「下着は防具. 守備面積は大きめに. さもなくば息子が死ぬぞ!」 (Shitagi wa Bougu. Shubi Menseki wa Ookime ni. Samonakuba Musuko ga Shinuzo!)
“Underwear is Armor. Make Sure It`s High in Defense. Otherwise, My Son Might Die!”
After our recent episode, the series takes us into uncharted territory as our main party heads off to Maman Village, where a village has been accosted by a fearsome dominatrix witch. But when said witch turns out to be Wise’s mom, our protagonists have to confront an otherwise tumultuous relationship between two estranged family members as Wise has to summon up the willingness to undertake the difficult task of confronting her mom without resentment in her heart.
While the show is relatively light-hearted, Wise and her relationship with her mother bring in some of the anime’s more serious themes they play around with. Mamako and Masato may have their differences, but at the end of the day, they are able to find some way to make amends. In this episode particularly, Masato notices that he keeps going through the pattern of snapping at his mother when he finds himself embarrassed by her or catches her lying to him, causing him to feel immensely guilty and responsible for any sadness his mother feels. Mamako might follow the same trend of being overly affectionate with her son, but similarly, she is quick to forgive Masato when he apologizes because she senses that there is part of him that appreciates the affection she gives him.
This could definitely not be said about Wise and her mother as she was raised knowing that her mother had been terrible to her. Having her real name taken from a host, Wise had already known that her mother had been obsessed with clubbing and often neglected her. She happily lived with her father up until recently where she used this anime’s mom-themed videogame to force Wise into taking part in a gamer rigged to force her to patch things up with her mom. Unfortunately, her mother doesn’t seem interested at all in the original purpose of the game and is currently using the game as a means of living out her wish-fulfillment fantasy of having a harem of pretty men at her beck and call. To her mother, Wise isn’t worth her time as she’s already carved out her niche breaking the game by using her OP abilities to negate Shirase’s administrator powers and building her harem up.
There were some very humorous scenes in this episode too such as the moment where Mamako tries to find new armor, calling attention to the fetishy battle armor that female warriors are forced to wear in RPGs, and the part when Masato bids farewell to his party as they say their final words before Wise dishes out painful and deadly retribution for catching Wise’s towel drop. But what ultimately takes the cake for being the most valuable scenes in the episode are ones that revolve around Wise trying to cope with having to seek out a new mom in protest against her biological mother. Although Mamako tries to offer the idea of Wise still wanting the side of her mother that might have some warmth to her, what Wise is ultimately searching for with the comfort she feels from Mamako is having that same level of security and warmth from her own mother. It might seem like smothering to Masato, but for Wise, it’s far from the cold lack of concern her mother shows for her life until it benefits her to come back into her life. It’ll be neat to see how they tackle this development given how it helps to add some earnestness and gravity to an otherwise cheerful anime about an alluring mother’s contact with another world. Where rather than worrying about concepts like dying for real or world domination, the true enemy is being able to forgive a parent for being cruel and neglectful.