Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense Season 1
Rating: 5 out of 10 stars
- Fun concept
- Good animation
- Attractive art style
- Nice music
- Boring at times
- Very low stakes
- Not much character development
- Unimpressive ending
Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!
When I play dungeon-crawling board games such as Descent or Gloomhaven, I always choose a character people would refer to as a “tank”. The character with the highest HP and defense, capable of withstanding hordes of attacking foes–that’s what I always choose. It comes at the cost of low speed though, and many other stats that are minimal at best.
Kaede Honjō makes the same choice. Under the username Maple, she creates a character for a virtual reality game called New World Online and puts all of the points she gets from leveling up directly into defense, neglecting all other areas. It gets to the point that monsters that attack her die from exhaustion because their repeated attacks have an effect that is negligible.
She eventually develops immunity to effects such as poison and obtains ridiculously overpowered items. She becomes OP, which is anime talk for an overpowered character. It kind of reminds me of other anime with overpowered characters, such as One-Punch Man and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
This anime is not as good as those two, however. The main problem is the low stakes. Character death results in mild penalties and a quick respawn. Not winning a challenge merely means losing the chance at the prize. At no point is there any suspense, especially since Maple and her friend Sally are consistently successful and lucky.
Maple is universally liked by the other characters, and becomes the face of the game. Even the moderators of the game are afraid to limit her power too much since that will provoke annoyance from her loyal fan base. She experiences very few setbacks, and her constant learning of new skills that make her increasingly powerful kind of gets old.
The characters other than Maple and Sally are poorly developed, and even Maple and Sally are not developed much.
I’ve seen a lot of people compare this anime to Sword Art Online. Sure, this anime involves a virtual reality game as well, but the similarities end there. In SAO, the stakes are high because a misstep in the virtual world can lead to death in the real world. In Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense, Maple becomes OP despite her lack of video game experience. She only thinks to max out her defense so she doesn’t feel any pain. In SAO, the main character Kirito is extremely powerful, but he also has had significant experience with the game.
To be fair, this anime was not meant to be taken seriously. But for shows such as this, comedy and fun should be what is given in return for low stakes. Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense is not amusing enough to make up for its lack of suspense.
Maple basically breaks the game, but it is permitted because of her popularity. She’s bland despite being mildly likeable, and she pretty much always gets what she wants. The ending was nothing special and is exactly what I expected. It was lackluster at best.
I can’t really say I recommend this anime to anyone in particular, except maybe as a show to put on in the background when you are doing something else.