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.
I can see what this volume was trying to do – well, aside from make an entire volume about Christmas and how it applies to moms and children. Because the main cast are all in their teens (even Porta), we haven’t really had much excuse to delve into the way that moms have to deal with infants and small children, and this volume gives us an excuse to do that. In addition, because Mamako is that sort of mother, we haven’t really gone into what it means to be spoiled or not spoiled in great detail since the (rather comedic) story of Mone and her mother, and combining Masato’s inherent issues, Mone’s unresolved plot and the ongoing travails of Hahako and the Kings is thematically sound. Unfortunately, the need for comedy and fanservice actually serves to turn me a bit against the book this time. I can appreciate the thought behind the plot, but didn’t enjoy reading it.
The main problem with Hahako and the Three Kings is that they’re NPCs literally written to be anti-mom, so changing their minds and accepting Hahako as their parent is well-nigh impossible. Towards that end, Shiraaase and Mamako come up with a Christmas-themed event that will hopefully help things along… especially since a mischievous Shiraaase has made it so Masato and the three Kings are infants. As the events go on, they become toddlers, then young kinds, but unfortunately there’s still a wall that can’t really be broken down between the Kings and Hahako. Unfortunately, the whole situation has to be put on hold when Mone, who’s been quiet and withdrawn through this whole event, suddenly gains a massive hole in her chest that sucks up half the cast. There’s gonna be a whole lotta spoiling going on unless Masato and company can stop it.
There are, I think, two big problems I had with this book. The first is that I’d honestly forgotten about Mone and her “spoil me” tendencies, and so having her as the mini-boss of this volume came somewhat out of left field. The other is that, for once, the parody and humor aspects of Do You Love Your Mom? work against it. There’s a few exceptions – mind-controlled Wise, Mehdi and Porta were amusing, I grant you, as was Shiraaase’s verbal disparaging of Porta’s mother throughout – but everything about Masato as a baby made me want to simply stop reading the series right there and fly to Japan to berate the writer. It’s a small part of the book, only a few pages, but I kept simmering about it through to the end. The books have nudged their way closer to a vaguely serious ending over the ppast few, and this felt like backsliding.
We have two volumes to go, and there’s a hint that the final volumes may be a two-parter, as a “demon lord” who is the final boss is mentioned. (I can guess who this is, but we’ll see.) Those who’ve been reading the series will still want to pick this up, but I was tired reading it.