Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 5

By Dachima Inaka and Iida Pochi. Released in Japan as “Tsujo Kogeki ga Zentai Kogeki de Ni-kai Kogeki no Okasan wa Suki desu ka?” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

This is a slightly stronger volume than the previous one, if only as the author has hit upon a very solid plotline for this book: a tournament arc. Do You Love Your Mom? is not exactly a Shonen Jump series, but certainly mom is overpowered enough to be a last boss in the sort of tournaments you see there. Here she fights against 15 other mothers who are all basically variants on the position. There’s elf mom, giant mom, robot mom, devil mom, angel mom, ninja mom… etcetcetc. There’s also our two minor comedy villains, who disguise themselves as “one girl on another’s shoulders wearing a coat” but get away with it because LOL. The most interesting competitor, though, is “Hahako”, who at first appears to be Mamako’s dark mirror or evil doppelganger. That’s not QUITE true, but it’s certainly playing on those ideas until we get to the reveal. As for Mamako, well, she even has a few points here where she struggles. Briefly.

The rest of the cast exist basically to a) get humiliated, and b) show that they have grown as well, if only slightly. Given the nature of the series, Masato gets humiliated a bit more and also has to wait longer to prove he’s not pathetic. He has at least gotten better at identifying the “powers” that his mom has and differentiating hers from, say, the other fifteen moms who all seem to love him and want him to be their son as well. (For one thing, he’s not attracted to his real mom. I appreciate that a series which at times seems entirely to have been released because of the incestual premise refuses to go down that road.) He also trusts her to do the right thing even when it might require a leap of faith, which helps to defeat Hahako, who “feels” almost exactly like Mamako. But isn’t.

I won’t go into Hahako’s actual identity, but I will say that I liked the attention devoted to “what is it that makes a mother?”. Mamako’s speech was actually good, and reminded us that the relationship need not be biological either. The rest of the book, well, is a lot of gags, some funny, some not very funny. The sports commentary stuff was great. I could have done without Mamako being changed into various different fetishes… erm, sorry, types of character. Even if the last one dies actually make her struggle for perhaps the only time in this series to date. There are also a few hints for future books… it’s now really obvious that Porta’s mom is one of the main villain group, and Shiraaase is also not infooorming nearly as much as she could be. There’s a lot of secrets going on here.

The next book, which features Mamako in a wedding kimono on the cover, fills me with dread, but oh well, it likely won’t go there. This remains rather silly, but not as bad as you’d expect.

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 4

By Dachima Inaka and Iida Pochi. Released in Japan as “Tsujo Kogeki ga Zentai Kogeki de Ni-kai Kogeki no Okasan wa Suki desu ka?” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

There is a certain weariness to this volume of Do You Love Your Mom?. The author implies at the afterword that they had not expected this series to run quite as long as this, and taking that one gag and making it go over and over is hard. It shows in this volume’s villain, who manages to make the villain of Book 3 look competent. She has one trick, and when it doesn’t work she essentially whines and moans. There’s also a pile of mothers who are lured into the plot because, well, they’re not all that good at being mothers. It’s meant to set up the final moral, which is that it doesn’t matter if you’re bad at cooking and sewing as long as you have feelings for your children, but I do wonder: are there any dads in this world at all? Why can’t they do the housework? It likely won’t come up, as the premise is moms and children, but I am curious.

Our heroes wind up in Casino Town, and the goal is immediately to get rich so they can buy items and not have Mamako steal all the glory and level ups. Naturally, this goes badly. Masato and his mom end up going on a day-long date where Mamako dotes on him to a hideous degree (the entire “let me wash your back” scene can just go away), while the other three try to cheat at the casino and are immediately captured and converted into bunny girls. Yes, even Porta. Now Mamako and her son must invade the casino to win back the others, and also find out about a sinister plot that involves the mothers of this town disappearing, and their children imprisoned. Fortunately, Mamako has had an entire day of spoiling her son, so her mom powers are higher than they’ve ever been…

I am, as always, most pleased by the appearance of Shiraaase, a one-gag character whose gag never gets old to me. (Oddly, her gag seems stunted in this book, possibly as the villain talks in looooong, draaaaawn-out vowels and thus Shiraaase holds back to avoid confusing the two of them.) She even manages to achieve things before getting thrown back in her coffin. Speaking of which, the most satisfying scene of all may be one where Masato has to get through an army of skeletons to get at the big bad. He’s alone, and the fact that he actually has to rely on his own strength and weapon makes him so happy that he simply mows them down like they’re weeds. Now, this is undercut by the Big Boss essentially letting up on him because of a mom thing, but hey! He briefly did a thing!

The series is 9 volumes and counting in Japan, so any danger of the main plot wrapping up is nil. And the fanservice aspect of the series is, to be blunt, really irritating. If you really like Shiraaase or enjoy the main conceit, it’s still worth reading, but if you’re looking for a series to drop as it’s not good enough anymore, this one works fine.

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 3

By Dachima Inaka and Iida Pochi. Released in Japan as “Tsujo Kogeki ga Zentai Kogeki de Ni-kai Kogeki no Okasan wa Suki desu ka?” by Fujimi Shobo. Released in North America digitally by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

Since the last volume of this series came out in North America, the anime has started, and as such the series is even more well-known than it was before. Unlike some other Summer 2019 debuts I could mention (coughArifuretacough), the anime of Do You Love Your Mom? does not seem to have annoyed anyone who’s not already annoyed with the premise in the first place. I have been seeing a lot more criticism of Masato, though, and this isn’t a surprise. Indeed, it’s called out by the villain in this book. Shouldn’t he be the hero? Shouldn’t he get to do a cool thing once in a while? Shouldn’t Wise and Medhi be falling for him/competing for him? The answer, of course, is no, becausde the whole point of the series is that it isn’t that. This is a series where the mom takes over. That’s the PLOT. Masato’s journey, if anything, is to get on with him mom.

It’s a journey that may take a while – the entire series, in fact. Now, compared to everyone else in the series, Masato and his mother have a warm, loving relationship. But it’s clear that “my mom is embarrassing” is combining with “my mom is stealing my spotlight” to make for a very frustrated young man. In this book, he and his party reach a 100-floor tower with lots of monsters. A standard dungeon crawl. But there’s not much of that. Instead they take over an inn and fix it up, try to stop a bunch of thugs from blowing up the town, and (of course) deal with a whole bunch of NPC moms and their overly mom traits. The author in the afterword has to spell out that while these are stereotypical moms in every way, they’re not meant to be MEAN characterizations. The book is on Team Mom. Which is why the villain, a clumsy and rather airheaded women who wants to abolish all mothers, is as lame as she is. Well, that plus it’s funny.

As for the core cast, they’re much the same. Wise and Medhi sniping at each other can be funny, and I’m somewhat relieved that the sniping is not as one-sided as I feared it would be. As for Porta… yeah, there’s that implication towards the end. Porta being a sleeper agent for the bad guys is pretty much my number one theory right now, and the villain in this book does nothing to dissuade it. After all, we still know absolutely nothing about her own situation (is she even a PC?), and it would not surprise me if she winds up evil. That said, you know Mamako will just hug the evil out of her. Suspense is not the name of the game here, nor is adventuring and fantasy. The name of the game is watching Mom smother her boy with love while being ludicrously over the top – be it in killing monsters or in washing clothes.

I suspect the anime will end with this volume, and it’s a decent ending place given each book is mostly self-contained. Fans of Mamako will enjoy her being more Mamako than ever, and there’s lots of silly fun to be had here.