This news is a couple days old, but I figured I’d front page this for those that hadn’t heard.
The first season of High School DxD sold over 9,000 copies per volume, and the follow up season DxD New had sales drop just slightly but also sold in excess of 9,000 per. These numbers are nothing compared to the Madoka Magica’s, the Bakemonogatari’s, or the Attack on Titan’s, but in an industry where most series fail to sell, achieving upper-middle class status is highly coveted.
This is especially true for ecchi titles. Only one other ecchi series has sold in excess of 5,000 copies per volume over the past two and a half years, that of course being To Love-Ru Darkness. Consider that both FREEZING and Samurai Girls went from selling 5,000+ copies per in 2010 and 2011 to selling roughly 2,000 copies per in 2013 with the same exact level of production values. It seems the honeymoon is over for nude fanservice series, the novelty factor that once boosted them to strong sales seems to have worn off.
So with that context in mind, getting a 9,000+ average is an excellent result for TNK, even though the sales did drop just slightly overall. That small drop might explain why the decision for a third season took a few extra months to deliberate, the announcement for the second season came six months after the first season ended, this current announcement came nine months after the second season.
Regardless, DxD has been a winning formula for TNK and unless the third season bombs you can probably expect a fourth season too. The challenge will be keeping the series from getting stale. Truth be told, the second season already started to feel that way, even with some of the clever things they did (the added scenes, the wider variety of service, etc). With few exceptions, ecchi series tend to decline in sequel seasons probably because fans get tired of the same thing over and over and want a fresh start. Kenzen Robo Daimidaler felt like a branch off attempt by TNK to get something new rolling. I guess we’ll see how that attempt plays out.
Really though, the most vitally important thing about High School DxD is that it proves that successful ecchi series are still possible, they provide the carrot on a stick that entices other companies to try their luck in the nude-ecchi genre. I don’t know how much longer DxD can remain a significant franchise, but even if I were to get tired of the series I’d still want it to sell well, because the ecchi genre is in dire need of success stories right now.
Business stuff aside, DxD wasn’t ready to end after just two seasons. The story wasn’t at a stopping point, and several of the ladies had yet to really strut their stuff. Maintaining the success of the first two seasons will be a challenge for TNK, but as for the anime itself a third season is certainly in demand.
For those wondering, the first season aired 4 months after being announced, the second season aired 10 months after being announced (debut seasons tend to be announced shortly before they air). As said before, the publisher took a little more time before announcing this third season so it’s possible it’s been in production for a while now. Spring of 2015 seems like a pretty good guess for the debut, if not then, then possibly Winter or Summer 2015.