Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
by Steve Jones,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? works best when it leans into the inherent goofiness of both its premise and title, and graciously we get that in spades this week. There are no over-reaching statements about what motherhood should or shouldn't be. There are no unnecessarily protracted battle scenes that buckle under the strained production values. The fanservice is even toned down (relative to the rest of the anime, at least). By leaning into its premise's comedic potential, this adaptation delivers one of its most palatable episodes by far.
Admittedly, I'm grading on a curve, because I would not consider Do You Love Your Mom to be anywhere near the pinnacle of anime comedy. Nevertheless, this episode begins with a surprisingly strong string of jokes about a mom and her bomb. The “assassin” mentioned last week is just a shady salesman trying to hawk an obviously bogus crystal ball by appealing to her boomer brain with promises about her guild and her son. It's not exactly a premise that gels with her perceived age, but it's an amusing subversion of expectations, and I'm sure most of my generation has had to deal with talking down parents or other relatives from deals that seemed too good to be true. Sure enough, the crystal ball turns out to be a bomb with a countdown timer that sounds like a baby crying, and I love that this is never explained. I also love that Mamako's maternal instincts somehow take over and instruct her to cradle this impending explosive, and I doubly love that this works. Yet another of Mamako's motherly powers is revealed, with her head pats quite literally defusing any situation. As she so eloquently puts it, “To a mom, a bomb isn't much different than a baby.” That's an amazing line of dialogue and a perfectly absurd cap to this scene.
The episode never quite reaches those heights again, but the next segment is an acceptable variation on the theme. Amante isn't one to back down from a little bomb trouble, so she sends three of her allies to take the entire town hostage and presumably chase Mamako away. I'm just assuming that was her plan, because in actuality they end up extorting Mamako's services for their own nefarious purposes, which end up being not so nefarious after all. First off, they force her to dress up in her maid costume, and given some of her other wardrobe changes, this one ends up being fairly tame. Then they make her cook for them, and she whips up a batch of fried rice so good it instantly reminds them of their own mother's cooking. I do like the concept of Mamako as a “supermom” who does all the stereotypical mom things so well that she's able to get out of any tough situations. I think that has a lot more comedic potential than “mom hits monsters for massive damage.” Do You Love Your Mom unfortunately doesn't lean into that concept as much as it could, but moments like these are glimpses of the better show it could be.
The one skeevy part of the episode happens when they take Mamako upstairs, where the leader brazenly demands her “in-bed” service. The scene's saving grace is that at no point does it feel like there's any actual danger, but it's still not great to build a joke on the premise of a man underhandedly coercing a woman to sleep with him (and while her son is in the room, gross). Mercifully, the punchline is telegraphed from a mile away, as Mamako instead interprets his request as one to tuck him in for naptime, which he and his cronies quickly submit to. Thus, the hostage situation ends amicably with the large boys sufficiently homesick and conciliatory. Mamako again saves the day just by being a mom, and that's nice to see.
There's another gratuitous bath scene, but they've become so commonplace at this point that it barely regards mentioning. It's still pretty darn weird for a mom, her son, his two competing love interests, and Porta to be sharing a dip at the same time, but seeing Porta's giant bag impeccably balanced on her head goes a long way toward mollifying me. Amante also shows up, mostly so she can get roasted by Medhi and remind us how ineffectual she is as a villain. That's the joke, but like Mamako, I am curious as to why she's so anti-mom. Whatever the issues with her relationship, the tone of this arc leads me to believe it's not as serious as Medhi's situation, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
Since all of the other adventurers are apparently holed up in the tower with Amante, Mamako fills her guild with the only player characters left: the mothers. Thus, the Mommy Guild lives up to its name, as an army of mothers marches to the tower to take their children back. The joke here—that all of the moms want to check up on something at home before entering the tower—does get stretched painfully thin, but I'm feeling charitable, so I'll choose to interpret it as good-natured ribbing at the myriad stresses that come with managing a household. Moms have it tough.
Moms can also be very tough, so I can't wait to see what I hope will be a giant party of moms deftly conquering the tower's many monsters and traps next episode. It's good to be looking forward to new episodes of Do You Love Your Mom again, even if the season's almost at an end. We really needed some course-correction after Medhi's arc was so grossly mishandled. Mamako's triumphs in this episode provide a glimpse of this narrative's potential platonic ideal, where motherhood is exalted as a superpower in ways that are both silly and heartfelt.
Steve is lost in space, but he can still stream anime so it's okay. A communications relay has been established on his Twitter.
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