Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun - Manga Comic Review & Summary
Chapter 8: Reunion
Sorrosyss & Markuz, June 6th, 2021
Note: Non Spoiler Review, but a full Spoiler Summary and Analysis follows

Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun (or, in its Japanese version, 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, as well as in the United States through Viz Media, and finally in France too by Mana Books. If you happened to miss our review of the seventh issue, do please check it out here.
The eighth issue is titled “Reunion”, and focuses on Shao Jun's time in Nan'an, as she hunts the next of the Eight Tigers – Wei Bin. In a rare and welcome piece of storytelling, we get to see some social stealth elements, as Jun uses her infiltration skills to hide in plain sight as a civilian. The Modern Day sadly encompasses only 2 of the 34 pages that make up this particular issue though.

Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun is available online now. Chapters 1-8 are available in English, French and Japanese. Translations of the manga in China, Germany, Spain, Italy and South-East Asia areas are also slated for release throughout 2020-2021.

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 read
Yokohama, Japan, 2020

Kiyoshi continues explaining to Mari that the end goal of the Templars is always above all else, and that Lisa's life is very expendable to them. Knowing that her cousin's life hangs in the balance, Mari tries to call Lisa on her mobile phone, who is still laying within the Animus at that moment.

Nan-an, China, 1529

Wang Yangming and Shao Jun stand outside the gates to Nan-an. Yangming explains that Wei Bin, one of the Eight Tigers resides inside, and is known as the right hand man of their leader Zhang Yong. With guards everywhere, he explains that it would be easier for her to disguise her Assassin clothes, and enter the city as a civilian. In the meantime, he will seek out a relics contact who he believes might help them understand how to use the Precursor Box, as this person had already come in contact with another relic of the mysterious First Civilization who, Yangming says, were also behind the creation of the treasure that he and Jun are seeking. As a result he also believes that the Templars would also be after the same individual.

The two Assassins part ways, and Jun hides her sword within a lute to keep it concealed, and wraps it in a cloth. As she approaches the city entrance, a guard calls to her to stop and reveal what is underneath the cloth. As she initially refuses, a boy interrupts and tries to explain that Jun is his sister and that she really should be going. The guard snatches the cloth, and after revealing the lute allows them to pass.

The boy reveals himself to be Xiao Hu, the son of the assassin who was tortured to death in Macau three years earlier. Jun again brings up her guilt over what happened with the fire there, but Hu explains that the people acknowledged that a black clad woman had helped rescue many people that day, and that the authorities had recklessly started the fire themselves. Jun acknowledges that in the end her actions did in fact do some good after all. Removing the sword from her lute, and the clothes covering her Assassin garb, after thanking Hu she sets out onto her mission. Taking to the rooftops, she starts to dispatch guards by stealth. Finally coming to terms with her past actions, she realises now that her battle is far beyond her experiences, and is in fact a battle for freedom itself.

Meanwhile outside the city, Wang Yangming meets a contact, and climbs a stairway to a temple upon a mountain. The contact explains that the person that Yangming is looking for is hidden inside the temple far from public view and that it’s because of such precaution that they were able to escape the Templars up until that moment. Suddenly a crossbow lands in the contact’s chest and he falls to the ground. A group of crossbow archers lie ahead, led by Zhang Yong and Qiu Ju. The former shouts an angry welcome to the lone assassin, before ordering the archers to kill Yangming.

Analysis and Final Thoughts
The issue felt comparably shorter than recent issues, but it was nice to see Jun back in her element here. Not only was she beginning to believe in herself and the cause of the Brotherhood once more, but she also engages in some classic tenet traits, like hiding in plain sight, and keeping her Assassin identity secret.

The inclusion of more mentions of the First Civilization is always welcome, and we were once more given a glimpse of what appears to be a vault or temple (though this might possibly be the Hephaistos Forge shown in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey). Whilst we still believe that the Imperial Palace holds several relics present in its vicinity, we can only assume and hope that we might see further Pieces of Eden in the coming issues.

Sadly the Modern Day took a bit of a back seat here, as Lisa remains in the Animus, so her character development was once more placed on hold. Judging by Kiyoshi and Mari's conversation, it surely cannot be much longer before the modern Brotherhood breaks Lisa out of the Abstergo facility. I would expect us to hopefully see some more cameos at that point.  

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