Solo Leveling | Episode 1 & 2 Review

 Solo Leveling takes place in a world where for ten years, portals have been opening up across the globe and it is up to the humans to close them. The portals allow monsters to cross over into the real world and it is up to the  Humans to stop the monsters before more damage is done. Humans that possess supernatural abilities have created training and ranking systems from A-E in order to classify what missions certain levels can participate in. This is very similar to the Ranking in many other manga's such as One Punch Man and Naruto but the only difference is that it is extremely early in the history of the portals that there seems to me a lack of knowledge of their existence and how to handle them which can be great for the future storyline possibilities.

Our main character, Sung Jin-Woo is renowned as the "World's Weakest Hunter" Despite the negative backlash, he continues to hunt and try to make money in order to pay for the medical expenses of his sick mother. The gates are also ranked based on class system and Sung being the lowest ranked, can only hunt in the lowest possible gates. 

The first episode mostly informs the viewers about the world they will be exploring in the series and what to expect. All of it seemed fairly safe in terms of storytelling; fighting larger than life monsters and animals but episode two is when the story is really elevated. Jin joins a mission into a gate that turns into a much more dangerous gate than previously expected. The large team battle their way through some standard low level monsters and make their way to what they refer to as the "final boss" of the gate. As they enter the room, at first glance, it seems like an ordinary statue room but in fact, it is a larger than life dungeon that puts the team to the test in terms of survival ability and problem solving skills.  

Jin is an interesting character, but unlike many of the talented or genius level heroes we are used to seeing. Jin being the world's weakest hunter and barely showcasing any fighting skills, needs to rise to the occasion and demonstrate why he is the main character of this series. He does so in episode two as he must navigate his way through the dungeon in order to survive. 

I have not read the manga for Solo Leveling so all of this is fresh and new to me. If you have read the manga, you will most likely know how the story will develop but for anyone new to the series, I guarantee that episode two's cliffhanger will leave you wanting more. 

Solo Leveling premieres on Crunchyroll this Saturday January 6th 

Review by: Stefano Bove

#crunchyroll #anime #manga

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