The isekai genre has had a lot of entrants over the last few years but being trapped in a MMMMMORPG (Moms Massively Maternal Multiplayer Making up with Offspring Role Playing Game) with your mother is certainly a new take on the classic plotline. In an attempt to close the gap between mothers and their children, a government sets up an online fantasy world to bring them together. Like all programs, the game needs beta testers like Masato and his mom, Mamako, to give them feedback on the experience and find all of the bugs. The two, along with their supporter Porta, and Wise, their twin-tailed disaster of a mage head off into the virtual world on an adventure. The biggest hitch is, while Masato is a hero class, his mother is the classic overpowered MC taking all the challenge out of the game. His mother’s powerful attack leaves his only threat of dying is that of embarrassment. Mamako and son quickly prove they are up to the task of handling any of the quests the GM gives them, even if it is going up against some lunatic children or sex-crazed moms.
10. Mr. Gruff
Mr. Gruff is a teacher at the school Masato’s party attends to help them level up. The school was hastily created by the admins as a way to fix a bug in the system. The only test players in his class were Masato, Wise, Porta, and Medhi. The rest were NPCs; the designers hadn’t even finished adding the faces. Mr. Gruff’s lessons are designed to give the testers an advantage in the virtual world. His biggest problem: the mothers who want to sit in on his students’ classes. Medhi’s mother casts spells to give her daughter the advantage in class and Mamako, to her progeny’s embarrassment, wears a cute sailor uniform. Mr. Gruff doesn’t seem to have much power, but his role facilitates the school arc which introduces two new characters.
Porta is a short girl with pink hair and the youngest member of Masato’s party. She is a “Special Test Player” because she is not playing with her mother. She is considered as a non-combatant and can only complete support tasks. She supplies the party with everything they need using her crafting ability. Porta is often the first person to step up and comfort Mamako when she feels she’s failed as a mother. Mamako was the first girl chosen to be a member of the party and was also deemed suitable to be a bride for Masato. We are not dissing characters in supporter roles, especially when they have storage magic that can lighten the load of the party, but she’s not very powerful. Porta is truly a supporter. She’ll give you a pick-me-up from the sidelines and can make a difference for the team without ever taking the field.
8. Masumi Shirase
Shirase is a government worker with a deadpan delivery and one of the administrators of the MMMMMORPG. She is the person responsible for recruiting Mamako and Masato as beta testers for the “yet untitled game.” She is a middle-aged woman, so in anime years she looks about 20. She wears a classic business suit in the real world and in-game has the appearance of a nun in a habit. The admin has a weird habit of introducing herself and speaking in the third person, always making sure you know her name is Shirase. We know very little about this character’s personal life, though she did admit she is a mother. Shirase’s main job seems to be issuing orders to Masato’s party so they can clear any bugs in the system, since that’s what beta testers are for. We know that an Admin is one of the most powerful skills in the online world but as far as a character she doesn’t have a lot of impact other than issuing quests (debugging).
Amante is a comical villain in the vein of Team Rocket from Pokemon. She’s a young woman in her teens with blond hair tied into twin buns. Amante says exactly what she is thinking even if it means revealing her dastardly plan. She enters the story near the end with a plan to rid the world of mothers. She identifies Masato’s party as the biggest obstacle and sets out to eliminate them by any ridiculous means possible, such as sending a door-to-door salesman with a bomb to their guildhall. She also brainwashed all the children in a nearby village to turn against their mothers. It’s hard to believe she has any chance of succeeding as she goes up against a powerful foe in the perfect mother Mamako. We think her goal of getting rid of mothers and her comical antics give her a spot on this list.
Medhimama is Medhi’s mother and we meet them in the school arc of the series. She is an imposing woman with blue hair, a severe glare and a feeling of superiority. Medhimama, like her daughter, is beautiful but leaves you feeling that she isn’t the soft and doting kind of mother. She may not be doting, but she is a dedicated mother even though she may take it to the extreme. She not only wants the best for her daughter, she wants her daughter to be the best. Medhimama is not above cheating to help her daughter succeed, either. She will sit in the back of her daughter’s class and cast spells to give her an advantage by putting the other kids to sleep. Medhimama also doesn’t understand Mamako’s genuine supportive parenting. To her, pushing her child to succeed takes priority even if it may draw her child’s ire.
