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Can Bofuri's Characters Really Die In NewWorld Online?

Like any anime that takes place in a virtual game world, combat is a major aspect of "Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense." Contrary to its happy, upbeat themes about friendship and cooperation, the massively overpowered protagonist, Maple, and her guild, Maple Tree, earn their stripes on the battlefield more than anywhere else. With Maple's insane defense stats and litany of upgraded forms, as well as the excellent offensive abilities possessed by her teammates, Maple Tree consistently comes out on top during the major events of their favorite VR game, NewWorld Online.

If you're familiar with other game anime, such as "Sword Art Online," then you may wonder where all the tension is in the conflicts of an anime like "Bofuri." After all, the characters aren't trapped in the game world against their will, and even though it gives the prospect of dying some real emotional weight in its narrative, it's not clear at first if characters can really die. Thus, that begs the question, can characters really die in NewWorld Online? And if not, then what's the point?

Characters don't actually die, but that's not important

To give a definitive answer to the question at hand, no, the many active players of NewWorld Online do not actually die in real life if their characters are killed in the game. That would make Maple, in all her overpowered glory, a mass murderer by a wide margin, and she's much too sweet to ever do something like that. In fact, the player's in-game character doesn't even really die if they are killed in the game. During the game's fourth major event, which takes place from Episode 9 onward, characters' stats are penalized for every death their character suffers. Upon the fifth death, they do not respawn for the remainder of the event.

So, if characters don't permanently die, then where is any of the tension in the battles? After all, nobody really stands to lose anything by dying in a video game. When it comes to "Bofuri," however, the stakes aren't determined by death. Not only is it a lighthearted comedy where events aren't necessarily bound to logic, but the tension of these situations can also stem from whether or not Maple and her allies can accomplish their goals, not whether they survive.

It doesn't need to be a dark, grim story to be dramatic or fun, and compared to other video game-based anime, its more happy-go-lucky approach to the concept may even be a breath of fresh air.