Bofuri Vol. 1—Laughter & Gameplay Fun [Manga]

Bofuri art cover with Kaede (Maple) with shield and sword

Bofuri or Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 1 is a mouthful of a title. Yet, that title lets you know you’re in for some laughs. The story is by Yuumikan, art by Jirou Oimoto, character design by Koin with translation by Andrew Cunningham, and lettering by Rochelle Gancio. All we can do is appreciate the hilarious, familiar, engaging world of Kaede’s journey in gaming.

Gamer Joy

Any gamer who plays MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) similar to World of Warcraft will enjoy the gaming aspects of the story. But what makes it adorable and fun is our heroine, Kaede Honjou, who typically does not play games. However, her real-life friend, Risa, convinces her to play a new VRMMO (virtual reality massively multiplayer online) game called NewWorld Online.

Granted, it is a virtual reality online game, but regardless of that, Kaede’s does not want to get hurt. So, she opts to dump all her points into vitality rather than balancing her game character stats with skill, strength, agility, or any other choices. Fellow players, shocked as Kaede—aka Maple in the game and a noob—is, for the most part, impervious to harm, investigate. While Kaede roams around—slow as she has zero stats to boost her speed—she doesn’t realize that players are already chatting about her looks and stat build. Kaede fits the tank role since she can take hits, while damage dealers destroy the opponents. Although, that is not Kaede’s initial motivation.

Perfect Art For An Adorable Noob
Bofuri cover with main character Kaede in armor, rose on the chest and a shield.
Courtesy of Yen Press

Kaede is cute, kind, and comical. She’s the type of player who feels terrible when they defeat an adorable enemy. However, her grief is short-lived, to the deceased enemy’s chagrin. Kaede is joyous and spirited. Kaede’s a character no one could imagine staying sad for too long. Her extreme build leads to unique confrontations as well. Since she’s built her stats in one thing, she can take hits but can’t deal damage the usual way, as she has zero strength. So Kaede gets creative and develops skills and abilities most players wouldn’t know existed. 

The art is lovely and allows you to visualize an animated story easily. The art easily conveys Kaede’s myriad emotions, from cocky one moment to nervous the next. Art for fights appear dramatic, yet always with a comical edge thanks to Kaede’s reactions. One of the funniest is when she’s trying to figure out how to defeat a dragon and ultimately chooses to make him dinner.

Infinite Possibilities For A Unique Story

The story will appeal to fans of comedy as well as fans of games. Every gamer knows that excitement when you receive a rare drop item and go from your initial drab gear to eye-catching and powerful attire. Players will remember when they encountered a challenging enemy and had to choose between fight or flight. Kaede is a character we could see ourselves gaming with because her joy and spirit make her so likable. That’s why she soon has a fan club, “The Mystery of Maple,” interested in all things Kaede-related. The story works because of Kaede’s reaction to the game. It’s like watching a friend play a game or watch a movie for the first time.

This manga volume leaves us wondering what Risa’s build will be and what else Kaede (Maple) will discover. There are so many possibilities for this world and our characters that we are excited for what comes next.

Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 1 is a perfect light read! It’s delightful, amusing, and will make you wait impatiently for the next volume. Till then, maybe check out an MMORPG, and perhaps you’ll find your Maple. 

Feature photo credit Yen Press

1 thought on “Bofuri Vol. 1—Laughter & Gameplay Fun [Manga]”

  1. Thank you @DarkSkyLady for this awesome review of “Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 1”. Wonder if they will make an anime out of this fun, fun, manga.

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