In the vast landscape of anime, the virtual reality massively multiplayer online (VRMMO) genre has become a staple, with countless shows exploring the adventures and challenges faced by gamers inside virtual worlds. However, among the sea of fierce battles and intense strategies, BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense stands out as a refreshing and delightful take on the genre. Offering a perfect blend of lightheartedness, camaraderie, and a dash of overpowered charm, BOFURI takes viewers on an enchanting journey where defense is not only a strategy but a way of life. Here is our full BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Review.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense released in the Winter 2020 anime season and was animated by SILVER LINK.
So what can we say about Bofuri? Set in the fantasy world of New World Online, Bofuri has relatable things to SAO (Sword Art Online). Granted they are not trapped in a death game, but they are in a VR gaming world. Another relatable aspect is that the VR system illustrated in Bofuri is pretty similar in design to the Nerve gear from SAO.
The titular hero of the story, who would rather not be hurt, is named Maple. She doesn’t like to be hurt so every time she gains skill points she puts them all on Vitality, which makes her super OP (Over Powered). Together with her friend Sally, they explore the game’s landscape and later form the Maple Tree guild.
Progressing with new friends, the Maple Tree guild enters the latest tournament. To say they are all forces of nature would be an understatement, each member brings something new to the table. Regardless of who the member is each has strengths, not necessarily weaknesses, mainly because the other members cover for them. Besides anyone near Maple is near unkillable anyway.
Before we continue you might have noticed some similarities between Bofui and Fairy Tail. This is more apparent in the early episodes of Fairy Tail, when there is no real goal but to have fun.
From the very start, this is a typical RPG-style game, starting up and going through the painstaking process of creating the character’s avatar. Shortly after this one of the best lines comes up, which, probably crosses a lot of gamer’s minds:
“I wonder where they keep the monsters!“
For any gamer, not just MMO or Online, this thought has probably occurred along with something like Here monsters I won’t hurt you… much. Out of the first episode, this was the crowing line, along with what happens next. When Maple goes to find her prey, she locates a poor defenceless rabbit, who she accidentally kills. Moments later Maple encounters a bee which she uses to build her poison resistant up, before terminating it and falling asleep in the forest.
Before the first episode ends, Maple is told about a tough dungeon where she might find some good gear, unfortunately for Maple, she has not been told not to venture there alone. In the true gamer fashion of leaping before analysing the situation, she heads there. If you are sitting there thinking how can a novice manage you would probably be right, Maple on the other hand rapidly devizes a strategy where she builds her poison resistance into an immunity. Unfortunately, her sword and shield are vanquished earlier in the battle and she has no way to fight back, so any normal gamer would probably throw in the towel and try again later, right? Maple, instead devours the monster gaining new skills, armour and a tower shield that she needed, and all before the end of Episode 1.
This is only a taster of what will be coming. If you were thinking eating a boss was going to be the best thing there was think again. Episode 2 introduces tournaments, and Maple shows off the crazy powers she’s got in PVP (Player Vs Player). Honestly, if I were to highlight the best bits this review would be a couple of hours long.
During Episode 4 there are a few new characters introduced, including a total OP boss, which is designed not to be defeated and the developers of New World Online. If you have been keeping up with the events you can probably guess Maple doesn’t take prisoners and this “supposed” unbeatable boss meets its match in Maple. As a reward both Maple and Sally gain a strange egg which later becomes a fantastic asset for Maple, evolving her from the Walking Fortress into the Flying Fortress.
Throughout the series there are equally fantastic parts if not better as the story unfolds, the only downside is that there is no real clear story to be seen other than someone who wants to have fun with her friends. Realistically that isn’t a downside, but it feels like there are so many things that can make a story here, it’s insane. At the end of the day, however, the series is exactly what gamers should be, a community of players wanting to enjoy themselves.
Maple is referred to in the early Episodes as the Walking Fortress, and later as the Flying Fortress. Some of the best parts are when the developers nerf Maple and she still finds ways around it to play how she wants. Honestly, if you were in any kind of game you would definitely not want this character as a boss to fight.
Maple’s friend both in New World Online and IRL (In Real Life). She is introduced in the first episode but doesn’t become a main part until the second episode. She does a breakdown of the play style that would better suit her but she decides to go with a swashbuckler. Realistically she uses a rogue class, which is fast, and normally seen with two short swords.
The Maple Tree Guild:
As the story develops, Maple and Sally form a Guild. Making Maple the guild master was the obvious choice in everyone’s mind, who wouldn’t want a monster as guild master? The members are as follows:
The red armoured knight character is introduced in late Episode 1, however, he is seen in Episode 1 talking with other players. Loaded out as a Great Shielder, the same as Maple, however, he has a more levelled build for his character. In one of the closings to the early episodes he worries he is the “shitty version of Maple“, however true this might appear he is so much more.
Met early on in Episode 1, Iz runs a shop and takes a request to make a shield for Maple. Once Maple Tree is formed Iz and Kuromu join the guild at the same time. For the guild, Iz is the resident blacksmith who makes anything needed to make the guild stronger and enhances its members.
Introduced in Episode 5 he is the only mage in Maple Tree, using pre-stocked magic to speed up his casting. He has the ability to stock magic in storage and call them out when he needs them. In the few instances that he is shown fighting in the episodes he seems to favour the hit-and-run tactics. That isn’t to say he isn’t a fighter, he just prefers to use his intelligence to benefit the guild.
Appearing like a samurai-type warrior, this character uses a katana and deals deadly strikes to foes. In Maple Tree, she is set as a front-line attacker most of the time, the same as Sally and Kuromu. Although she doesn’t appear as agile as Sally, Kasumi has her own traits that help her stand out in the guild. During the guild tournament, she shows off some pretty interesting skills.
Mai & Yui:
Built the opposite of Maple, these 2 opted to max out their Attack power. The only downside is the same as Maple, having nearly no Agility makes moving and evasion difficult. Thankfully their lack of Agility isn’t a problem in Maple Tree, this is because the rest of the guild covers for them.
Syirp & Oboro:
During the battle with the “unkillable” monster in Episode 4, Maple and Sally gain monster eggs which hatch into a Turtle (Syirp) and a Fox (Oboro). Although small, and pet-like, they become important members of Maple Tree. A few Episodes later Maple learns the skill to make her pet turtle into a monstrous flying beast allowing Maple to evolve from the Walking Fortress into the Flying Fortress. Oboro on the other hand becomes an asset in battle for Sally and supports her in her fighting style.
To conclude, the series is fantastic despite the story being a jokey and enjoyable adventure of having fun with friends. It has its little flaws but it’s easy to like, and regardless of the typical gaming rules, Maple is a boss class on her own so rules don’t really apply. The rest of the Maple Tree Guild members are nothing to ignore either mind you. Although no one in the guild is on Maple’s level of “indestructibility” there are plenty of impressive characters, all unique to the guild. As stated by Kuromu, “the standard play style is overrated“, and Maple Tree is a prime example of the diversity of play styles.
As previously stated, the overall feel of Bofuri gives the same vibes as the early episodes of Fairy Tail. While watching through, the overall impressions of Bofuri fall in line with the Fairy Tail premise, at least when the guild in Bofuri is formed.
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