Otaku no Video, the story of our lives. If you can sit through a 12-hour marathon of anime, chances are you can relate in some way to this OVA. Studio Gainax's (makers of Gunbuster, Nadia, Evangelion, Wings of Honneamise, and many others) effort to poke fun at anime and its fans is an absolutely brilliant parody. For those who may have missed the first episode (aired last marathon), a brief review: Kubo is a regular college student -- he works hard, plays tennis for fun, and has a beautiful prospective girlfriend named Yoshiko. One day, he runs into Tanaka, an old friend from high school, and Kubo's life takes a turn for the... uh... weird [I dunno, seems pretty normal to me! -Ed.]. Tanaka and his friends are extreme anime fans [That's an understatement. -Ed.]. Slowly but surely, Kubo is pulled into their world, and in the process begins losing what most would consider the "normal life" he led. He becomes engrossed in anime and all things thereby related. Time passes and the stark realization hits him: he has become a rabid otaku and consequently a social outcast. This revelation comes to him when he tries to call Yoshiko to find not only a male picking up the phone, but a panicked (Oh my God I can't believe that weird guy called me and I don't want to talk to him) response from the girl. Disgusted by society's inability to accept those who appreciate anime, Kubo makes a solemn promise: he will become the ultimate otaku, a.k.a. the Otaking! He will prove to the world that there is nothing wrong with liking anime and those who do can lead normal and successful lives. Tanaka enthusiastically joins Kubo, and their holy quest begins.
Gainax supplements the animated lunacy of OnV by throwing in mock interviews with "actual" otaku, painting a picture of anime fans as being frighteningly pathetic and socially secluded people. The OVA will make most people laugh, whereas others will just smile and shake their heads while thinking "Good lord, I am that person." In all seriousness though, the show can be appreciated for jokingly taking a look at what being an anime fan means to some of us and all that it can entail. It's funny but at the same time it makes one think about the line any fan of any medium walks, the line between normal appreciation and outright obsession. But I digress; in the end, Otaku no Video is just plain entertaining, wrapping up with a fitting conclusion to Kubo's crusade that gives hope to all us hopeless otaku. It will amuse and embarrass you all at once, and that ladies and gentlemen, is what makes it a classic.