Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun - Manga Comic Review & Summary
Volume 3: Chapters 9-13
Sorrosyss, June 25th, 2021
French Translation from the original source by Azuu

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 reviews of the previous volumes (chapters 1-8), do please check them out here.

The third volume comprises of five chapters (9 to 13), and focuses on Shao Jun's further adventures in Nan-an, as well as Beijing. The Modern Day development is slower here, but the vast majority of Chapter 12 is set in the present which is a nice touch. As always the art work is of a decent quality, and there are again new scenes and backstory that flesh out Jun's story with aplomb.

It goes without saying that if you enjoy Shao Jun as a character, this series is most definitely for you. China as a setting is always refreshing to go to as well, as the vast majority of Assassin's Creed lore is predominantly set in North America or Europe.

Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun Volume 3 is available online now. We'll continue to bring you news on the fourth and final volume when it releases later in 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

Nan-an, China, 1529

Wang Yangming manages to deflect a few arrows back at the archers with his sword before diving across the steps of the stairway. He mocks Zhang Yong's effort to kill him as disappointing, to which Zhang calls upon his bodyguard Qiu Ju to deal with the Assassin as he turns to leave.
Meanwhile, within the city itself Shao Jun skulks through the shadows of Wei Bin's residence. Pulling her sword onto guards from stealth, she interrogates them to see if Wei Bin is present. She quickly realises that several of the guards carry Templar crosses.

Within his bedroom, Wei Bin talks with his wife, mentioning that he has doubled the guards to be wary of the supposed Assassin. He exclaims that once he kills more Assassins, he is surely to rise up the among the ranks of the Eight Tigers. At this point Shao Jun enters the room, sword drawn. The two battle with Jun emerging the victor after deftly using the Hidden Blade in her boot to slice his throat open. As he dies, Wei Bin declares that he knew she was travelling with Wang Yangming and that by now he is probably dead. Realising she has sprung their trap, Shao Jun runs out in rapid search of her Mentor.


Nan-an, China, 1529

Shao Jun races to a nearby tower bridge crossing, and scales its sides to keep hidden from guards. Inside she finds that it is actually an explosives store and uses the opportunity to set fire to a few bombs, ultimately utterly destroying the tower as she makes her escape.

Wang Yangming continues to battle against Qiu Ju and his soldiers but is heavily wounded. Shao Jun arrives, and starts to assist him, dispatching several enemies. A monk from the nearby temple calls out, telling them all that they should not bring violence to the temple of Buddha. Qiu Ju yields to the request and withdraws his men, but as he leaves he mocks Jun that he has already achieved his aim. Wang Yangming collapses to the ground, and tells Jun to keep fighting for peace and order as he finally succumbs to his fatal injuries.


Nan-an, China, 1529

Wang Yangming's body is carried to the monk temple, where the monks prepare his funeral. The monk leader reveals to Shao Jun that he is the contact that was due to meet her Mentor to discuss the Precursor box. The two talk in private, where the monk questions how much she knows about “The Ones Who Came Before”. It is revealed that Jun can see things before they happen, which in part is what makes her an incredible fighter. Describing it as “Eagle Vision”, the monk reminds Jun of the secret passages within the Beijing imperial temple she had once shown to her childhood friend Qijie, and the ghostly outlines of people she had seen to direct her there. It dawns on Jun that she is indeed of the Precursor bloodlines.

Yokohama, Japan, Modern Day

Lisa awakens from her Animus session. She immediately has a vision of Dr Kagami dropping her pen, to which Lisa is immediately able to catch. With the Bleeding Effect leaving her spooked, she elects to end the therapy for that day, and leaves the Abstergo building. Outside in the street she bumps into Mari, who declares that she needs to tell Lisa something very important.


Yokohama, Japan, Modern Day

Mari tells Lisa about her long conversation with Kiyoshi earlier that day. He had revealed everything about the Templar / Assassin war, and how the modern company Abstergo was utilising information technology to track and understand every human being, to the point that it became easy to locate and capture those with Assassin ancestry purely by analysing their blood. One such facility in Madrid had been destroyed by an uprising of those captured Assassins, which was also where Dr Kagami had once worked.

Lisa is troubled to hear about this and wonders what the Doctor is really after from her. Mari tells her that she has always been good at finding the truth in matters, such as when she helped call out Mari's father on his abusive ways towards his daughter. Lisa briefly hallucinates a vision of Qijie, but then resolves to return to the Animus, and makes her way back to the Abstergo building to resume her session.


Nan-an, China, 1529

Shao Jun attends her Mentor's funeral, and thanks the monks for their hospitality and aid. She asks how the monk leader knows so much about the Assassins, to which he reveals that he has an Assassin ancestor from the Middle East. Striving to uphold the same principles of the Assassins who came before her, Jun vows to bring peace and order to her country and sets off in search of the missing Precursor Box.

Beijing, China, 1530

Shao Jun and Xiao Hu pose as siblings, as they make their way through the guard patrols at the entrance to the city. Jun reveals that she wants to rescue her best friend, one of the concubines in the inner courtyard. Hu tells her he will wait outside, but that he also wants to train as her first Assassin apprentice.

Jun evades the guards and enters the inner courtyard with ease. As she enters a window, she startles a concubine. The young woman guesses that Jun is the Assassin that has caused the entire palace to go into high alert. She also reveals that Qijie had given her a note in case such an Assassin arrived. Jun quickly reads the note, where Qijie specifically summons her to join her at the imperial garden pavilion. Leaving the concubine in peace, Jun makes her way there quickly, looking forward to meeting her old friend once more.

Analysis and Final Thoughts

The volume certainly gave us a lot of background on Shao Jun's connections to the Isu bloodlines, even so far as showing her Eagle Vision capabilities such as the shimmers of people long since dead. We get a solid confirmation that one of her abilities is a strong level of precognition, which in turn allows her to anticipate and react to her opponent's moves before they perform them, similarly to Ezio’s Eagle Sense, but at a much younger age. It really does highlight Shao Jun as the true gifted warrior that the fans love about her.

As before, there are sadly some slight lore changes from the game. One quite notable one is that of the death of Wang Yangming, who was originally killed by Zhang Yong in the Chronicles China game. As we have discussed before though, these creative leaps can indeed sometimes be down to allowing the story writer some creative freedom with this new story. The canonical debate will no doubt rumble on amongst fans though.

Lisa's story is starting to near its conclusion now. As we expected, she now is starting to really suffer from the Bleeding Effect, and knowing Dr Kagami's true intentions will likely result in their professional relationship ending pretty swiftly. With the next volume concluding the Blade of Shao Jun story, it will certainly be interesting to see how Lisa fits into the Modern Assassin Brotherhood – that is of course, if she survives to do so! Join us again next time to find out.  

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