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Light Novel / BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense

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At the invitation of her gamer friend Risa Shiramine, Kaede Honjō tries out the newly-released VRMMORPG New World Online. Although she doesn't dislike games, she really dislikes being in pain. Thus Kaede, under the avatar "Maple", decides to dump all her initial skill points in Vitality so that she couldn't feel pain at all. Because of that, her other stats are rock bottom: very low damage, almost no MP, and the speed of a normal human in a world of high-speed players.

However, she acquired two very rare skills: Absolute Defense (as a result of her high VIT points) and Counter Skill (that lets her counter every special attack). Armed with these two skills and partnered with Risa, playing as the swashbuckler "Sally", she sets to have adventures and fun in this virtual world.

BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense (痛いのは嫌なので防御力に極振りしたいと思います。, Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu in the original Japanese) is a Light Novel written by Yuumikan, illustrated by Koin (of Kanokon and Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! fame), and published by Kadokawa Shoten. A manga adaptation started in 2018, and an Anime adaptation aired from January 8, 2020 to March 25, 2020. directed by Shin Ōnuma for SILVER LINK.. It has been licensed by Funimation, with an English dub in the works. A second season was confirmed at the end of the final episode and is currently scheduled to air sometime in 2022.

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The light novels were licensed for English release by Yen Press in October 2020, with the first volume scheduled to be published on April 6, 2021. A mobile OS game, Bofuri: Line Wars, was released in Japan in January 2020.


This series doesn't want to get hurt, so it maxed out its tropes:

  • Achievement System: How one gains skills in this game.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Kaede is a complete novice at gaming and went all-in with defense from not wanting to get hurt. She inadvertently turns her toon Maple into a complete Game-Breakerinvoked that provokes several Obvious Rule Patches from the development team. The devs even remark at the end of the first season that the sheer absurdity of Maple's character has actually become a selling point for the game.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: As a game mechanic. It appears that this is how characters acquire damage resistance skills; by surviving a very large number of attacks from that kind of damage source. Maple's insane defenses actually are to her detriment where this trope applies, as taking no damage means she can't gain resistances. Not that she really needs them aside from immunity to her own status effects.
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  • Adaptation Distillation: Both the manga and anime are this compared to the light novel. Both of them cut down on a lot of the long grinding Maple does, especially the fact she initially took several hours walking from place-to-place, and several more hours defeating enemies, with her defeat of the Hydra by eating it taking around 4 hours real-time in the novel. That said, the anime distills things even further than the manga, glossing over most of Maple's travails in gaining skills and having most of the long adventures be relegated to montages.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Sea King was actually a relatively formidable opponent in the novel and manga, with Maple's sea poisoning only doing most of the work while Sally slashed at it several times in order to speed up its demise. Meanwhile, the anime has Maple poison the sea almost immediately, with the Sea King dying within seconds afterwards.
  • Adventure Duo: Maple & Sally are a cuter, more lighthearted case of this as they complete various quests and explore New World Online.
  • Anti-Climax: In all mediums, Maple & Sally encounter a squid boss residing in an area where opposing players are in a pocket of air underwater, with the boss attacking with regenerating tentacles and flying fish. Despite Maple's lack of agility preventing her from directly hurting it, meaning this should be a challenge, she still manages to find a way to curbstomp it, though in two different ways:
    • In the novel and manga, Sally repeatedly swims in and out to attack the boss' body, only for Maple to accidentally pollute the water with poison, preventing them from using that strategy anymore. After a decently long battle where the duo could only use their currently limited arsenal of ranged attacks, the boss' health gets low enough that it Turns Red and throws out attacks that even hurt Maple. Sally then prepares to dodge and make her finishing attack... only for the boss to suddenly die from the poison still in the water. This massive anticlimax leaves the girls feeling rather unsatisfied at the fight.
    • In the anime, following a bit of blocking and dodging of the boss' tentacles, Maple immediately gets the idea to completely poison the surrounding sea, as a way to get around the bosses speed and her lack of swimming ability. After following through with that idea, the boss' health quickly drops to zero, killing it in a matter of seconds. Sally expresses exasperation at how easily the fight went, but is also relieved they didn't have to deal with it the hard way.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Anime only. One of the first creatures Maple fights is a rabbit that's actually a decorative apple slice come to life.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Dev team introduced Pierce Damage to counteract Maple. Unlike most examples of this trope, Pierce Damage only seems to ignore a portion of the target's defense, not all of it. While this does mean Maple is not truly invincible, her defense is just so high that piercing attacks barely scratch her anyway. It takes an overpowered player that is at least twice her level using a piercing attack skill while receiving buffs from his entire party to actually get through her toughness, and even that doesn't kill her.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: When fighting the boss of the Level 1 dungeon that leads to Level 2, Sally analyzes and attacks a part of the boss's shield. She then realizes the apples around it are the weak spot, and tells Maple to attack it. This helps them to bring its shields down so they can actually damage it.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Guild Masters and guild officers tend to be among the most powerful members of their own guilds.
