After a notable break between seasons, the High School DxD anime made its surprising return last year for a fourth outing. Not only was this new entry notable because it came out of the gate with a major retcon to how the third season came to an end, but it garnered a lot of attention early on for its completely new character designs. There was a dramatic shift in how Rias and the other devils were presented, and fans stayed debating the merit of these changes long into the fourth season's run.
Speaking with Monsters and Critics, producer for the series Satoshi Motonaga revealed that the staff behind the anime series wanted to have a fresh take going into the fourth season in order to boost the series and help give it attention from old and new fans alike.
Motonaga revealed that with the shift in new production studio, Passione, he wanted High School DxD to have a fresh face to help it stand out in today's market compared to when the first three seasons were produced, "How in this market place can we keep this series alive and draw new audiences to it? This is kind of a challenge for ourselves and we wanted to add a little boost so that kind of transitioned to a new animation studio we thought would be a fresh take on it."
Elaborating further, Motonaga revealed the new character designs were an extension of this fresh faced philosophy, "...a lot of time with animation studios it’s kind of attached to the producer of that animation studio. They kind of come with their own character design and interpretations and now that we’re shifting to a new studio we wanted to take that opportunity to revisit the character design. The original character designs were also very popular so it was a hard decision but I think the new animation studio wanted to take a new look at the characters themselves, too."
This fresh take proved to be pretty popular with audiences as the fourth season of the series was one of the best received yet. Although things have been quiet on the anime front for High School DxD, Motonaga's holding out hope for an anime continuation with either a sequel series or even a full length feature film. Fans are surely hoping for the same.
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.