Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
by Steve Jones,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
Masato's not-so-idyllic school life continues with motherly aplomb, as both Mamako and Medhimama insert themselves into their children's respective activities. Medhimama, particularly peeved after being shown up last episode, declares Mamako her rival and even goes so far as also dressing up in a matching sailor uniform. This is the level of drama we're operating on for most of this week, and I can't begrudge the show for not taking itself seriously. Unfortunately, weak comedy and unimaginative fanservice diminish what might have been a fun set of diversions into a dispensable installment. I expect at least some level of effort out of my mom-horny isekai series.
First up on their fantasy high school's curriculum is cooking, which Masato immediately points out is a bad fit for their combat classes, but it does give Porta a place to shine. I haven't gotten to talk about Porta much, if only because she's by far the most “normal” character in the series. In a world filled with frustrated kids and their superpowered moms, Porta's just a happy craftswoman eager to help out her party. That doesn't exactly make her a deep character, but considering most of the other people in this universe have paper-thin motivations (and clothing), Porta provides a nice uncomplicated respite. She takes a beaker full of eggs and magically hard-boils them to the point of perfectly easy peeling. Later she transforms an octopus tentacle into an entire takoyaki set, complete with grill. That's just wonderful. Thank you, Porta.
Anyway, the joke of this scene is that pretty much everyone else is bad at cooking except Medhi, which earns her skill points (lest we forget that we're still stuck in a video game). Wise is quick to point out that her delicious-looking dishes are just illusion magic being cast by her mother—the same move from last week—but Masato is unconvinced until he tries her food for himself and almost dies. Now, I don't know why a teacher would grade a student's cooking based on appearances alone and not taste, but I didn't make this game. Mamako, of course, skips past all the magic and just cooks up some normal stew, inadvertently imbuing it with yet another one of her buffs, this time called Mother's Breath. I do like the running gag that Mamako's usual motherly affections have been translated into game-breaking abilities in this world, and this is the kind of good-natured absurdity I wish this premise leaned on more often. I know it's already far too late for Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? to fit any definition of “wholesome,” but it could stand to lean into its gimmick more thoughtfully.
Speaking of wholesome, after cooking class we're greeted with a short scene of Shirase groping Mamako in front of her son—behavior one would surely expect out of any decent game manager. This random act of sexual harassment is done for the purpose of fitting Mamako into some swimwear for the ensuing scene. Not that this knowledge makes the scene any better, but that is the explanation given. Medhimama, determined to win at everything including “Best ‘Stacy's Mom’ Music Video Reenactment,” dons a sultry sling bikini, while Mamako goes with a more traditional school swimsuit. Since Mamako isn't trying to one-up anyone at anything, of course the entire class gravitates to her over Medhimama, who observes the scene seething with incredulity. Masato, meanwhile, longs only for death.
On the one hand, I do appreciate the constant reminders that Masato absolutely does not desire to think about his mom in anything resembling a sexual way. He's just a typical mortified teen. But on the other hand, his presence is antithetical to the show's constant attempts at fanservice. I have zero problems with a show that wants to indulge in heaps of sexy mom shenanigans every episode, but Do You Love Your Mom couches fanservice in Masato's disgust every time, which just makes everything feel weird and not fun. It's like the worst incarnation of the way certain shows think they can get away with fanservice as long as they acknowledge that it's fanservice. It's weakness masquerading as cleverness, and I'd much rather trashy shows own their trashiness and have fun with it.
The other lingering problem is that Mamako still doesn't feel like an adult woman. It's been especially egregious this arc, with her donning both a sailor uniform and a school swimsuit—both common evocative symbols of high school. For a show ostensibly about mothers, Do You Love Your Mom seems afraid to let its main character exist outside the caricature of a doting mom. It also doesn't help that the fanservicey situations tend to feature Mamako being overpowered by a monster, which rubs up against the premise that she's supposed to be a veritable force of nature. There's a way to do mom cheesecake without thrusting her into the clutches of a tentacle monster. Mom's can kick ass and look good while doing it.
In the end, the entire crux of this episode is having the interminably dense Masato finally realize that the person cursing Medhimama under her breath has been none other than Medhi herself. In a legitimately upsetting scene, he and Mamako see her repeatedly kick a wall out of frustration, to the point where she's definitely hurting herself. Medhi's mom is seriously messing up her daughter with her unforgiving expectations and overbearing presence, and by the end of this episode, I'm definitely ready to see her get her comeuppance. But there's no reason Masato couldn't have figured it all out last week, so this whole episode feels like a pile of filler that never becomes amusing enough to justify its existence. As a piece of entertainment, Do You Love Your Mom is still a perfectly serviceable entry in the isekai genre, but I have loftier expectations for it that I hope it can fulfill someday.
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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