Or to give its full title...
Bofuri: I Don't Want to get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense
Yup... that's a thing. This is the first of many shows we'll watch this month with ridiculously long titles that read more like a blurb than a header.
This seems to be a trend in titling for a lot of game centric manga that started publishing in the 2010s, my guess is the mangaka have different plans for the title but their distributors noticed strange naming conventions shifted copies. I don't feel either way about it. It's a mouthful but also very blunt about what it is haha
Centered around an MMORPG you can't help but draw comparisons to Sword Art Online, especially given the headset used to play the game bears an striking resemblance to the NerveGear but with the addition of Haptic Gloves it would imply that this isn't a full dive experience... At first.
Throughout the course of the few two episodes I made a note of different things Maple said that implies this is a hybrid experience, part haptic and part NeuraLink.
I came to this conclusion because there was an anticipation of pain but due to her stats, she felt none and then on numerous occasions when Maple just DEVOURS HER ENEMIES, literally, she comments on the flavours. So we've definitely got some eletrical pew pews happening along her thinking blob (brain).
There's be no information shared in episodes 1+2 regarding real world input and how that works. Sally makes mention of how if you're nibble IRL then that's applicable in the game but it's very surface level. Given the vibe of the show, I don't think we'll get anything deeper and that's fine. The headset and gloves are just a vehicle to set a story inside of computer.
Tonally, this show isn't going for the 'trapped in the cage' narrative and seems to be more pure innocent silly fun and it's a nice change of pace!
I guess the last SAO comparison to draw is that there was an announcement of a 2nd Floor due to be unlocked but the image that accompanied it didn't have an actual pyramid / Aincrad appearance, this seemed more a generic satellite shot of the world implying it's more a continent unlock as opposed to ascending.
NEW SKILL UNLOCKED
I don't know if it was the author's intention but the hilariously absurd methods in which Maple unlocks skills and stat multipliers do raise some good points about the general makeup of MMORPG's as we know them.
I can't recall ever playing an MMO that even glanced in the direction of "learning experiences versus experience points" as a method for acquiring new skills.
How often have you dealt with a mundane skill tree, with the entire 0-100 level rewards laid out before you without an once of mystery? How often did you want to follow the specialization that would make you a sick spell-slinger, only to be forced in to the meta and be the guild's heal bitch in raids? It sucks.
The power of information and frantic sharing of it on message boards like we see in this show would be SO exciting during a game's launch. It'd all be chronicled on wikis eventually or data-mined out but just once, I'd love to play a game like this.
TIME TO LOG OFF
There isn't a whole lot more to say after seeing the first two episodes. No big baddies teased, no true direction other than adventure and truthfully both Maple and Sally's character designs are basic AF buuuuuut.... It's fun.
Not every story needs to have tangling vines or lore and plot twists to round out each arch.
I'm quite content enjoying a carefree MMO anime and geeking out over the tech / mechanics they weave in.
I'll definitely be continuing this show on post-May 😁
If you'd like to see the full list for AniMAY then click below. Remember, I'm open to changes and suggestions so feel free to tweet me @inthelittlewood with those: