Light Novel Review: Bofuri

Way Too Long Introduction

Everyone knows how ridiculous isekai titles can get right? Yeah well, Bofuri is not an isekai, not really at least, and yet here we are. It’s not the longest or most ridiculous you can find around but still: I don’t want to get hurt, so I’ll max out my defense. Do you say it’s bad enough for a novel that’s not even an isekai? Yeah, it may be so, but at least it has the merit to say it all from the start.

I decided to review the novel and not the anime, but they’re not too different from one another really. Though the anime does skip some stuff and has somewhat unclear explanations on certain parts, the novel has better clarity and brings certain details that are really cool. The anime does try to bring some of that stuff, like the in-game forum chats, but it kinda fails at it. Still a very good adaptation. The novel obviously goes further so that’s why. I discovered Bofuri when I saw it among seasonal at the time. It sounded fun so I watched it. In the end, I waited impatiently for every single episode to come out. I remember I was not feeling super well at that time. Never have I found an anime or novel that can cheer you up quite as Bofuri can.

Anyway, after I finished watching the first season, I simply picked up the novel. I couldn’t wait to get more of it. Actually, it’s the only Japanese novel series I own a physical copy of. I don’t have a lot of money so I don’t own too many books. I mostly got stuff I was reading in middle and high school, I had more money to spare at that time. This one’s also quite different from other novels I own. First, it has a soft cover, and then I picked up the English translation, while all my other books are in french. Yeah, it’s the only book I’ve gotten since I started reading in English. I’m truly happy I got those. After all, reading an actual printed book feels much better than reading a digital version.

Story

Aight, let’s get back on topic maybe. So what is it all about? Eh didn’t I say it already? It’s all in the title really. That still doesn’t explain it? Uh okay, guess I’ll tell you more then.

Bofuri falls into all the super crowded anime categories of the past decade. While it’s not an isekai, it feels like one, it’s also about a virtual reality MMORPG, that sounds like Sword Art Online you say? Yeah, I guess so, SAO was the start of the wave of trash video game and isekai stuff we’ve gotten lately after all. But no, Bofuri is nothing like SAO, it’s more of the funny kind of isekai genre that appeared in the last few years really. And yeah, Bofuri is quite recent, but unlike all the bad novels and anime that are crowding the genre, I think Bofuri is truly great. Oh, I should mention, that it also falls into another popular category, the cute girls doing cute thing category. So here you go, that’s Bofuri for you.

The whole plot is really simple. There are two high school friends joining a brand new VR MMORPG. One of them is a pretty serious and talented gamer, while the other barely ever plays games. Yeah so her friend made her try the game alright, except the former couldn’t play at that time. Little did she know things would turn out the way they did. Yeah as you can guess from the title, the protagonist ended up putting all her stat points into defense.

Characters

I guess I kinda have to present the characters right now, otherwise, it’s gonna get hard to follow along. So first we’ve got Maple, the protagonist. She’s got no gaming common sense and just does whatever she feels like, to the point it gets stupidly absurd. She’s also super cute and totally wholesome. Nah truly, she’s adorable in every way. Obviously, she creates a lot of the fun you get from Bofuri. Oh, and she has a turtle named Syrup. Yeah I know don’t tell me about it.

Then you’ve got Sally, her “pro” gamer friend. Yeah, she actually seems to have a somewhat professional gaming background to her, but don’t know too much about that part. Anyhow, she’s super talented in games, and she does things the total opposite of Maple, she’s trying to optimize and everything. she’s more of the cool but cute type, with a bit of badass to it.

Obviously, there are other characters, and all the people playing with Maple kinda end up affected by her weirdness in one way or another. But I wanna let you discover those stuff eh, or maybe I’m just lazy? Nah, let’s go with the first one.

What it’s all about

Almost everything is what happens in-game, there are very few parts happening in real life. And oh boy, what’s happening with Maple can’t get funnier. As I said, she’s put everything in defense. And well, she kept true to it, yes, she kept putting even more in defense, to the point it’s gotten ridiculous. Of course, she does lots of stupid things like she “plays” with the monsters you are supposed to kill, and sometimes she eats them…hum yeah let’s stop at that. And her weird way of playing turned up into an abomination, really, other players can’t even damage her, let alone kill her. It’s funny to a point, everything she does is so ridiculous.

Obviously, her friend Sally and the others playing with those two end up being quite ridiculous to some extent, particularly Sally, people can’t even hit her lmao. Yeah, I realize I’m probably spoiling some stuff, but honestly, the story’s not even important. Honestly, if you ain’t getting fun reading this I can’t do anything for you. It’s totally wholesome and funny, it’s like a ray of light in a storm, sort of, I guess that’s the expression.

Final Words

To be honest, there’s not too much to say about Bofuri. Because that’s all there is to it. But it does what it does as best as it can be done. It brings joy to your life. It’s impossible not to like the characters, impossible not to laugh, and impossible not to like it. And there’s only one criticism one could make. When you think about it, the game they are playing is totally unrealistic. Not because it’s a virtual reality game, but from how it’s made, no game could ever be made like this, probably not. Anyway, I noticed it cause I play games a lot, and it’s not even a problem. Well it did bother me a bit but it didn’t remove all the fun I was having, so who cares?

I’ll also mention that the writing style is super light. Makes Bofuri super pleasant to read. If you are looking for something wholesome, fun, lighthearted, and somewhat original. Or if you’re feeling down a bit. Then look no further, either watch or read Bofuri, you won’t regret it I’m sure. From a story or character development point of view, it’s whatever, you can’t even say there’s a plot really. In Bofuri, that stuff doesn’t matter. And yet, you can’t help but want more and more of it.

I’m an extremely picky reader and watcher, even more so when it comes down to the isekai and isekai-like genre. People are highly critical of that genre as well, people are fed up with all the bad stuff we’ve gotten that all feel the same. Can’t blame them really, I’m the same. But Bofuri is simply different, Bofuri is amazing and unique. Well, I guess that’s it for this one uh.

TangAce

Hey there, I'm TangAce. I love Japanese culture and video games. I'm on a journey to review every anime I've watched and every manga or novel I've read. I'm also autistic, and I'm writing to get people to discover new things.

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