA was one of the first anime titles I watched. The subsequent manga by Dark Horse (done American style with mostly flipped art and a western book style with rewrites to try to appeal to a wider audience) was the first manga I ever read so I could “get the whole story.” *lol*

It is interesting that Kodansha continues to expand the OAD format, thus suggesting that it is fairly profitable for them and whatever anime production company they work with. For those who don’t know the difference between and OVA (Original Video Animation) and an OAD, an OVA is a direct to video release of an anime episode that usually costs the consumer ~$40 to $50 per episode (one episode per VHS in the old days and now one episode per DVD in the modern times). It is released and sold to the public without any other conditions.

An OAD is an OVA that is exclusively sold with a certain limited edition version of the manga of the same title. Based in preorders, Kodansha and the anime distributor publish a certain number of bundled LE manga tankoubon to cover preorders plus a little extra for others who might want to buy later. So, when volume 42 of Ah! My Goddess comes out on February 23, 2011, there will be two editions of the manga published. The first will be the normal tankoubon and the second will be the limited edition volume with the DVD attached. The LE version would likely have a modified cover to denote it is the LE version and it will most certainly cost a lot. ^_^;;;

I’ve watched OAD’s for CLAMP’s Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC as well as Akamatsu-sensei’s Negima! For Tsubasa, the OAD’s simply chronicled select manga story arcs and did a very good job of it. For xxxHOLiC, the OAD’s were mostly very loosely based on manga stories and the most recent one was an anime original story with certain new concepts from the manga carrying over.

For Negima!, again select story arcs were animated with the most recent Another World OAD series being the one that is compressing a ton of material into four episode (a special OAD is being released to cover an important and fan favorite side story, so I expect that to be pretty faithful to the original manga story).

So, I figure that Kodansha is going to see if the Ah! My Goddess fans in Japan will support the OAD format or not. As such, I rather expect to see a short story arc from the manga fairly faithfully adapted into an OAD episode. If sales are good, I would expect more OAD’s and close the door on any new TV series for the time being.

As to whether this would be brought to the U.S., that depends on previous series sales. FUNimation finally did pick up the Tsubasa OAD’s but are highly doubtful on the xxxHOLiC OADs (and the xxxHOLiC Kei TV series as well due to poor sales of the first series). They have said nothing about the Negima! OAD’s and they’ve said nothing to my knowledge about licensing the Ah! My Goddess: Fighting Wings 2-episode special, which was released in 2007 in Japan. So I’m not holding my breath for FUNimation to grab it and any other company would likely just do a sub-only release IF they licensed it at all.

Still, we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I do look forward to seeing this new OAD when it is release.

Ah! My Goddess

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4 Responses to “Kodansha Loves OAD’s, Eh? (Ah! My Goddess)”

  1. hughroe says:

    Nice picture there.

    But shouldn’t there be at least one member of the groom’s family?

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Well, you’d think that but…*lol*

  3. arimareiji says:

    Is it just me, or if the OAD trend accelerates, might that herald a return to the Dark Ages of anime in the US (i.e. very little commercial production)?

    It’d be fueled by the disparity that’s always existed between what Japanese fans and American fans will pay for the same material. American fans will never pay Japanese prices for individual discs, or even close. It’s hard enough to get them to cough up for a discounted series run. If the Japanese publishers see an increased source of profit out of their real cash cow, they’re not going to give two cents’ worth if they lose the American audience.

    On the bright side, the still-vibrant fansubbing community, massively strengthened by the Internet and BT, would keep things from getting too bad. And it’d probably signal a quick end to the streaming pay sites. On the dark side, American publishers are likely to simultaneously 1) get much more strident in chasing down fansubbers/scanlators as the easiest target when their profits drain away, and 2) produce less and less material themselves.

    What do you think – unrealistic doom and gloom, or might there be a grain of truth in it?

  4. jeff-morris says:

    I don’t think that at the time that was drawn we knew of any members of Keiichi’s family other than Megumi.

    Keep me posted on this, ANB, will you?

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