The main character is broken, all the other characters know it, even the developers of the game she’s playing know it. So what do you do? Nerf her? No, she keeps breaking the system. Let’s just see what happens if we let her go.
This anime follows Kaede Honjou and her journey into the world of VRMMORPG. More specifically, into the world of NewWorld Online (NWO), a highly popular VRMMORPG with medieval and fantasy elements. Kaede takes on the username of “Maple” while in NWO and because she’s afraid of getting hurt in this highly immersive world, she decides to choose a class that primarily revolves around using shields.
Being a tank when you don’t want to get hurt seems like a smart choice, but she takes a step further when asked to allocate her starting stat points. She puts all over her points into her Vitality–which this game considers the overall defense stat. This decision leaves all the rest of her stats at 0, which she quickly realizes was probably not the best idea.
Interestingly, she does seem to consider logging out and re-rolling for just a moment before, instead, going on to just try out her set up on a small solo adventure resulting in the tragic loss of the beloved Usagi-san–she didn’t realize that the cute enemy that she was amused by would die if it hit her shield.
All-in-all, the show was cute and funny and not much else. The artwork and animation were pretty good, but I have to admit that the character designs felt a bit bland and cookie-cutter in style. That being said, I realize that the character design may have been the fault of the original source material, and not necessarily the anime studio.
Maple ends up getting extremely over-powered pretty early on and the story introduces a number of elements and mechanics into its plot that it only vaguely explains or just avoids explaining altogether. Really, the main draw of the show is the parody-styled brokenness of Maple and the way that she keeps finding new ways to break the game she’s playing despite being new to gaming.
Because the story makes it clear that everything is taking place in a video game and that there’s no real danger, it’s hard to feel excited when the going get tough for Maple and her friends; especially since it’s made pretty obvious by episode 2 that she’s probably going to find some ridiculous way out of any hard situation.
The characters themselves are all pretty straightforward and the show seems to do some alluding to the potential of at least one character having some interesting backstory, but doesn’t bother delivering on that.
As an MMORPG player myself, I found the ridiculousness of Maple’s gameplay to be rather amusing and funny, but I admit that I dropped this anime about 5 episodes in because I got bored. I came back to it after finishing another anime, but the conclusion of the show’s first season was really just what I expected.
It wasn’t impressive, it was just funny and cute. It honestly felt like a cutesy filler arc for some other anime.
I don’t know if this was intentional, but I consider this show to be a parody of other shows in its genre. The main character is broken beyond the comprehension of even the supporting characters, and they quite openly acknowledge it. As long as you go into it with the understanding that the game’s mechanics don’t make sense and that the whole premise is meant to be a comedy, this show is worth it for a few chuckles.