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Literature / Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.

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The members of Maple Treenote 

At the invitation of her gamer friend Risa Shiramine, Kaede Honjō tries out the newly-released VRMMORPG NewWorld 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, by doing this she acquires 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 out 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 series 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, both subbed and dubbed. A second season aired from January—April 2023.

The light novels were licensed for English release by Yen Press in October 2020, with the first volume 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:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The show seems to take place in the present day… other than the presence of cheap, fully interactive, virtual reality technology.
  • Achievement System: One gains skills in this game by completing certain requirements, such as "Bomb Eater" for eating a certain number of explosive monsters and "Sword Dance" for reaching level 25 without taking any damage.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The first episode of Season 2 skips over the 5th event (a Christmas-themed event that revolved around hunting down snow-themed mobs) and glosses over most of the 6th event (which involved exploring a special jungle-themed map). However, the secret Christmas present reward of the 5th event ends up being a secret reward for the 6th.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • The Sea King is actually a relatively formidable opponent in the novel and manga, with Maple's sea poisoning only doing most of the work while Sally slashes 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.
    • Mai's role when Maple Tree are scattered during the 8th Event is much different between the novel and the anime thanks to whom she is paired with. In the anime, with her being paired with Kanade and Yui, she is in the same boat as her twin sister and is unable to assist Kanade in dealing with the monsters that threaten them, with Sally and the Order of the Holy Sword saving them. The novel, on the other hand, has her paired up with Maple after Mii reunites them, with her helping clear the skies of flying demons during Maple's second attempt at creating a tracking beacon for the rest of Maple Tree.
  • Adventure Duo: Maple & Sally are a cuter, more lighthearted case of this as they complete various quests and explore NewWorld Online.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The 10th Layer, which serves Kaede and Risa's swan song in terms of NewWorld Online full time before their senior year of school makes their video game playing time limited, features elements from the previous nine Layers.
  • 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 boss' 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.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Maple notices that NPC dialogue occurs in the same way regardless of how she approaches a task. During an escort mission, she uses Syrup to simply fly over a whole field of monsters she would otherwise have to fight; the NPC reactions are triggered on set points to and from the goal, where the player is supposed to be having difficulty with protecting them.
  • Art Shift: In Season 2 Episode 3, when Maple and Sally fight against the Power Parasite boss, the art suddenly shifts from the regular drawn style to a completely CGI one, then when they go to the next boss it returns to the normal style.
  • 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.
  • Ascended Extra: Starting from Season 2, the members of both Order of the Holy Sword and Kingdom of the Flame Emperors get elevated from Heroes of Another Story to proper secondary characters, receiving heavily increased amounts of story focus moments with or without Maple and her guild being involved.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: The main three guilds seen (Maple Tree, Flame Emperors, and Holy Sword) were formed around their Guild Masters being ultra-badasses that made names for themselves through their impressive skills drawing other players in, while the lieutenants acquired their statuses by being lesser but still awe-inspiring badasses.
  • 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.
  • Black Comedy: Maple eating enemy monsters gleefully contrasts her cheery attitude with her disturbing actions, providing some darkly humorous moments.
  • Book Ends:
    • Volume 5 has two incidents near the beginning and end that mirror each other:
      • Early on 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 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...
    • After the post-10th Event party that starts the volume, Volume 16 has a scene with Risa in the real world, followed by a bit where Maple, Sally, and the twins farm for materials for a holiday event. At the end of the volume, the four go on a quest in the 10th Layer, with it followed by a real world scene involving Kaede and Risa.
  • Boss Rush: Maple and Sally take part in a sequential series of bosses 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.
  • The Cameo: Making appearances throughout the second half of Season 2 is the "Aboshi frog" (aka Motsu), a creature that has appeared in two of Shin Oonuma's earlier works as a series director: Pani Poni Dash! and Negima!?, with it even serving as the summon for Christmas Rose.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Literally eating enemies to death is a perfectly valid way to learn skills in NewWorld Online; many of Maple's skills are learned this way early on, because she simply has no other method to damage enemies.
  • Can't Catch Up: After the guild war, most characters in the cast, Sally included, have this sentiment towards Maple as she gets stronger. So much so that they take quests and dungeons to find skills just to match up to Maple.
  • Capture the Flag: Some of the PVP events involve stealing/protecting guild items for points:
    • 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.
    • The tenth event has players choosing between one of two sides (either a regular "light" kingdom or a "dark" kingdom), with the object being to reach the opposite kingdom's throne first. Maple Tree and the Order of the Holy Sword serve as representatives of the "dark" kingdom, while Flame Emperor, thunder storm, and Rapid Fire side with the "light" kingdom.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: 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 NewWorld 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.
  • Christmas Episode: The Fifth Event is a holiday-themed event, with the chapters pertaining to the event taking place around Christmas time. A minor, non-numbered holiday-themed event also takes place after the 10th Event, with it taking place on all the layers of New World Online.
