First announced at E3 2018, Bandai Namco’s Jump Force is like a dream come true for anime enthusiasts – or fans of Weekly Shounen Jump, at least. With a star-studded lineup of fan favourites from various anime titles, such as One Piece‘s Zorro, Dragon Ball Z‘s Goku, Naruto himself, and possibly even Death Note‘s Light-Ryuk pair.
While it’s certainly not surprising that characters from Naruto and One Piece are present in the roster, given how they make up two-thirds of Shounen Jump’s Big Three, the absence of Bleach personalities – the last one of the trio – during the title announcement confounded the community.
As it turns out, fans need not worry, for Ichigo and two of his fellow counterparts will be heading to the three-versus-three brawler game. Of the duo, one’s an expected choice (Rukia); the other a surprise unveil (Aizen).
Wait… Aizen? It’d be natural to assume the last addition be someone from Ichigo’s party, such as the cool-headed Quincy Ishida Uryuu, or the brash but loyal shinigami (soul reaper) Renji Abarai, so the name does come as a jarring reveal. Guess the team’s going with the antagonist first.
A brief description of the characters yields the following:
- Kurosaki Ichigo – needs no introduction. With his signature orange hair and vegetable knife-esque Zanpakuto (a sword for shinigami), he’s the protagonist of Bleach, and defends the human race against evil spirits.
- Kuchiki Rukia –A fellow soul reaper who wages battle with her ice-type Zanpakuto, and is part of the main cast.
- Aizen Sosuke – Arguably the most powerful shinigami in the Bleach universe, and the core villain for the majority of the series.
A look at the gameplay shows Ichigo thrusting his ever-trusty Zanpakuto into enemies, and unleashing his ultimate Mugetsu form, which is a sweet bonus for fans of the oranged-hair delinquent, and should help to level out the field with Aizen’s likely-to-be overpowered skillset.
Accompanying the three-character reveal is a brand-new Hong Kong stage, featuring neon-soaked streets, and a sufficiently-accurate creation of Blackbeard’s wrecked ship in the backdrop.
Check out the photos below to see the new additions in all their 3D, gorgeous glory: