Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun - Manga Comic Review & Summary
"Chapter 4: The Slave Trader"
Sorrosyss & Markuz, February 18th, 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 third issue, do please check it out here.

Yu Dayong, watching from
the top of his fort
The fourth issue is titled “The Slave Trader”, and focuses on Shao Jun's ongoing battle with the Templar faction known as the Eight Tigers. This episode has her facing down the slave master himself, Yu Dayong. Sadly the Modern Day element to the Manga is completely absent from the 34 pages that make up this particular issue. Thankfully though, while focusing heavily on action rather than narrative, this issue centres the story back closer to that of the Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China game, as we find matters once more in the port city of Macau, with Shao Jun’s final confrontation with Yu Dayong and a plot twist at the end (for those who haven’t played the game, at least).

Assassin's Creed: China - Chapters 1 to 4 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

Shao Hu's father
Shao Jun stands over the lifeless body of Shao Hu's father. Vowing vengeance on Yu Dayong, she leaves the room. In another part of the Fort, she comes across a few guards taunting a young girl imprisoned in a steel cage. Hiding against the outside window sill, she attracts the guards to the window and dispatches them, before freeing the young girl. The girl informs her that several other slaves are trapped in the keep, and Jun states that she will go find and release them too.

Shao Jun discovers the
imprisoned slaves
Upon discovering the slaves, she is shocked to discover them all cowering together in the same tiny cell. There are also corpses present, leaving a vile stench. As the slaves leave the cell, guards arrive demanding to know why they have been let out. Jun immediately leaps to their defence, slaying the guards one after another with her sword, until one guard hoists a shield and manages to deflect several of her strikes. He calls to the remaining guards to use their shields as well, and they form a small defensive stance together. Jun elects to leap over them, slicing her blade at their exposed backs as she falls. Finally, she uses her Hidden Footblade to eliminate one guard, and threatens the last remaining guard into revealing Yu Dayong's whereabouts.

Shao Jun assassinates Yu Dayong
On the other side of the Fort, Yu Dayong emerges from his quarters, demanding to know whether the Assassin has been killed. When he is informed that they have not, he storms out to demand answers from his guards. The nearest calls out to him, before slumping to the ground. Shao Jun stands over the body, with her sword drawn. Grabbing Dayong, she demands he hand over the Precursor Box. He gloats in response that the box is not in the Fort, that he knew she was coming, and grabs a nearby rope – sounding an alarm. Jun stabs him in the liver with her sword, expressing her desire to see him feel but a fraction of the pain he caused both her and all of the slaves. After she makes her escape, Qiu Ju, another member of the Eight Tigers, enters the room. A dying Dayong informs him that the Assassin still remains at large. Ju calls for guards to flush out the Assassin, by igniting the harbour on fire.

As Shao Jun leaps across rooftops, she hopes that the slaves got away safely. In the distance, a bright light stands out in the night sky. The moored ships and buildings of Macau are aflame.

Analysis and Final Thoughts

It is nice to see that the story has returned to its primary canonical leanings as laid out by the Chronicles game. However, the lack of any Modern Day content here leaves that intriguing side to proceedings completely bereft from any kind of narrative development. It is a shame, as the first two issues of the Manga struck a nice balance between the historical and modern eras. It was curious to note that Jun gets completely enraged here in this issue, which feels a little out of character compared to her depiction in the game – where she regularly appeared pretty calm and level headed. Whether this was a deliberate act by the writers to make Lisa's violent tendencies seem more appropriate given her association to her ancestor, it is hard to say.

Macau's port is set on fire in front of Shao Jun's eyes

The issue ends with Macau in flames, which constituted a very short escape level within the game. It will be interesting to see how in-depth the next chapter covers these events as a result.

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