Fire Emblem: Hasha no Tsurugi (ファイアーエムブレム 覇者の剣, lit. Fire Emblem: The Champion's Sword) is a pseudo-adaptation of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade serialized in Monthly Shonen Jump from December 2001 to August 2005 spanning forty-five chapters. Initially acting as a side-story, portraying the adventure of a young boy named Al and his companions as they seek out the Fire Emblem, it eventually became an alternate retelling of the games events, bringing in a number of original characters and concepts.
The manga is referenced in the actual games in the form of the items Al's Sword, Gant's Lance, and Tiena's Staff, named after the manga's three original protagonists in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade as well as the addition of the manga original territories of Tania and Worde on the map of Lycia found in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Some of the manga's original characters have since appeared in the card game Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher).
This manga is written by Hiroshi Izawa and illustrated by Kotaro Yamada, and it was published from 2002 to 2005 by Shueisha. Starting on April 4, 2002, Shueisha began publishing Hasha no Tsurugi in a Tankōbon format under its "JUMP Comics" line totaling at 11 volumes.
Later on, starting on August 20, 2007 and concluding in October 15th of the same year, Shueisha published a total of five volumes of Hasha no Tsurugi under the Shueisha JUMP REMIX (集英社ジャンプリミックス Shūeisha Janpu Rimixxu, SJR) line, a convenience-store exclusive line of manga volumes published by Shueisha. Meant as a simpler means of catching up on Shonen Jump manga, these volumes have a larger and more economical omnibus format, featuring larger page counts compared to Tankōbon.
- Author: Hiroshi Izawa
- Illustrator: Kotaro Yamada
- Publisher: Shueisha
- Release: April 4, 2002 - October 4, 2005 (Japan)
- Vol. 1: ISBN 4-0887-3244-8 (April 4, 2002)
- Vol. 2: ISBN 4-0887-3324-X (September 4, 2002)
- Vol. 3: ISBN 4-0887-3376-2 (January 6, 2003)
- Vol. 4: ISBN 4-0887-3430-0 (May 1, 2003)
- Vol. 5: ISBN 4-0887-3513-7 (September 12, 2003)
- Vol. 6: ISBN 4-0887-3558-7 (January 5, 2004)
- Vol. 7: ISBN 4-0887-3602-8 (May 1, 2004)
- Vol. 8: ISBN 4-0887-3657-5 (September 3, 2004)
- Vol. 9: ISBN 4-0887-3763-6 (January 5, 2005)
- Vol. 10: ISBN 4-0887-3813-6 (May 2, 2005)
- Vol. 11: ISBN 4-0887-3868-3 (October 4, 2005)
- Shueisha JUMP REMIX Volumes:
- Vol. 1: ISBN 978-4-08-109454-7 ( August 20, 2007 ) (Contains Volumes 1-2)
- Vol. 2: ISBN 978-4-08-109460-8 (September 3, 2007) (Contains Volumes 3–4)
- Vol. 3: ISBN 978-4-08-109468-4 (September 15, 2007 ) (Contains Volumes 5-6)
- Vol. 4: ISBN 978-4-08-109478-3 (Released on October 1, 2007 ) (Contains Volumes 7–9)
- Vol. 5: ISBN 978-4-08-109486-8 (October 4, 2005 ) (Contains Volumes 10-11)
Differences from the game
While the manga is a side story of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and most of the plot is accurate to the game, some of the story has been modified slightly in order to incorporate Al and a few other original characters. As a result of this, the later developments differ substantially from the events in the game; the series continues on for several more chapters devoted to Al's side of the story after Roy's triumph.
Several Plot holes can be seen that impacts Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. Notable examples of plot changes include:
- Eliwood states knowing nothing about the Fire Emblem, which contradicts the events of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, though this is likely due to the manga starting serialization before Blazing Blade's release.
- Roy's army did not possess Durandal, despite Lilina being alive, since her survival is the requirement for Roy to enter the Gaiden Chapter to retrieve it.
- Lance remains behind in Lycia for a time while Roy heads on to the Western Isles.
- Karel is never shown, since it follows the Bad ending.
- Rather than go through Sacae or Ilia, Roy's army goes straight from Etruria to Bern.
- Guinivere is never taken back to Roy's army by Melady, instead she is taken to Bern by Zephiel.
- Arcadia is never attacked by Bern's forces, as they were unable to make it there.
- Roy's army is only able to obtain one of the Legendary Weapons throughout the whole story, that being Aureola which is given to them by Yoder.
- Roy promotes immediately after the battle of Aquleia rather than after receiving the Binding Blade.
- Zephiel holding both Eckesachs and Binding Blade. This may, however, refer to the beta, where Zephiel had both weapons.
- The Zephiel chapter shows Al being sealed in what looks like ice due to the Binding Blade. However, the Binding Blade in the game uses fire.
- Many major to moderate bosses are killed differently:
- In the game, Arcard and Roartz are both fought as bosses and killed by Roy's army, Arcard the chapter after retaking the Etrurian capital and Roartz at the end of the Sacae/Ilia route. In the manga, Jemmie incinerates them both during the siege of Etruria.
- Narcian did not get killed by Roy's troops, but instead, he is killed by an enemy Wyvern Lord known as Zeed.
- Murdock is more powerful in the manga, it requires (literally) both the combined strength of Roy and his comrades to defeat Murdock's defense.
- A large majority of the playable characters that appeared in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade makes brief cameo appearances (or at least have their names mentioned) in the manga series. Roy, Lilina, Echidna, Cecilia, Perceval, Douglas, Elffin, Fae, Chad, Sophia, Niime, and Lance play somewhat of a large role.
- Roy's armor after being promoted is identical to the design given to him in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- There is a Nintendo event with Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade that unlocks a Trial Map of that in similar to Tiena's rescue.
- One of the volumes ends with a picture of some characters from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade such as Lyndis and Matthew.
- Usually, at the end of each chapter where an important character is introduced, "personal data" statistics appear, but most of the information is usually off from the actual game's statistics. For instance, Niime is identified as a "Sage", while she is actually a "Druid".