「防御特化とつながり.」 (Bougyo Tokka to Tsunagari.)
“Defense and Bonds.”

In our last Bofuri episode of the season, Maple Tree is caught in a snag when Payne and the Order of the Holy Sword start to pick apart any guild members who leave themselves wide open for Payne to swoop in with his omega strength. But when Maple is able to get the upper hand, their goal goes from collecting orbs for the event to making sure that other guilds don’t catch up to the lead cultivated by the top 3 guilds.

It can be tricky to review Bofuri at times because there are details in the show that would have been frustrating to see ad nauseam if they didn’t end up being hilarious later on. Payne’s brutal ambush is resolved within the first five minutes when Maple realizes she has her Alien Queen transformation that she can use to get the upper hand on every member of the Order of the Holy Sword. It continues the streak that Maple has where she automatically wins against stronger opponents when she realizes she has an ability she hasn’t used in a while. It kinda cheapens each victory when it doesn’t feel like she has to use the full extent of each ability when she realizes that switching from one weapon to another will ensure an automatic victory.

But again, it’s hard to be mad because the Alien Queen form is one of her funniest abilities. And because she feels pressured to stay in the alien form since she can only cast the ability once per session, she is forced to stay in the alien form. As a result, you get plenty of funny moments where she acts as her bubbly or nervous self while trapped in the body of a menacing alien. Even more hilarious is the spit-take that the two major guilds make when they see Maple in alien form firing laser beams from her mouth and devouring other players.

The anime also ends on a pleasant epilogue as Maple celebrates Maple Tree’s position in Third Place alongside her new friends in both of the guilds above her. There’s a nice level of camaraderie as there isn’t any love-loss between them after losing fights with her in spite of winning the event.

Similarly, the admins have relaxed their moderation of Maple’s abilities as they are comforted by her activities in the game and find that she’s been attracting new players with her absurd skills. There is a welcome glimpse into the real world, but it is a reminder that they didn’t give us too much of her personal life outside of the game when she is worried about the possibility of getting grounded if she doesn’t do as well in school.

Epilogue: The mods resolving to leave Maple alone since they find her to be fun to watch and the main attraction for some newer players. Maple Tree befriends both rival guilds after gaining Third Place.

—–

Final Impressions

Bofuri made a strong first impression as an isekai where our main character ended up having to navigate around a VRMMORPG with nothing but maxed out defense points. It was entertaining to see how creative she had to get to coast by using only defensive skills, parry moves, and poisoning abilities.

The show also had a soothing, calm atmosphere where the fun adventures that Maple went on didn’t have the same level of risk or stakes as other isekai out there. It was a relief to see how she was only focused on using her skills for self-improvement and entertainment rather than trying to face off against a creepy antagonist or survive in a death game that kills players in real life. And because of this, it is far more entertaining and humorous when Maple starts to mercilessly devastate crowds of enemies with a wide grin on her face, equipped with a tool belt full of the absurd skills she’s accrued along the way.

But it has been a challenge to ignore some of the downsides that the series has had along the way. As time went on, the anime became far more of a typical isekai when Maple, Sally, and her friends start to get insanely broken to the point of steamrolling everything the game could throw at them. Maple being overpowered is easy to understand given how she’s beaten insane bosses with her defense skills, but Sally is plowing through enemies with nothing absurd going for her skill-wise other than plot-kai.

It was also difficult to get a feel for what was happening in the game when so much of the game’s content was summed up through montages that aim to speed past moments where the characters actually have to interact with the world around them. It was never a series that took it’s in-game content seriously given how the mods are scratching their heads at how Maple was able to break the game so easily, but it does feel disappointing that it didn’t go far enough to flesh out the game’s content so that it doesn’t feel like a total mockery whenever Maple have to do ordinary quests.

Overall, what Bofuri accomplishes best isn’t pushing the envelope for some life-altering, trope-subverting experience, but instead, it aims to be pleasant comfort food to help make the day all the easier to go through when you see Maple having fun coasting through an MMORPG with defensive skills. If the side quests were more meaningful than video gamey fetch quests or boss fights, it would arguably be a wonderful healing anime that could be used to relax and unwind from otherwise tense obstacles throughout the day. And with so much happening out in the real world, it is useful to have a series as cozy as Bofuri to tune out and watch to see Maple and her friends mull through an MMORPG with humorous abilities and an overall goal to just have fun together.

20 Comments

      1. “Really, a second season – was it in the end credits and I missed it?”

        Yes. The one shield in the end credits title card suddenly turned into two (looking like “II”).

        Incognito
    1. It was likely planned to be two seasons from the get go but didn’t get 24 episodes upfront because of scheduling. They don’t just magic up millions of dollars on a whim.

      That said as far as content goes I feel its deserved, there’s not many anime set in videogame shows that revel in the most ridiculous/absurd situations the protagonist gets into. Literally Maple has some of the most random wtf combinations of circumstance happen to her. Sure shes OP as heck though but thats normal for anime protags these days.

      Lyfe
  1. So, basically she won by becoming Godzilla at the end and just squished and ate
    her opponents!

    A fun Anime that accomplished what I guess it wanted to – an entertaining parody
    on games and their gamers! At least everyone became friends at the end,
    I mean, only the strong who survived Maple became friends at the end! Otherwise,
    you were a snack for Maple.