  • Beef Gate: The path to each next level is guarded by a Boss.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the 4th event Sally pushes herself to her limit alone and eventually gets surrounded by the Order of the Holy Sword led by Frederica. After messaging her guild members that she's about to die, she still puts up a good Last Stand but eventually collapses from exhaustion. At this moment Maple makes an explosive appearance from the sky, creates some defensive walls, equips Machine God, picks up Sally, flies into the sky, and blasts about 70 members of the Holy Sword. A rescue that Sally believed was impossible due to how far out she was from others.
  • Bookends:
    • Early on in Volume 5 Sally asks Maple if she got anything interesting during the exploration of the 4th layer.
      Sally: So, what about you Maple?
      Maple: I got an instant death effect and a new kimono! note 
      Sally: ...Umm... we'll talk about that later.
    • Near the end of Volume 5 Sally asks Maple if she got anything interesting during the exploration of the 5th layer.
      Sally: Did you accomplish anything here?
      Maple: Yes, I did!
      Sally: Oh, what is it?
      Maple: A throne! note 
      Sally: A throne... Can you say that again?
      Maple: ...? A throne!
      Sally: I see...
  • Boss Rush: Maple and Sally take part in one during the 9th Event, with them receiving a skill that increases their summon creatures' abilities by 1.5x upon completion.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In addition to the Achievement System, one is also able to buy skills. Later on, it’s revealed that you can buy information on where/how to get skills
  • Calling Your Attacks: How skills are activated in-game.
    • Sally uses this to her advantage to feed false information to Frederica.
    • Mii and others use this offensively by interrupting Maple before she can say her attack.
    • Maple finally manages to interrupt Mii's attack in the same way.
  • Can't Catch Up: After the guild war, most characters in the cast, Sally included, has this sentiment towards Maple as she gets stronger. So much that they take quests and dungeons to find skills just to match up to Maple.
  • Capture the Flag: The fourth event is a multi-team version of this, with the guilds' orbs taking the place of flags. Maple Tree's antics cause the game to devolve into "Destroy the Flag" by the climax.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: If there aren’t any piercing attacks or troublesome status effects, Maple often confirms she’s perfectly fine or discusses strategy with her allies while being bombarded with attacks to the point she’s not even visible.
    Maple: Sally! What should I do!
    Sally: First, the laser machines! They don't deal any damage, but they're still a nuisance!
    Maple: Yes, I can barely see anything!
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Forest Queen Bee's Ring that Maple receives early on while playing New World Online is eventually revealed to be an item needed for one part of a Sidequest Sidestory that would eventually lead to Maple learning the Loving Sacrifice skill.
    • A random gear she finds in Level 2 turns out to be the key to activate a Boss Fight in Level 3.
  • Continuity Nod: Some of the jobbers from episode 2 have formed their own guild by episode 9, likely to participate in the guild event. Unfortunately they're up against Maple Tree.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Maple tends to do this, usually because she's impossible to kill, and sometimes through wit, such as the Kraken battle. Sally has a knack for this as well, gaining a reputation as a fearsome opponent in PVP in the second event.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • A Kraken is in the water and can’t be approached since it’s too fast to swim after. Maple simply keeps poisoning the ocean it’s in with “Hydra” and slowly lets it die.
    • A dragon boss from the 4th layer first has to be taken down from the sky with ranged attacks, which is what Maple Tree doesn't have much of. Kanade has some, but it takes reduced damage from magic. Maple brings Kasumi up to it with Machine God and unleashes their strong poison and physical attacks.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Maple meets a 5th layer boss named The King of Light. It sits on a throne while shooting light arrows which doesn't damage Maple. It also disables all "evil" attacks which is most of what Maple has and what she has left doesn't damage it either. So Maple retreats and comes back with her inventory full of expensive elemental scrolls. After using up the types that does damage it, she brings out a ton of cheap rocks that does 1~3 damage and plans to throw them for hours. It doesn't work as it starts regenerating its health in its next attack phases. Maple gets frustrated that it wasted her time and money and dumps trash items that she accidentally bought from the store's buy menu and leaves.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After the fourth event, during which Maple Tree ended up slaughtering both Flame Emperors and Order of the Holy Sword, Maple, being the Nice Girl that she is, invites them to their post event party and sends friend requests to all of them.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: The boss Silverwing was supposed to be impossible to defeat, as the admins themselves admit to have put it with deadly skills to troll players. They're totally shocked when Maple and Sally manage to defeat it.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Series. Maple just keeps stumbling into bugs and easter eggs the devs left behind and ending up with awesome overpowered skills and equipment, starting with her first mob fight against the bunny. She also leads members of her guild to their versions of those same overpowered skills and equipment: Sally's Blue Assassin kit, Chrome's Red Death Shield kit, Iz's Wonder Craft kit, etc.
