「防御特化と第四回イベント.」 (Bougyo Tokka to Daiyonkai Event.)
“Defense and Fourth Event”

In this ninth episode of Bofuri, the fourth event is underway as the guilds are pitted against each other in an orb-capturing competition. While higher-ranking guilds such as the Order of the Holy Sword and the Flame Emperors are currently the top favorites for winning the event, Maple Tree is shaping up to be a strong contender to pull the rug out from the both of them.

One prevalent weakness in the series is how much of the action and in-game interactions are sped through. In preparation for the event, we get a fast-forwarded version of Maple Tree’s leveling up and item-gathering. It is late in the game to say this, but whenever that one insert song shows up, it’s code for “You can tune out at this part”. This episode’s usage of it is particularly rough because it would have been great to have some scenes designated for moments where the guild is getting the hang of the game or learning to use their powers to gather items or solve puzzles. Feels like a missed opportunity whenever you get scenes that are regulated to Montage Jail.

Sally’s strengths are another point of contention when her strengths come less from skill point allocation and more from inherent skill. Where she feels broken not because she was beefed up by the game’s leveling system, but because she’s friends with Maple and has been designated the main character whenever a sword fight is needed. When characters like Frederica are fooled into thinking they know Sally’s exact skillset when the one mysterious skill she showed her was one that she inherently knew without needing to learn it in-game, it feels like there wasn’t much of a way to gauge how Sally was able to become good at playing the game by her own accord without just nailing it for the first time.

Instead, one of the more interesting characters that popped up in this episode was the Flame Emperor’s guild master Mii. There is a prominent build-up towards Mii being an expert in the game as she’s been hyped up as the intimidating, fearless leader of an enigmatic, successful guild. Because she happened to have the support of equally strong players and lacking rivals that hadn’t challenged her up, her reputation had been infallible.

But once she has a difficult time trying to catch Sally, she breaks down and worries about her leadership skills. Mii’s cracking facade is some of the most interesting adversity we’ve seen on the show because she doesn’t have as much plot armor to keep her from failure. The fact that she’s allowed to experience failure as a respectable player makes her far more human as a character because it shows us someone who, at the end of the day, is just playing a video game to unwind and make friends like everyone else. Going into the next episode, it’ll be interesting to see how Mii develops, if she ends up gaining the confidence to lead her team, or if she’ll open up to a member of Maple Tree to gain some support from our main characters.

11 Comments

  1. Yeah, I do agree that Sally’s skill seem to be drawn out of a hat for the occasion
    and, except for Maple, the skill development of the players is not really shown
    and Maple’s skill development is basically only shown to the viewers. So her
    guild can only marvel at her, not necessarily learn from her.

    But, I have to remind myself that it’s only a game, and (IMHO) the Anime is a
    parody of the over-seriousness that engulfs some people who play games in
    real life. Maple treats the game for what it is — entertainment and comradery
    with her friend Sally (since the Anime has shown them playing the game
    together in “real” life). Pretty sure most of the other players are playing the
    game by themselves and using it as a social life rather than Maple, who already
    seems to have a healthy social life, and is treating it like going to the movies
    or having a cup of coffee with her friend, Sally.

    It’s a good series,
    but I don’t know if it’ll make the threshold of a long-remembered Anime…

    mac65
  2. Pingback: Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu – 09 - World's entertainment latest updates

  3. Sally’s actually a typical “pro” gamer. She’s focused on DEX and AGI which tend to make her seem OP, but from gaming experience is more accurately described as annoying. XD
    Skill set wise, we actually see her meet one of the players that actually recommended one to her. They were both using that skill. Couldn’t really tell if they are even or not though. But I do think that Frederica could have won in they’re match. Sally’s just the more aggressive one, but if you remember her stats (0 VIT and low INT) it doesn’t look good.

    Compare her to Maple who is a complete casual, it does balance out a little. The one thing the have in common is luck in getting random skills and gear. Also a more laid back attitude towards the game in general.

