「子供は子供で, 親も親で人間で, 色々あるけど何とかするのが親子だろ.」 (Kodomo wa Kodomo de, Oya mo Oya de Ningen de, Iroiro Aru kedo Nantoka Suru no ga Oyako Daro.)
“Kids Are Kids and Parents Are Parents (but Also Human Beings), and It Takes All Kinds, but They Get Through It Together, Right?”
To conclude Wise’s conflict with her mother, who had transformed into an evil mage, the anime takes several twists and turns as the mood shifts between dark and comical at a rapid pace. However, the chaotic tone that the anime takes is a part of its charm as it alternates between a humorous romp through a completely broken game and a dramatic look into the different parenting styles that could cause both a mother and their child to become bitter and resentful of each other.
The anime continues to hold Mamako as the bastion of parenthood as her role as the antithesis of Wise’s mother positions her as being stronger for forgiving her son’s behavior. It does let the kids off easy by having their actions such as Masato shouting that he’ll disown his mother excused as part of a child’s regular attitude growing up that parents will just have to excuse. However, this message is made harder to argue against when the dissenter of this message outright hates her child. Because of Wise’s aversion to both her mother’s uncouth magecraft and her attempt to get back in her life by trapping themselves in a game, her mom grows a strong hatred for her daughter. In fact, the tone of the episode reaches its darkest when her recollection of her fight with Wise at an Inn solidified her declaration that she wished that her daughter was never born so that her life wouldn’t be disrupted and ruined by her existence. As if that doesn’t sting hard enough, she smacks her daughter against a wall, causing her to slump down and spew blood from her mouth. Eventually, the conflict is resolved when Mamako is able to use her broken physical strength to topple Wise’s mother’s broken magecraft, but the mother-daughter dynamic they have stays the same. Even if it’s resolved enough for Wise to return home if she wished, it’s hard to gauge how effective it really was in getting her biological mother to have a deeper understanding of why her daughter would feel what she does about her.
With regards to Masato, it was refreshing to see that he grew a little from the past couple episodes as he has made far more of an effort to make up for his colder behavior towards his mother. The fight against Wise’s mother gives Masato enough clarity to reflect on how he treats his mother and lends to his development as he realizes that his attitude towards her is unfair to her. In fact, this episode shows that he has developed a love and appreciation for the effort that Mamako has placed into offering him unconditional support and, in spite of being a little smothering, she always dedicated herself to giving her son the unconditional love she would need to look past any of his temperamental tendencies. Masato isn’t the type of character that exists to develop dramatically, but you can see shades of her own growth as well since her fight has given her the platform to try to understand her son, why he would act out sometimes, and why she knows that he would still love her knowing that she’d do anything to look after him.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the mom isekai show as this episode still had quite an amusing sense of humor. Because there wasn’t as much fanservice this time around, it lent a larger chunk of its running time towards offering different variations of its running gags that turned out to be hilarious such as Shirase dying because she was revived while she was still impaled, Wise’s mom getting trapped by a magic jammer like her daughter. What I respect the most about this series is how the stakes aren’t meant to be overly high. The fact that the biggest adversary isn’t permadeath or being trapped in the game, but rather the amount of debt that Wise’s mother is accruing by having game-breaking, rare, and expensive items at her disposal to break the game’s infrastructure was very funny. But it was also a testament to how much the show devotes itself to its characters’ relationships with one another. The game doesn’t exist to trap or kill overly eager beta testers in the game until they die, but to take troubled homes and give them a platform to play around in a bid to get to know each other and rebuild their lives. And because of this, it’s far more rewarding to see Mamako and Masato’s relationship grow or Wise and her mother eventually make up than seeing them conquer the latest giant monster or survive another day.