    Only thing is that while some of the other players had some of the same skills as
    Maple, no one else seems to have had any outrageous transformations like Maple,
    including Sally. She could be a Godzilla, a super-mecha, and a few others I forgot.
    So the stretch is that only Maple, an inexperienced gamer, was able to figure out
    and master all of these game hacks. But I’m nit-picking a fun series too much…

    As a series, it’ll be missed but I don’t think it’s particularly memorable; just my 2¢.

    mac65
  2. Absolutely adorable cast of characters, some well done action, and a tone that never got too serious (Nor changed what it was ultimately about). Honestly, I loved Bofuri and after 12 weeks of feeling like I could continue watching after each episode I’d go so far as to say this is one of my new favorites

    Arche
  3. well that climax battle seems lacking since it was to quick… i was kinda expecting some literal “beat the crap outta him” scene but oh well this is a fuwa fuwa anime so i should not expect some bloody scene full of rage and stuff and considering also the time limitations (12 episodes). they could have added more details if they went 24 but the studio knew if they go to that lengths, the appeal of bofuri AKA the FUN will quickly diminish.

    and yep, it was a fun ride definitely. and bofuri isnt still your typical isekai despite all of that shortcomings IMO… what the anime clearly pursue is just “for fun” plot aka HOW a certain game newbie will wreck the game with her unorthodox gameplay and they exceedingly delivered. basically, bofuri is an anime that is a class of its own and that the isekai (VRMMORPG) is just secondary or just an accessory to the REAL plot.

    finally, i am so overjoyed to see that this anime will be getting a second season. it is no surprise though… it is clearly among the FEW (yes, FEW since in my opinion a lot in those optimistic excitement in the winter 2020 preview shouldn’t be there) best this season and has a strong fan base support.

    jeffers
  4. I would love to see Maple losing for once to a good player making better use of his/her skills. But overall immensely fun series. Maple being good natured and friendly person helps much to soften up her OP side. Also we could use a foe that is built in a way that ignores Maple’s biggest strength, namely awesome skills. Reduced to base. stats, she would be still immovable object but without any offensive power.

    Ewok40k
  5. Thank you for this Anime. it was a Blast to watch it. Many MMO Core Vibes. It was fun to watch

    Lucky for this Game and GMs/Devs she is a “Jedi” not a “Sith” Lord and do not abuse it for Harm

    Also, did i saw a 2nd Season hint at the end? Lucky!!! I look forward to it

    worldwidedepp
  6. Maple ended up being the last boss after all. XD

    This show really takes a jab at the serious gamer. Maple is 100% casual and ended up being one of the most powerful in the game. Even started of with impractical stats.
    She contrasts well with Payne with Mii somewhere in between the two.

    Quite a fun show. Could’ve been better with sneak peaks of the other players in real life and less montages. Maple’s unique absurdity really carried the whole show.

    Finally, really liked how the Order of the Holy Sword approached being defeated by Maple’s current ultimate form. Gives a nice it’s just a game vibe.

    theirs
  7. Pingback: Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu – 12 (END) | Steamedworld News

  8. The anime really does revel in the absurdity of Maples abilities and how they play into her battles. But I have to give them credit, they produced a show about a ridiculously overpowered OP but did it in such a way that makes you laugh about how stupid/ridiculous(In a good way) it can be at times. If you were ingame watching some of those battles you’d probably go wtf and back away slowly lol.

    Lyfe
  9. For Payne, trying to resist Maple’s kaiju form was…useless (read: MUDA). And there‘s the crack defeat that I waited for…at least Payne wasn’t on the receiving end of a 7-page beatdown. (*cough*seiyuujoke*cough*)

    “♪ Oh no! They say she’s got to go, go go Mapezilla!
    Oh no! There goes NWO, go go Mapezilla! ♪”

    Anyway, final impressions… While I loved Maple’s infectious (too soon?) friendship, how she and her friends were simply having fun, and never got tired of seeing Maple gain some new, hilarious game-breaking ability (as well as the reactions of the game devs/admins and fellow players), those montage moments kinda dragged down the worldbuilding. And it’s a shame that one otherwise relaxing song (no offense to the singer–who, again, sounds like she sang some of the music in Persona 5) became overused in montages. (To say nothing of what LN content was being skipped by the montages.)

    At the very least, I did enjoy Kaede Hondo’s performance as Maple. She’s absolutely adorable. Not that her castmates are pushovers–far from it. From all-stars like Ayana Taketatsu, Kensho Ono, Rina Sato, Satomi Arai, Satomi Sato and Saori Hayami, to industry veterans like Noriyaki Sugiyama, Nobutoshi Kanna, Akira Ishida, Takumi Yamazaki and Yuko Minaguchi, to up-and-comers like Ai Kakuma and Nanaka Suwa. It’s as if the showrunners were confident that BOFURI would get a second season–and get a second season it did.

    And finally, to any aspiring video game developers who want to make video games: Do watch this show and try to rediscover what makes video games actually fun (and content-rich). Don’t be like the callous d**kheads and imbeciles ruining today’s “Triple-AYYY” and mobile video game industry with predatory microtransactions, intrusive DRM, “solution selling” and the “release it broken, we’ll fix it later” mentality.

    Incognito
    1. “Go there and Kill XX Enemys to bring me back YY”

      “Oh i forgot to mention that these Enemys drop rare the items you need”

      Well, that are mostly the Quests in MMOs. Boring, but necessary or they would burn even faster trough the Content. But i would be great if they could find another solution

      worldwidedepp

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