A lot of forums on a free host don't stand a chance of survival no matter what you do. It's the url that has the free forum host name in it that will turn a lot of people off.
The other thing is like anime, games sites are a dime a dozen. You have to have a niche. Something else that no one does. What that is, is up to you. For me besides the anime, I show how to set up and style the software I'm using. No one else is doing that.
Domain names and real hosting doesn't cost all that much. You can snap up an unused domain name and hosting for less than 50 bucks a year.
Also you can use free open source software like SMF till you get your feet under you then look at pay software, if you want to go that route.
I put out 62 dollars a year for my domain and hosting. If you're serious about what you're doing, that's a drop in the bucket.
Ball's in your court. The next step is solely up to you.
You have to have the domain name and hosting to show VB
where the forum is going to be. You can't buy it with out a domain and hosting already in place.