Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense, Vol. 10

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.

Good news! This is a far stronger volume of Bofuri than the previous two were, and I think I can see why: the last book I really enjoyed was also pretty much just Maple and Sally, with the others barely appearing. I definitely enjoy the rest of the guild, there’s nothing wrong with them. But something about the main duo of the series causes the author to up their game. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s no major character development for Maple here or anything, she’s pretty much the same. (Sally… well, I’ll get to Sally.) But it’s simply fun and relaxing watching these two besties steamroll through the dungeons on earlier floors that they missed just to be able to see a really great view, or have a picnic, or learn about new ludicrous techniques. Well, only Maple gets that last one, as she manages to turn dark angel (scary) and also make her weird Atrocity ball do a Katamari Damacy (scarier).

Everyone’s still on the 7th level, and there’s no sign we’re seeing the 8th right away. So Maple and Sally decide to go sightseeing, going back to the earlier levels and taking in things they didn’t get to the last time around. They also meet new characters while they’re at it, because you can’t JUST have Maple and Sally and no one else, alas. Appropriately, of the two pairs they meet, one feels very Maple (Velvet, a brawler pretending to be an ojou, and Hinata, her introverted backup) and the other feels very Sally (Wilbert, an insanely powerful archer, and Lily, his maid backup… except when Lily is the powerful warrior and Wilbert is the butler backup). These two pairs make Sally worried, as she knows that they’ll be doing PvP before long, and she is concerned that she and Maple don’t have the synergy of the other two pairs… despite the entire book being evidence to the contrary.

The first anime had finished when this was being written, and I’m not sure if the author noticed the Maple/Sally yuri fans and decided to play it up a bit, or if this was always the case. Regardless, there’s a lot more yuri subtext than usual here, almost all of it on Risa/Sally’s end. Risa is a gamer girl who has struggled with the fact that her best friend has never really been able to keep up with her in any of them. Now they have this game, which plays to Kaede’s eccentric strengths, and it’s like heaven. She notes that she wants to keep playing with Maple like this forever (romantic, but hopefully not a death flag – I can’t see Bofuri ever getting dark), but she also wants to FIGHT Maple directly, even as she knows that Maple really isn’t into that sort of gameplay. It’s a combination of competitive tension and romantic tension, and it makes me wonder if the final book in the series will be Maple and Sally duking it out.

That said, pretty sure Maple will win. It’s her series. This was a terrific volume, though, and next time the rest of the cast should be back as well.

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  1. Chris Davies says

    But what if Maple knows that sometimes, you have to lose to win?

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