「そこは夢と希望に満ちた, 子供達の領域. 子供達の, だ. ここ大事!」 (Soko wa Yume to Kibou ni MIchita, Kodomo-tachi no Ryouiki. Kodomo-tachi no, Da. Koko Daiji!)
“This is a Territory for Children, Filled With Hopes and Dreams. For Children. That’s the Important Part!”
Now that Masato has helped Wise restore her relationship with her mom, he’s moved forward with his own self-development in this episode. As soon as he discovers there’s an academy where he’d possibly be able to learn enough about the game to surpass his mother’s strength, he jumps at the opportunity. But in the process, he is roped into conflict as the mother of his new crush aims to sabotage their entire class and push her daughter into coming out on top.
This episode served primarily to introduce us to Mehdi, a healer who finds herself quickly wanting to get to know Masato. As a student at the academy who takes kindly to Masato, she has better compatibility with him than the other girls we’ve seen so far. Unfortunately for him, there is one obstacle that gets in the way of getting to know her; her mother Mehdimama. Mehdimama takes on the “stage mom” role as her relationship with her daughter is strained because she doesn’t see how she’s been taking it upon herself to try to mold Mehdi into a girl that she can deem worthy of being her daughter. She expresses her love for her daughter by taking credit for her successes in life, especially because of the underhanded moves and tricks she does to sabotage those who dare challenge her. It is amusing to see the lengths she goes to make sure that only Mehdi can answer her class’ questions such as putting the entire class under a sleeping spell or forcing Masato’s hand down with her staff. However, it is very clear that Mehdi has deeper issues with her mom as she is unhappy with how Mehdimama interferes with every aspect of her life, gifting Mehdi with unearned victories so that she can brag about how great of a mother she is for having a daughter like her.
Luckily, this is another episode where comedy is given the front seat as we’re treated to more humorous moments throughout. By the time Mamako shows up to the academy as a new student, the episode balances the meta-humor of the game’s broken nature and the personality clashes between the characters in the show. Masato’s interest in Mehdi sets him up to funny situations such as his agony and misery from being consistently blocked from being able to express himself to her, whether it be through the interference of Mehdimama or Mamako herself. The imagery of him crying blood when he was trying to hide his disappointment about catching his mom instead of Mehdi was a riot. What I like about the anime is that the main goal for Masato & Mamako’s party isn’t so much to grow within the game, but rather they are tasked with policing situations in the game that GM’s can’t directly influence or intervene in. As such, they have to try to make sure that the academy can eventually function as a place where kids can temporarily escape from their mothers and diffuse the eventual tension between Mehdi and Mehdimama. The game’s brokenness also comes out with how much of the class sessions are a chaotic mess. Whether it be the NPC students who were designed to look basic or the teacher sanctioning all kinds of rule-breaking in his class, going so far as to allow Mamako and Mehdimama to continue their magical warfare in the middle of class and enroll Mamako as a student, there were plenty of hilarious scenes with the academy setting. The teacher was pretty funny himself as he gleefully gave Mamako extra credit for all of the answers she gave and was extremely quick to allow her and Mehdimama to do as they pleased. It’ll be interesting to see how the arc turns out with Mehdi dealing with her mother, but for the most part, I’m looking forward to more schoolyard antics with Mamako taking over campus.