BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.

BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.

BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense. anime series cover art
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.

Series Overview

BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. (Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu. / 痛いのは嫌なので防御力に極振りしたいと思います。) follows classic isekai light novel convention by having a title that’s way too long. Let’s just call it BOFURI because that’s easier.

The series follows Maple and Sally, two friends who decide to play a new MMORPG game (NewWorld Online) together. They then create a guild called Maple Tree and become some of the most powerful players in the entire game.

If you’re anything like me, you probably think this anime won’t be that good simply based on the description I just gave. But BOFURI is a comedy series that pokes fun at all the other series that follow the same formula. For example, every time Maple randomly gets a new overpowered ability, the other characters comment on how she’s cheating.

There are even a few times when the game developers attempt to nerf Maple because she’s become too strong.

Maple from the anime series BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.
Maple

Also, as your Japanese trivia for today, let’s take a look at Maple’s name because I saw a few people confused by this. Why did she choose Maple to be her username? It’s actually very simple: Her real name is Kaede, which is just Japanese for Maple.

This is also why Kaede from Magia Record has a maple tree aesthetic. I’ve discussed how anime character names can tell you a lot about them before, so if you’re interested in that, check it out here: Anime Character Names.

And as a random bonus fact, the voice of Maple is also named Kaede; Kaede Hondo.

Maple Tree Guild

I’ll be discussing Maple and Syrup on their own in the next section, so let’s cover all the other members of the Maple Tree Guild here. There are Sally, Iz, Kanade, Yui, May, Kasumi, and Kuromu. While each of these characters is strong in their own right, they’re still at the “acceptable” level of strength, unlike Maple.

Sally is the most powerful of the non-Maple members. Her playstyle is that of an assassin-type character that specializes in speed, stealth, and raw damage. She’s even strong enough to take down large bosses on her own.

Iz is the most normal of all the Maple Tree members. She’s the guild’s craftswoman who creates weapons and gear for the other members.

Kanade is a weird character who doesn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the guild. She has a special item that grants her a different special ability each day. Her role in the guild changes depending on what skill she has that day.

Yui and May are twins who have berserker-like playstyles. While Maple put all of her skill points into defense and vitality, Yui and May put all of theirs into damage. They may be extremely slow and frail, but they pack a punch.

Kasumi is your obligatory samurai girl of the series. Honestly, name a similar series to this one that doesn’t include a samurai girl. Even when the theme of the game/other world is European high fantasy, there’s always a samurai girl.

And lastly we have Kuromu, who’s a shield user just like Maple. However, the difference between Kuromu and Maple is that Kuromu is more of your traditional tank with reasonable skills. When you compare him to Maple, you can really see just how overpowered Maple is.

How Strong are Maple and Syrup?

This review would be way too long if I actually went through every one of Maple’s skills, so I’m just going to be doing an overview here. If you’re looking for her full list of skills, you can find it here. It should also go without saying that this section is going to include spoilers for season 1 of the series.

Maple’s skills can be broken down into three categories: Her personal skills, her equipment skills, and her summon (Syrup) skills.

Maple, May, and Yui riding on Syrup from the anime series BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.
Maple, May, and Yui riding on Syrup

Most of Maple’s personal skills are defense buffs. Even if she doesn’t use her shield or wear her armor, she takes little to no damage from the majority of enemy attacks — as we saw when she took a spiked mace to the head without batting an eye.

However, she also has some skills which go beyond these defense buffs. For example, she can gain new skills by eating things (just like Rimuru from TenSura). She can also grant invulnerability to nearby guildmates and even turn into a giant mecha for when she needs to deal some damage.

Maples equipment skills mainly come from her shield and her small sword/dagger. Her shield’s most overpowered skill allows her to instantly kill anything it touches. She can also commit war crimes with it by releasing toxic gas. Her sword can stun all enemies nearby and also poison them.

Finally, Maples summon is Syrup, a turtle that can grow to a massive size and also fly. But that’s not what makes Syrup so strong (s)he also basically has the defense stat of Maple and can fire a laser cannon out of (her)his mouth.

Basically, Maple (with the addition of Syrup) is a near-immortal, toxic gas spewing, killing machine. Oh, and she can transform into a dragon.

Conclusion

The Rising of the Shield Loli BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. is a 6/10 from me. It’s definitely an enjoyable anime, but I don’t really think it’s special enough to be more than that. Nothing about it stands out other than that Maple is an overpowered female character.

There is a second season which was confirmed, though, so there will be more BOFURI in the future. And if you haven’t read my review of Isekai Quartet 2 yet, I think there’s a fairly good chance we could see Maple, Sally, and Syrup make an appearance in season 3 of that.

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2 Replies to “BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.”

  1. I totally disagree with the positive reviews it receives Bofuri, my problem is the level of writing is dead in this series.The protagonist was the only one to break a massively popular multiplayer game which is absurd. There’s no way Maple would be the first to try out a defense-only build. Hell, this game it never should’ve even gotten out of alpha with a build this broken, this just feel like the author hasn’t played a single MMO in their whole life.

    I’m sure they will tell me to chill out because no one should take this anime seriously OK I know but… You can make an enjoyable anime about fun MMO adventures without making the mc Conveniently discover some super hax build and obtain cheat skills that none of the billion other players have ever seen.
    At least they tried to explain how a class in avoided in “Only Sense Online” it’s good comparison since the theme is very similar : newbie picking anti-meta build and becoming OP, but I’m afraid people wouldn’t be so condescending with Only sense Online if they were to animated it.

    But of course we’re here for the jokes! The jokes about how the protagonist is a clueless invincible godling while traveling the world finding irony and references.
    I just dont get, who this type of stories are for. Why pick an RPG, a world more structured than the real one and then give asspull powers to the MC, its just more annoying and harder to swallow than isekai.
    Is this to get Japanese girls into mmos, because if this unrealistic outlook is what they go in with they wont last 3 days.
    Is this for neckbeards to obsess over how cute maple is? all cuteness feels artificial so it will likely be less effective than lucky star.

    1. I see that you’ve acknowledged the comedic aspects of this series, but I still think you’re missing the point that this series is satire. The reason Maple is overpowered and gains so many broken skills for doing nothing is that it’s making fun of the series that do that and take themselves seriously. This series isn’t trying to be a serious MMORPG anime. It’s making fun of the subgenre.

      As for who this series is for, it’s for people who are familiar with the tropes of the video game isekai subgenre and want something that recognizes how ridiculous it’s being. It’s not trying to get girls into MMORPGs. And it’s not simply trying to pander to people by using cute girls — although this is obviously something it, and many other anime, do anyway.

      I really think you’re overanalyzing this series. It’s not deep and it’s not trying to be.

      Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an anime set in an MMORPG world that actually understood how MMORPGs work. The closest is probably Log Horizon, but even that had its issues. The vast majority of the time even the simplest things like skill trees and classes are tossed aside. For example, Shield Hero has a skill tree system that it just tosses aside immediately. And in SAO every single character is the same class.

      I’d also like to point out that Maple’s way of gaining skills is taken directly from TenSura.

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