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Video Game / Bleach: Brave Souls

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Bleach: Brave Souls is a mobile game in the Bleach franchise, developed by KLabGames for the iOS and Android platforms and released in Japan on July 23, 2015 and worldwide on January 13, 2016. In August 2020, Bleach: Brave Souls was released for Microsoft Windows on the Steam store.

Gameplay is a combination of beat 'em up and hack-and-slash, and revolves around battling Hollows, enemy Soul Reapers, Vandenreich Quincies and other enemies while controlling three-person teams of Super-Deformed versions of characters from the Bleach franchise. The game features a diverse array of characters from the anime, manga, movies, and light novels; and also features an array of Alternate Universe versions or alternate designs of existing characters, some created or approved by series creator Tite Kubo himself. Characters are divided into affiliations such as Shinigami, Hollow, Arrancar, and Human. Gameplay modes include but are not limited to a Story Mode that encompasses the entire plot of Bleach up to the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, the PvP "Brave Battles" mode, a co-op mode, and a store for in-app purchases.

Characters are unlocked via a gatcha system, with rarity and overall power level being indicated by star rankings, and can be levelled up to increase their stats and ranking. Notably, the game contains the first official adaptations of the "Thousand-Year Blood War" arc, the Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You and Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World light novels, and the manga's Distant Finale epilogue.

Tropes appearing in the game:

