Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
Masato Oosuki quarrels with his mother Mamako (this show is NOT subtle about names), but a woman named Shirase (which, she incessantly informs us, means "to inform") invites the two to participate in the "beta" version of a video game- and by "to participate", she means to be bodily thrust into the game itself. Masato feels rather embarrassed (and humiliated) by having to participate in the game with his mom- but much MORE so because she FAR outshines him (LITERALLY, sometimes) at EVERY TASK he, she, and their entourage (3 girls, eventually) have to perform.
"This is a fantasy for young men, and there's no room for parents here"- Masato
"Other mothers sometimes get sent inside video games with their sons"- Mamako
I would say that Masato has it more nearly right here: after all, to a teenager having parents hanging out with you can be embarrassing- especially when they continually upstage you.
This show has received some flak for its absurdly long title (it wouldn't even fit in the title block in the Forum post with any spaces between the words), but this season also saw the anime version of If It's For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat A Demon Lord, and there are recent manga releases with even longer (and frankly absurd) titles like this: I'm A Behemoth An S-Ranked Monster But Mistaken For A Cat I Live As An Elf Girl's Pet. So this show isn't exactly an extreme example of a run-on title, and I didn't hold THAT against it. (Which means there were other things that I did hold against it. Coming up soon.)
The idea here is that Mamako's domestic/maternal skills are elevated to superpowers in the game's world. Her personality is cloyingly sweet (and completely ditzy), and I kind of shared Masato's frustration that her carefree, (seemingly) stupid cheerfulness gives her more power, and defeats more enemies, than Masato's serious approach to the game; she even gets TWO swords, while he gets only one. But the game's challenges seem awfully rigged in favor of domestic skills rather than combat skills in the first place. (While the game is ostensibly for "parents" to improve their relationships with their kids, no dads seem to be present.)
Oh, I forgot to mention something: Mamako is, by far, the most voluptuous female in the show. In my opinion, there's an unpleasant whiff of incest in the show's using her for fanservice. Early on, when she loses her clothes in a fight, she and Masato both express horror at a son seeing his mother naked, but she seems to have gotten over it later, having everyone (herself, Masato, and the three girls who join their party) participate in "naked" strategy sessions in the bath. (The girls, modestly, wear towels.) There's also the scene where she's modeling "armor" for him- namely, a metal string bikini. (Alas, much like "armor" that OTHER shows actually expect us to take SERIOUSLY.) This whole mom-as-principal-fanservice-object thing made me feel queasy. (ALL the show's females are in their underwear at one point late in the show, but that was really pretty cleverly rationalized.)
Mamako is a saint, though, compared to the mothers of two of the three girls who join them. The girls are named, in the game, by their particular specialty. The first is "Wise", a redhead with (not surprisingly) tsundere tendencies, who's supposedly skilled in magic, but her powers are easily "sealed" by just about any person (or thing) that also practices magic, so she often feels about as useless as Masato does. Her mom is an ultra-"cougar" who has chosen casual affairs with men over any maternal feelings for Wise.
Next is "Medhi", a healer of course, but one with attack skills. She's larger-breasted than Wise, and presents as sweet and demure, so naturally Masato crushes on her. To the show's credit, there's a much darker side to Medhi; to the show's further credit, that darker side is allowed to persist even after the inevitable crisis involving Medhi's mom, who we will just say is a wee bit too controlling. (Kind of the opposite problem from Wise's mom.)
The third girl is Porta. She's a cheerful, seemingly younger girl, and the reason for HER participation in the game is kind of a mystery. She is in charge of collecting the rewards the game gives to successful players, which she keeps in one of those bags which seem to have infinite storage capacity (and inside which time stands still.)
And we have a villain of sorts in the final episodes, named Amante. Amante literally can't keep a secret- while thinking that she IS keeping them. But, as with every other opponent in the show, she may be no match for Mamako and her awesome "Mom" powers.
This is the show's real problem: winning is MUCH too easy for Mamako. In that respect, her character reminded me of the protagonist in another Isekai show, In Another World With My Smartphone; there's no real challenge for her, since she's so powerful. The other side of that is that poor Masato seldom gets to achieve much on his own, always being pre-empted by his mom. It's not physical violence against our male "hero" here, just continual blows against his self-esteem; and while he does in the end start taking it all with an attitude of philosophical resignation (sort of, Oh well, here we go AGAIN), you DO wish the show would let HIM achieve more, and thus add some actual VARIETY to the proceedings; it would have been SO much better if they'd let the guy have a break, at least from time to time.
In fairness, the show is not without its bright spots: Wise and Medhi working together turned out to be pretty impressive (though they're rivals most of the time), and Mamako herself is a gold mine of non sequiturs. As I said, I loved the fact that once Medhi's "true" personality was revealed, the show lets her remain an "edgy" character. There's a good visual running gag about how character "deaths" are depicted here. And the closing theme has a melody that is done in a near-perfect "bubblegum pop" style. (It's my favorite great-theme-song-in-a-mediocre-show since Convenience Store Boyfriends.)
There are myriad "Isekai" series around right now, but a dearth of anything like masterpieces in THIS genre. I'll recommend one Stig liked, that's not QUITE "total immersion" in its game though.
If Mamako wasn't ALWAYS stealing glory from her son (which becomes pretty boring after a while), and if she wasn't also continually being exploited for fanservice, I wouldn't have minded this show at all. It really does have its enjoyable moments. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Mild violence; nudity (mostly Mamako's, and not that graphic.) We'll go TV-14.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? © 2019 J. C. Staff
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