「防御特化と戦利品.」 (Bougyo Tokka to Senrihin.)
“Defense and Spoils of War”

To complete the second event in Bofuri, Maple and Sally work to gather medals with the help of friends and foes alike. Mainly, it continues the trend where we get to see the two chip away at the bosses and players they face through their combined strengths.

Admittedly, it’s become increasingly difficult to write about a show like this because the meat and potatoes of the past few episodes are the boss encounters the duo faces. As a result,the plot you get from the series so far begins and ends with Maple using poison/devour skills and Sally using plotkai agility skills to clear through otherwise challenging fights. A new skill is gained here and there and the dev team is impotently wary of how easy it is to break the game.

That’s not to say the anime isn’t a great experience since it is pleasant and relaxing to see how cheery Maple and Sally get as they progress through the game. It just has the peculiar distinction of being a comfy healing anime disguised as an VRMMORPG isekai. As such, it’s tricky to discuss the game’s mechanics as you would with other more dramatic shows that are within this genre. Especially when the game in this anime is far too broken to account for overpowered players. Instead, because emphasis is placed solely on Maple and Sally’s experiences with getting better and more familiar with the game, there is a stark enough contrast that it has more influence from slice-of-life or healing anime than the nefarious espionage, betrayal, and cybercrime that’s involved with other popular gaming anime.

But above all else, Episode 05 gives us a better feel for Kasumi as a character. Her position in the beginning of the episode is much like how she was in the final moments of the last one; well-composed and ready to fight. As she goes through the chain ordeal with Maple and Sally, however, she grows more comfortable with the girls and is taken aback by their generosity that she would come to appreciate. Eventually, the next time they crossed paths was far more cordial as the three hid in a cave that was walled off by Maple’s poison. In fact, it’s one of the two moments where Maple’s Hydra ability made for some fun comedy; the first of which being when she poisons the ocean so that the boss monster’s health slowly dwindles while its off-screen,

We’re also introduced to Kanade, a mage who loves nothing more than solving the game’s puzzles. It’s hard to get a read on her because her secretive nature is far different than what we expect from some of the other supporting members of the cast. And because of her insistence on keeping her secrets hidden and handing things to Maple with no strings attached, it should be interesting to see if she plays a larger role in helping or hindering Maple later on in the anime.

12 Comments

    1. It was a fun scene when only one of the admins were acknowledging Maple’s current activities and despite their efforts to gush over the other players, the conversation defaulted back to them fearing Maple could potentially be a boss character herself with all of her strength.

      Choya
  1. @Choya, yeah I agree with you. I can’t really see this as anything more than
    a cute-sol-harem gathering for Maple. To top it off, the main characters (unlike
    Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!) have no backstory that
    would add any tension/drama. Just a couple of gals hangin’ out in the game.
    I don’t know the source material, but it’s tough to imagine this premise with
    any real drama (Infinite Dendrogram’s trying to do it by making the AI game
    character seem “alive” and their life is important even though it’s a freakin’ game).

    Anyway, it’s still fun (for now), so it’s in the playlist…

    mac65
    1. It is a nice and calm show, but it is the show’s Achilles heel if they ever wanted to build any tension with the characters. Unless the admins take on a more dramatic role in nerfing the characters, the series’ action lacks as much tension as there could be. It’s understandable for Maple to be broken, but Sally’s power does feel like it came from nowhere.

      You raise a great point in how there really isn’t enough to the characters’ backstory. You see a couple moments in the first couple episodes where they’re in the outside world, but it would’ve been nice to get more of what their lives are like outside of the game and what obstacles they face or things they enjoy when they’re not overpowered video game avatars.

      Choya
      1. Sally is hinted to be a very skillful gamer at the end of episode 1, as there is a trophy on her shelf. It’s that we have nothing to compare to and as such felt that she being powerful in game is a stretch. Her reactions towards Maple’s choices still indicate that her friend does things out of whack.

        This also raises something about the difference between an amateur gamer and an experienced one. Being experienced means one is expect to behave in a certain way in specific situations, whereas an amateur will have a completely different train of thought, and hence harder to deal with. This is also shown in Katanagatari episode 6, when Shichika was having difficulty dealing with Konayuki, but not against other opponents.

        Fenicks
  2. Maple: (*Defeats another boss and manages to obtain another game-breaking skill combo*)
    NWO Game Devs/Admins: “Ah s**t, here we go again.”

    – At the end of the previous episode, I was already thinking, “Well, looks like GIFT/griefing also exists in this game…” But considering BOFURI is a mainly light-hearted show, seeing Kasumi be reasonable and work with Maple and Sally to clear that dungeon sort of lifted that weight off my chest.
    – Was the music that played during that montage of medal hunting from the same singer who sang most of the Persona 5 music?
    – A poison-happy Maple with Telekinesis and a “Dynamaxed” Syrup… Oh dear. (OTOH, floating Maple Syrup, hehe…)
    – Not that Sally’s any less nightmarish when she gets serious.
    – If this was me after killing monster mobs (and the occasional boss packs) in Diablo II, I’d be making a few back-and-forth trips via Town Portal to sell (or stash) all that loot until that field is empty…

    Incognito
    1. I am curious on if they end up focusing on Sally’s scary side at any point in the future because of how ominous it made her look in comparison to alot of the other action sequences. Where it’s the kinda action sequence they’d put for a character that turns antagonistic at some point.

      Choya

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