Solo Leveling Review
Solo Leveling Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Solo Leveling Review: Star Rating:

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

Creator: Chugong

Director: Shunsuke Nakashige

Streaming On: Crunchyroll

Language: Japanese (with subtitles)

Runtime: 12 Episodes, Around 25 minutes each.

Solo Leveling Review
Solo Leveling Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Solo Leveling Review: What’s It About:

The world of anime has been influential outside of Japan to such a degree that many other cultures have begun to use the tropes defined by the medium to tell their own stories, which is great as it shows that the medium is flexible enough to adapt to other mediums and still retain its main characteristics, which takes us to Solo Leveling, an anime adaptation from a South Korean novel that eventually became a webtoon. It has finally come full circle, becoming an anime series where we follow our protagonist on his search to become the strongest.

Solo Leveling Review: Script Analysis:

Solo Leveling looks from the outside as a straightforward story, and in many ways, it is. We are presented with a fantastical setting where magic is accurate, and monsters are a threat to humanity, and of course, this means that someone must come out to meet them and defend planet Earth. Following the anime trend of following a character’s road to improvement, we are introduced to Sung Jin-woo, our main character, who has been labeled, according to the rules of this universe, the weakest hunter in the world.

Following this classic setup, the show goes into a very classic plot where Jin-woo will find himself in a very particular position, the ability to level up to other hunter ranks, something no one else is able to do, and it is this ability that makes his story worth following. In these aspects, Solo Leveling feels very classical and needs help standing out from the many other anime stories where the protagonist begins as a weakling, only to work hard and become the best. You will be disappointed if you’re looking for something different from that in Solo Leveling.

However, this is not to say that the series feels just like treading water, as there are elements that make it stand out, and this is primarily thanks to the world-building. The author of the series has placed a lot of thought into creating a universe that feels real inside this fantastic situation that sees a portal from other dimensions opening and letting all manner of creatures come to Earth to wreak havoc. The story goes beyond that and shows how humanity has changed in this situation.

Seeing how humanity, the way humans live, and how even the economy has changed in the face of the dimensional invasion is quite exciting and makes the story feel more grounded even when our main characters start to level up more and more and get confronted by more outlandish enemies every time. Thankfully, the series always remembers to make Jin-woo the story’s focus and make his journey the focus of everything, not only in his journey to become the strongest hunter but also as a human being and his interactions with other characters.

Solo Leveling Review
Solo Leveling Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Solo Leveling Review: Star Performance:

Solo Leveling is all about Jin-woo and his journey as a protagonist, and seeing the character face each new challenge becomes quite addicting. Jin-woo is very much all the readers of the novels and all the audience that will watch the anime. As a character, Jin-woo represents the entire audience and their struggle to live a better life and improve themselves to achieve their goals. Yes, we are not battling interdimensional beings, but we are still fighting life similarly, facing each challenge and improving our skills.

Taking all of this into account, Taito Ban’s performance as Jin-woo feels fitting as he begins being weak and unsure, and little by little, we hear his voice changing and becoming more secure in his abilities. Genta Nakamura also does a great job as Jin-ho, who will become Jin-woo’s best friend and become increasingly important as the story progresses.

Solo Leveling Review: Direction & Music:

A-1 Pictures takes on the responsibility of taking this story to the realm of animation, and just like they do in all their projects, they do a solid job; however, when comparing what A-1 is doing here with what Mappa and Studio WIT have been doing in their projects, you can feel that A-1’s work is a bit outdated and doesn’t make as much impact as the series from those other studios. Understandably, not everyone works on the same level and under the same conditions, but it would be nice to see A-1 doing their best in each episode.

Maybe the visuals are not up to par with the best of the industry, but except for a few shots that look quite weak, the animation won’t take you out of the story. Meanwhile, the music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, who has worked in shows like Attack on Titan and One Piece, brings his best efforts to make each scene feel as good as possible, be it an action scene or another one filled with humor.

Solo Leveling Review: Last Words:

Solo Leveling starts the year in the best ways, and it could be the best anime series of the season now that more impressive shows like Attack on Titan and Jujutsu Kaisen have finished their runs. The series feels nostalgic, modern, and classic and brings that feeling of wanting our main character to succeed because if he can do it, so can we. The animation quality might not blow people away, but it does a great job of translating the story into animation. At the same time, the world-building will keep people watching as the world’s mysteries unfold before them.

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