  • Dream Team: As teased in Volume 9, the strongest players of NWO finally grouped up together.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In episode 7, the first part of Maple's chain quest is an Escort Mission. She uses Syrup to fly herself and the NPC to their destination and avoid all the monsters. This causes the NPC dialogue to become incongruous with the situation, as the players were expected to fight their way through a dense mob of monsters.
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • Maple defeats the Hydra like this, since her weapons had been destroyed. Later she chows down on some Bomb Beetles to grind for Explosion Resistance. This eventually grants her the Devour skill, allowing her to completely consume opponents for MP. In New World Online this is a strategy anyone can do that works like a Life Drain.
    • This is also how she gets both Wooly and Savagery skills. In the novels, Maple gains Wooly alongside Sheep Eater after paralysing and eating the sheep since she can't chase them while in the anime she was playing with them. Maple also gains Savagery after eating the Demon Boss from the inside when the latter consumed her.
    • After gaining the skills "Predator" and "Atrocity", she can summon demonic worms from her shadow which can rip apart her enemies for her, or turn into one herself.
    • When Sally was fighting a giant spider while she got tangled in its webs, she deals the final bit of damage by biting out one of its eyes right before it can bite her first.
    • Maple finds that this doesn't work on ghost type enemies.
    • When Maple encounters an octopus boss in the 7th layer she bites its tentacles often and finds that it tastes good. After she defeats it, she suspects that's why she got "Invitation to the Ocean Floor" which gives her Combat Tentacles.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: The 3 story-important guilds are named after their leader or their Red Baron: Order of the Holy Sword (named after "Holy Sword" Payne), Kingdom of the Flame Emperor (Named after "Flame Empress" Mii), and Maple Tree (named after Maple).
  • Establishing Character Moment: Since Sally joins the game much later than Maple, she's forced to catch up rather quickly. Though Maple helps out, Sally manages to largely catch up by fighting off a boss monster on her own. Unlike Maple's fight with the poison dragon, Sally defeats the fish monster by utilizing her speed and hit-and-run tactics, never staying in one spot for too long to avoid taking damage in the first place.
  • Exact Words: Maple and Sally needed to fill four fountains at the same time but Sally's Torrent skill would only be able to fill up one. Maple, realizing the clue stated it needed to be filled up with a "liquid", is able to fill the other three with poison from her Hydra Skill. It works.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: One area (which was omitted from the anime) creates evil clones of Maple and Sally to force them to fight their own friend. Unfortunately for the clones, they're fighting Maple and Sally.
  • Final Boss:
    • After fighting and killing a monster described as "the embodiment of the developer's malice", both Maple and Sally are regarded as this by one of the developers themselves.
    • Payne is also regarded as this by one of the posters of the message board that Kuromu regularly chats on.
    • Maple herself is also compared to a final boss in terms of how ridiculous her skillset looks like, and that's before she picks up the really crazy stuff like "Machine God" or "Atrocity".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 「thunder storm」, the guild of Velvet and Hinata, and Rapid Fire, the guild of Wilbert and Lily, can actually be seen in the Top 10 guild standings during the anime version of the 3rd and 4th events.
    • In-universe, the event creatures of the 9th Event serve as a hint to how the 8th Layer is going to involve a Sunken City theme.
  • The Four Gods: The leaders of each of the main guilds represents each one.
    • Genbu - Maple (her signature armor is black and her companion, Syrup, is a turtle)
    • Seiryū - Payne (blue is one of prominent colors of his armor, and his companion is a dragon)
    • Suzaku - Mii (her attire is red-based, her attacks are fire-based, and her summon, Ignis, is a phoenix)
    • Byakko - Velvet (wears white attire, specializes in lightning based attacks, and has the ability to turn herself into a white tiger)
  • Friendly Rivalry: Following the 4th event, this is the status between all the members of Maple Tree, Order of the Holy Sword, and Flame Emperors. While they give it their all in beating each other in guild war-type stuff, outside of that they act as close friends, hanging out together in their off-time and even helping each other out in situations where that is allowed.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Maple towards many of the players after the first tournament. Placing third by simply camping in one spot, killing lots of other players while being largely unharmed herself thanks to her high defense and her shield's "Devour" skill which lets it "eat" enemy players/monsters and restore mana indefinitely made her very infamous to other players. Lampshaded by Drag from the Order of the Holy Sword.
    Drag: Who would have thought that a newbie who couldn't even find her way would become this strong?
