OVAs, also known as Original Video Animations, are anime that are directly released to the public without being aired on television or a theatrical release. Sometimes, they are extras bundled with manga or DVD releases, and sometimes they are independent projects. They come in all genres - including romance. Lets take a look at some excellent romance anime OVAs.
Some of the best romance anime OVAs are offshoots of popular titles. For example, CLANNAD has an OVA that features an alternate universe setting in which the protagonist dates someone else, Rurouni Kenshin has an OVA that delves into the main characters' past. Other OVAs feature stories that are independent of any larger series - Makoto Shinkai's Voices of a Distant Star is a standalone story.
Which romance OVA is your favorite? Vote it up to let your fellow fans know what they should be watching next.
Kamisama Kiss is an anime about a teenage girl named Nanami who takes on a job as the "god" of a Shinto shrine due to a series of misunderstandings. At first, Tomoe the fox familiar has no desire to serve her and is actually openly hostile toward her, but as the series progresses the two develop a romantic relationship. In this 4 episode OVA, Tomoe collapses from the effects of a terrible curse that he incurred in the past while trying to live as a human so that he could be with a human he'd fallen in love with. Being with Nanami has reactivated the curse, which he had been suppressing. To try and save Tomoe, Nanami decides to go back in time and stop them from ever meeting. But is this the right choice, or will separating prove too painful?
No anime can possibly adapt every part of the manga, but sometimes OVAs can help add a little bit of the material that the original series missed. Snow White with the Red Hair follows Shirayuki, a girl pursuing a career as a court herbalist in the nation of Clarines. It combines light-hearted romance and comedy with more serious themes. The OVA adapts a few chapters from the manga that didn't make it into the original anime, and it mostly focuses on the developing relationship between Shirayuki and Zen. If you love this show, you'll probably love the OVA just as much.
Blue Spring Ride is largely focused on the complex relationship between Futaba and Kou during their high school years. Though the two fell for each other in middle school, their budding relationship was squashed when Kou lost his mother and underwent a complete personality change. Futaba changed too, out of a desire to fit in at school. In the original series, the experiences that led them to fall for each other in the first place are lightly touched upon, but this OVA approaches it in detail. If you're a fan of the original series, this OVA is a must-watch.
Wolf Girl & Black Prince is a popular anime that's a good choice if you like your romance on the darker side. Erika is a compulsive liar who tells her friends that she's dating a random hot guy at her school - only for him to find out and then blackmail her. Kyoya will keep her secret and pretend to be her boyfriend, but only if she'll act like a literal dog and obey his every command. While the series can be distasteful at times, it also has an interesting take on a relationship that starts off in a negative place but evolves into something more positive through constant discussion and negotiation.
This OVA is a continuation of the storyline, checking in on the progress of Kyoya and Erika's constantly evolving relationship after the close of the series. If you're invested in the two of them, this might answer some lingering questions.