Overview (Spoilers Below)
Maple and Sally begin the second event in an isolated grassland area. It’s peaceful enough, but they can’t find any medals. Sally reminds Maple—and the audience—that medals usually come from boss battles or treasure chests found in dungeons. Luckily, Maple falls into an invisible hole.
Down in the pit, they fight and easily defeat a clubbed jester which earns them two medals. That’s not bad, but their personal goal is to get at least twenty medals between them. So, once they’re back to the surface, the girls really get serious.
The next day they run into Kuromu and his party, who happen upon the entrance of a dungeon at the same time as them. Everyone is civil with one another, but only one party is allowed to enter the dungeon at a time. Maple, since she owed Kuromu a favor from way back, allows his team to go ahead. And so, the girls discuss finding another dungeon, but are surprised to see the original dungeon open up again, almost immediately. Sally assumes Kuromu’s entire party was killed by a powerful enemy.
The girls enter the dungeon anyway, and face off against a huge, majestic bird known as Silverwing. He’s not easy to take down even after Maple switches to her black shield and maxes out her limited Devour spells. However, with Sally’s quick footwork and Maple’s Hydra power, they manage to take that bird down. Maple also earns a skill to retain 1 HP once a day in an occasion that would otherwise kill her. Above the cave, they find five medals and two eggs.
The eggs hatch into two companion creatures. Sally gets a fox, and Maple a turtle. The animals can fight beside them, or rest and power-up inside special rings worn by the girls. The animals are adorable and helpful and the girls are simply smitten with them.
After that epic battle, we’re introduced to a group of silly-looking bunny creatures who control many aspects of the game. They reside in a room the players are never meant to see. These bunnies are shocked that Maple killed the “undefeatable” Silverwing and show great concern over all the special materials and rewards she’s collecting to make her defense even more powerful. Looks like we better keep an eye on these guys.
The episode ends with a dark-haired woman challenging the girls—particularly Maple because of her reputation—to a PvP (player vs. player) fight. She wants their medals, but more importantly she’s after the infamy of defeating a legend. This girl came in sixth in the first event and is bitter, to say the least. Too bad she doesn’t realize Sally’s been fixing for a PvP since the concept was introduced. And remember, Sally does not like to lose.
This program continues to impress even with their temporary detour into Pokemon territory. I’m aware animal companions pre-date Pokemon, but judging by the giant turtle in Bofuri’s closing credits I sense some leveling up challenges that may or may not take place in a gym or gym-like atmosphere. That being said, I assume the giant turtle in the end credits is Syrup—the baby turtle we met today—if that’s not the case, then never mind.
Considering how difficult it was to get their animal sidekicks, I wonder if this Pokemon-esque diversion was even meant to be a part of NWO. The technology bunnies seemed relatively certain that nobody—parties big or small—would be able to defeat Silverwing. So, maybe the eggs were meant to be nothing more than a tantalizing reward to lure players into a deathtrap.
This brings about another question. Since Maple allowed Kuromu and his party to go first, I wonder if he’ll have a sour taste in his mouth. Sure, we know that Maple was legitimately being nice since she and Sally had already won a few medals while his party came up empty. But NWO is a dog-eat-dog world where PvPs aren’t only part of this event, they’re actually encouraged. At the end of the day, Kuromu doesn’t really know our heroine, and it’s human nature to be suspicious of what we don’t understand.
Now that we’re in week four of this adventure, I have a stray observation, and I’d love to hear your opinions on it. It seems as if Bofuri is working toward realism over structure and storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I think the stories are interesting and the content seldom bores me; however, this isn’t your traditional Hero’s Journey. We’re introduced to characters like Mii the Flame Wizard and Frederica who won’t become important to the story until much later. In the gaming world, you’re bound to run into a ton of other players right off the bat, but oftentimes you wait until you’ve figured out what type of players will compliment you before cementing too many lasting relationships.
Anyway, looks like this second event will be taking up at least two episodes of the overall story. Then again, that’s in game time; IRL, it’s closer to a tight fifteen minutes.