Two-way MLB star Shohei Ohtani will grace the cover of MLB The Show 22, and a superhero manga version of the athlete will appear on collector’s editions of the game. In a fun collaboration, the art was made by Afro Samurai creator, Takashi Okazaki.
Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, Sony San Diego, developer of MLB The Show, said it wanted to use the Collector’s Editions as an opportunity to incorporate Ohtani’s love for manga and anime. Fittingly, Ohtani grew up reading “Major,” a manga series about a baseball pitcher who could also homer. It also turns out that Okazaki is a big fan of Shohei Ohtani, which led him to team up with Sony to create an anime-style superhero version of the MLB star for the steelbook cover. . You can take a look at the result below.
NEWS: Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki illustrates Shohei Ohtani for MLB The Show 22 ⚾️
Read at: https://t.co/i6Hh7Dgcjk pic.twitter.com/YOY8tKHxhq
— Funimation (@Funimation) February 2, 2022
You can see that the cover shows Ohtani with a bat in one hand, while throwing a baseball in the other. This refers to his unique ability to pitch and hit at a high level in Major League Baseball, which led him to a unanimous 2021 Most Valuable Player award.
“Shohei is a once-in-a-generation athlete with superhero abilities on the court,” Sony San Diego’s Ramone Russell wrote. “What better way to bring this to life than to have worlds collide on a truly unique cover?”
Sony also paired the cover reveal with an animated trailer that showcases Ohtani’s punching and throwing skills, which you can watch below.
Along with this announcement, Sony revealed that Early Access is once again included in MLB The Show Collector’s Editions. The standard edition will launch on April 5, but players who purchase the MVP Edition or the Digital Deluxe Edition will be able to jump in starting April 1. We also recently learned that MLB The Show 22 will be available on PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and for the first time, Nintendo Switch.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPplant.