Type: I was rooting against Maple Tree by the end.
Synopsis: This is a story about a girl named Maple, who starts playing a very unbalanced MMORPG called NewWorld Online. In the game, a rookie player can apparently max out their stats in a few short sessions and bumble their way into frankly broken abilities. This is how Maple, a newcomer to video games in general is able to become the game’s top player.
Pros: This anime’s gimmick the comedic way that Maple gains new abilities. From about episode 1 to episode 8, Maple becomes stronger and stronger by accident. She beats a boss, or does a quest, or opens a chest, and she gains one of a kinds abilities, summons, and armor. The first 1.5 episodes are probably the best parts of the show, as we see Maple use her tank build and luck to get surprise wins. This was also the best part of the show because the story mainly focused on Maple, but we’ll get to that. Seeing the world react to this rookie player getting amazing power ups was very funny. Had the show stuck to a more slice of life adventure starring Maple, it would have been more memorable.
Cons: The show feels very rushed. By episode 2 Maple’s friend Sally starts tagging along, and by Episode 6 Maple forms a guild with 6 other players. We spend 2 episodes with the guild, then a guild event takes up the rest of the season. We hardly get to spend any time with Maple herself before she has to share screen time with other characters. Particularly Sally. It seems that that writer of the show/light novel really liked Sally better. I almost want to say that she gets more attention than the main heroine. You may also notice that every episode has a short montage of adventuring. I think I would have liked the supporting characters more if I had seen them do some adventuring, instead of getting still images. Because as it stands I don’t really believe their comradery. That’s the objective-ish flaws. Subjectively? The show dips in quality as soon as Sally joins. I didn’t like her because she weirdly protective of Maple and aggressive to strangers. She straight up threatened to “kill” Kuromu when he runs into her and Maple. As stated earlier, Sally gets a lot of focus because its easier to write someone with her attitude and character build getting into fights. But if you wanted to make an anime about Sally, then make one about Sally. She already act as more of a guild leader anyway. Also, as more and more characters join the show, Maple seems to become an afterthought. The show becomes more generic as it goes on. Once Maple has someone showing her what to do, the story’s charm is lost. I actually started to root against Maple and her friend by the end of the show. The show tried to frame the story as a rag-tag guild making their mark, but it was really a story about a bunch of high level players with unfair skills fighting other high level guilds.
Watch it: Give it 3 episodes, then make up your mind (3/5)
MVP: The Flame Empress
She deserved that W!
Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Defense and First Battle” (No Sally. No Maple Tree. Just a girl and her first MMO)