Medhi is introduced as a sweet girl who Masato considers absolutely beautiful. Her mother thinks she’s a good girl because she always follows what her mother says. Medhi’s mother doesn’t understand the truth until it’s almost too late. Medhi is, in reality, resentful of her mother’s win-at-all-costs attitude and the pressure that comes with it. The overstressed girl eventually gets over her issues with her mother and we begin to see glimpses of her true personality. She is a little more of a mean girl than she lets on, constantly teasing Wise about her skills as a mage and saying spiteful things under her breath. She shows open hostility to anyone who might get in between her and Masato.
The Hero Masato may not be the most powerful character in the story, but he is the one that all the action revolves around. Masato is a gamer and jumped at the option to live in a fantasy world where he could go on grand adventures. The young man is an average-looking boy, with average skills, and a generally nice personality. He also recognizes his main fault of being selfish and the sometimes-hurtful things he says to his mother. Masato often criticizes her but immediately realizes he spoke without thinking and apologizes. He wants to be the man, the hero, but is often outshined by his mother. We get to witness his suffering especially when his mother changes her wardrobe into things he deems inappropriate for a mom to wear. We truly know that he loves spending time with his mother, as much as he isn’t willing to admit it.
3. Kazuno aka the Empress of the Night
Masato thinks he has mommy issues but it’s nothing compared to Wise’s issues with her mother. Wise’s mother Kazuno had a hostile relationship with her before she entered the game world. The self-centered mother had already divorced her husband and gave him custody of Wise. She apparently would spend all her free time at Host Clubs paying handsome men to sit and flirt with her. It’s the key problem that leads to her divorce. Kazuno even told Wise having a child was the worst thing she ever did. After splitting with her daughter in the game world, Kazuno went about acquiring new children, all young attractive men that would serve her every need. She was also gifted unique skills that could even usurp the power of an administrator. We put her so high on the list because she is kind of nuts. She uses her new children like furniture and indulges in her vices as she lets herself get absorbed by the idea of being an evil enchantress with ridiculous results.
Wise is one of those stock characters we love. She is a tsundere with a superiority complex. The redhead with twin tails sees herself as a great and powerful sage (mage). The problem is that she has her power easily sealed so she seldom gets to use it in battle. We meet her when she transforms herself into a piece of paper so Masato can see her stats. Masato quickly tosses it aside to the trash. She then comes to life, kidnaps Masato and takes her frustration and embarrassment out on him. Wise also has comically violent reactions when she gets flustered. She like all tsuns have a dere part that loves the members of her party and wants to find a way to make up with her mother. She also gets bonus points for wearing a mini dress and is the only member of Masato’s party who regularly shows off her blue and white striped panties.
Mamako is a beautiful woman who looks too young to have a 16-year-old son. She wears her long brown hair pulled back into a red and blue bow. We first see her in a white one-piece dress that accentuates her ample cleavage. She wears a similar outfit under her armor. We also get the chance to see her in a variety of costumes from school uniform to school swimsuit and trust us she looks good in everything. The only other trait that is equal to her beauty is her heart as a mother. She is kind to a fault and is not only protective of her child but also wants to help all children. She especially wants to help bring parents and children together, so they remember their family bonds. Mamako is also very sensitive to her son’s words and needs. She gets emotional and depressed when he lashes out at her but at the same time is very forgiving of him. Mamako is also constantly unlocking new amazing maternal skills, like using head pats to disarm a bomb or glowing when she is filled with maternal love. She wants the best for her son and truly thinks that going on an adventure with him will create a better relationship with him. You also don’t have to worry about this anime mom dying by plot device like so many other anime moms over the years. She is a truly overpowered MC. She has two swords and delivers multi-hit attacks with ease, overpowering everything in their path.
You can’t find a lot of flaws in this show once you accept the premise and just let it be what it is, a silly and relaxing way to spend some time. The characters are fun. Masato seems to whine about his mom but not to an obnoxious level. We get some fan service but no weird storylines in the vein of Oedipus. We can’t help but chuckle at each of the motherly powers that Mamako uses to overcome each challenge. We can’t help but understand Masato’s frustration at never getting the chance to shine. We can’t help but laugh at Wise’s uselessness or Medhi’s snide remarks. We can’t help but think “should I call my mother?” The ending sequence song is also as catchy as an early sixties US pop song.