  • Game-Breaker: Maple is an In-Universe example. Due to Kaede not having any experience playing a game, she seems to accidentally stumble upon a lot of these just by thinking of different ways to use the skills she's earned.
    • She starts off the game with the mindset of not wanting to get hurt, so she dumps all of her stats into VIT. Because of this hardly anything could actually damage her, allowing her to earn a lot of Resistant Skills and outright Immunity to certain attacks just from getting hit a lot. Absolute Defense, a skill that doubles her effective VIT at the cost of cutting her other stats to a third, is obtained through getting hit, but not taking damage or dealing damage, for an entire hour; while Giant Killer, which further increases her stats, is obtained by being outmatched in four stats at once and still winning. Maple, with zeros in four stats, gets this easily.
    • Because of this she builds up Poison Resistance from a bee monster's attacks. This segues, with some help from potions, into Poison Immunity from the Hydra boss battle, which allows her to defeat it and gain both rare and entirely unique gear for soloing it along with the ability to use all its powers, giving her a boss in her pocket with poison magic; and a set of armor that not only all increase her VIT (yes, even the sword), but also self-repairs and gets even stronger when it does so.
      • Biting apparently counts as an HP draining attack, and one that ignores the user's STR stat; Maple beat the aforementioned boss by eating it to death, even when barehanded attacks did nothing. Killing it in this manner nets her the Hydra Eater skill, which grants her full immunity to paralysis as well.
    • After consuming the explosive bugs in hopes of achieving explosion resistance, she acquires the Devour skill and equips it with her shield's skill slot which allows her to completely consume whatever she touches with it, converting it into MP. Before a patch, she could do this as many times as she wanted, allowing for an infinitely regenerating pool of MP from which she can use Hydra as much as she wants as well. She shows off exactly how broken this is during the 1st event of NWO, and everyone watching or who hears of Maple's performance boggles about how broken that is. Case in point: the aforementioned patch nerfing Devour? It was specifically aimed at nerfing it because of her.
    • The developers were clearly banking on people finding certain things much later than they were - the aforementioned unique gear can only drop on your very first encounter with a boss, and only if you're fighting solo, and you're the first person to do it on that boss; while pets were already implemented, but were locked behind an event superboss that was very much not intended to be beaten.
    • When Maple demonstrates the Loving Sacrifice skill, all her friends immediately point out that it's overpowered. By sacrificing some of her HP she can create a field of light that gives her allies a persistent Cover from Maple as long as they're standing inside the field. This effectively makes them all as nigh-invulnerable as her, while noting that she herself is still as difficult to take out as ever and finding out that her VIT has exceeded 1,000.
      • Though a weakness is discovered during the 4th event. Loving Sacrifice works by sending all the damage and effects to Maple, including things like piercing damage received by others, or when an area of effect knockback is used, being amplified onto Maple and knocking her far away from her guild even beyond Cover Move range.
    • Maple even manages to bring Yui and Mai into this territory; thanks to Venom Capsule and Hydra, the three of them managed to speedrun the Hydra boss and picked up Conqueror (the STR version of Absolute Defense) and Destroyer (allows single-handed and dual-wield options for two-handed weapons, effectively doubling their weapon's power) with a weapon type and more importantly, AGI scores that would normally make such a thing insanely difficult, if not impossible.
      • This gets taken further during the 9th event, when the three head to the 6th Layer and complete the quest that offers the Helping Hand item, which allows the those who equip it to gain two additional weapon slots via pair of ghost-like hands. As there's no limit to the amount of Helping Hands that can be equipped, Mai and Yui are able to equip it in all three of their accessory slots and, combined with the Destroyer skill, would allow them to wield eight hammers at a time (although they need to give up a pair of hammers if they want to use their bear partners as well).
    • During the 3rd event of NWO, Maple ends up revisiting the same ruins from the quest chain she got the Loving Sacrifice skill from and stumbles across a Bonus Boss. After eating it to death from the inside, she gains, among other things, the skill Atrocity, which allows her to transform herself into a giant multi-armed alien-esque monstrosity, effectively gaining a Boss-level transformation. It gives her actual attack and speed stats, a very large pool of HP and, due to her size, devastating Area of Effect attacks. She even has a Breath Weapon Wave-Motion Gun attack! Also, if she gets defeated in that state, she simply returns to being Maple instead of dying. It only can be used once per in-game day, but it's so overpowered that it lets her steamroll the entire elite squad of the Holy Swords, Payne included, in no time flat. Everyone calls hax. Absolutely no one can believe their eyes the first time they see it.
