Assassin's Creed IV Manga Adaptation Begins

Welcome to the NHK artist Kenji Oiwa is behind the new serialization.

When it comes to annualized triple-A franchises like Assassin's Creed, it's not enough for just the games to exist any more.

Instead, more and more companies are taking a "transmedia" approach in which favorite characters and settings find themselves plastered across books, soundtrack CDs, comics and more in an effort to make each series stand out as much as possible.

This is nothing new in Japan, of course, where there's a lot of interplay between different forms of media. PC-based visual novels and games are often adapted into anime, manga, drama CDs and light novels, and if they're popular enough, a string of related merchandise such as action figures or displayable figurines often follows.

We reported a couple of months back that Ubisoft was jumping on this trend for the upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag thanks to a partnership with the magazine Jump X (pictured, right). Siliconera reports that the adaptation, now well underway, is an "all-original" version that fills in some of the gaps in main character Edward's story, along with exploring the life of this installment's Animus user, who appears to be the half-Japanese, half-European son of an Abstergo researcher. Ubisoft hasn't talked a huge amount about the new game's present-day sequences until now, but all indications seem to be that you're playing "yourself" rather than a set character this time; the Animus user for the manga adaptation appears to be an original creation.

The distinctive visual style is the work of Kenji Oiwa, the artist behind Welcome to the NHK and Goth. It's something of a change in theme for Oiwa, whose work usually focuses on modern-day settings and characters -- Welcome the NHK explored the life of a hikikomori (shut-in) while Goth is a series of short stories about two high-school students fascinated by murder -- but it's in keeping with Japan's current seeming fascination with pirates thanks to the ongoing popularity of series like One Piece.

There's no word on whether or not we can expect an English language release of the manga. If it does happen, past adaptations would seem to indicate it's more likely we'll see it as a standalone book rather than a serialization in a magazine -- that said, even if an official English release doesn't happen, with the Internet being the Internet, you can probably count on some resourceful bilingual (or Google Translate-equipped) person to translate it all for everyone before very long.

If you can read Japanese, there's more information on the new serialization on Jump X's site, and here's a page from the manga itself showing the modern-day protagonist:

Read this next

Ubisoft Shouldn't Forget Traditional Assassin's Creed Fans

Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Origins are the way forward, but the old creed doesn't need to be forgotten.

Assassin's Creed Origins Guide - How to Earn Money and Level Up Quickly

How to earn money and XP quickly in AC Origins, how to kill Phylakes, the Trials of the Gods, boss fights, and how to find all the Stone Circle locations.

More News

Another Blizzard Co-Founder Is Leaving After Almost 30 Years With The Company

Only one of the original co-founders is left now.

Sega Parts Ways With Narrative Game Studio Interior Night

Narrative experiences don't seem like a fit for Sega.

Mario Rocks a Surprising Bald Look in an Ancient Donkey Kong Coloring Book

To be fair, losing your girlfriend to a giant ape will make you tear your hair out.