For many of us, Super Smash Bros. is the biggest crossover fighting series around. Mario, Solid Snake, Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man, all duking it out together in a big, ridiculous A-list brawl? That sort of thing would’ve just been unthinkable a little while ago. What a time to be alive.
For anime and manga fans, however, an even more exciting prospect has just launched: Jump Force. This brawler’s cast is composed of the best characters from across Weekly Shōnen Jump’s vast manga repertoire: Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh! and more are represented.
This raises a question that’ll be familiar to any fan of these franchises: which characters are the strongest? That’s highly debatable, but here are our picks for some of the most powerful fighters in the game.
We’re going to kick this party off the right way, with a character that’s a little more obscure than certain manga mainstays. Nonetheless, he’s a match for any of them. Blackbeard, or rather Marshall D. Teach, is one of the biggest villains of One Piece and the leader of the Blackbeard Pirates. He’s the only person ever known to possess the power of two Devil Fruits, which, if you’re not familiar with One Piece, is not a good time for his Jump Force opponents.
He’s a hulking bruiser of a man, very tall and powerfully built, and seeks to use that strength to overwhelm his opponents. If you’re a fan of grappler characters in similar games, Blackbeard will probably be for you.
Another slightly lesser-known addition to the roster (your knowledge of manga and anime will vary, naturally), Shishio Makoto is a villain from the classic Rurouni Kenshin series. He serves as the main antagonist of the Kyoto storyline, and makes for a fearsome-looking foe with prodigious skill with a blade.
A master assassin betrayed and left to his (presumed) demise, Shishio is the Freddy Krueger of the Jump Force cast: horribly burnt and scarred, but keepin’ on keeping on and ready to seek his revenge. There’s little doubt that he’ll get it, too, as Shishio is a fantastic character. A very fast, very heavy hitter who is riding high in (very early) tier lists.
8 Monkey D. Luffy
It’s an unspoken rule of manga and anime that the main character needs to some darn special tricks up their sleeves. After all, that’s what being a protagonist is all about. Yes, you’ll have your face slapped on all kinds of merchandise and become an international celebrity, but all kinds of villains will mess with you in all kinds of ways over the show’s run.
Fortunately, Monkey D. Luffy is ready for all of this. The popular hero of One Piece is a good pick, as you’d expect, with some nice range on some special attacks (thanks to those rubbery limbs of his). Not to mention his Fourth Gear technique, which is… well, a sight to behold.
7 Ichigo Kurosaki
Our next pick of the cream of the Jump Force crop is another protagonist: Ichigo Kurosaki. For Bleach fans, this guy will need no introduction. He’s the savior of good souls and the bane of Hollows everywhere, and these are qualities that employers truly value.
This veteran swordsman has always been rated highly by fans (even if his whole anti-hero Batman shtick has been done before), and it would be nothing short of a travesty if he wasn’t a top performer in the game. Luckily, he’s equipped with an arsenal of very fast, damaging attacks, and is another S-rated character on early tier lists.
That’s the thing about the characters of these shows. As with the Marvel and DC universes, it’s no fun having superheroes without supervillains to rival them. You’ve got to give these super-people a challenge, haven’t you? For every Ichigo Kuroaski, then, there’s got to be a Sōsuke Aizen. Aizen was originally with the Fifth Division, but defected, becoming the main antagonist of Bleach for a time.
With all his teleporting and lightning shenanigans, Aizen is a force to be reckoned with in the game and is also regarded as one of the best fighters in the roster at the moment.
While some of Jump Force’s roster is comprised of fan-favorite, ‘insider’ type characters, there are some very familiar faces throughout that we’ll all recognize. You don’t need to be a Nintendo fan to know who Mario is, and you certainly don’t need to be familiar with all the comings and goings of manga to know Goku.
Perhaps the most popular character in all of anime, the hero of the Dragon Ball franchise was an absolute must-have for the game. Sure enough, here he is, in all his glory, with a variety of different forms in which to pummel his opponents. As the various villains of Dragon Ball have found, this guy is capable of absolutely anything.
4 Sasuke Uchiha
The whole Dragon Ball vs Naruto thing isn’t a debate that’s going to be settled any time soon (or ever, really). The discussion has moved from schoolyards to internet forums and comment sections, but nothing else has really changed. That’s the whole reason why Jump Force exists, really.
Suffice it to say that both franchises have a great cast of uniquely-talented fighters, perfect for joining the ranks. Sasuke Uchiha has been a little contentious among Naruto fans, who feel that the protagonist’s rival is a role that’s been just a little played out at this point. Regardless, he’s renowned for his fighting skill, and that translates into another fearsome Jump Force combatant.
3 Naruto Uzumaki
Sasuke Uchiha is a huge deal in the Naruto universe, of course, and has fans all over the world. Fans are constantly debating whether he’s stronger than Naruto or not. At different points in the series, strength levels flip-flop and ridiculous feats are accomplished on both characters’ parts, aking it difficult to really come to a conclusion there.
One thing’s for certain, though: in Jump Force, you can’t really go wrong whichever character you pick. Naruto’s also highly respected among early players, with some nifty combos (and an incredible looking transformation) and high damage potential. Another one to watch for sure.
2 Yugi Moto
Now, bringing Yu-Gi-Oh! into the mix must have been an interesting challenge for the team. Compared to the other manga and anime franchises we’ve seen so far, this one’s very unique. The sword-swinging, magic-casting action of Yu-Gi-Oh! is performed within the card game itself, which poses obvious issues when it comes to bringing Yugi Moto himself into a crossover fighter.
Nevertheless, here he is, a unique and powerful addition to the cast. Yugi’s attacks are largely performed by Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl (in the style of the show), but he can also call on cards like Swords of Revealing Light and even Slifer the Sky Dragon!
Ah, yes. Here we go, friends. We’ve seen the (largely) goodly heroes of Naruto, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Bleach, and Yu-Gi-Oh! in this rundown, but the top spot is reserved for a villain. One of the most iconic and dastardly villains in all of these franchises, in fact.
That’s right. Frieza’s here, and he’s fully prepared to erase you, your hopes and dreams and your whole planet if you cross him. A game like this is a festival of huge, dramatic, flashy attacks, and Frieza’s look like some of the most destructive of all. There was no doubt he was going to be a powerhouse in the game, and he certainly hasn’t disappointed.