    • In the 3rd level, Maple stumbles across yet another Bonus Boss which grants her a special skill meant to defeat it called "Machine God". It allows her to summon a Mini-Mecha armor with a repertoire of laser guns, missiles and Wave Motion Guns, outright turning her into a Person of Mass Destruction One-Woman Army. She demonstrates this to great effect during the 4th NWO event by unleashing Machine God together with Hydra to rout the Holy Swords when they manage to corner Sally in a spectacular display complete with hapless mobs running for their lives and being blow off their feet or TO bits. The supposed drawback is that it requires destroying her equipment, but this turns into an advantage due to Maple's self-repairing armor.
    • Against the Ghost Twins boss in the 6th layer she actually breaks the game with bugs. By bringing in a Slime from outside the boss room with Psychokinesis to use as armor and filling the room with Venom Capsule, the twins gets confused and continues throwing weapons at the Slime, which all melts in the venom, while not moving. Then as she hasn't found a way to damage them yet, she also brings out random junk from her inventory to use as projectiles along with Hydra, still within the sea of venom. This breaks their collision physics and Maple finds them pierced with the items and Slimes. It was a game of tag. They don't even have a HP bar and the objective of the boss fight was to touch them in the maze they created from the mansion. The game is put on maintenance as the devs fix this boss.
      Developer: That Maple! Being like a living bug is good and all, but abusing bugs is not good!
    • Maple and Sally fight the 1st floor boss of the 7th event tower. It's a sand dragon that dives in and out of the sand and all attacks on its body are reflected back. The intention is to throw bombs rolling around the arena into its mouth as it uses its piercing breath attack. Maple jumps into its mouth with a bunch of bombs and unleashes Hydra and Machine God into its throat. As it struggles to get Maple out it dives into the sand with its mouth wide open. This unintended interaction causes it to get instantly killed. The dev who personally designed it with Maple in mind screams upon reviewing the battle.
  • Ghosts Abhor a Vacuum: While Maple is in a store for items to use against ghosts, she sees a vacuum cleaner in a corner with exorcism marks and wonders about this trope. But isn't sure if it will work as well as she imagines so she leaves it.
  • Ghost Ship: Chrome's quest to get his monster companion takes him to a pirate version of this, complete with skeletons and ghosts.
  • Glad He's on Our Side:
    • Izu often expresses this opinion about Maple whenever she demonstrates a new set of skills to her guild mates, such as changing into a demonic kaiju or summoning a mecha-cannon arm with such destructive power it vaporizes a small area.
    • Sally occasionally gets this reaction as well, with Kasumi expressing jealously and concern over the fact that Sally's agility and combat ability makes her almost as much of a monster as Maple.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: After the 4th Event, Maple Tree Guild celebrates their achievement with their rival guilds Flame Emperors and Order of the Holy Swords. Both guilds did comment it felt weird doing this but Maple was so persistent on them joining in on the party they couldn't refuse.
  • The Gift: Averted, as anyone in the game can get the same resistances Maple did. However, one needs to be attacked A LOT to start learning any of those highly-specialized skills. Maple herself learned them mostly through perseverance (letting a low-level monster attack her over and over again) and general klutziness (falling asleep for several in-game hours while being cherry-tapped by a small horde). Another player did try what she did - and their character was killed very quickly.
  • Greek Chorus: Every light novel/manga chapter and anime episode ends with a snippet of a chat room consisting of various players talking about what insane thing Maple did this week (one of them is quite clearly Kuromu). Several chapters/episodes also include similar commentary by the development team.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The 3rd floor of the 7th event tower starts in a lava cave, and tunnels of hardened lava lead to an ice cave where a "10,000 year ice" item could drop from enemies. It can be used to freeze parts of the lava cave for a short time, while normal ice skills melt instantly. The boss is a golem that can switch itself and the arena into lava and ice forms. If you beat the boss without using the "10,000 year ice", you are granted a lava skill "Great Eruption".
  • Hair-Raising Hare: The first enemy Maple faces in all mediums is a highly aggressive yet weak rabbit, which thanks to her VIT doesn't hurt her at all. In the manga, it's designed like an almiraj (literal Killer Rabbit with a large horn), while the anime turns it into a living decorative apple slice shaped like a bunny.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The 2nd floor boss of the 7th event tower can steal player skills. It kills itself when it tries to use Maple's Loving Sacrifice which costs 600 HP on use.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The giant ice bird Silverwing was supposed to be this according to the developers. When they found out Maple was involved in defeating it they groan at the fact that they have a ton more work to do in order to balance the game better.
    • Maple is this from a PVP perspective. She can take almost any attack thrown at her, immediately convert it into MP, and then flood the area with her hideously powerful poison magic. Also, she can paralyze you if you try to run. This gets even worse when Sally gets involved, as it means Maple can now effectively teleport with the use of Cover Move.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The flying mounts gotten on the 3rd Level are small flying whale-like creatures with steering controls mounted on the back of their heads.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A trio of players jumped Maple during an event. When she immediately paralyzed them, the leader wails that "surprise attacks are unfair!"
