The thing about covering a convention (or most subjects, for that matter) is that I could go on for a lot longer than space allows - - and we try to keep things concise here at Anime Vice. One subject I want to revisit is “The Rise and Fall of OVA.’s” because that was, by far, my favorite panel at AX 2010.
If you followed my reviews of FLCL back when we were running them, you’ll remember that I was a bit befuddled about the whole concept of OVAs. So I appreciated the Colony Drop clearing things up for me at the panel. The way these guys broke it down made OVAs sound basically like a lot of other “fringe” media. Indy comics, indy films, even indy games - - all of them have to use other channels to produce content that’s weirder, sexier, gorier or more artistic than you can get away with through normal avenues. So “schlock” like MD GEIST is equivalent to a DTV Steven Segal movie, experimental work like DRAGON’S HEAVEN is equivalent to something like Tarsem’s THE FALL and hentai is (obviously) equivalent to porn. A consequence of this greater artistic freedom, of course, is that the budget's even more of a concern. Hence, episodes of these series had to be produced one-at-a-time and retail price had to be significantly higher. I was flabbergasted (but, honestly, not quite surprised) by how fans were willing to shell out upwards of $100 in Yen for laser discs with 40 minutes of content.
These guys suggested that OVAs began and ended because of technology advances. They started because the home video market allowed for audience-specific content, and they ended because cable and satellite channels ended up supplanting that. They suggested that COWBOY BEBOP, in particular, would've been an OVA if it were produced 10 years earlier. Which makes sense. Most kinds of entertainment don't really go away, they just change form. The four or five hour entertainment anthology you'd get at a movie theater in the 30s and 40s becomes your TV experience today, playing a fighting game in the arcade is basically the same as playing people through XBOX Live, now, and so on...
Anyway, I just want to know if you Anime Vice lunatics agree on this assessment? Have I got something wrong? Am I misinterpreting something? Pitch in your opinions. I'd hate to be judging this based just on one source.