High School DxD made its big return to anime with a surprising fourth season last year, and mad some major changes to the franchise's anime adaptation. With a retcon changing the ending of the third season, and new character designs in tow, fans also noticed a change in the series' famous fan service moments as the shift in focus in the series moved more toward furthering its plot and action sequences. Speaking with Monsters and Critics, producer for the series Satoshi Motonaga opened up about this shift.
While Motonaga notes that the series is indeed moving in a darker direction, if the anime ever does get another entry -- whether it be a sequel series or a full length feature film -- there will still be attention paid for fan service in the future.
As Motonaga explained about the series' new direction and its balance of fan service, "...I'm of course not oblivious to the fact that we have a lot of fans that are after that. There definitely needs to be a dose of fan service. As the original light novel series transitions into a more dark place I think it's certainly possible that we might need to introduce something without making it stand out too much, to introduce some elements of fan service. But all I can say right now is that I hope we can continue making this, so stay tuned for more information."
But while Motonaga still believes that the future of the anime will introduce fan service elements when it can, he believes the core of the series is something stronger than just an ecchi delivery service, "I just thought High School DxD was another sexy, ecchi anime, but having read it for the first time I realized it was a lot more than that. It's a story about a boy transitioning through adolescence into young adulthood. There's a lot of intense battles, a lot of drama, and there happens to be a side serving of eros and ecchi."
Elaborating further, "That's not necessarily the focus, so I think a lot of the other sexy anime or novels they have eros in the center and a story built around that. But with DxD the story is a kind of supporting access and there are accents of eros scattered about. I think that's a very important distinction...It's about the shonen passion that drives the battle and the school life and eros is kind of an accessory, but because of the focus on the school life I think it makes the eros stand out a little more."
Originally conceived as a light novel series written by Ichiei Ishibumi with illustrations by Miyama-Zero for Fujimi Shobo's Dragon Magazine in 2008, High School DxD follows a boy named Issei Hyodo who is best known for his perverted ways. After being asked on a date, the boy is killed when the girl turns out to be a fallen angel. Issei is revived by a busty classmate of his named Rias who is a devil herself, and she contracts the boy to become her new pet as she reincarnated him into a devil during his resurrection. The series is currently four seasons total, and the full run can be found streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNOW.