The World's Finest Assassin
Episode 9

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 9 of
The World's Finest Assassin ?
Community score: 4.3

While this episode is the story of Lugh's first solo assassination, it's also a series of solidly built character pieces exploring the women in Lugh's life.

The episode starts off with a few scenes surrounding Lugh's mother. At first, she comes off more than a little creepy—even if it is played for comedy. I mean, she wants to know about her son's wet dreams and examine him naked. However, we soon get context as to why she's doing this—and it's not because of some incestuous fetish she has for her son. Rather, it has to do with the feudal society of this fantasy world.

While it may be easy to forget, Lugh is a member of the aristocracy—the only heir to a prominent noble family. As such, one of his main duties is to continue the family line (we already have seen the problems caused by the squabbling branch families when there is no direct heir). One of Lugh's mother's main jobs is to assist him by finding him a suitable partner. And now that she knows he is capable of producing an heir, the sooner he does so, the better.

Despite her airheaded attitude, it's clear that she takes her responsibilities quite seriously—she already has three candidates prepared after all. However, what's interesting is that she doesn't have any political motivations for her choices. While she doesn't know about Lugh's plans to marry Dia, she is fine with him taking Tarte as a bride. This implies two things: 1) that she's thinking more about the secret side of the family than the public side (as adding more powerful mana users to the bloodline would be advantageous) and 2) that she's okay with Lugh marrying for love over status.

The next character to get the spotlight is Maha. In her conversation with Lugh, it's clear that, over the years, she's learned what kind of a person Lugh is: one who values directness. Now separated from him in daily life, she knows to make the best of the time she has with him and lay her cards on the table. She won't let ignorance or feigned ignorance stand in the way of what she wants: namely to be his lover. So, she tells him not only that Tarte loves him, but that she does as well.

From this, we learn Tarte's feelings—that she would be happy to be a mistress as long as she is kept by his side and shown love. But what's interesting is that Maha, while also having no objections to a poly relationship with Tarte and Dia, is not willing to settle for just that. She want's what Dia has with Lugh: a relationship between equals. While Maha may not be able to rival Lugh in magic as Dia does, she can rival him in the areas of business and information gathering. Once she has proved herself to be equal in these aspects, then she will begin actively pursuing him.

As for Tarte, we see her determination to be Lugh's lover when she tells Lugh's mother she'd happily bare his child. Then we learn what being his lover means to her in Maha's conversation with Lugh. However, it's in the assassination scene that we see what she brings to the table that Dia and Maha do not. When he lines up the shot, Tarte is hyper-vigilant in watching his back—trusting him to get the job done while she protects him. She is his partner not in magic or business but in the nitty-gritty of cold-blooded murder.

But more than that, she is by far the one of the girls who has spent the most time with Lugh. She can easily see through the lies Lugh tells himself—and see when he is in pain. This lets her be there for him on an emotional level that neither Maha or Dia have been able to reach. Tarte has seen him at his weakest and supported him without judgment. Lugh is no longer an emotionless tool but a man killing other men. Such acts take a toll even upon the most battle-hardened soul. However, it is a toll that can be shared with those who truly understand. This is why Lugh will eventually fall in love with Tarte (assuming he hasn't already).

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• The first assassination has a clear message. No person is 100% evil. Even the worst person can fall in love and have families who will miss them when they're gone.

• I'm so happy it showed that several days had passed between Lugh's visit and the assassination—making his visit appear to be unrelated to the murder.

• I have little hope that the drug addicted mother won't relapse despite being healed by Lugh.

• Ok, we've had a lot of focus on Maha and Tarte recently. I think we're due for a Dia episode pretty soon to see how she's changed over the years.

• Nice to get a new Goddess vignette. I just wonder if cameras in this world can capture an image instantaneously. I mean, old cameras in our world needed you to stand perfectly still for quite a while.

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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