Title: Bofuri Vol. 3
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
I’ve always been reluctant to dive so far into a light novel series because it is an investment. However, I have found myself reading several this past year, but none have quite grabbed me like Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. With the release of Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 3, we get to see just how insane Maple is at playing video games, but we also get a more familiar writing style that mirrors the first entry of the series.
Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 3 is all about returning to form after the event of Vol. 2. Maple and Sally find their bearings in the third sanctum and look forward to building a guild. One crucial moment in the opener has Maple taking a break from the game. I found this to be an important moment for the reader to remember that this is all still a game. This volume does better to enforce that with several moments of out-of-game reminders.
Like most video games, this entry focuses on the game world and how other players adapt to what they know about Maple. It’s a clever way to remind us that although Maple is strong, she isn’t technically the strongest in the game. We are introduced to several other guilds and characters along the way, but the portions of the story allotted to them are touch and go. For instance, we spend very little time with Sally or Kasumi, but instead, we get more time with Kanade, who is still strange.
Regardless, Maple is the highlight of this adventure, and we see just how much she can break the game. It isn’t that she is overpowered here, though; it’s how Yuumikan approaches these unorthodox upgrades to Maple. Again, elements of gaming feel so familiar, but it’s like the Maple takes a side door approach to what we typically know about video games. It’s impressive and full of energy when the pacing increases for a battle, and we see Maple attempt to use her skills to the best of her knowledge.
The pacing of this story stands out as it is almost impossible to put down. You’re never truly in a moment of downtime, and you always want to see what will happen next. That said, there are plenty of foundations created here for what’s to come in Vol. 4, and that’s more than enough to have me looking forward to the battles that lay ahead. Everyone seems to have all eyes on Maple, but her guild is a powerhouse.
I’d hate to ruin too much of the story, but Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense Vol. 3 is by far a must-read. It brings together everything great about the previous volumes and expands on them tenfold. It’s going to be tough to top this entry because so much happened that felt like fanservice, and I ate it all up. So here’s to Volume 4.
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