Author: Dachima Inaka
Illustrator: Pochi Iida
US Publisher: Yen Press
Japanese Publisher: Fujimi Shobo
Was this provided by the publisher? No
More Info: Wikipedia

I often like to say that picking up an isekai light novel series is an inevitability, akin to death and taxes. Still, when looking for isekai, I want a story that’s equal parts outlandish and weird. Enter one of the oddest stories I have read, Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, by Dachima Inaka and illustrator Pochi Iida, which also has one of the funniest (if not questionable) titles I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

The story begins when average high schooler Masato Oosuki is given a government-sponsored school survey regarding parental relations. He describes his relationship with his mother as “alright”,but views her as a bit too doting and overprotective. Because of this, he thinks nothing of things until he reaches the last question: “If you went on an adventure with your mom, would you become closer?” Masato puts in a non-committal response, as one would expect.

One thing leads to another, and Masato finds himself enlisted as an adventurer in in a fantastic world, as part of some government scheme. Normally, this would be fine: he’d play the part of the hero, and possibly save the day.

Then, he learns that his mother Mamako (yes, really) is also taking part in the adventure. Along the way, the duo meets two other adventurers-to-be: the tsundere mage, Wise, and sweet “little sister”-type merchant, Porta. Together, the four they embark on a journey like no other.

Despite the goofy title, Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? is a genuinely entertaining read.

No, really. This was better than I expected. Granted, the story does revel in wordplay and puns a bit too much, which the translation does its best to try and convey. As en example, there’s a minor character named “Masumi Shirase,” whose name literally means “to inform,” serving as a conveyor of information. Moreover, the “mom-con” content can be a bit cringey at points, though it doesn’t dive into skeezy territory yet, and mainly appears to be limited to awe-filled declarations of how overpowered Mamako is.

I’d also like to note that, despite the fact that this is another series about a guy traveling with a group of women, the series hasn’t leaned too hard into the whole “harem” trope. Instead, the main themes revolve around parental and familial development. Masato’s journey is both a literal and a figurative one, as he heads into this fantasy world, he is also embarking to strengthen his bond with his mother. Granted, this is through forced circumstances, but it’s hard to miss Masato acknowledging his mom’s incredible abilities. And, yes, that’s beyond her somehow overpowered prowess in battle. Mamako demonstrates a more ‘internal and maternal strength’ in even the most difficult situations which is admirable. Moreover, I really liked how Wise and Porta developed beyond their introductions, and will likely show Masato ways to further bond with a parent.

While I appreciate the detailed illustration work by Pochi Iida, I do have a qualm with their work on this title. Everyone is drawn with blank, “dead fish” eyes. The first time I came across their illustrations, my glance went a little bit sideways. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I do hope that these issues don’t carry over to the anime adaptation, as it looks a bit “off” to me personally.

The story set up in this inaugural volume is promising, to say the least. Whether it’ll hold up in future books remains to be seen, but I have to admit that I’m interested in seeing more, whether it’s in additional books or the upcoming anime series. Either way, it could turn out to be a fun experience.

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