‘Solo Leveling’ Review: A Riveting Start to 2024’s Anime Lineup that Promises More Thrills Ahead

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A strong contender for anime of the year, Solo Leveling has stormed onto the scene, delivering a captivating fantasy narrative that delves into the challenges of battling monstrous foes.

Solo Leveling Featured ImageImage via Crunchyroll THE OVERVIEW Solo Leveling unfolds within a captivating fantasy realm, showcasing the perils and adversities faced by those engaged in combat against formidable monsters. The series introduces a host of intriguing characters navigating dungeon settings reminiscent of Elden Ring and Sword Art Online. While the animation is visually stunning and immersive, the initial episodes reveal a lack of depth in the supporting cast.

Set in a world where the powerful dominate the weak, Solo Leveling, based on the most successful manhwa (Korean comic) of all time, is a production of A-1 Pictures (known for Kaguya-sama: Love is War and Sword Art Online). The narrative thrusts us into a tale of discovery and terror, where modern society must fend off monsters to maintain peace. Humanity’s defenders, known as Hunters, are ranked from S to E, with the protagonist, Sung Jinwoo, positioned as one of the weakest in the E-ranked category. The series unfolds as a poignant drama, portraying the harsh realities of battling creatures stronger than oneself, creating an unpredictable narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Solo Leveling poster: Solo Leveling In a world teeming with gifted hunters and menacing monsters, the weak hunter Sung Jinwoo gains extraordinary powers through a mysterious program, propelling him to become one of the most formidable hunters, conquering even the most challenging dungeons.

Release Date: January 6, 2024 Main Genre Anime Genres Anime, Action, Adventure Seasons 1 Studio A-1 Pictures Distributor Crunchyroll What Is ‘Solo Leveling’ About?

The initial two episodes serve as an introduction to Solo Leveling’s world and the imminent threats posed by monstrous entities. Despite occasional exposition-heavy moments, the narrative becomes compelling as characters of varying ranks interact with these formidable adversaries. Jinwoo, the clever protagonist, quickly earns our sympathy as he grapples with the challenges of making a living through high-skill jobs, unable to generate income from monster hunting. While the supporting characters, such as Mr. Song and Joohee, add intrigue to the storyline, some feel like mere tools to assist Jinwoo’s survival, with Joohee, the party’s healer, lacking substantial depth beyond her utility.

Jinwoo Is About to Level Up in ‘Solo Leveling’ Jinwoo holding a blade in Solo LevelingImage via Crunchyroll With adventures on the horizon, the impact of the Episode 2 cliffhanger is palpable. The introduction of a new game adds tension to the premiere, elevating the stakes as uncertainties loom. As Jinwoo faces a life-altering choice, the series sets the stage for a journey filled with intrigue and unpredictability. The impressive animation by A-1 Pictures enhances the sense of tension, effectively combining 2D animation with CGI elements to portray giant creatures and statues, emphasizing the vulnerability of human characters.

In summary, Solo Leveling embarks on an excellent start, living up to its status as one of the most anticipated anime of 2024. While the series merely scratches the surface of its potential, the lack of depth in the supporting cast and the delayed initiation of Jinwoo’s actual journey are notable drawbacks. However, the promise of meeting more major players in the upcoming episodes ensures that viewers won’t have to wait long to witness the unfolding of the story’s full potential.