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, as 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.