Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense, Vol. 2

By Yuumikan and KOIN. Released in Japan as “Itai no wa Iya nano de Bōgyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

While the first volume of Bofuri was concerned with Maple and her introduction to and subsequent interaction with the game, the second book is all about Maple and Sally and their friendship, which shines through both in how they fight well together and their relaxed interaction with each other in non-relaxed moments. These two are best friends, who have known each other most of their lives. And it shows, as we see right away why they’re a terrifying combo if you happen to go up against them. That said… Maple’s not big on the PvP end of the game, preferring to face off against monsters. Sally does not have that issue at all, and you get the sense that she’s generally more comfortable in a role where she can simply stack the bodies high. Maple may be a monster because of her unconventional build and ecentric thought processes, but Sally is a monster simply as she’s a really, really, REALLY good gamer.

The entire book is taken up with the second major event of the game, which involves finding 300 silver medals scattered across a very large map. What’s more, the winners of the FIRST major event already have one gold medal (the equivalent of ten silvers)… and yes, if you kill off the players you get their medals. Maple and Sally team up on this one, and end up in a forest (which has ghosts, Sally’s one weakness), an ice cave (taking on a nigh unkillable monster… and killing it, which nets them two animal companions), an underground maze (where they are chained together – literally – with Kasumi, a samurai player who fights with swords), a beach (where Sally, who can swim, scouts, while Maple befriends a mage named Kanade and they build a sandcastle together), and an underwater area (where they have to fight evil doppelgangers of each other). As this goes on, they do get a few medals, but it’s not quite enough to place in the top 10… so Sally decides to go player hunting.

The most significant cut from the anime is where Maple fights not-Sally and Sally fights not-Maple, two tough fights that get both of them a bit paranoid (which leads to the book’s funniest moment, where they reveal private info about each other to prove they’re the real one, and it’s super embarrassing). The cast is increasing, and it’s nice to see Kasumi and Kanade. I did note that there was some added character drama in the anime… here, after a brief fight at the start, Kasumi gets on fine with Maple and Sally. Two other things I noticed. First, this book really hammers home how often Maple uses poison in the early days… the book is almost coated with poison, to the point where the reader might get a bit bored. The second is that the novel is far more into the gaming mechanics of everything. The anime loves to show off Maple “being Maple”, but the book gives us that plus all the times Maple isn’t being Maple, but just a normal player doing normal things. It can sometimes be a bit tedious… I absolutely see why the anime cut a lot of this book… but it’s also fun if you love these two girls.

This book ends with the “giant turtle makes acid rain” sequence, so I assume the next volume will feature the forming of Maple tree guild. As with the first book, you aren’t really missing vital info the anime skipped, but you do get to see two best friends having a ball fighting things for 250 pages. And that’s enough.

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