  • 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 for them, 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.
    • Despite their supposedly overwhelming physical attack power, the Hammer Twins can't do much more than mildly annoy Dread before he takes them out with what looks like a dagger-poke apiece. The Order of the Holy Sword Guild officers are all massively over-leveled, allowing them to basically walk through practically any resistance with ease.
  • 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 Kingdom of the 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: One of the recurring aspects of the story is Maple stumbling into bugs and Easter eggs that the devs left behind and ending up with awesome overpowered skills and equipment that are all clearly intended to be gotten much later in the game, starting with her first mob fight against the bunny boosting her VIT to a level likely only meant for mid-game, then getting unique gear that 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, which is later upped by her and Sally getting pets several updates early by beating an event super-boss that was very much not intended to be beaten. She also leads members of her guild to their versions of those same overpowered skills and equipment earlier than the devs intended: Sally's Blue Assassin kit, Chrome's Red Death Shield kit, Iz's Wonder Craft kit, etc.
  • Draconic Humanoid: A female version of this serves as the NPC ruler of the "dark" kingdom on the 9th Layer.
  • Dream Team: The story occasionally teases the idea of Maple, Mii, and Payne teaming up to form an unstoppable group of gods. As of Volume 9 , this has finally come to pass.
  • 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 have 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 NewWorld Online this is a strategy anyone can do that works like a Life Drain.
    • This is also how she gets both the Wooly and Atrocity skills. In the novels, Maple gains Wooly alongside Sheep Eater after paralyzing and eating the sheep, since she can't chase them, whereas in the anime she plays with them. Maple also gains Atrocity after eating the Demon Boss from the inside when the latter consumes 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 fights a giant spider while 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 three 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 Emperors (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.
  • Evolving Credits: In the show's second season, during the part of the OP featuring Maple Tree's summons, there's a brief change from episode 8 onward to reflect Syrup and Oboro's evolved forms.
  • Exact Words: Maple and Sally need 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 states it needs 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 is 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.
  • Faceless Goons: The low-level members from Order of the Holy Sword and Kingdom of the Flame Emperors all wear face-obscuring identical outfits themed after their guild masters, to represent that they're all unimportant, nameless hordes who can only challenge their enemies through numbers.
  • 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.
  • Flat "What": A frequent reaction from Sally (and others) when confronted with Maple's antics.
  • 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)
      • Further traces of Genbu can be found in Maple Tree via Kasumi's snake companion, Haku, as Genbu is usually being depicted as a tortoise entwined with a snake.
    • 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 Kingdom of the 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.
  • 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.]
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: With a good chunk of the cast being young females, this would definitely come up in various ways:
    • The usual "stuffed animals in the bedroom" route, with Kaede's and Risa's rooms containing numerous plushies, with a number of them resembling the monsters of NewWorld Online, while the Season 2 ED features a shot of Mai and Yui sitting in a room full of them...
    • Summons that resemble stuffed animals, with Tsukimi and Yukimi, the bear cub summons of Mai and Yui, having designs similar to teddy bears.
    • Stuffed animals as weapons, with Hinata's weapon of choice being a plush bunny with part of a teddy bear's head sewn onto it.
  • Glad He's On Our Side:
    • Iz often expresses this opinion about Maple whenever she demonstrates a new set of skills to her guildmates, 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 Kingdom of the 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, where 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!"
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: In episode 10 of the anime, Sally manages to fool Frederica during the guild war event with a ruse she started a few episodes ago. She masks her Super-Reflexes by name-dropping skills that increase block and evasion rates without actually using them. Frederica puts two and two together during their battle in the guild war event and promptly freaks out, realizing the situation is worse than she thought, causing her to call in reinforcements.
  • Impossible Task: Acquiring super-secret boss skills requires a player to 1) fight the boss alone, 2) beat it on the first try, and 3) be the first player in the game to do so. The developers clearly implemented these bonuses just to Troll players, thinking they'd never see the light of day. Unfortunately for them, they never anticipated a player like Maple whose non-standard approach let her claim the bonus skill from the first boss, and she then went on to claim many others.
  • 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.
  • Knockback: A common video-game mechanic in NWO is attacks that are less about direct damage and more about sending enemies flying. This ends up being a Logical Weakness for Maple, as her super-slow Stone Wall build and primarily Close-Range Combatant skillset, especially the limited range of her ally-guarding AOE defense, means being knocked far away heavily limits her combat and defense abilities, something that comes into play when Mii and Payne use it to their advantage to isolate Maple's protection from her guild members, though Maple also uses it against Payne.
  • Last Episode, New Character: In the final scene of the Season 2 finale, 「thunder storm」 and Rapid Fire show up to make comments about their plans to fight and defeat Maple, setting up a Sequel Hook for them getting involved in the story of a future season.
  • Level Grinding: Many characters mention how they need to go grinding to gain more strength and skills.
  • Logical Weakness: 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.
  • 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.
