Thursday, March 30, 2017


An ONA is an anime that was released first through the internet, streamed through some service, as opposed to having first aired on TV, or being first distributed as physical media (DVDs, BDs.)

If an anime is first sold as DVD/Blu-ray, then airs on TV, it's an OVA. If it airs on TV first, then is sold as discs, it's not OVA. If it's sold as disc, and never airs on TV, it's OVA. If the anime airs on TV, and then it's sold on discs, but the discs also include bonus content such as an extra episode, the anime is not OVA, but the extra content is OVA. If an anime is first available on the internet, it's ONA. If it's first available as a bonus in a limited edition manga volume, it's OAD.


An ONA is an anime that was first made available through the internet, e.g. by posting its episodes on Youtube, Vimeo, Niconico Douga, or by releasing it on streaming services like Netflix, Crunchyroll, Furnimation, Hulu, or Amazon.

The specific platform doesn't matter. It could be posted on Twitter as far as the term is concerned.

The important thing is that the anime was made to be watched on computers and smartphones, through the internet, rather than through a TV.

vs. OVA

The difference between ONA and OVA is that an ONA is an anime that originally "aired" on the internet, while OVA is an anime that originally "aired" on DVDs or Blu-rays.

Both terms are used to refer to anime that didn't air on the TV first, although they might or might not have aired on TV afterwards.

There are various reasons for this to happen. Most of the reasons listed in the article about OVA also apply to ONA:

  • Problems with the TV format, number of episodes, or episode length.
  • Problems with censorship due to risqué or adult content.
  • Budget restraints, TV slots aren't affordable.
  • Etc.

Regarding the differences between ONA and OVA formats:

  • OVAs have a minimum cost, as they're always burned on physical media, and you also have the costs of getting the product to the client.
  • ONA can be posted freely on the internet or kept behind a subscription system.

Both terms only refer to the medium that was originally used to release an anime.

For example, there are OVAs that later aired on the TV, or were made available online. And there are ONAs that were posted free online temporarily, and were later sold as DVDs.


ONA stands for Original Net Animation.

This term is based on OVA, which standards for "Original Video Animation," Orijinaru Bideo Animeeshon オリジナルビデオアニメーション.

OVA is a Japanese term, while ONA is only used outside of Japan.

In Japanese

The term ONA in Japanese would be web-anime WEBアニメ, also spelled webu-anime ウェブアニメ.


Exclusive Content

Some ONA are created in partnership with online platforms that get exclusive rights to the anime, so that the anime can be used to advertise the platform. Such anime may be released on TV or as DVDs at a later date.

  • Bounen no Xandou
    Has a format fit perfectly for airing on TV (26 episodes, 20 minutes each), but instead of going on TV it was published on the Playstation Store. Yes. On Playstation. The game console. That counts as internet, so it's an ONA. It later aired on TV.

Vertical Anime

Some anime are made for smartphones and intended to be viewed vertically. Yes, really. This exists.

Bonus Anime

Some anime are bonuses made available on the internet.

  • "Monsutaa Musume on Iru Nichijou" Hobo Mainichi ____! Namappoi Douga
    A series of 60 very short episodes, around 30 seconds each, that were streamed daily on Nico, available only for 24 hours, with compilations on the weekends.

Doujin Anime

Some anime are made by hobbyists, doujn 同人, and they may have extremely limited budget

  • Iya na Kao sare nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai
    An NSFW anime adaptation of a doujinshi 同人誌, 6 episodes of 4 minutes, first broadcast on Niconico Douga, before being sold as physical discs on Comiket 94.


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