OP: 「イヤヨイヤヨモスキノウチ!」 (Iyayo Iyayo mo Suki no Uchi!) by Spira Spica
「少年の壮大なる冒険が始まると思ってたら… え, どういうことだよこれ….」 (Shounen no Soudai naru Bouken ga Hajimaru to Omottetara… E, Dou Iu Koto Da yo Kore….)
“The Boy Thought he was Embarking on a Great Adventure…But, Uh, What’s Going on Here?”
Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desuka is admirably simple in its execution. By creating a no-frills anime about a teenage boy getting trapped in the closed beta of a video game with his mother, it already does 95% of the work it has to in setting the scene for a goofy isekai that wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel. However, what the first episode of this anime proves is that something magical can happen when the script knows exactly what it should take seriously and what can be poked fun at with this very concept.
The animation might not be the most attractive feature of the first episode save for the character designs, but it makes up for it with the substance that the anime does give us within the first episode. The generational divide between teenager Oosuki Masato (Ishiya Haruki) and his mother Oosuki Mamako (Kayano Ai) make for some funny observations of video games and MMORPGs in general. The anime is self-aware of many of the conventions that come with RPGs with how the King openly addresses the whole enrollment process and the first steps that a player must take before entering the world, having Masato and Mamako go through the arbitrary processes that come with it. Mamako’s unfamiliarity with how video games evolved to incentivize new players since the NES provides comical scenarios such as Mamako miraculously breaking the game by grabbing two overpowered blades to dual-wield or using the game’s instruction book to justify destroying the entire front of their guild’s building. Gags about how sloppy the game is such as the NPCs having minimal detail to their faces compared to the player models or the overindulgent flavor text that comes with weapons also add to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the anime. In fact, there were quite a few moments where I was surprised how much I laughed at them like when the King ribs at Masato for entering his real name in the player survey, when Mamako was trying to cheer Masato up after he completely whiffed his sword’s beam and hit a stray bird or when Mamako immediately starts to treat building a party like interviewing potential suitors to be Masato’s future wife. They even go as far as to call MMORPGs and isekai premises “a young male power fantasy” when Masato is frustrated about how his mother is besting him in every single way despite being a dedicated player of MMO games. The characters can be a little eccentric, but it’s hard not to commend them for having a zany sense of humor that is referential to games yet isn’t reliant on them to create funny moments.
Similarly, there’s plenty of praise to go around with how they handle the relationship between Masato and Mamako. The OP and ED might deliberately court fans of mother/son bonds that are a little too intimate, but the show’s material handles their connections with a far deeper sense of maturity than you’d think. The first episode highlights the problems with how Mamako’s tendencies as a helicopter parent have given Masato mixed feelings about his mother. He’s open to repairing their strained relationship from a distance, but because of the lengths Mamako goes to close this gap, he never has time or space to reflect on his appreciation for his mother’s dedication to him. Because of her insistence on wedging herself into his life enough so that she forces herself into Masato’s dream space of the video game, Masato’s outlook on his mother’s behavior continues to sour further on him. It isn’t until he snaps at her when he can really take a look at himself and how his treatment of her could be playing a role in why he isn’t able to connect with his mom on an emotional level or reach out to her in a way that will allow her in his life and grant him some space to be his best self. I am thoroughly impressed with Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desuka‘s first episode as it uses its silly concept to play around with modern gaming conventions while trying to capture genuine mother/son woes between a mother and son desperately trying to find some reason to not feel alienated by one another. I’m optimistic about where the show is headed and am looking forward to seeing how forming a party with a team will answer some of the anime’s questions as to the role Mamako plays in the game’s structure and how Masato will be able to find a breakthrough in what exactly he wants out of his mother.
ED: 「通常攻撃が全体攻撃で二回攻撃ママ」 (Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Nikai Kougeki Mama ) by Kayano Ai