Friday, May 13, 2016

Wild Mom ~ Apparently Mom Culture is everywhere.

I love my friends who are parents so much. They work hard, they have awesome kids, and they let me be the ridiculous aunt. I also feel really sorry for them because I'm well aware that their parenting will always be judged. Is their kid going to a good enough school? Are their holidays Pinterest perfect enough? Are they feeding them the 'right' things? No matter how well they do or how much they love their kiddos, there will always be a subset ready to poke holes in their parenting.

So Wild Mom had me clutching my head and screaming on several occasions. I mean that in a good way. Honest.

The reason I was first excited about this project when I got it is because the lead, Aya Ueno, was in the live-action Ace o Nerae! (and I am a huge fan of any version of that). In this she plays Ayu, the young, rough-mannered second wife of a hairdresser named Tetsu. The two are happy enough without kids — and then Tetsu's five-year-old son from his first marriage arrives on the scene.

From there, the story covers two big arcs. One, of course, is the effect on the family: not just the introduction of a child and the fact that Tetsu never mentioned him before, but also Ayu's attempts at being a mom. In every possible way.

Tetsu and Ayu are convinced to send his son to a high-end preschool, and with that comes a set of extremely wealthy moms with their own social structure. The story of that social structure, and how Ayu's presence begins to rattle it as they realise that their competitive natures are masking more serious issues, is probably the most fascinating aspect of the series.

It's also a bit painful, if only because I know all too well that this isn't all that far off fiction. You see how the mothers' behavior affects their children in very subtle ways. You also see, though, that while some of the mothers really were more concerned about their families' images than their children's welfare, others were confused and just trying to do their best. Sad, rough stuff. But also a story I'm glad was told.

Wild Mom is silly and cute, but it will also blindside you with sadness. Especially the ending. So, you know, be ready.

You can watch it all now streaming on Crunchyroll.