Video Girl Ai (OVA)

Video Girl Ai (OVA) is an anime series in the Video Girl Ai franchise
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Anime adaptation of Masakazu Katsuras manga.

 Average-guy Yota loves girl-next-door Moemi. But Moemi has a crush on local hero Takashi, and to make it worse, Takashi is a nice guy and Yota's best friend. Enter Ai, a disposable alien girl who escapes from a dating video and resolves to get Yota together with his true love. But before you can say "Cyrano de Bergerac," Ai secretly longs for Yota, too. Ai is a "video girl," designed to distract and amuse, programmed, like all video, with a definite time limit. When her relationship with Yota moves from being a disposable, casual entertainment into more dangerous territory, the "copyright authorities" step in. Yota, Moemi, Ai, and their friends move through the tortuous dance of teenage emotion and sexual longing, beautifully conveying the agonies of alienation and embarrassment inherent in growing up, and also learning that time will not always be on their side.

An unwelcome guest/magical girlfriend tale in the tradition of Urusei Yatsura and Oh My Goddess!, playing straight to the gallery with fan-service asides and a loving appreciation of the loser male psyche. Satoru Akahori's script masterfully recreates a world of teenage desperation, far from the madcap comedies for which he is normally known. From the opening shot in which Ai addresses the audience directly, through the regular stuck-record repetition of Moemi's declaration of love for the wrong man, Akahori demonstrates that there's more to him than the slapstick of Sorcerer Hunters. But occasional moments of unnecessary physical comedy intrude on what could have been a great emotional farce, and sporadic outbreaks of Katsura's trademark panty shots further undermine a show that, at heart, is all heart. After shoving the couple together, Ai immediately breaks them up-a schizophrenic characterization that is one of Ai's biggest flaws. She fluctuates unevenly between bitchy best friend, infuriating tease, and doormat mother-substitute, while Moemi is part drippy little girl, part sassy schemer. Yota himself is half lovable dork, half annoying dork, his own wavering interest in his love objects often reduced to comparisons of breast size or cooking ability.

Director Nishikubo's clever camerawork fades the entire world into the background so that only the self-obsessed leads get any screen time, overexposing shots of school life to turn every dingy corridor into a pathway of dreamy bright nostalgia. He puts similar thought into the opening credits, which feature a fully rendered Ai skipping through a world that's often only half-formed, as if the camera itself has eyes only for her. Nishikubo's pauses emphasize the secret language of women, lingering for long moments as Ai and Moemi alternate between friendship and rivalry. The series considerately ends before outstaying its welcome (see Tenchi Muyo!), and an excellent dub completes the package. A live-action movie, Video Girl Ai (1991), was directed by Ryu Kaneda from a script credited to both creator Katsura and scenarist Masahiro Yoshimoto.
Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Jun Kamiya
Toru Okada

To edit the cast, go to an episode page.

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Video Girl Ai (OVA)
Name: 電影少女
Romaji: Den'ei Shōjo
Publisher Production I.G, Inc
Start Year 1992
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