  • Just Ignore It: The DEV Team has gotten so exhausted hearing how Maple has broken their game yet again that they now just try to ignore her.
  • Knock Back: A common videogame mechanic in NWO, in which Mii and Payne use it to their advantage to isolate Maple's protection from her guild members, though Maple also uses it against Payne.
  • Level Grinding: Many characters mention how they need to go grinding to gain more strength and skills.
  • Long Title: It gives I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job a run for its money. It's so long that the English localization switches to Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle, making the abbreviation for its Japanese title the actual title and the translated title the subtitle.
  • Loophole Abuse: The novel explains that Maple using Psychokinesis on Syrup is this. Normally, monsters resist Psychokinesis and thus make it cost large amounts of MP. Syrup being a pet means he doesn't resist at all thanks to the bond between him and Maple, resulting in the spell costing zero mana no matter how long it's cast for, meaning even somebody like Maple, who only has the negligible starting MP level outside what she gains from Devour, can continuously make Syrup fly for as long as she chooses.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • Most NWO players are absolutely shocked and terrified when facing Maple. In the first event a large number of players team up to take her down like she's multiplayer boss fight and fail horribly against her pre-nerfed Devour and Hydra.
    • Sally gains a reputation in chatroom rumors during the second event when she solos some PVP. The shadows of the forests under the light of a red full moon gives a horror game vibe to her swiftly killing loads of players.
  • No-Sell:
    • As a result of her high VIT, most enemies can't do even Scratch Damage to Maple.
    • They Hydra tries to use its poison breath against her after she aquires poison immunity. No damage, and no poison.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • A good part of Maple's success comes from her using or combining skills in ways they weren't originally designed for. For example, using a short distance teleporting spell meant to take her to her allies to defend them to get around her low agility, and exploiting her immunity to poison to wrap herself in a poison prison ball as a means for transportation.
    • After what she pulled previously, the Developers were outright paranoid about what skills Maple could gain in the Second Event. In the Light Novel it was elaborated on at length that they scoured the skill list to make sure Maple could not get another overpowered skill combination. They were relieved when she chose Psychokinesis, a utility skill meant to move objects around in the game world. Then she used it to move her mount, effectively gaining flight.
  • Now It's My Turn: Given the mobile fortress that is Maple, this sort of event happens frequently. Kaede even has an Imagine Spot about it. A bunch of players attack after the developers try to nerf Maple, and they are horrified to see that Maple only took Scratch Damage. She peaks out from behind her shield, smiles and says, "Now it's my turn. HYDRA!"
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • The developers take notice of Maple and proceed to (slowly) implement measures to make sure nobody can repeat what she did to obtain such a stupidly powerful build. To be specific, Devour was adjusted to have only 10 uses per day, as before it gave Maple essentially an impenetrable defense and unlimited MP, piercing attacks were added so that even Maple could take damage, and the AI of monsters was changed so they wouldn’t just mindlessly attack, employing other tactics such as flanking and even retreating. Risa notes how all of this was specifically to make sure no one else gains “Absolute Defense” early in the game, as the requirements to gain it state you need to endure an hour of attacks without taking damage and it would ruin the game's balance if people could get that skill so early.
    • After some incidents of Maple defeating monsters from the inside, starting from the 8th event the devs removed their stomachs.
  • Off the Rails: The game developers decide that Maple is the walking incarnation of this trope. After the fourth event, they decide not to bother trying to nerf her as she's the game's most famous player by that point and people are joining the game just to get a chance to eventually fight her. Plus, seeing what crazy thing she does next is pretty entertaining.
  • Oh, Crap!: Anytime a player tries to attack Maple with their strongest attack, only for it to do absolutely nothing to her.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Level 1 boss guarding the gate to the Level 2 areas does this after Maple and Sally destroy its magic shield. During its transformation, it knocks Maple out, forcing Sally to take it on by herself, which she does without too much trouble.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: Maple faces a Hydra with three heads and poison breath. With judicious timing of Health potions, she tanks its breath attacks until she gains an immunity to poison. When it tries to constrict Maple in one of its necks, she finds that she can't hurt it with her attacks. so she eats it instead.
  • Palate Propping: Maple does this to a dragon boss during the 7th event and a giant crocodile during the 8th event qualifiers.
  • Party Scattering: The second day of the 8th Event starts with all the guilds taking part in it being scattered by black magic circles. Luckily, between their members running to each other when they got separated, the members of the Order of the Holy Sword having a skill that allows them to locate each other, Maple creating beacons on top of Syrup (first by launching herself in the air via the Machine King's Commence Attack ability, then by using her Poltergeist form to swing a laser sword in the air while she and Mai have a tea party set up on Syrup's back), and Markus creating a tracker that allowed the Flame Emperors to track each other (with Mii giving Maple one after she reunites her with Mai), the three main guilds are able to regroup and form a Dream Team for the rest of the event.
