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.