Title: BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 7
Author: Jirou Oimoto (Art), Yuumikan (Story), Koin (Character Design)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
Publication Date: December 12, 2023
We start with Maple taking on Mii and Misery in a handicap match. Despite their best combined efforts, they are unable to defeat Maple but… they didn’t die either. After a barely successful retreat, all attention is now placed on Maple Tree… especially since Maple revealed one of her trump cards. In the meantime, medium-sized guilds began taking each other out but they knew that they couldn’t just sit around and let everyone else fight each other. They also need to be proactive. Right when they decide that, The Order of the Holy Sword comes knocking on their doorstep!
Pain makes it clear that they have a game plan and have spied on all of their abilities. He ends up challenging Maple when all of her cooldowns are not up. Sally steps in to try and slow Pain down; however, he goes right for Maple anyway. This causes Maple to reveal her final ace up her sleeve and it is something Pain wasn’t expecting!
Shortly after, the event comes to a close. We see where Maple Tree gets placed and even the devs are forced to release a highlight video of the event by using mostly footage from Maple! They decide to celebrate so Maple goes out and gathers everyone they ran into during the event. Afterward, some members go out and grind levels while others try out equipment that allows them to fly. Maple hangs out with Drag and Frederica from the Holy Sword and learns about their fighting style.
Next volume, it looks as if they are on to the next stratum!
Mii and Misery quickly learned not to get too overconfident regarding Maple. They have a newfound fear (and respect) for her after their battle. Through their battles; however, it appears as if they may just be becoming friends with her. We’ll see how this plays out.
Pain is a mixed bag of a character. At first, he comes off as this strong, overconfident leader of the Holy Sword guild filled with determination and resolve to beat Maple… then he just degenerates into another random character that doesn’t do much to set himself apart from the rest of the cast. I know Maple’s new hidden skill humbled him but if there was a chance to give Maple a serious rival, this was it. Instead, Pain is made to be a rival but he quickly loses his edge. I was hoping for a little more from him and I’m surprised they pivoted on him so quickly.
The same goes for Drag and Frederica, too. Another missed opportunity to make the Order of the Holy Sword seem like a threat but, instead, they had these two just going around fighting alongside Maple on some random adventures. I will say that one of the things missing from Bofuri is a bit of tension and the way they handled the Holy Sword after the event is a good example of that.
The final days of the event were exciting, though, they were not as grandiose as I had hoped they would be. When the Order of the Holy Sword came to Maple Tree, I expected a bigger battle than we were given. Even the free-for-all towards the end wasn’t depicted all too well. For a game that lives on battles, it almost felt like they grew tired of drawing this event so they rushed it towards its conclusion only to give us a chapter of filler right after. While it does move us along to the next arc of the story, I felt as if the large battles they teased didn’t live up to the hype.
One thing we did learn here is that Maple can be killed with the right kind of strategy. Many flaws in her defense were exposed and, honestly, I would have loved to see Maple go down. It would have been a tremendous shock that they could have built on in future arcs, perhaps even give the developers some hope but they chose to go the plot armor route and keep her alive and active until the very end. The only sense of balance here is that Maple Tree didn’t place first in the rankings. Again, this goes back to my earlier comment about this series missing the tension that it could benefit from.
I understand that this is a more cutesy-style story but you can still have tension in a cutesy-style story if you pull it off correctly. Even with the chinks in her armor, Maple still seems almost too perfect… as if the story cannot allow anything bad to happen to her, and if it does, it’s only temporary until she unveils a new skill that overcomes the adversity.
Longer battles and a sense of peril for our main character… if this series can expand on just these two things in the future, it will be more enjoyable than it already is. It’s still a fun read and a good series but these little things I feel are beginning to hold it back from getting to that next level… or stratum in this case.
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press