Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu

Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu (I don't want to get hurt, so I'll max out my defense) is based on the Japanese light novel by Yuumikan created in 2016 and published to the user generated novel publishing site Shōsetsuka ni Narō where it was picked up and published in 2017 by Kadokawa books and illustrated in manga by Jirō Oimoto. This anime has the look and feel of Sword Art Online but not as dramatic. It follows Kaede Honjo who is a beginner at the VRMMO New World Online. She begins by carelessly allocating all of her status points to vitality (defense) because she doesn't want to feel pain while playing the game. Her friend Risa Shiramine encouraged her to play and is an award winning gamer. We were worried, given the similarities to SAO but within the first couple minutes the anime sets itself apart from Sword Art Online. It has some mystery and intrigue as you see texts being sent between two characters discussing everything Kaede's character "Maple" has doing in the game. It drew us in to the point that we couldn't resist looking up the manga and light novel. Fans of SAO shouldn't expect this to be a spin-off or sequel to Sword Art Online, this anime isn't, but it does share similarities to SAO. We enjoyed the light-hearted comedy, predictable blunders and look forward to Maple's adventures within New World Online. It is on our list for this season and don't expect it to disappoint.