Got lazy with this one. Should have talked about it at the end of Winter but got distracted. What could have been the reason? Find out as we quickly check out BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense!
I have a feeling the number of people who understand me will be outnumbered by the majority of peeps who relished the show.
Alternate Title: Itai no wa Iya nano de Bōgyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu
Genres: Adventure, Isekai
Themes: JRPG, Virtual Reality, MMORPG
Number of Episodes: 12 (Season 1)
The show is about a girl who would become better known as Maple who was convinced by her best friend to try out the latest Virtual Reality MMORPG (Online Multiplayer RPG basically). Thing is, Maple dislikes getting hurt. She got the idea of prioritizing ALL HER STAT INCREASES toward Defense from the start of the game to each time she leveled up, thus becoming a nearly unstoppable killing machine. When Sally eventually joined her…let us just say one of my (only) favorite running gags was the game developers constantly losing their minds over Maple breaking the game.
As for what kind of show it is. Think Gun Gale Online but without offline death threats…so far. It is about Maple, Sally and the party members they recruit joining up to play the game by going on quests, participating in events, Player vs Player matches, dungeon crawling and other stuff common in digital RPGs around the world, not just Japan. I do not know if it is similar to Log Horizon as I have yet to watch the show but I assume it is something like that. All the stuff I mentioned is fun to watch and refreshing. It is not often we see an Isekai show where no lives are at risk, only bragging rights and bruised egos…for now. The show, so far, is meant to celebrate having fun playing games and making friends with people across the globe. That is cool. The show looks good and the music is delightful.
So why did I not relish it as much as many on the internet, including yuri fans? First of all MMORPGs and online multiplayer in general does not appeal to me. The former is because I prefer contained stories that can be enjoyed in Single Player and the Multiplayer is optional. I know there are MMORPGs like Guild Wars 2 where that is possible but I just cannot get into them. The second, and the biggest reason why, is because the main cast are all…fine. Every character on the show is fine. None of them annoyed me, which is very good. Problem is none of them were super fun to watch.
One of my peeps mentioned disliking most shows with an overpowered protagonist because it does away with all tension. I disagree because so long as the protagonist and the rest of the cast are interesting/fun/cool/entertaining then it is fine. One Punch Man is like that to me. We know Saitama can crush most of his foes with a single blow but his world and cast are interesting (though personally I am more invested in seeing if Saitama will ever find an opponent that pushes him to the limit). Back to my point. Maple may have powered herself up to nigh gaming “goddesshood” but were she and her merry party as fun to watch as say, the cast of HameFura or Abilities Average , then I would be good. Alas, to me everyone on the show was just…okay. That is my honest thoughts on Season 1 as a whole, it was okay. Had some moments, like the running gag and later battles but most of it was decent at best to me.
Even Maple X Sally’s yuri development was average. Had it aired in a season with not as many other strong yuri shows/shows with yuri potential then it could have been noteworthy…but it aired in Winter 2020, a season with shows like OshiBudo and Koisuru Asteroid to name a few. It had potential to be as great as those powerhouse shows but as far as S1 goes it did not go far enough to leave as strong of a yuri impression. Maybe in S2.
Basically I thought the first season of BOFURI was average. Some of the battles were cool and strategies were interesting but the main cast were all average at best to me and the yuri development did not make as strong of an impression compared to other shows that aired in Winter 2020. The best compliment I can give the show is it did not annoy me anywhere as much as Jashin-chan or Satanichia (Gabriel) Dropout did so I will watch the second season and see if things get better.
Everyone who disagrees and thought the show was awesome do not let my “it was okay” sentiment change your minds. Cherish it and get hyped for S2. I will join you all, just with less hype is all.