One of this year’s E3’s surprise announcements was of the upcoming fighting game Jump Force, which sees characters from various manga series battling it out. The game’s announcement trailer confirmed the inclusion of characters from Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece and Death Note, though it was later stated by producer Koji Nakajima that the Death Note characters would not be playable, but would rather be important to the game’s story. A few days ago, the latest issue of Weekly Shonen Jump confirmed that Ichigo Kurosaki, the protagonist of the popular Jump manga Bleach, would appear as a playable character in the game. In a more recent press release, Bandai Namco has confirmed that the Bleach characters Rukia Kuchiki and Sōsuke Aizen will also be playable in Jump Force.
Observant fans have noticed from screenshots that these Bleach characters seem to take on their appearances from the manga’s Thousand Year Blood War story arc. The press release also confirmed that Hong Kong will be added as the latest real-world stage, with Blackbeard’s ship from One Piece appearing in the stage, showing a melding of real and fictional worlds that we haven’t seen in the game’s other two confirmed stages, New York City’s Times Square and the Matterhorn. Jump Force is expected to launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC sometime in 2019.