Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 8

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.

As I look back through previous volumes of this series, I keep having to remind myself “this is a parody” more and more often, for two reasons. First, because as the series goes on the serious plotline of what the proper amount of love and distance should be between mother and child is taken more and more seriously, and that holds here as well. The other reason, of course, is that due to the nature of the plot and the over the top parody aspects, we see some really toxic abusive relationships between mothers and daughters. I mention this in passing because Wise and Mehdi’s mothers show up again in this volume to team up with Mamako, and for the most part they’re being greatly softened. I should not have expected much else – even if “sometimes you need to cut off an abusive parent” was a thing that happened very often in media like this, it’s certainly not going to happen in this specific title with the opposite message.

The book leads off with the moment we’ve been waiting for – finally, we get Porta’s mom. As was hinted last volume, she is the final of the anti-mom generals – and also one of the main developers of the game itself. She and Porta have a strained relationship that manages to be different from our other three mom-child teams. Mamako is the smothering type, Wise’s mother the ignoring type, and Mehdi gets the education mama, but Porta and her mother both compete to see who can hate themselves the most, and let me tell you, it’s neck and neck. What’s more, the latest plot to break up the game seems to work quite well – planting pins on the kids of the world so that they all try to act super independent, leading their mothers to get depressed that they aren’t needed any more. This goes double for Mamako, who knows that she doesn’t even need to have a pin to get those feelings – her baby is growing up, and pretty soon she’ll have to let him to at least a little.

If you worried the humor was gone, no fear. Shiraaase is still around to make everything hilarious, this time by making Mamako and her other mom companions idol singers, something that humiliated all the children, and all the moms who are not named Mamako, who is of course delighted. Shiraaase has also managed to find a way to weaponize her own coffin demises, which is impressive. There’s also some amusing schtick in the middle of the book, as Masato and company have to play Porta’s life-sizes board game in order to advance, a board game filled with annoying yet amusing pitstops. It’s also quite nice that, even after 8 volumes (out of 11 total), there is very little to no romance in this still. Sometimes, once or twice a book, Wise and Medhi briefly show they might like Masato, but they’re far more comfortable emasculating him instead.

So yes, as long as you don’t take this too seriously, it’s still good enough, and it was nice to see the guilty workaholic mom added to the pile. (Honestly, I thought that might be filled by Shiraaase, but her kid is only 5, so unlikely to show up in this game.) Next time around… (Noddy Holder scream) IT’S CHRIIIIIISTMAAAAAAS!!!!

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 7

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 series (which has now ended in Japan at Vol. 11) has, as its primary goal, humor and fanservice, as with many other series of its type – this one just involves moms. But there is a secondary goal that the series occasionally reaches toward, which is “make Masato a mature, self-sufficient young man”. As the author admits, you can’t really take this TOO far or you’d ruin the series’ main running gag of his being useless in the face of his overpowered mom. But this volume comes closest to giving him actual character development, and I can distantly see an endgame in site. That’s not so say this book is not also very silly, as we get stranded on a desert island, a beach volleyball game that seems to mostly involve hitting the girls’ asses with the ball, and the third of the Four Heavenly Kings, who seems to bond with Masato right away. And then there’s Porta… so close, but not yet.

This volume begins with a new area opening, which features Beastmen, including the Beastman Mom we saw in the tournament arc. Our party wins a gatcha lottery, with Mamako winning the grand prize, a trip to a resort for three days. Unfortunately, the airship they’re taking to the resort ends up in the midst of a party fight, and they end up crash landing on a seemingly deserted island. Still, they have the infinitely overpowered Mamako, so they can do things like create a beach, an entire resort town, etc. just by her calling on Mother Earth and willing it to happen. And Masato runs into a kindred spirit, someone who might finally be able to teach him how to get stronger. The question is… stronger for what? And also… is Mamako wearing herself out? REALLY?!

Yes, we’re finally getting a situation engineered where Mamako can’t use her full powers, and in fact is exhausting herself just trying to do what she normally does. This dovetails nicely with the ending, where Masato confronts her about lying to him about being fine, which she finally, grudgingly admits to because she didn’t want to worry him. This is, frankly, a situation that a parent has likely had to deal with before. As for Masato himself, after seeing the varieties of Mom-hating that the Four Heavenly Kings offer, he realizes, in the typical shonen protagonist way, that he wants to get stronger so that he can protect others, not just so that he can beat his mom at something. Which is good, as the ending trap requires him to use power that ONLY works if he says it’s to protect his mom. Even the other girls have to admit that he was almost cool there for a moment.

There’s lots of silliness here as well, usually involving our two pathetic villainesses, or Wise and Medhi, our two somewhat pathetic heroines. But this is Masato’s book, and he holds up pretty well, despite spending the first three quarters of it or so moping around thinking about how weak he is. Next time will we finally confront the mystery that is Porta? Maybe, maybe not. But for fans of the series, this is a very good volume.

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 6

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.

Just as the grandfather in The Princess Bride has to reassure us that “she does not get eaten by the sharks at this time” (or eels, I was always more a book person), I feel a need to reassure those people seeing the cover and emitting screeches of rage and horror that “he does not marry his mother at this time”. This is not to say there isn’t teasing to that effect – remember what series you’re reading. But it always walks up to the line but never crosses it, and that’s the case here as well. What this volume is is a short story collection, with several stories written for Dragon Magazine as well as a larger story written for this book. As with most short story volumes where this is the case, the original content is much better than the magazine imports. That said, the short story nature of the book does also add a new interesting wrinkle: Mamako really doesn’t do much in this book.

The first story takes place prior to Medhi joining the group (with a “let’s have a flashback” section so awkward I winced) and is mostly about goblins, which leads to an amusing pun that is also very Japanese. The second story is the worst, taking us back to the classroom full of NPCs, this time with Mamako as the teacher. This is a story for you if you love fanservice and Masato at his most immature. The main story is a two-parter, the first of which involves our party helping a mother whose daughter is a little TOO spoiled… and it turns out that’s the only thing stopping her from destroying the world. After that we meet the character designer for the game, along with her mother (of course), who has entered the game as she’s in love with the Prince that she created and wants to marry him. This is treated more seriously than I expected.

As always, the book rises and falls depending on how tolerable Masato is. When he’s showing he’s learned from his prior experiences and is actually being a normal teenage boy, the book is quite entertaining. When he’s doing nothing but whining and moaning, I once again ask myself why the hell I am reading this. Fortunately, most of the bad stuff is front loaded. Mone, the girl who needs to be spoiled, is a type that we didn’t quite have in the series yet – a love interest for Masato who actually admits she likes him. This does not sit well with our two reluctant mages. The most interesting part was at the end (it’s also the most amusing part – I won’t spoil why, but it involves Medhi and embarrassment, and it’s possibly the funniest the book has ever been) when Rika, the character designer, has to defend falling in love with a character in a game. There’s discussion of the fact that, since games are THIS interactive now, it’s not the same as, say, marrying a body pillow, as well as discussion of when to let your child go (something Mamako struggles with, obviously).

There’s also a bit more plot tease – by now it’s very obvious Porta’s mother is being held back till near the end of the series (assuming this ever ends) and we once again see a fantastic opportunity for Mamako to mention her husband… which she does not do at ALL. This is not Do You Love Your Dad?, and – more to the point – Mamako is the heroine, and the author knows Japanese readers won’t want to see her obviously paired up with anyone. (She’s both virgin AND mother!) In any case, after a rough start, this was a decent book, provided of course that you’ve gotten over the basic premise.