Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
by Steve Jones,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
How would you rate episode 5 of
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? ?
Last week on the verbosely-titled Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, the gang wrapped up their mission to take care of the Empress of Night, while Wise simultaneously squashed her beef with her mother, also known as the aforementioned Empress. We get more context on their dysfunctional relationship, and for as much as the show likes to pick on Wise, it's hard to fault her for being upset about her mom coming back out of nowhere and trapping both of them in a video game. While her intentions seem to be in the right place, she doesn't actually consider how her daughter might be feeling, which is an important part of repairing any relationship, especially a parental one. After a frustrated Wise runs off on her own, the Empress uses her OP magic powers to fuel a hedonistic rampage unfettered by the game's rules. Sometimes moms just want to have fun.
This battle against the Empress takes up most of the episode, and it all unfolds predictably. Her entrance on a living throne of dude abs is admittedly great, but the remainder of the conflict is bog standard isekai magic spam that just isn't visually arresting. Do You Love Your Mom is a competent-looking show, but it doesn't have enough pizzazz to sell an entirely action-driven episode. The conflict itself isn't that interesting either, and I never had any doubt that it would end with Wise and her mom reconciling. I already expressed my reservations about such a clean resolution in my previous review, but I want to emphasize again that children don't owe bad parents anything. Wise's mom at least turns out to be more misguided than outright malicious, but that still doesn't excuse her negligence.
The most interesting part of the episode (less charitably, the only interesting part of the episode) is Mamako's confrontation with the Empress. I had expected it to go down as the World's Best Mom handily taking out the trash against the Bad Sex-Having Mom, but I was pleasantly surprised to see their interaction be more nuanced. The Empress still laments all the ways that motherhood forced her into a role that strips her of autonomy, leading to a deep anxiety that caused her to run out on Wise. Mamako chides her for this, but she also recognizes these feelings as familiar to her own experience. Moms are people too, and they're not perfect. They can be selfish and shortsighted, they can be kind and selfless, and they can possess all of these conflicting feelings at once, because that's what being human is like. Mamako still values her son above all else, but it was nice to at least acknowledge some of her complexity.
Wise's mom departs with a better understanding of her daughter (probably), while Wise decides to stick around a little longer because we still need a tsundere love interest. Truthfully, I can't say I'd be quick to leave Mamako so soon either. Her continued mom dominance soon spurs Masato, Wise, and Porta to enroll in a newly-established game academy where they can beef up their skills enough to actually contribute to the party. What good is an isekai setting if it doesn't let you set an arc in high school?
As seems to be the pattern for Do You Love Your Mom, this new adventure leads them to a new mom with a new set of problems. Masato initially falls head over heels for Medhi, a healer and the final party member featured in the OP, but her arrival is paired with the introduction of her mother, who goes by the inexcusably twee nom de mom Medhimama. In a complete 180 from the last arc, we now set our sights on the trope of the overbearing helicopter mother. To that effect, Mai Nakahara delivers an impressive performance as the motor-mouthed Medhimama, which goes a long way toward making her affably annoying instead of downright insufferable. She's still a big problem for the party's scholastic endeavors, as she uses her magic to not-so-subtly give her daughter the chance to get all the glory. But more importantly, the weight of her presence, expectations, and meddling are taking their toll on Medhi, who mutters complaints under her breath but hasn't the ability to speak up about it. Obviously, this is where Masato and friends will come in to help her out, per the impromptu moderation duties Shirase has thrust upon them, but no big confrontation has happened yet.
This wouldn't be much of a Do You Love Your Mom episode without Mamako, and for better or worse, she does eventually show up. After a slight Oedipal misfire with Medhi in front of the class, Masato is called out to meet with the recently maternally matriculated Mamako, who has decked herself out in full sailor uniform regalia (plus arm bracers). Viewers disappointed by the lack of fanservice or awkward mother/son moments last episode will surely be sated with both panty shots and an exasperated Masato dealing with his mom dressed like a high schooler. I can't begrudge the show for being so brazen with its momservice, but the setting does emphasize how much Mamako acts more like a teenager than a grown adult woman. I was kind of hoping we'd continue rounding out her character after last week. Instead, she joins Masato's class and cheers him on from the back of the room, because his life has become every teenager's nightmare. While most of the game-related humor falls flat for me, making Masato miserable always puts a smile on my face.
Do You Love Your Mom continues to be an interesting premise with highly questionable execution adapted fairly competently. I don't dislike it, but I can't exactly say I enjoy it, either. Still, it elicits an emotional reaction out of me on a fairly frequent basis, and that's at least a step above the average isekai. Perhaps unfortunately, its brazenness is the best thing this show has going for it. Its writing isn't thoughtful enough to meaningfully comment on motherhood, so in the absence of that, its audacity and moments of poor taste are at least entertaining. But who knows, perhaps this mom still has some tricks up her sleeves.
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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