「防御特化とお友達.」 (Bougyo Tokka to Otomodachi.)
“Defense and Friends”
「防御特化と二層攻略.」 (Bougyo Tokka to Nisou Kouryaku.)
“Defense and Reaching Second Level”
After catching up with Bofuri, it’s easy to be smitten by the charm and optimism the series has for getting invested in a new game. Through these two episodes, we see Maple gain a better grasp of how to master her abilities as a purely defensive unit equipped with insane powers. At the same time, her unfamiliarity with video games, in general, makes for an interesting take on the isekai gaming narrative by having her main objective being to get used to all of the new bells and whistles she obtains while also managing the limitations she placed on herself by gaining nothing but Vitality points.
Episode 02 establishes just how far Maple is able to coast by with the skills she got from the poison dragon. The precedence in having a player who managed to gain an obscene amount to power from only defensive strategies creates some funny scenarios where she catches a PvP tournament off-guard with how she uses her current skills to make herself untouchable. I’m embarrassed by how much I got a kick out of Maple slowly tapping her opponents with her shield after stunning them en-masse.
It might’ve been too quick to see her automatically be overpowered by virtue of being the only player so far to think about a Vitality-only playthrough. At the same time, the show does make the effort not to write her off as being too perfect and flawless. Her lack of skill points in other non-Vitality categories act as a detriment by hindering the potential to learn a larger variety of attacks, move at a quicker pace, or swim. On a funnier level, her instincts end up being the deciding factor behind the skills she does pick up such as how her carnivorous streak winds up giving her the ability to eat her enemies as a viable strategy.
Fortunately, Maple’s friendship with Sally opens up the window for the two of them to complement one another in the game. With Maple as a strictly defensive player, Sally decides to shift a larger chunk of her skills towards Agility, allowing her to make up for Maple’s lack of mobility. This means we get cuter moments where Sally carries Maple on her back to move from place-to-place and gives her the chance to explore an underwater cave by her own accord. While Sally still has skill points on hand to eventually shift over to different categories, the Swashbuckler role she wants to play for the time being is highly complementary towards Maple’s Shielder role.
Episode 03 moves the goalpost even further away from Maple by patching the game to avoid future units like hers to be made. Limitations such as reducing her Devour skill to 10 uses per day and buffing armor piercing attacks, Maple has to find ways to circumvent some of the new patch updates that directly affect her approach to the game.
Thankfully, Sally is there so that the two can work together to find creative ways around these limitations. One amusing way they work around the Devour limits is when Sally experiments on Maple’s shield by turning it invisible as Maple tries to make sense of this new magic. Some lines are more difficult to cross as some limitations are carried over from the real world like Sally’s fear of ghosts making it difficult to clear the haunted dungeon. Regardless, it’s neat to see that our main leads have a generous amount of adversity they’ll have to face as they aim to get better at the game.
What’s refreshing about Bofuri is that, in spite of the effort that Maple & Sally have to get through, a light-hearted atmosphere is still maintained within the game world. Many of the players and shop owners encourage her to get involved with events, work her way to achieve new items and upgrades, and get involved with the friendly competition with one another.
Additionally, because we’re starting to see Maple and Sally become closer friends as they clear through the game, we get more scenes where they plan out solutions to puzzles through their collective strengths and share valuable downtime with each other by sharing the rewards they receive for their hard work. It’s a fun aspect of Bofuri that makes it delightful to watch and it’s easy to look forward to the next episode with how well these three episodes have turned out.