The first episode of Solo Leveling premiered on January 6 with an impressive kickoff and we introspect along with everyone wondering whether it'll become the ultimate anime hit of the year.
After a long wait, fans finally got an anime adaptation of Solo Leveling and the hype was real! 2024 has a solid lineup for anime fans, and the series's premiere kicked things off with a bang and gave us a good start to the year. The first episode that premiered crashed Crunchyroll, leaving everyone wondering if it will be the ultimate anime hit of the year. As we await the other episodes, we dive into what makes it so appealing to the audience already. Published in 2016, the Manhwa, Solo Leveling caught the attention of readers for its incredible artistic style. This was also one of the reasons why many were excited to see its anime adaptation. Hence the streaming platforms crashing during its premiere makes total sense!
Solo Leveling essentially unfolds like the video game "Fantasy MMORPG” making no effort to conceal its gaming influence while portraying guilds, raids, and loot as integral aspects of its supernaturally empowered warriors' daily lives. Revolving around 'warriors armed against interdimensional monsters jeopardizing humanity' the story gets interesting when their foes transform into magical crystals upon defeat.
But why do people have high hope from it? Fans who have been following anime might agree that a bunch of special people fighting monsters is a trope that we have seen several times. But Solo Leveling manages to distinguish itself in the first episode itself by emphasizing the economic aspect of this interdimensional dungeon exploration. The narrative stands out by portraying Jin-Woo's dependence on dungeon work to support his mother and sister, adding a unique layer to his character and the story. In exploring such tropes, many protagonists usually fight with sheer willpower and a sense of justice. However, Solo Leveling takes a refreshing approach, showcasing a young protagonist primarily concerned with getting paid on time, even if it means confronting monsters with just a chipped dagger.
Contrary to expectations, the story doesn't revolve around Jin Woo's extensive character development despite facing challenges as the weakest. He undergoes a significant power upgrade, and a flashy one at that but his character development remains limited putting the one-dimensional writing of these characters on top as the show progresses. When he was introduced as the weakest hunter ever, the character of Jin Woo was relatable and likable but the flashy power glow-up eats up what little depth we could see in his character. But as viewers, we should be prepared for a sense of detachment from the characters.
What we think draws people to Solo Leveling is its exceptional pacing. It's tough to nail the pacing game as good as Solo Leveling. The Manhwa's impressive art style contributes to its popularity, and the anime holds promise in that aspect. However, those unfamiliar with the source material might anticipate a deeper storyline, which may not be the case. Solo Leveling's success largely hinges on the allure of well-executed fight scenes and the cool, overpowered nature of its protagonist. While the animation and action are commendable, the narrative may feel weak to some viewers, potentially impacting the show's popularity. In contemplating whether Solo Leveling could become the year's biggest anime hit, the thought remains subjective. Popularity doesn't always align with a compelling story, it depends on the audience. But with other strong titles making comebacks this year, Solo Leveling may face challenges in securing the top spot in terms of likability.
Watch the trailer here!
What is your opinion on Solo Leveling? Tell us in the comments below!
For more binge-centric content and reviews, follow us on @socialketchupbinge.