「女子ばっかなのは偶然だ. 誤解するな. 笑顔でこっちを見るな.」 (Joshi Bakka na no wa Guuzen Da. Goukai Suruna. Egao de Kocchi o Miruna.)
“It’s Just a Coincidence They’re All Girls. Got That? Wipe That Smirk Off Your Face.”
While the first episode of Tsuujou Kougeki presents its initial concept with Masato being trapped in an online RPG with his mother Mamako, our second installment further elaborates on the world and lore of Mommalia. As we’re introduced to the two new party members on Mamako and Masato’s adventure, we learn about the circumstances that brought our characters there and watch hijinks unfold while the team becomes acquainted with one another.
With this episode, our main team is established with two characters that provide practical skills and comic relief for the main mom squad. Porta is an adorable, pint-sized craftswoman who is one of the only girls able to pass Mamako’s strict criteria for being a member of their party that would be best suitable for Masato when the time comes for marriage. Although we don’t get as much insight on her backstory, Porta’s personality comes out with her determination to make use of her ability to create and carry items despite her flighty personality. Additionally, her blunt approach towards unintentionally blurting out her teammate’s inadequacies give us some comedic moments involving her reactions to what’s happening around her. The newest character that stands out the most is Wise, a spunky mage that combines some positive traits of the tsundere trope by wavering between her hot-headed personality and her ego. Much of the humor on her end comes from how she will quickly revert away from her temper if she is in a situation that validates her strengths as a mage and a philosopher. At the same time, it’s humorous when Wise’s ego backfires on her such as when she is really excited about the prospect of showing off her magic…in the two fights where her abilities are negated.
But even if she’s the butt of many of the jokes in this episode with her lack of utility and impractical magic, she’s useful in providing context on why Masato was trapped in the game with his mom. She elaborates on the multiple M’s of the game standing for the abbreviation “Mom’s Massively Maternal Make-Up-With-Offspring Role-Playing Game” that spell out the motives behind the game’s creation. With this information in mind, it paints Mommalia as a game designed specifically with the intention of giving mothers a means of trying to reach their children by inserting themselves into their hobby. Her amusing quest to have Mamako see her as her daughter plays into Mamako’s treatment of her party inductions as marriage interviews, but it also lends itself to Wise’s backstory by having her use Mamako as a means of escaping from her own mom. Although she knows full well that the only way to escape the game is to improve your relationship with your mother, Wise is on bad enough terms with her mom that she is currently desperate to join anyone’s team if it means being technically accepting of a mother who would claim her as their daughter. It might not work in such a way since the story would have to address what her mother is like at some point, but it adds more to the narrative to have characters like Wise present to give us more detail on why Mommallia and its concepts/currency/puns are so directly tied to maternity.
It helps that the episode itself still retains the humor that made the first so special. The beginning caught me off-guard with Mamako rejecting potential party members with a brief yet sincere denial, save for the one elf who happens to have motherly charms of her own, granting her the gift of a swift and unforgiving stare along with her rejection. Around this same point, a shoutout to Slayers happens in the middle of Wise’s introduction. Shirase also has some shining moments through Arai Satomi’s delivery and antics such as getting herself briefly killed by the giant slime so that the party would revive her in the nick of time. The most memorable part of the episode, however, is the extended scene that exists for the Bluray disks; the first episode didn’t make it seem like it’d be ecchi-heavy, so the scene where Mamako’s clothes dissolve and Masato constantly trips on her as they fall in compromising positions was a complete surprise. Some might be disappointed with this turn of events, especially if you came into this with the mindset that they wouldn’t have erotic teasing between Mamako and Masato. But with the expectation of a cheesy and light-hearted isekai, it was amusing to see them pepper in some shameless ecchi that goes down the depraved path the premise would steer it towards. To me, the fanservice between Mamako and Masato came off as more hilarious than disturbing because of its flagrant disregard for decency by having this extended sequence happen for such a long time. The next episode looks to continue this trend with the two sharing time at the hot springs, but as long as it keeps up the goofier aspects of the story and characters, it’ll be interesting to see which direction it’ll take next.