BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. – Anime Preview
Synopsis: She may be new to gaming, but Maple has found the secret to invincibility! Just put all your skill points into defense until you can’t even move. That works, right? She doesn’t want to experience any pain in the VRMMO game she started playing, and somehow it works better than anyone expected. Now she’s got followers?? (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: BOFURI is basically cute girls doing cute things but IN AN MMO. That’s it… Despite never having played any video games before, our heroine, Kaede (or Maple as is her online name) breezes through every single ‘challenge’ the game throws at her, gets insane luck with equipment drops, acquiring rare items one after the other. It feels like BOFURI’s whole deal is to let the viewer sit back and fawn as this ‘adorable’ girl and her adorable friends conquer a video game and be super cute while doing so. Yes, there’s a few hints at a potentially grander plot and teasing of some powerful character, whose face stays hidden in credits, but seeing as how a large chunk of the cast is cute girls, I would not be surprised if BOFURI turns out to be a cute slice of life otherwise served up in an MMO setting.
Tom: Bofuri might work as an easy going slice of life video game anime if the world wasn’t built specifically for Kaede. Kaede has this weird fear of damage causing her pain (why anyone would design a game to work like that I don’t know) so she stacks all her status points into defense. Speaking as a former MMO player, no MMO would allow a player to put all their points in one stat without some substantial draw backs. But this game is crafted specifically for Kaede, allowing this one note joke to dictate everything about this game, the world, and how she progresses, making this insane form of play totally possible. This makes Bofuri absolutely contrived to the point of absurdity, as is exhibited when Bofuri defeats a multiplayer boss all by herself simply because she’s out defensed the game. This gag might work if there was more meat to the series, but this whole first episode wallows in this singular goof as if it’s more than enough to carry a twenty-minute episode, let alone a twelve episode series.
Linny: What really sinks BOFURI is how one utterly note its whole schitck is. Maple is so powerful that she takes down a dungeon boss all by herself, making me wonder, even as someone who hasn’t really played MMO’s, isn’t the whole point of MMO’s needing to play in a group ESPECIALLY when it comes to boss battles? I’m willing to abandon logic for the sake of comedy but when every scene plays out as Maple meets new opponent/enemy, Maple wins by doing the bare minimum and gets rewarded out the wazoo, things get stale fast. And it’s never good when your big joke feels stale within episode 1 itself. The only people I can see enjoying this show are those who simply cannot resist cute anime girls and would like to see some in an MMO game context. Anyone else will likely find BOFURI’s one note comedy and premise worn out and bail within the first episode itself.
Tom: Bofuri might still satisfy CGDCT fans. Kaede has a typically adorable design, and there’s plenty more girls abound, giving me the impression that Bofuri is aimed squarely at this niche fandom. But viewed as anything but CGDCT bait Bofuri is comedically dull, and the game world seems broken as all hell, making Bofuri an otherwise easy pass for more general audiences.
BOFURI is available for streaming via Funimation.