Bofuri is an interesting anime about a girl who plays a game under the name Maple; however, fearing getting hurt she maxes out her defense stats to avoid any damage. The rest of the story is about how her unorthodox methods of playing result in the most unusual combination of powers in the game and causes all sorts of calamity in the process which makes for one random entertaining anime.
The story isn’t one that has a lot of twists and turns in it as it’s entirely focused on showing the audience how Maple’s methods cause her to level up and make her an imposing foe in the virtual world. This method of style I find is usually hit or miss because if the characters are not executed well enough to get invested in the there is no story to fall back on and make the audience interested in the show. This is not the case as Maple really has a charm unique to her in the world of anime. Her ignorance of the world of VR games and blindly stumbling upon power-ups is an interesting process to watch as she just randomly finds adventure and uses unpredictable methods to overcome obstacles. For example, she had no attack stats but her enemy was unable to inflict any damage on her so she decided to eat it and wound up gaining all the monster’s powers.
I can usually predict to some degree how characters will progress in a show because there is usually a consistent formula to each character, I had no clue at all with Maple. In one episode she powers up with poison attacks and the next she gains a flying turtle that can shoot lasers or another where she gains the ability to turn herself into a mechanized arsenal of weapons. If anyone watching was able to predict her power-ups upon first viewing then bravo because you are clearly much better at it than I am.
The show has no world ending threat or conflict that has dire consequences if lost, so the show manages to keep an innocent charm through the entire season which I think works really well in its favor. I don’t think Maple would be as entertaining to watch if there was some world ending conflict which would cause her to lose her carefree and cavalier attitude. However, with no conflict Maple just coasts through the season and does everything win or lose without a care in the world and all that combined really makes this show relaxing to watch.
The show also manages to create a very enjoyable cast of supporting characters. Maple stumbles upon other characters that have unique playing styles and together they form a guild called Maple Tree. It’s one thing to see Maple’s randomness in play but combined with a series of characters that have a unique arsenal of skills and you have a recipe for absolute madness shown in entertaining 30 minute intervals.
Overall the show is very charming, the characters are charming and unpredictable. These are the qualities of the show that really made it enjoyable to watch and bravo to all that worked to put it together. I will say if you’re looking for a show with intense high stakes combat or a show with complicated story elements then this won’t be a good match for you. For people who enjoy a good VR game based anime and really enjoy well executed characters then I think you will really get invested in Bofuri.