  • Ability Mixing: Several of the alternate versions of Ichigo are "What If...?" takes that have him combine his Soul Reaper, Hollow, and Quincy powers in different ways than he did in canon.
    • New Years 2019 added a Quincy version of Ichigo that combined his Quincy, Soul Reaper, and Fullbring powers.
    • The fifth anniversary added a Beyond Bankai version of Ichigo combining his completed Fullbring and Soul Reaper powers.
    • Zaraki's Beyond Bankai form has him wielding the two swords wielded by Lumpy and Boney, the monsters manifested by Yachiru Kusajishi's "Shikai", Sanpo Kenjū; while a third vertical slash attack occurs after his attacks happen.
    • The seventh anniversary added a version of Ichigo combining his Quincy and Fullbring-augmented Soul Reaper powers.
    • The Revelation Summons: Successor version of Ichigo combines his Quincy and Hollow powers, such as firing a Blut Arterie-augmented Cero Oscuras for his ultimate attack.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The Getsuga Tensho that Thousand-Year Blood War Ichigo (Shikai) fires from his greatsword — embodying his Hollow/Soul Reaper powers — is coloured red to match his Hollow form's Cero, rather than black as in the manga.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Some characters, like White Ichigo's fully Hollowfied form, Thousand-Year Blood War Ichigo (Bankai), and the "Ten Years Later" versions of Ichigo and Rukia,note  are given abilities they were never shown possessing or using in the anime or manga in order to make them viable as playable characters.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Due to the game predating the reveal of his true identity, Ichigo's Inner Hollow is referred to as "White Ichigo" rather than just calling him Zangetsu or White.
  • Alternate Self: The game features several "What If?" versions of Ichigo and some other characters:
    • An Arrancar version of Hollow Ichigo was released for the game's second anniversary.
    • For New Years 2019, a Quincy version of Ichigo armed with a Heilig Bogen resembling his Zanpakuto and wielding a combination of his Quincy, Fullbring-augmented Soul Reaper, and Hollow powers was released.
    • For the game's fifth anniversary, a black-haired Ichigo using a mixture of his Soul Reaper, Hollow, and Fullbring powers was released.
    • For the game's sixth anniversary, a version of Aizen who used the Hōgyoku to complete his apotheosis and become a god capable of warping space at will.
    • For the game's seventh anniversary, a version of Ichigo combining his Fullbring-augmented Bankai and Quincy powers, and a version of Uryū using what appears to be Quincy: Vollständig.
    • The Revelation Summons: Successor iteration of Ichigo combines his Quincy and Hollow powers, wielding a black Heilig Bogen.
  • Alternate Universe: The game frequently features banners and events of alternate universes, with characters (usually Ichigo and/or Kon) typically getting thrown in that universe by accident and having to find their way back home. A few originate from manga colour spreads or anime fillers, while the others are original to the game.
    • Cacao Society is another dimension with a fantasy medieval setting that shows up on Valentine's or White Day. The kingdom there is ruled by Harribel, and it contains valuable cacao beans that are spawned every 100 years. Other characters that have appeared in this world are Byakuya, Starrk, Gin, Urahara, Momo, Nanao, White Ichigo, Riruka, and Soi Fon. Ichigo helps with the disputes between multiple groups there and has an unfortunate habit of forgetting to bring Keigo back with him to his home world.
    • The third anniversary and Alternate Rebirth event debuted "Beyond Resurrección" forms for the Espada and Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, showing them fused with the Hōgyoku. They take place in an alternate world Tokinada specifically creates for Hikone to hone their skills. It's notable that even deceased Espada like Barragan, Starrk, and Szayelaporro are included.
    • Spirit Society is an alternate world where the characters are all youkai, which includes the Kuchiki siblings as tengu and Gin as a kitsune. In one story, the Soul Reaper version of Rukia and the tengu version of Rukia swap souls which causes much confusion with Ichigo and the tengu-Rukia's companions.
    • Machine Society is an alternate dimension that follows "Cacao Society" and has a steampunk setting. The place is running its annual Flower Festival when Kon gets sent to this world, and he has to help Riruka, Unohana and others defeat the enemy that's wreaking havoc in the festival.
    • Desert Society is a world that takes place in a desert setting with some stereotypical fantastical Middle Eastern traits (such as this world's Yoruichi being a belly dancer and Kon being a genie from a lamp). Unlike the other events, Ichigo and Kon are a part of this world — it's a swimsuit Orihime and Cacao Society's Urahara that briefly appear by mistake.
  • Allegedly Free Game: The game is free to download and play, and some players end up playing it without spending a single cent. However, characters are unlocked via a gatcha system, with draws being dependant on a Random Number Generator; and orbs are easy to run out of and yet are the most important game currency, as they are needed to summon characters, expand inventories and may be needed when certain resources are low (for example buying more Soul Tickers or reviving when one has run out of Revival Candles). As a result, the average hardcore player will likely have spent real money on orbs or character packs at least at one point.
  • Beam Spam: Cien Granz — a clone of Szayelaporro Granz's original Vasto Lorde form from the Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You light novel — fires an omnidirectional barrage of Ceros as one of his attacks, as well as three simultanious Gran Rey Ceros.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: In Nnoitra Gilga's "Beyond Resurrección" form, two of his six scythe blades are now attached to his arms, while the other four manifest as extra limbs made of Spiritual Energy.
  • Chain Pain: The 2022 Anniversary Quincy Ichigo wields a glowing red chain with a bladed tip resembling the blade of the Fullbring-augmented Tensa Zangetsu, which he can fire like an arrow from his Heilig Bogen.
  • Coat Cape: The "Cacao Society" version of White Ichigo sports a white coat with gold trim and a fur-lined collar, worn in this fashion.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Character attacks are color-coded based on what they do:
    • Red skills are melee attacks.
    • Blue skills are ranged attacks.
    • Yellow skills provide buffs in addition to doing damage.
    • Green skills provide healing and/or shields in addition to doing damage.
  • Fallen Angel: Ulquiorra Cifer's "Beyond Resurrección" form has four black-feathered wings, white hair, and horns made of black-and-green Spiritual Energy. This form's special ability, Tormenta de Murceilago, lets him destroy anything he sees.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Downplayed with Tier Harribel and Nelliel's "Beyond Resurrección" forms. They are very nearly naked, with only parts of their bodies covered up by an exoskeleton and fiery golden energy (the former) or fur (the latter). Unsurprisingly, much of their torso area is bare, with only their busts slightly covered.
  • Great Bow:
    • The 2022 Anniversary Quincy Ichigo wields an enormous Heilig Bogen shaped like a stylized maji, in reference to the handguard of his Fullbring-augmented Tensa Zangetsu.
    • The 2022 Anniversary Uryū Ishida has a pair of cybernetic-looking wings that can be converted into into an absurdly large Heilig Bogen, capable of firing his giant Laser Blade as an arrow.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The "Spirit Society" version of White Ichigo is said to be an otherworldly entity that has taken the form of an oni, but is not actually one himself.
  • Magical Eye:
    • The description for Ulquiorra Cifer's "Beyond Resurrección" form states that the Hogyoku has given him the power to destroy everything he gazes upon.
    • Nnoitra Gilga's "Beyond Resurrección" form slots the Hogyoku into his facial Hollow Hole, effectively turning it into a prosthetic eye that grants him godlike powers.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez's "Beyond Resurrección" form gives him two fiery tails, evocative of a nekomata.
  • Next Tier Power-Up:
    • The "Beyond Resurrección" characters are Arrancar who have fused with the Hōgyoku to attain godlike power.
    • The "Beyond Bankai" characters — which include Aizen's Hōgyoku fusion — are Soul Reapers or Vizard who ascended to a godlike state by merging with their Zanpakutō like Ichigo did to defeat Aizen.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The game's localization differs from the spellings previously used in the manga, anime, and supplementary materials; with the subtitles for the Thousand-Year Blood War anime adaptation continuing to use the game's spellings going forward.
    • The game refers to Ichigo's signature Sword Beam as "Getsugatensho" rather than "Getsuga Tensho" as in the manga and anime.
    • Although official material from the manga romanises the Captain of Squad 2's name as Suì-Fēng, the English translation of the game spells it as Soi Fon, how it's phonetically pronounced in Japanese.
  • Super-Deformed: While the artwork shows the characters in the proper art style, the actual gameplay features chibi versions of each character.
  • Super Mode: Certain characters can undergo temporary power-boosting transformations - for example, Thousand-Year Blood War Ichigo (True Bankai) can enter his Horn of Salvation form while wielding "True Zangetsu".
  • Sword Beam: In addition to Getsuga Tensho, Arrancar Ichigo and True Shikai Ichigo launch crescents of Spiritual Energy with every swing of their swords.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In a live stream on December 27th, 2020, when the "Ten Years Later" versions of Ichigo and Rukia were announced the developers and voice actors described their intent was to portray Ichigo and Rukia as having become both Older and Wiser and much more powerful than they were previously.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Swimsuit banners are released every summer, meaning a player can carry out missions with a character wearing simply swimwear (with many of them being female characters in bikinis).
  • Yōkai:
    • Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez's "Beyond Beyond Resurrección" form has a pair of fiery feline tails, effectively turning him into an anthropomorphic nekomata.
    • The "Spirit Society" Alternate Universe is set in a world where the various Bleach characters are creatures from Japanese mythology and folklore. Byakuya and Rukia Kuchiki are tengu, Gin Ichimaru is a kitsune, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and White Ichigo are — or in the case of the latter, appear to beoni, Kaien Shiba is a raijin, Rangiku Matsumoto is a hone-onna, Lisa Yadomaru is a snake demon, and Shinji Hirako is a dragon.