Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense, Vol. 12

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.

I’ve said before that I think the Bofuri series works best when it’s just Maple and Sally taking on a fresh new challenge, and the author agrees. Actually, the author may be starting to agree a bit TOO much. This is the 3rd book in a row that’s been about 75% Maple and Sally, 25% rest of the cast. I joked on social media that the extended scene with Kanade was inserted at the request of the editor, as the author had forgotten who Kanade was. (Actually, Kanade gets more to do here than he has since he got his clone, mostly as a lot of the challenges involve translating ancient runes.) Likewise, Kasumi and Iz get one scene to show off, Mai and Yui get one scene to show off, and Chrome exists. Sorry, Chrome. That said, if you ARE here to read this series for Maple and Sally, you should have a lot of fun with this book, which has them both doing what they do best… for now.

Velvet is on the cover, possibly to draw in Fate fans who think there’s a Saber crossover, but she only really appears near the end, to help set up the next volume. Most of this book deals with the 8th level, which is set mostly underwater. Fortunately for non-swimmers like Maple, Mai and Yui, there are diving suits with oxygen tanks, and the more materials you find the better you can upgrade the suits so you can go deeper. It’s the sort of level that works best in small groups, so naturally Maple and Sally team up, rarely having problems with monsters due to their insane builds, but sometimes having trouble working out exactly what it is the game wants them to do. On the bright side, both Maple *and* Sally get new transformations, sort of. And then there’s the 9th level, which may make Sally’s dream come true.

We see Kaede and Risa for only about three pages, but they’re very important pages. I’m not sure if the author has an end to this series in mind (from what I understand, the webnovel is huge, and Vol. 17 came out in Japan last month), but time *is* passing in the real world, and the 12th book takes place about 18 months after the first book. This means that Kaede and Risa have started their second year of high school… which means soon studying will take precedence over games. Kaede’s grades are good, Risa’s are… okay… but it’s clear that Risa’s mother, at least, is not going to let her game her third year away. That’s why the next couple books may be very important, as they’re a PvP event where players can choose one of two sides. We know that Sally’s big wish is to fight Maple one-on-one, but she’s been putting it off, mostly as fighting a friend is just not Maple’s thing. But this might be a way to achieve it.

And, of course, there’s also the other guilds. Will they stick together? I realize that I just made this volume seem like a brief downtime while we wait for the next really exciting floor, but it was very good. And Maple and Sally held hands a lot.

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