July 18, 2024
Solo Leveling

Solo Leveling Cast: Banjo Ginga, Haruna Mikawa, Reina Ueda, Taito Ban, and Genta Nakamura.

Maker: Chugong

Shunsuke Nakashige, director

Watching via Crunchyroll

Japanese is spoken (with subtitles)

Twelve episodes, each lasting around 25 minutes, total.

What It Concerns:

This brings us to Solo Leveling, an anime adapted from a South Korean novel that eventually became a webtoon. It’s great that anime is adaptable enough to other mediums and still retain its main characteristics. Outside of Japan, the anime world has had such an impact that many other cultures have started to use the tropes defined by the medium to tell their own stories. At last, everything has gone full circle, and now we follow our protagonist as he strives to become the strongest in an anime series.

Examining the script:

From the outside, Solo Leveling appears to be a simple plot, and for the most part, it is. A fanciful world where magic is real and monsters pose a threat to civilization is shown to us. Obviously, this means that someone has to confront the monsters and protect Earth. In keeping with the anime tradition of chronicling a character’s journey toward development, we are introduced to Sung Jin-woo, our main character, who is deemed the world’s weakest hunter by the standards of this universe.

But it doesn’t mean the show seems like it’s treading water all the same; in fact, the world-building is largely responsible for some of the series’ unique qualities. The series’ creator has given careful consideration to building a universe that feels genuine inside this amazing scenario in which a gateway from another dimension opens, allowing a wide variety of monsters to descend upon Earth and cause havoc. Beyond that, the narrative demonstrates how mankind has evolved in this circumstance.

Even though our main protagonists are leveling up and facing increasingly ridiculous foes, it’s thrilling to see how society, human behavior, and even the economy have altered in the wake of the dimensional invasion. This helps to keep the plot feeling more grounded. Fortunately, the show never fails to make Jin-woo the center of attention and to make his journey the main emphasis of everything—not just his quest to become the greatest hunter, but also his development as a person and his relationships with other characters.

Star Performance:

The main focus of Solo Leveling is Jin-woo and his adventure as the protagonist; it gets really addictive to see the character overcome each new obstacle. Jin-woo is very much the collective readership of the novels as well as the viewers of the anime. As a character, Jin-woo stands in for the entire audience and their quest for self-improvement and a better life in order to fulfill their ambitions. Yes, we combat life in a different way—that is, without having to contend with extraterrestrial beings—by rising to every obstacle and honing our abilities.

All things considered, Taito Ban’s portrayal of Jin-woo seems appropriate given that he starts off weak and uncertain before gradually transforming and growing more confident in his skills. Genta Nakamura is excellent as Jin-ho, who will grow to be Jin-woo’s closest friend and play a bigger role in the plot.

Direction & Music:

The task of adapting this tale for animation falls to A-1 Pictures, and like all of their work, they do a good job. However, you get the impression that A-1’s work is a little out of date and has less of an impact than the series from those other studios when you contrast it with what Mappa and Studio WIT have been doing in their projects. It seems sense that not everyone operates at the same level or under the same circumstances, but it would be good to see A-1 giving each episode their all.

With the exception of a few lackluster shots, the animation does a good job of keeping you immersed in the narrative even if the graphics may not be on pace with the finest in the business. In the meanwhile, Hiroyuki Sawano, a composer for episodes such as Attack on Titan and One Piece, does his utmost to bring out the best in every scene, whether it’s a humorous or action-packed one.

Final Thoughts:

With Attack on Titan and Jujutsu Kaisen having concluded their seasons, Solo Leveling is off to one of the strongest starts to the year and may even be the finest anime series this season. The show has a timeless, contemporary, and nostalgic vibe that makes you want your main character to succeed because, after all, if he can do it, so can we. Although it may not wow viewers, the animation does a fantastic job of bringing the plot to life. The world-building will also captivate viewers as the mysteries of the realm reveal themselves to them.

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