If you haven’t heard of this anime, then you’re probably living under a rock because it is all that anybody can talk about in forums and platforms, and for very good reason; it’s actually very interesting.
As someone who almost exclusively doesn’t read manhwa, manga, or comics, I have no point of reference to the original text, and all my interest in this anime is simply organic.
The storytelling is genius, the graphics are sublime, and in just a few short episodes, I’ve come to care so much for Sung Jin Woo, the poster boy for underdogs everywhere.
For the uninitiated, Solo Leveling follows Sung Jin Woo, an E-rank hunter who’s barely getting by, and it’s set in a world where select humans with special powers are tasked with protecting the earth.
Called Hunters, these protectors have a place of prestige in society, and they’re also classified into ranks: S, A, B, C, D, & E ranks – the monsters they fight also have the same ranking system, with S being the highest.
As I mentioned, Jin Woo is an E-rank hunter, so he’s almost as weak as a civilian and is pretty much called “The Weakest Hunter In The World.”
This wouldn’t be an issue on an ordinary day (maybe), but making a living as a hunter depends on the grade of monsters a hunter can fight, beat, and collect their essence stones or even the ones in the caves where the portals open. But since he’s very weak, he can’t even pay his rent.
In episode 1, he joins a group to explore a gate that opened up with his friend, Joo Hee, and others, but while they’re in the cave, they find an exit that leads to another gate. While they’re hesitant, they put it to a vote, and the decision is made: they decide to explore the new find.
But this will prove to be a bad decision because they’ll be heckled, taunted, tormented, and killed by the malevolent spirit guarding the Chambers they find at the end of the pathway. He does make it out, but after squaring off against the most terrifying thing that had ever happened to him and applying more brain power than he had ever used in his life.
You guys, he was betrayed by his colleagues understandably, parts of his body were severed, and he even began to doubt his sanity. It was such an insane pilot, and the events only built from this because he was then killed. But when he woke up, he was whole and healthy, which made the authorities think he might have had a Second Awakening.
An Awakening essentially is what happens when a civilian comes into their powers and qualifies to be a hunter. This usually happens once in a lifetime, so Second Awakenings are pretty rare.
But when he was tested, they saw that he was still the same E-rank hunter he had always been, and this raised questions about how he had been able to survive the ordeal (especially since all his more powerful comrades were physically scarred in some way).
He was actually disappointed to hear that he hadn’t had a second awakening, but he soon started to see some screens floating above him, and with some guidance, soon he was working out fighting more monsters and basically becoming stronger and bigger and leveling up along the way.
In one swoop, our E-rank hunter was able to take down a C-rank beast, and if that isn’t growth, I don’t know what is.
By the end of episode 5, he leaves the hospital and partakes in another quest to make rent money, but his team (consisting of higher-ranking hunters) leave him and his new friend for dead after striking gold.
You guys, every single episode of Solo Leveling so far has been simply amazing, and I’m not kidding when I say that everybody needs to check it out. It lives up to its premise, and as someone who hasn’t read the manhwa, I genuinely couldn’t be more satisfied.
I feel that this anime definitely delivers on everything from storytelling to character design, and the arcs are so thrilling it’s easy to get hooked on the story.
What do you think? Have you read the Solo Leveling manhwa, or are you watching Solo Leveling? Let me know in the comment section below.
And don’t forget to check the related post for more stuff about Solo Leveling.