You Do You
Bofuri is so sweet it is almost cavity inducing and I’m not actually complaining about that. It is almost as though the writer was looking at the toxic gaming culture that has been dominating discussion over the last decade and decided they wanted to remind people what playing games was actually about – just having fun with friends. Of course it isn’t coming across as a reprimand or even like it is really trying to be social commentary, it is just clear through the characters and their interactions that at every point these girls having fun while engaging with a massive multiplayer game is the main focus.
This week Maple participates in an event that turns out to be fairly easy for her given none of the other players can get through her defense. Just by staying still and countering those who came to attack her she ended up coming third. I do like that the spectators were relatively positive about the whole thing and even though one of them quite rightly asked if her build was a bit broken (and yes, yes it is) no one was calling her a cheat or getting angry at her. It doesn’t in any way reflect the reality of gaming at the moment but it is just perfectly pleasant to watch.
However, the real fun comes when Maple (or rather Kaede) talks to her IRL friend about her experiences and explains her build. Her friend then starts thinking about the character she’ll create and decides on her own unconventional build to compliment Maple’s but still have a unique spin. It’s so cute watching the two of them geek out about gaming because they are just having so much fun.
The second part of the episode then has the two of them adventuring together looking for white scales so that Maple can have materials to have a shield made. In the meantime, Sally, is levelling up but holding off on spending all of her stat points until she decides what skills she’s going to use. Sally is a bit more experienced than Maple at gaming and so this allows some natural explanation of various mechanics and strategy through the conversations they are having. At no point does it feel like an exposition dump as someone tries to narrate the gaming world rules to the audience.
Ultimately, this anime isn’t terribly exciting. Even with a tournament and a boss fight this week, there’s zero tension in the story. Normally that would make this one an anime I’d avoid because I generally find a lack of tension or drive a bit dull, and yet I’m just enjoying the characters and their enjoyment so much. It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s easy viewing. Definitely staying on the watch list this season.
Thanks for reading
100 Word Anime.
Max out your defense and follow along as Maple learns how to play a VRMMO. All episode reviews here:
Images from: BOFURI: I don’t Want To Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense. Dir. Shin Oonuma. Silver Link. 2020.