Solo Leveling Manhwa also known as (AKA) “I Alone Level Up ; I Level Up Alone ; Na Honjaman Lebel-eob ; Only I Level Up ; Solo Levelling ; Поднятие уровня в одиночку ; 나 혼자만 레벨업”. This OnGoing manga4all was released on 2018. The story was written by Chugong and illustrations by GEE So-Lyung,Redice Studio. Solo Leveling webtoon is about Action, Adventure, Fantasy story.
Solo Leveling Manhwa – Summary
10 years ago, after “the Gate” that connected the real world with the monster world opened, some of the ordinary, everyday people received the power to hunt monsters within the Gate. They are known as “Hunters”. However, not all Hunters are powerful. My name is Sung Jin-Woo, an E-rank Hunter. I’m someone who has to risk his life in the lowliest of dungeons, the “World’s Weakest”. Having no skills whatsoever to display, I barely earned the required money by fighting in low-leveled dungeons… at least until I found a hidden dungeon with the hardest difficulty within the D-rank dungeons! In the end, as I was accepting death, I suddenly received a strange power, a quest log that only I could see, a secret to leveling up that only I know about! If I trained in accordance with my quests and hunted monsters, my level would rise. Changing from the weakest Hunter to the strongest S-rank Hunter!
Solo Leveling is an adaptation of Chugong’s web novel series of the same title. It is originally a webtoon series which has been officially published in book format by D&C Media (디앤씨미디어) since September 26, 2019.
The series has been published digitally in English by Tappytoon since June 4, 2020, and has been licensed for print release by Yen Press.
**Reupload Chapter 0-140 to fix some broken images
This isn’t solo leveling anymore!”
– Solo Leveling, chapter 46
Ah yes, the highly praised webtoon, Solo Leveling. Now that it started being released physically too, it’s finally added to MALs database. Does it live up to expectations? Not really, no.
Note that this review contains slight spoilers.
Solo Leveling is pretty much your typical “zero to hero” story, despite what fans might claim. Protagonist is weak, encounters trouble and is handed down some op abilities out of nowhere. Yes, he technically has to do quest to earn progress, but just the ability to do quests itself is unique to the world and is given to the protagonist with no explanation as to why. (Also the starting quest is ripped straight out of One Punch Man). This “underdog” is now stronger than almost everyone else, yet still has tendency to try to hide his abilities, for no apparent reason. I guess him being shown as strong all the time would hinder self-insertion.
The story is fine, more or less what you would expect from the genre, not great, not terrible. It’s still a fun read, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hardly something I would call great. The greatest weakness is the repetitiveness. All the arcs after the first one go like this: MC enters a dungeon, something “unsusual” and “unexpected” happens, the expected difficulty increases, everything looks dire and unbeatable, MC starts doing stuff, the threat turns to be irrelevant as MC triumps over it relatively easily. More and more easily with each arc.
In fact, there is just no thrill anymore. Which is why the first few chapters were the best. You were worried about the protagonist as there was no telling whether he’ll make it out arive. But at the current point of the story, the threath is there no more. It’s just a massacre of obstacles.
The MC himself went from likeable underdog that works hard despite being the weakest to help his ill mother to not really giving a heck and having no problem straight out murdering someone. And this substory about ill mother? You would would expect that to get attention right after the protagonist gets strong and loaded, right? Nah, it doesn’t get mentioned until much later when the author remembers that they made this substory in attempt to make the MC more likeable.
Edit: With the new chapters, the story does actually go back to the “mother is ill” part of the plot. It is thanks to a bunch of random item drops that conjuret the potion of plotforwarding, sure, but that’s still better than nothing. A positive point for you, Solo Leveling.
With this are tied the “edgy spikes”. I’m not that fond of using the “edgy” buzzword in a review, but in this case it fits as the description perfectly. Most of the time the manhwa is fine, but from time to time the edginess spikes out of nowhere, probably in an attempt to make the comic more interesting, but the result is exactly opposite.
The best part of Solo Leveling is undoubtly art. It’s full colored, atmospheric, and the action is well drawn. On the other hand, it’s not that’s much different from most of webtoons of similar genres.
Overall, Solo Leveling is a fine read, but certainly nothing revolutionary.
Update: Since the 1st season of the webcomic is now finished, I’d like to comment on its last arc. With it, all the weak aspects of Solo Leveling are even more obvious. Not only the story of the arc is a porr man’s cheap knock-off of Chimera Ant arc from HxH, the writing is terrible. The arc can be summed up as presentation of the the strongest characters the Hunter Association has to offer only for all of them to be beaten easily so the protagonist can waltz in and save the day effortlessly like the Gary Stu he is, takes a souvenir corpse to summon another overpowered servant and that’s the arc done. This part really cemented Solo Leveling as nothing more than bad power fantasy with good art.