  • Punny Name: Maple does this both in-universe and as a meta shout out.
    • Her name is Maple because her real name is Kaede (Maple Leaf). Subsequently her mount is (Maple) Syrup and her guild is Maple Tree.
    • The whole work is literally Maple's Story.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Played with since this is still a game world, but said game world is so life-like, realistic solutions still can be used in game. This explains a lot as to why Maple, who has never played a game before, is able to think of real ways of how to deal with a situation compared to her friends, who think in a more Video Game logic.
    • Mii's Beneath the Mask and Internet Jerk behavior is this for anyone that has run a guild in an MMO, as charismatic as it is, she is still a Gamer Chick and teenager in a rather stressful position, making her adorable breakdown for her uselessness realistic.
    • Maple is a testament to what happens when devs ignore Competitive Balance in their design. With barely any class, level, overlap, or stat restrictions on skills (and even those can be alleviated if you perform well in events), Maple is able to steamroll through most encounters with comical ease, leaving the devs to play catch-up and eventually just try to ignore her.
      • While the dev's initially try to nerf Maple they later chose to ignore her, because her overpowered nature has turned her into something of an optional boss and caused a lot of new players to buy the game and spend money on microtransactions to try and beat her. They might not like her beating their creations, but they like all the money she's generating for them.
    • Maple and her guild may be formidable, but they still have limits. Maple placed third in the first event because she looked like an easy target and drew in a huge crowd, but she can't track down other players, most of which hunted top players like Payne instead. Likewise, Maple Tree placed third in the fourth event partly because Maple's revealed all her moves to the top two guilds. They instead opt to use Maple's atrocity form to wipe out the other guilds in the remaining event time and stay in the top ten. On the other hand, they gain only a participation reward in the third event thanks to having very few crowd control characters, which limits the guild's farming effectiveness even with the drop bonuses from Iz's armor sets.
    • Given how this most of the series is set in a VRMMORPG and the two main characters are school students, there are some limitations that can prevent Kaede and Risa from getting involved.
      • Due to her poor grades at school, Risa doesn't event start playing New World Online until sometime after the 1st Event.
      • As a result of her being sick when it opens up, Kaede ends up arriving at the 5th Layer later than the rest of her Maple Tree members.
      • Due to studying for a upcoming test at school, Kaede and Risa are unable to accompany Mai and Yui on their quest to get their bear cub monster companions.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Maple's Replica of the Dark Night gear has the ability to regenerate and it gets stronger every time it gets damaged.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Maple takes on a quest-chain involving a mother and her sick daughter. First, Maple needs to take the mother to a fountain in the middle of a monster filled forest, and decides to just use Syrup to fly over the forest to get to the fountain. As they are traveling back, the NPC Mother sticks to her script of thanking her by saving her from those vicious monsters. Maple then realizes that she was supposed to go through the forest and understands why the NPC's dialogue doesn't make any sense. The second part involves getting a healing ring. Maple guesses that the healing ring she grabbed when she was starting out in level one will work, and accomplishes the second part seconds after it opened up.
    • A gear that Maple found embedded in a tree during the third event on level 2 turns out to be just what she needs to unlock the Machine God fight and subsequent form when she enters level 3 and takes on another sub-quest involving the ruins of the Machine God.
    • In the quest to acquire the bear cub summon, players, once they follow the cub to its den, are then supposed to take part in a multi-part boss fight against the bear in its Megamorph form. However, given the instructions of the boss battle consists of just showing your strength to the bear, and the ones doing this quest are Mai and Yui, all it takes from them is one hit to tame the bear, with the two being to able to complete this quest twice so that way each of them gets a bear summon.
  • Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle: The English title, courtesy of the Japanese title being about as long as Maple is broken.invoked
  • Shout-Out:
    • Right off the bat we have an MMORPG character named Maple.
    • The OP has Sally executing a jumping side spin with knives out, very similar to Gundam Exia in the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 OP.
    • In episode 2, Maple gets bum-rushed by a trio of barbarians that are clearly using the Jet Stream Attack.
    • In episode 4, the giant ice bird is basically an Expy of Articuno.
    • In episode 5, Maple's new skills allow her to make Syrup into a flying turtle.
    • In episode 8, the [Predator] Skill makes an Alien appear.
    • In episode 12, Syrup gets summoned with a Pokeball sound effect.
    • Syrup's "Spirit Cannon" ability is a Turtle Destruction Wave, or, in Japanese, Kamehameha.
