The World's Finest Assassin
Episode 7

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 7 of
The World's Finest Assassin ?

Last episode, we focused entirely on Maha and her story—and in the process saw Lugh's actions through the eyes of an outsider. Now, we're back in his head and though time has passed Lugh's mentality remains the same. In his own mind, Lugh sees himself as completely pragmatic—untainted by emotion or a drive for personal gain. Everything he does is for his ultimate goal of defeating the hero. But is this really true?

In the objective sense, Lugh appears incredibly altruistic. He gets on well with his serfs, treats Maha and Tarte like treasured friends rather than disposable pawns, and helps those tied to him achieve greater success. Lugh, however, would claim this is all done in order to better support his attempts to kill the hero—that his kind actions are actually clever manipulations.

But Tarte makes it clear this episode she doesn't buy that for a second. While he joined him as a little girl out of a need to feel needed, that's not why she stays with him. She has long since seen through his “manipulations” and doesn't care that he thinks that's what he's doing to her. What she wants now isn't to be needed in general but to be needed by him specifically—by the kind young man she has gotten to know over the years. In her eyes, Lugh is lying to himself. Rather than acting pragmatically, he acts kindly and then justifies his kindness as pragmatism after the fact—especially when it comes to Maha and Tarte.

His stated reason for picking up the two girls is that he wants their magical abilities. Thus, he made them personally dependent on him. However, it's perfectly possible to keep someone at a professional distance and keep them loyal. He could treat Tarte like a normal maid and Maha like an assistant and both wouldn't dare to expect more from the boy who saved their lives.

While he may call them pawns in his head, he treats them like loved ones. He absolutely slathers them in kindness. He puts their own comfort before his own—whether it's inventing a new kind of spear for Tarte or hiring all of Maha's friends to work at his new shop. I mean, he even lets the girls sleep in his bed whenever they are feeling in need of comfort. It's no surprise that their affection for him is beyond simple duty. Its love. To them, it's not who he is underneath, it's what he does that defines who he truly is. And at this point, it's hard not to agree with them that he is tricking himself.

Better still, this disconnect between his actions, his stated motives, and actual motives sets up an exciting impending dilemma. Eventually there will be a time when the kind choice and the pragmatic choice are diametrically opposed. It's then that Lugh won't be able to lie about his motivation or what he truly wants to himself or anyone else. At that moment, we will finally see for certain if he is the assassin he used to be in our world or the kind of assassin his new father wishes for him to be.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• I'm not sure I completely buy Maha going from traumatized girl to ceiling ninja/expert torturer in such a short time.

• I'm happy we got a follow up on Maha's friends—and that they got the life they always dreamed of before the horrible events of last episode.

• I'm relieved that Tarte and Maha get along well even when Lugh is gone. They're not rivals in love as much as they are a team trying to unlock Lugh's heart. I also like that they don't brood about him visiting Dia and just have a good time on their own. Honestly, they seem like a pair that could actually do a healthy polyamorous relationship.

• It's only once a month but the fact Lugh visits Dia even when undercover shows how much he values their relationship—on both a personal and professional level. The joy-filled time they spend together yet again points out the lie of his supposedly pragmatic lifestyle.

• It's clear that the Goddess just wants the hero dead so bad she is willing to throw anyone and everyone at him. ...Though, I can't be the only one who wants the hero to go down from a set of killer rhymes.

The World's Finest Assassin is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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