Bleach is getting a surprise new arena fighter

Bleach: Rebirth of Souls will return the popular manga/anime franchise to its roots.
bleach rebirth of souls gameplay

Bleach is often treated as the lesser cousin of its more famous manga brethren – Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball. While it’s just as loved by its fanbase, it doesn’t tend to get the same big-scale adaptations, merchandising tie-ins, and sizzling excitement for more. In fact, the original Bleach anime was one of few that didn’t get the chance to adapt the complete story of the manga. It’s only recently that a sequel series has picked up the pieces, and allowed Bleach to shine once more.

Thanks to Bandai Namco Entertainment and Tamsoft (Senran Kagura), it’s now getting another chance – in a fresh arena fighter adaptation titled Bleach Rebirth of Souls. A trailer dropped on the Bandai Namco YouTube channel has revealed the appearance of classic Bleach characters, and combat that appears inspired by the original chapters of the manga.

Light story elements in the trailer focus on protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki’s journey to becoming a Soul Reaper, and embracing his inner power. In snippets, we see him facing off with a range of his earliest enemies – Hollows, Renji Abarai, and Byakuya Kuchiki.

While the Bleach Rebirth of Souls trailer does introduce these characters with teaser for a narrative story, it appears the game will be more like a standard arena fighter in design. Players will embody a range of Bleach characters, and face off with others in battles that prioritise swordplay and deploying special abilities. In the case of Ichigo, it appears his Hollow powers will be a focus, and these will increase as combat advances.

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The game’s Steam description makes clear that intense combat is a major focus, with players able to chose their favourite characters, and then “unleash their unique sword abilities” in battles that span the early parts of Bleach‘s history.

Here’s what to expect, per Tamsoft and Bandai Namco:

“Choose your favourite character and unleash their unique sword abilities! Take advantage of each character’s unique abilities and command the flow of battle to find an opening that spells defeat for your enemies. In Bleach Rebirth of Souls, a single strike can spell defeat for your opponent. Change the situation dramatically with the swing of your blade! The more desperate the situation, the more powerful you become. Overturn the tide of battle and unlock new forms and new blades in the heat of battle to bring victory from the edge of defeat!”

As announced, Bleach Rebirth of Souls is set to arrive on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in the near future. It does not currently have a firm release date locked in, but we’re likely to hear more in the near future.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.