  • Min-Maxing: This forms the basis of the series with Maple maximizing her defense to exclusion of everything else and seeing what holes in the game's balance that approach can find. Risa has a lesser degree - she builds her character as a Glass Cannon with minimal toughness, but speed and strength to dodge and deal damage. Later, Mai and Yui repeat the all-in build, maximizing strength to exclusion of everything else.
  • Mon: As first shown by Maple and Sally acquiring Syrup and Oboro, before a later update introduced the ability for all players to do so, one game mechanic involves finding and taming specially designated monsters to act as companions, which can both fight alongside their owners and develop personalities for responding to their surroundings. A follow-up update continues on this by adding a Metamorphosis Monster aspect (of course called "evolution") when specific conditions are met.
  • 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 a 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.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe. 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 do like all the money she's generating for them.
  • 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 stopped making monsters with stomachs as often.
  • 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 anymore 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.
  • One-Word Title: Due to Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle for the English localization, making the abbreviation for its Japanese title the actual title and the translated title the subtitle.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: As the story revolves around an MMO played by people all across Japan, every one of which greatly prefers privacy alongside general online anonymity etiquette, the only characters we learn the real names of are Kaede and Risa, who are friends and classmates in real life, while everybody else, including the rest of Maple Tree, are only known by their game handles.
  • 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.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Since Maple plays the game with a non-gamer mindset, she frequently utilizes methods that no gamer would ever think to use, an thus has achieved things the devs never expected:
    • Against the Ghost Twins boss in the 6th layer, Maple gets so frustrated at trying to catch them that she ends up using tactics that outright break 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 get confused and continue 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 figures out a way to circumvent this tedious trial by jumping into its mouth with a bunch of bombs then unleashing 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.
  • 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.
  • Player Killing:
    • Part and parcel of being an MMO is that PVP (player versus player) combat is both normal and expected, and naturally there will also be players who like engaging in pointlessly cruel killing, whether to be jerks or because the player is a Blood Knight that loves savoring the thrill of the kill, such as Sally liking to flaunt her superior agility and reflexes by getting right next to her targets and effortlessly dodging every hit while she slashes and stabs them to death, alongside doing a little Mook Horror Show during the second event.
    • The second event tacitly encourages this, as defeating even super bosses might only net you a single medal (of which there are limited amounts), whereas jumping players who already have them is much easier than doing that or exploring the massive environment the event takes place in.
  • Precision F-Strike: Drag's response upon seeing Maple in Atrocity form during the fourth event, right after she's killed Payne? "You're shitting me!"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mii can be seen taking care of fluffy-looking cats in the Season 2 premiere.
  • 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 Poké Ball 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."
    • Sally is seen doing the Naruto run more than once in the anime, and (via Oboro) ends up gaining the Shadow Clone Jutsu - called by that name!
    • In season 2 episode 7, Maple and Sally pass by a creature that props up another umbrella-like plant critter in a shower much like one of My Neighbor Totoro's signature scenes.
  • 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.
    • And the trope name applies literally in the 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.
  • 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 NewWorld 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.
  • 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.
    • During one of the earlier chat interludes, someone claims that an agility/short sword build doesn't seem that OP. Shortly thereafter, Sally, a comparatively low-level player, becomes The Dreaded of the second event, taking out several entire guilds in succession (for the grand total of two silver coins).
  • Three-Point Landing: Maple does this when she lands from the sky to rescue Sally from the Holy Sword guild during the 4th event.
  • This Is a Drill: In a scene that would not look out of place in Gurren Lagann, Maple wasted the semi-final boss in the seventh event by turning her [Machine God] form into one big drill, using [Heavy Body] to prevent Knockback and piercing right through it.
  • 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 equipment loadouts 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.
  • Weirdly Underpowered Admins: Justified. Maple keeps finding overpowered exploits in NewWorld Online. The admins repeatedly patch the game to Nerf her more broken abilities, but she keeps finding new exploits so quickly that they eventually give up. However, it's partly a financial decision since her popularity has made her an unofficial mascot of the game and brings in new players.
  • Welcome to Corneria: One of the NPCs 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.
  • 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 dies through a combination of her Stone Wall body causing it to damage itself over time and some birds spooking her into moving, resulting in it head-butting her solid shield and losing what's left of its health. 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 (although the novel notes that the method Maple and Sally used to enter the fight debuffed it), and it couldn't be damaged without attacking its physical body which stayed in the ocean. Maple just spammed her Hydra skill repeatedly, saturating the entire ocean with poison to the point that it died very quickly. The novel doesn't cheese the fight that much but it still ends in an Anti-Climax as it dies from poison damage.

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

Alternative Title(s): Bofuri I Dont Want To Get Hurt So Ill Max Out My Defense, I Hate Being In Pain So I Think Ill Make A Full Defense Build