Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
by Steve Jones,
How would you rate episode 1 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
How would you rate episode 2 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
Sometimes anime dares to ask the tough questions, and sometimes it just asks Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? With the isekai train showing no signs of stopping, the genre has explored seemingly every gimmick or twist imaginable on the basic premise of a person from our world being whisked away to a fantastical one. I have to be honest up front and admit that I am not the biggest fan of the current isekai onslaught. But I'll also admit that I think the plasticity of the concept is great in theory, because it opens up the possibility for all kinds of different fantasy stories. Many isekai anime end up squandering those opportunities, but the potential is always there, so it's only fair to approach each one with an open mind.
So it was only a matter of when, not if we would get a mom isekai (mommysekai if you will), and similarly only a matter of time before we'd get one that stripped that mom naked in the second episode. Do You Love Your Mom reaches above and beyond to meet both these milestones.
I genuinely looked forward to this anime when I first heard about the light novel, because it seemed in abstract like a subversion of one of isekai's worst tropes: the overpowered and insufferable male protagonist. Do You Love Your Mom posits a world where the protagonist is joined by his mom, who turns out to be a better hero than him in every conceivable way. Now that's a twist I can get behind. Masato is your typical bratty teen boy who gets randomly selected to beta-test a new video game that, surprise, sucks him into the computer. His dreams of a grand adventure ahead are immediately dashed (with a healthy splash of schadenfreude) when his mother Mamako materializes behind him. And then it turns out that Mamako kicks ass.
From there, the story unfolds like a teen boy's worst nightmare. Not only is he forced to stay with his mom, but his mom has ridiculously better stats, wields two swords, and outshines his utter mundanity in every possible way. That friction between these two characters makes up the backbone of the show's comedy, with mixed degrees of success. Masato does come across as unnecessarily mean, and even though the story has no qualms about dunking on him, I fear that we'll have to put up with his snark unchallenged for a whole season. Mamako, meanwhile, is an earnest and much more immediately likable character, plus she has the advantage of being an atypical protagonist for this genre. Her main problem is that she feels like an abstract personification of motherhood more than a character who happens to be a mother. I'll still gladly take her over yet another Gary Stu any day of the week, but I hope her personality gets rounded out to be more than just “mom.”
I've found the comedy pretty hit-or-miss so far, but it's definitely been hitting more often than the average isekai. For instance, since the game is only in beta, not all of the character models are finished, so a lot of the people in the background are drawn as white blobs with cartoonish faces doodled on them. It doubles as an understated sight gag and an excuse for the animators to take a few shortcuts, so I think that's pretty clever. The mom-themed naming of everything—from the kingdom of Mommalia, to the currency of mam, to what MMMMMORPG stands for—is my favorite kind of stupid running joke. I also loved Mamako going on a mini “back in my day” tirade about how older RPGs started you off with crappy equipment. Masato's response to this is basically saying “shut up, boomer,” because he's awful and has no respect for the classics, but I think this generational gap comedy is a unique avenue for Do You Love Your Mom to explore. Plus, it's nice to have more gamer mom representation.
I'd be content watching an entire show that's just Mamako one-upping her son at every turn, but the second episode introduces two more members to their party, Porter and Wise. Porter is a nice merchant class test player and, in Mamako's eyes, prime wife material. Wise gets more focus as a mage who also arrived in this world with her own mother. They've since split up, so now she's on the lookout for a new mom with whom to complete their maternal matriculation back to the outside world. Wise is also subject to a surfeit of panty shots and a deluge of mean-spirited wisecracks from Masato, neither of which are super great as entertainment. It feels like she exists just so Masato has someone to pick on. I don't blame them for pursuing that KONOSUBA energy, but KONOSUBA only works because everyone is a jerk to each other all the time, and I'd much rather we spend this show's energy on badass mom shenanigans.
Speaking of mom shenanigans, we have to talk about the second half of the second episode. I'm no fool, so I knew we were bound for some motherly fanservice eventually. I did not, however, expect for Masato to be falling into his mommy's mammaries quite so soon, nor was I prepared for lines of dialogue like “Mommy's wearing a thong today!” That said, I highly doubt the story will go anywhere incestuous. And if I'm wrong, well, people can dunk on me for this quote later. But for as bawdy as this scene is, Masato spends the entire time recoiling and shielding his eyes, keeping the focus on awkward comedy while retaining Mamako's sex appeal for the audience. I'm sure this won't be the last time Mamako is thrust into improbably sexy situations, but there's something to be said about the anime being upfront about its trashy elements. This will surely be a dealbreaker for anyone hoping for a more chaste focus on a powerful mom warrior, but I can't be too upset about it myself. We've had to endure what feels like 100 years' worth of trashy imouto anime, so it's only fair that mother-lovers be allowed to ingest some garbage of their own.
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? emerges as an odd beast to pin down. I would not, under any circumstances, recommend watching this with your own mom, but it has enough familiar isekai elements to draw in fans of the genre, and potentially enough of a twist on that formula to attract some detractors. Selfishly, I hope it does more to distinguish itself, ideally by letting Mamako be more of a proactive protagonist instead of a reactive one to Masato. I'm not quite in love with this mom or her two-hit multi-target attacks yet, but I've had enough fun to keep me looking forward to the next episode. Let the era of mommysekai anime commence.
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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