Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense, Vol. 5

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.

This is the fist volume to take place post-anime (while a 2nd season was immediately announced, there has been no word about it ever since), and as such I imagine it has a few folks reading the series for the first time to try to see what happens next. That said… does Bofuri have an ongoing plot? We’re still entirely inside the game, with the most important real-life event in this volume being Kaede getting the flu. The plot of the books is basically “watch everyone slowly move to new levels and see what they do”. This volume has a weather-based level, with lots of clouds, lightning, and the like. If there is an ongoing plot that might affect future volumes, it’s Sally’s. She’s always taken the lead in gaming with Maple,. and has now found a game that Maple is not only intuitively better at but a LOT better at. Sally doesn’t want to play like Maple does… but she wants to be cool for Maple.

While this is not a “short story” volume per se, the book feels more scattered than usual, mostly as we’re having various groups team up with each other. Having faced off against Mii and Pain’s groups in the last event, there’s no similar guild war this time around. So Maple can team up with Mii for one day, getting to see more of her “real” self when she’s not putting up a front. She can also team up with Pain, who discovers, as he knew, that Maple can be a terrifying monstrosity, but also (as he didn’t know) that she can also be amazingly dense in equal measure. However, she *is* learning slowly how to game the “normal” way as well, and how to use new skills to bet suit her playset. Which is good, as the GMs are not making things any easier for her.

For those who go to Bofuri for the humor, there are definitely fun examples. Kasumi, the straight man samurai of the group for the most part, turns out to have a weakness for antiques, and on this level that mostly consists of getting quests by buying things at shops, she ends up spending FAR too much money. As for Maple, her defense – or more accurately her lack of everything other than defense – means that she’;s advancing far slower than anyone else in Maple Tree, and when she recovers from her flu she finds they all fought a boss without her. They’re pretty sure she can solo it, so she goes to do so… only to accidentally fight the LAST boss. Which she does of course beat, but it’s easily the most difficult fight we’ve seen her have since the first book, and it’s fun watching her throw everything at the enemy and seeing it not work.

Bofuri is fun and relaxing, and while it may not appeal to fans of the anime’s quicker comedic style, it’s a good read in and of itself. And good luck trying to show off for your girlfriend, Sally. At least there’s still Frederica if you can’t keep up.

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