    • The Maple Tree guys generally agree that Maple "resigned as a human being."
  • Slower Than a Snail:
    • When Maple first acquires her pet tortoise, Syrup, Syrup is shown to be faster than her. This is because she has 0 agility.
    • There's one dungeon full of giant invincible snails, designed for the purpose of being slow-but-inevitable killers for challengers, that are still notably faster than Maple.
  • Snowlems: The winter-themed fifth event features giant snowmen as a a rare monster, with those who beat one of them receiving a present that, when opened on Christmas, gives them an ice-based ability.
  • Speed Run: Maple, Mai and Yui repeatedly take on a dungeon multiple times trying to beat it as fast as they can. Their best time was 2:28, which is pretty amazing coming from three gamers with 0 AGI.
  • Stylistic Suck: Despite having graphics on par with any VRMMO you might find in anime, a lot of gags in the show come from the fact that New World Online is a janky mess that's very easy to exploit. It seems like the game is designed around the premise that players will use "normal" builds, and so the moment someone like Maple comes along and tries doing something unorthodox and idiotic, the game's mechanics start to fall apart.
  • Super Speed:
    • There are a decent number of skills that allow players to move at superhuman speeds. While there's the aptly named Super Speed, there's also skills like God Speed, which makes a player so fast they're practically invisible to the naked eye, and Flare Accel, which allows a fire mage to achieve similar speeds without the need for having an already quite high AGI stat.
    • Mai and Yui's bear companions, Tsukimi and Yukimi, both have the Star Step ability, which enables the bears to run really fast. This ability results in making the quest to get the bear partner a little tricky, as it is using the ability during the part where players have to track it, in cub form, back to its den.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Skills are activated verbally so a player can prevent an opponent from casting by simply not allowing the skill to be called out. The best example shown is during Maple and Mii's battle; Mii prevents Maple from using her skills by spamming her with fire attacks, and when Mii needed to use her most powerful spell, she needed Misery and Marcus to stall Maple long enough so she could recite the spell's entire invocation poem.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: The monsters in game can be eaten and come with their own flavors as Maple found out. It seems like poison adds some spice and tones down the peppery flavor of the Hydra's meat and exploding bugs taste like pop candy... well, they do to someone with her absurd Vitality score, anyway.
  • That Came Out Wrong: After Maple won her first Tournament at 3rd, she states "I took a pounding, but I liked it." Her face turns bright red when she realized how that sounded.
  • Tempting Fate: When Maple was deciding on her class, the description for Shielder stated, "taking zero damage won't be a pipe dream". Really, what were the Devs expecting when they wrote that? It's like daring a player to make it happen.
  • Three-Point Landing: Maple does this when she lands from the sky to rescue Sally from the Holy Sword guild during the 4th event.
  • Training Montage: At least Once per Episode it will show clips of Maple Tree Guild doing things to train.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Normally it takes some work to go through your inventory and swap your equipment, making it impractical to do so during combat. But with the skill Quick Change you can assign equipments which you can instantly swap into.
  • Unique Items: The unique series equipment sets, powerful themed gear of which there is only one set in the entire game. They are acquired by defeating a dungeon boss solo on your first try.
  • Welcome to Corneria: One of the NPC that Maple met in the 3rd Realm would just repeat that he was done with his story when Maple tried to ask him to clarify some information. She guessed it was because of this trope.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of the first season, the logo shows up, and Maple's shield suddenly duplicates, indicating a second season.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Maple defeats her first monster by letting it headbutt her for one hour while she stands still and encourages it. It only dies after she acquires the Absolute Defense skill. In fact, she mourns the bunny monster's death.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In her first encounter with a Giant Bee, Maple dropped to the ground and feigned weakness - only to stab it in its wide-open mouth. This is slightly different in the anime, where the Giant Bee instead rushes into the sword head-first.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Downplayed and conditional: normally time in the game is 1:1 with real-world time, but the developers are capable of accelerating in-game time so that players can play longer in-game while less time passes in real life, mainly during events. The maximum they've been shown doing is accelerating time to have 1 in-game week pass during 2 real-world hours.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Maple's friends will make this expression anytime she, through her own naivete, ends up coming up with some Game-Breaker technique without trying.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The Sea King was supposed to be a boss that rivaled Silverwing, and it couldn't be damaged without attacking its physical body which stayed in the ocean. Maple just used her Hydra multiple times, saturating the entire ocean with poison to the point it died very quickly.

Bofuri: Line Wars doesn't want to get hurt, so it maxed out its tropes:


 
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Alternative Title(s): I Hate Being In Pain So I Think Ill Make A Full Defense Build, BOFURI

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Back to the real world

After an in-game week inside a VRMMO, Kaede has problems adjusting to real life.

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