Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
by Steve Jones,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes comedy isekai anime about a boy and his very powerful mom. This episode wraps up the gang's tower ascent arc as well as the season overall, and it ends on about as decent a note as I would have hoped. The characters and situations deliberately hone in on just how weird an experience this has been for all of them, and I can't help but nod alongside them. Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? has had its ups and downs, but ultimately it lands in a strange place somewhere in the middle: not complete trash, but not recommendable either.
This finale in particular veers into some strange directions that I honestly would like to have seen explored more. Right off the bat, everyone gets separated and magically transported to a labyrinth populated by innumerable specters of their mothers trying to lure them into deadly traps. As Masato points out, this sudden shift into psychological horror territory is very unlike the rest of their adventure so far, and I dig it. Of course, the anime takes this to the completely unsurprising endpoint of titillating certain segments of its audience with a screenful of yandere Mamako clones sweetly threatening to dish out some punishment. It's fanservice of a sort. Masato, thankfully, just goes from mild annoyance to abject horror as the crowd of evil moms pursues him, and it's actually kind of sweet when he expresses genuine relief at the real Mamako showing up. For as much as he begrudges her overbearing powers and presence, he does have the wherewithal to appreciate her when things get tough. That's what good moms are there for.
When the rest of the party regroups, it turns out they all had similar experiences, and I really wish we could have seen more of them. Again, I don't know if this more psychological direction would have fit with the rest of the show's tone, but it certainly would have made things more interesting. I want to actually see Medhi vent more of her frustrations by whacking the crap out of a bunch of projections of her mom. I want to really feel what that means to her. Is it purely cathartic? Is it bitterly so? Mamako doesn't say anything about where she teleported, but I'd like to imagine that she was also hounded by visions of her mom. This would've been a great opportunity to flesh out her character, since we've gone an entire season without exploring who she is outside of her relationship with Masato. Where did her anxieties about being a good mom come from? Did she have a good mom? There's a lot we don't know about Mamako, and her character being so underdeveloped really hurts the show. Finally, what the hell did Porta see? She's so cagey about it, and when coupled with the fact that we still don't know anything about her mother or why she's in the game, it raises a lot of red flags. I love Porta, but I'd really love to see what makes Porta tick.
With the Crisis of Infinite Moms averted, the gang finally confronts Amante, who for all her bumbling turns out to be a competent enough fighter to take down the boss on her own and dish some smackdowns out to Masato's party. This is a more interesting fight than most of what Do You Love Your Mom has delivered, because it's less a fight and more a series of slapstick trial and error trying to get around Amante's reflect ability. Amante also tries to appeal to Masato's desire for independence, but that thematic journey has been set in stone for a while now. Absent other complications, the standard pubescent resentment of one's guardians will always be tempered by a genuine love and appreciation for all they do. Masato has no reason to genuinely resent Mamako, so of course he doesn't want her to disappear. However, I do resent Masato for selfishly trying to hold Mamako back from doing what she does best, because even though she's barely a character, she's still a lot more likable than he is. So I'm glad she kindly but immediately disregards his request and steps up to save the day like she always does.
The conclusion to this arc ends up reasonably satisfying. Mamako's ability to scold is so good that it penetrates all of Amante's defenses, and it feels true to my experiences that a stern word from a loving parent can really pierce you where it hurts. Do You Love Your Mom blows it up into an overpowered anime laser attack, and the buildup and subsequent over-the-top release make it one of the better iterations of the running gag about Mamako's special mom skills. At the top of the tower, Amante's fate is poetically sealed in the dumbest way possible, with a small carton of eggs protecting the existence of moms everywhere. I can feel the narrative patting itself on the back for following through with Wise's prediction at the start of the arc, but I'll allow it. It feels like a silly riff on the tragic ending of Wind Waker, and even if that wasn't the intention, I like it.
We're left with dangling plot threads and obvious setups for further arcs featuring Mamako and company weeding out the other leaders of Ribele, but I can't say I'll be waiting with bated breath for a sequel adaptation. Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? is a solid gimmick weighed down with half-baked writing, characters, comedy, and even fanservice. I'll still hold out hope that one day the isekai phenomenon spits out a truly good mom-based adventure. For now though, it's time for Masato and his uncomfortably hot mom to ride off into the setting sun, and it's (hopefully) time for me to stop referencing Oedipus in my anime reviews.
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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