Of Jump Force‘s 40 characters from Shonen Jump series, some aren’t as well known. It could because they’re like Asta from Black Clover, which had its manga begin its run in 2015, but not appear outside Japan until 2018 or get an anime adaptation until 2017. People who went through all of Naruto, but then didn’t pick up Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, might not be as familiar with Naruto’s son. But, the game is good about showing characterizations during its stories and fights. This is especially true for what may be its two most obscure characters, City Hunter’s Ryo and Dai from Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. The former is from a series that first appeared in 1985, though City Hunter the Movie: Shinjuku Private Eyes did come out in 2018. The latter appeared in a Japan-exclusive manga series that started its run in 1989 and received animated adaptations in the early 1990s.
The introduction for Ryo is a perfect example. It is great at showcasing all of his major traits in a short time. Galena is approaching him to hire him for a “job,” which plays into his role as a private detective. She even points out he’s good with a gun. He mistakes this as genuine interest and starts hitting on her. She preys on that to corrupt him with an Umbras Cube. This idea of Ryo considering himself a ladies’ man is further emphasized with his exclusive comments ahead of fights with certain characters. If he ends up facing Hancock, Kaguya, and Rukia. Hancock calls him a fool and threatens him, Kaguya seems a bit surprised, and Rukia calls his flirting nonsense.
But, we also get to see other parts of his personality through other Jump Force interactions. He know that he is incredibly sure of himself, noting he is an accomplished marksman who won’t miss if he draws his gun when talking to Dio. We also see how affable he can be, as he isn’t just quick to compliment women. If you meet Kenshin in a fight, he’ll let him know he’s attractive too. I do kind of wish that his conversation with Pegasus Seiya was different. When Pegasus Seiya says he’s looking for his sister, Ryo asks to be introduced to her. This could have been a good opportunity to reference Kaori, his partner Hideyuki’s sister that he takes under his wing.
Meanwhile, Dai is the most obscure fighter on the roster so far. Jump Force doesn’t do a lot to establish who he is and what makes him unique. When Sabo and the player avatar first encounter him, there is no setup or introduction. It isn’t like Ryo, where his interaction with Galena gives a hint as to his personality. Sabo essentially says he is someone unfamiliar who needs help, there is a fight, and then Dai is knocked out. After the two get him back to Jump Force’s headquarters, he tells Director Glover that he was separated from his allies when fighting Venoms in his own world, and doesn’t remember how the Umbras Cube corrupted him. Basically, he is a young hero with a sword who wants to get stronger and reunite with his friends.
So with Dai, it is actually the conversations before fights that do a better job of defining who he is as a character. For example, if the first person on one team is Dai and the other is Hunter x Hunter‘s Gon, the two decide to become friends since they are similar ages and clearly have an interest in being stronger. He gets along well with Asta too, since Asta calls his magic sword cool. (Again, the similar ages probably help.) Since Dai has the draconic aura and power, seeing Dragon Shiryu and his armor makes wonder if he is somehow a member of the Super Dragon Regiment from his world, even though he doesn’t look like the Dragon Knights he had seen. Hancock seems to almost recognize his crest, perhaps because it resembles the emblem she knows. (This matchup also shows his sense of chivalry, since he expresses hesitance at fighting a woman.) Kakashi even references that Dai is a hero in training, noting that someone (Avan) trained him well.
Sometimes, it is the little things that can help in a game. Especially if it is a cross-over title like Jump Force. People might not be familiar with every character. While it could have done a little better with establishing Dai, it really does a lot for Ryo. People who pay attention might get to learn fun things about the fighters or see nods to their original series, which fans may appreciate.
Jump Force is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.