    I agree that they should’ve given Sally a little bit more exposure though. I think her rapid growth happened in episode 5.

    theirs
    1. The point with Sally is that she she has insane reflexes (cf. scenes with her real life dodging) and experience how to use them (remember all the gaming trophies from Ep1?). And we had confirmed that dodging in-game is based on actual player movement rather than stats. Sure, she needs some DEX for movement speed, but all above that is her pure skill with the whatever controller they use for playing. I think it works similar for attacks – she’s repeatedly scoring critical hits. Of course raking up kills means that she quickly gained levels and skills, but at the bottom she’s just that good as a player, rather than as a player character.

      Her match with Frederica was just her acting like she was struggling and pretending to use some secret skills, while actually she just dodged all attacks using regular dodge with insane speed and perfect timing. It was a fake-out. We thought it was close call, but in reality it was Sally toying with Frederica like a cat with a mouse.

      puppugod
    1. She was alone, no one was seeing her. So her “Leader Mask” is not necessary. But perhaps her close call friends knows this side of her and support her

      worldwidedepp
  4. I long wanted to add some comment on skills in that game – they seem to be random drops from bosses etc. instead of being chosen at certain lvl by players themselves… I can see it to be utterrly annoying if skill doesnt match your build, or just mildly annoying if it just doesn’t live up to the skills someone else gets.
    The thing about real life skills translating into ingame ones is kinda unbalanced as well, most average players have no sport skills at all, sitting long hours before monitor doesnt help.
    Myself , being mostly INT-based person in real life, would be hard screwed trying to play anyone but wizard. And i love roleplaying agility based fencers or archers in my games…

    ewok40k
  5. I was initially frustrated by the plot convenience and armor the cast– specifically Maple and Sally– have, but I learned to accept two things:

    1) This is a parody of the more-serious VRMMO genre more focused on light-hearted cute-girls-doing-cute-things shenanigans and glorification of is cute MC, and

    2) in-universe, the game is broken. No, really– just look at the devs. They’re more worried about trolling players with an “unbeatable” boss, providing fun maps / experiences, and ignoring their problems– especially those relating to Maple– instead of putting out a balanced game.

    I mean, take Sally, as a non-Maple example: she’s a dex+agi build using short swords. Her Kirito-esque reflexes aside, a balanced game would mean she should be dealing close to 1 dmg per hit compared to a run-of-the-mill balanced build. Granted, I don’t know how much str Sally actually has or if her gear has, like, 100% ignore def / armor-piercing, but in a truly balanced game, it should take her a ridiculous number of hits to down players / bosses, even with critical hits.

    Just do as the devs do. Ignore all logic; smile at this escapist entertainment.

    Honestly, my only gripe is the overused insert song. It’s almost PTSD-inducing for me, now.

    I’m liking Mii, as well. I feel she’s that misunderstood leader-type character who keeps a poker face to hide her shyness, and her battle strength comes from being a mage partnered with a mana-battery.

    Beedle
    1. My point about Sally is just meant to highlight that the game’s damage formula / mechanics is borked, by the dev’s implied incompetence / non-traditional priorities which allows the main cast to get away with shenanigans.

      Taking SAO as an example, the narrative at least tried to acknowledge the idea that gear and stats matter: the mooks with low-level gear / stats couldn’t out-damage Kirito’s hp regen, meaning it’d take much stronger / faster hits to actually kill him– a concept that distinguishes the VRMMORPG genre from, say, the isekai-to-a-fantasy-world genre. Granted, SAO didn’t deliver its gaming concepts perfectly, but it tried.

      Bofuri, on the other hand, created a brilliant narrative excuse so it can have fun with the setting. The damage formula is implied to be borked and the devs are proven lazy / incompetent. It’s quite refreshing, really.

      Beedle
  6. – Man, May and Yui just keep upping their cuteness with each episode.
    Iz farming material from Crystal Lizards… At least they’re not as vicious as the ones in the Souls series (and I’m talking about the big ones that are almost like minibosses).
    – Who knew that the fearsome guild leader Mii would have such an embarrassingly soft side to her? It also reminds me of Overlord‘s Ainz Ooal Gown–or rather, the duality of his public persona as the undead leader of the Great Tomb of Nazarick and his inner thoughts as former human Satoru Suzuki.
    – As an actual pro gamer, Sally is right to be cautious around Order of the Holy Sword members. (Though the same could be said for Kuromu, Iz and Kasumi.)

    Incognito

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