At the encouragement of her friend, Kaede decided to try out the VRMMO “NewWorld Online,” despite not having played many games in her life. When setting up her character, she decides she would rather not get hurt at all, and puts all her stat points into VIT (vitality, essentially defense). The downside is that she’s slow as a turtle and has the attack power of a stick. The upside is, almost nothing can actually hurt her. As she, with the in-game name Maple, gets into her first real gaming experience and learns more about how the game works, she goes to challenge her first dungeon, all while various onlookers take interest in this strange, cute newbie.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense (Japanese title: Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu.) is based on a light novel yet to be licensed in English. It is a VRMMO story, but unlike series like Sword Art Online or Infinite Dendrogram, this is a much more lighthearted series that is focused more on comedy and the fun of playing the game itself. Right away this is nice, because while VRMMO stories that up the stakes in some way or another are by no means bad, it’s good to be reminded that these are ultimately games and games are about having fun. And boy, does Maple have fun! Maple’s perspective as someone new to gaming not only lets her make silly decisions that no experienced gamer would consider, but also her growing love for the game is infectious and a real joy to watch in and of itself. The show’s comedy is also top-notch, with some highlights being what happens when Maple falls asleep in a monster-infested forest and her… interesting tactic to defeat a boss dragon. The animation from SILVER LINK is spot-on, the voice acting is great, and while the game setting itself would never work as an actual game, it provides a simple enough framework for Maple’s meta-defying actions to shine.
This show is seriously one that feels the most “pure fun” to me in a long while. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a video game-based comedy, a light-hearted VRMMO series, or if you just want to see The Rising of the Shield Heroine.
BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense is streaming on FunimationNow and Hulu.