Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun - Manga Comic Review & Summary
"Chapter 5: Consequences"
Sorrosyss & Markuz, April 2nd, 2020
Note: Non Spoiler Review, but a full Spoiler Summary and Analysis follows

Assassin's Creed: China is a Manga comic produced by Minoji Kurata, currently being released in Japan on a monthly basis for Sunday GX Comics. If you happened to miss our review of the fourth issue, do please check it out here.

The fifth issue is titled “Consequences”, and focuses on Shao Jun's escape from the burning streets of Macau. The Modern Day narrative makes a welcome return to the Manga coming in at 11 of the 33 pages that make up this particular issue. It even gives us some references to the Assassin's Creed movie, which were surprising but equally a nice addition to make the comic feel part of the wider franchise universe.

Assassin's Creed: China - Chapters 1 to 5 are available online now. Naturally this is currently only available in Japanese, though English and French versions are expected at an undefined future date.

Preface: Kindly note that the following story summary has been produced with a heavy reliance on translation software. We cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the details, but we hope this is as close as possible.


SPOILER TAG - Click to unhide
Macau, China, 1528

Qiu Ju yells to all guards to set alight the port, and they make haste setting fire to houses and turning over oil barrels. This is witnessed by Shao Hu, who hopes that Shao Jun was able to find his father amidst the chaos. The flames reach the slave quarters, with slaves screaming out to be unshackled and saved from the fire surrounding them. A guard refuses to let them leave the building, before Jun lands behind him and eliminates him – freeing the slaves.

As Jun continues down the fiery streets, helping where she can, she is filled with a deep amount of guilt over what is happening to Macau, and firmly blames herself for the turn of events. Her thoughts are broken by a small girl screaming for her mother, whilst circled by flames. Jun acrobatically leaps to the child, and safely brings her out to her grateful mother.

Qiu Ju, standing upon a balcony, remarks to a guard on the Creed of the Assassin Brotherhood, stating that he respects its ideals but that in the end it is not supported by power. It aims at the freedom of people, but in moments such as this, the Brotherhood cannot protect them.

Shao Jun escapes across the rooftops, and plunges into the port waters, where Wang Yangming still waits upon his boat – calling to her to get aboard. She turns to see the burning city, with a multitude of dead bodies now floating in the water. The guilt weighs heavy on her once more.

Yokohama, Japan, 2020

Before Lisa Yang leaves her Animus session, the guilt of Shao Jun's situation feeds upon her. She is struck with flashbacks to an earlier time in her life, where another girl blamed her for ruining her life, leaving Lisa crying in the Animus.

A short time later, after the session has ended, Dr Kagami comforts Lisa – reminding her that it was a simulation and not her actual life. Lisa states that she still feels the guilt for causing the same kind of pain to a friend, and ruining their life by doing the “right thing”. Kagami tells her that she can choose to follow her own right path from now on.

After Lisa leaves the building, Dr Kagami holds a video call with her superior. The older woman requests an update on the subject, to which the Doctor replies that Lisa is revealing sections of Shao Jun's memory that had not been revealed to them previously. The superior reminds Kagami what happened the last time when she worked in the Madrid facility in 2016, and not to make the same mistake this time.

Meanwhile, on the streets of Yokohama, Lisa walks home lost in thought about the Shao Jun experience she had endured that day. She is suddenly grabbed from behind by another young woman, Mari – her cousin – who is delighted to see her.

Analysis and Final Thoughts

Although this was a fast paced issue in terms of Shao Jun's plotline, this felt a strong issue overall. It was nice to get an appreciation for her guilty thoughts on the events that surrounded her, and that this is in turn fed into Lisa's experience in the Modern Day making a nice narrative echo to the plot-line.

Speaking of, the welcome return of the Modern Day element brought us some very interesting new plot points. Firstly, it was revealed that Dr Kagami was actually working at Abstergo's Madrid facility, which famously was destroyed by the actions of Callum Lynch and other escaping Assassins, as depicted in the 2016 Assassin's Creed movie. As the Doctor mentions that she now has access to even more genetic memory than before, you have to assume that her work at Madrid must have revolved around Lin – another Modern Day descendant to Shao Jun. This is interesting in that we know that the Madrid facility aimed to uncover the origins of violence in humanity, all the way back to the original sins of Adam and Eve. In that regard, because of this backstory, Kagami does qualify as the proper Abstergo scientist to keep “working” on the human violence project by studying Lisa. Furthermore, As Shao Jun remains a focus of study for Dr Kagami, there is possibly a further element to the story of Jun that we are not yet aware of (or at least an element of Jun’s story that the Abstergo scientists didn’t explore in Madrid). Long term fans can only hope this finally leads us to some more lore surrounding the two original Human-Isu hybrids that freed humanity so long ago.

As a final lore icing on the cake, although she is not named, given the reference to the movie, it is a strong assumption that Kagami's elderly superior is most likely Ellen Kaye. You can even see the same high collar present, which is a prominent part of her Elder Templar outfit. Beyond the possibility that this is a brand new character, the only other candidate that springs to mind is Sofia Rikkin – though the comic appearance looks a bit too dissimilar to our eyes.

Finally, we have the first semblance of a back story for our main protagonist Lisa. What did she do to so wrong a friend? Was it actually her cousin Mari? Was this part of the reason she chose such a self destructive path through the rest of her youth? Answers are promised in the next issue.

comments powered by Disqus