Milf Isekai Online
This one disappointed me.
Not because I had high hopes to begin with, I thought it'd be a cute lil thing in the midst of a crowded Summer season, but because it had been enjoyable enough that I originally had it as a 7. Then it dropped to a 6. Then eventually, 5.
So, some background information may be helpful in this case for those that are unaware of the author's background. The original light novel is written by Pochi, a doujin artist, known for some fucking quality 'ara ara' material which feature a heavy dosage of shotacon X onee-san pairings in her works. This
explains why the character designs are all super cute, even if some of the color design (Porta mostly but Wise also to some extent) can sometimes be clumsily put together. This also explains why this story features a milf as one of its primary characters and why there are plenty of ecchi scenes involving said milf. So, that should mean we're in for an ecchi-filled parody of the generic isekai that have become so prevalent as of late, right? Well, yes and no.
The biggest issue with the show is that it just doesn't know what it wants to be. At the start of the show that certainly seems to be the case, as there's plenty of ecchi to be found and the tongue-in-cheek attitude of Masato provides enough comedic edge to provide a little more substance for the audience. This carries largely throughout the show and what kept me enjoying the show as much as I did for as long as I did, and still acts as a saving grace of the show now. Mamako (the milf) also acts somewhat nicely as a foil by one-shotting any enemy they come across and dispersing tension. Her super positive and genial aura just leaves a nice warm feeling in general. The show doesn't grow beyond this point though and instead falls back on this foil to an annoying extent. In fact, it falls back on that foil more and more and the parody aspect less and less as the show goes on. That warm feeling provided by Mamako's kindness eventually becomes cloying because of the show's propagandist turn; in this case to encourage the largely otaku-viewer base to love their mothers more. Now, I don't have a problem with sliding in these messages into your story, as this has become quite common as of late with many romantic comedies sprouting up that focus on certain sects of women and subliminally encourages readers to pursue similar types of relationship. I also don't have an issue with putting in the message that your mother loves you and you should love your mother and so on and so forth. But in a story where the comedy and world building is clearly intended to poke fun, being as heavy handed as the show gets becomes draining. This might not be such a problem if the message had some nuance or included some exceptions to the rule, and yet the show falls short once again. Such is the case when they face other bad mothers, mothers who are legitimately cruel and abusive, and the show still takes this annoyingly innocent approach to fixing it.
"Just love your kid!" "Show your kid kindness!" "Listen to your kids wishes!"
"Aaagh, ok sure"
The tone they present the message also becomes rather patronizing by the end.
Mamako was always involving herself in Masato's quest but it felt more organic in the beginning when it wasn't being overused as much. There was also a nice dynamic between her and Masato because of their fun clash of personalities. Towards the end Mamako (and their later band of other mothers (why)) ends up doing pretty much anything of consequence, which I feel really undercuts the message the show could be sending. Instead of dialing it back as the quest goes and letting her son make important decisions and face consequence, nothing feels of consequence because Mamako can just magically wave her hand and everything will be okay.
The last episode presented a telling question and really determined my point total in the end. Amante, the last villain they face, acuses Mamako of robbing Masato of the chance to be a hero on his own thrilling journey, having a romance, or anything else that might be worthwhile on a quest of your own. If the show had acknowledged this point seriously or if Masato had indicated a greater level of agreement, then I would've been inclined to give the show another point. Instead Masato gives this weak-sauce reply that sort of gives credence to that idea but only in the most surface level way possible. His rebuttal also doesn't offer much in the way of substantive push back so you just kind of think to yourself, "what's the point?"
At least Masato answered for himself though. If Mamako had done that too then I would've dropped the show down to a 4.
What sucks is I can't really recommend the show because I still don't know what audience the show's trying to reach. I doubt mothers are eager to watch because of all the ecchi and I doubt average otaku are eager to watch because it gets away from the ecchi and the comedy becomes rote as the show goes on. Despite the largely negative tone of this review I don't think that it's a bad show necessarily and I would encourage people to check it out if they thought it would interest them.
This is my first review here so any feedback would be appreciated. :)