MLB two-way star Shohei Ohtani will grace the cover of MLB The Show 22, and a superhero manga version of the athlete will appear on the game’s collector’s editions. In a fun collaboration, the art was done by Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki.
Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, MLB The Show developer Sony San Diego said it wanted to use the collector’s editions as an opportunity to incorporate Ohtani’s love of manga and anime. Fittingly, Ohtani grew up reading “Major”, a manga series about a baseball pitcher who could also hit home runs. It also turns out Okazaki is a huge Shohei Ohtani fan, which led him to partner 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 ⚾️
— Funimation (@Funimation) February 2, 2022
You can see the cover art shows Ohtani with a bat in one hand, while tossing a baseball in the other. This is in reference to his unique ability to both pitch and hit at a high level in Major League Baseball, which led him to a unanimous Most Valuable Player award in 2021.
“Shohei is a once-in-a-generation athlete with superhero like abilities on the field,” Sony San Diego’s Ramone Russell wrote. “What better way to bring that 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 hitting and pitching skills, which you can watch below.
Along with this announcement, Sony revealed that Early Access is once again included in the collector’s editions for MLB The Show. The standard edition launches on April 5, but players who buy the MVP Edition or 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 @LoganJPlant.