Picture this: you’re in a world full of normal people and hunters. Hunters are magical humans that enter gates (entrances to other worlds) and fight monsters. As for you, you’re the weakest rank hunter, an E-rank hunter. You can barely fight a weak monster without teetering on the verge of death – until, all of a sudden, after entering a special gate, you become part of a system that allows you to enhance your skills. Something regular hunters cannot do.
If this sounds interesting to you, then you should read (or watch) Solo Leveling! Originally published as an eight-book series that got made into a manhua, it is now finally getting an anime adaptation with the first several episodes already out. With all the publicity it’s getting, you may be wondering if it’s all deserved. What sets it apart from the rest?
The story follows Sung Jin-woo on his journey as a hunter. We see him constantly struggling to survive every time he enters a gate. Jin-woo’s sole motive for entering these gates is that he must provide for his family, as entering gates grants hunters a certain sum based on the rank of the gate, and the number of treasures it holds. Then, his life is turned upside down as he is allowed to “level up” after entering a special double gate. As he continues to grapple with the idea of being able to enhance his abilities, we are introduced to one of the main conflicts of the story: magical ants on an island off the coast of South Korea, which present a threat to South Korea as well as the neighboring countries Japan and China.
Solo Leveling‘s art is exceptionally good. The fight scenes, as well as the details in building the world of gates and “other worlds” are well done. Even if you aren’t a fan of action manhwa, I suggest giving this one a chance to see the outstanding art there is to admire! Along with the unique art style, the world-building aspect of this story has been executed well. Not only does the art stand out, but it aids the author in building a world that is filled with hunters, magical beasts, and gates. As Sung Jin-woo travels through various gates, we see how diverse and vivid the inside of the gates are. Of course, the visual aspect complements the incredible story and characters that Solo Leveling has. The fight scenes in this manhua are some of my favorites, particularly because it’s not too messy. The author keeps the fights clean with minimal sloppiness, adding to the “wow” factor of the entire manhwa.
So if you’re a fan of Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, Tower of God, or The Beginning After the End, then you’ll enjoy this manhwa! Not only is it packed with action, it contains some amazing art and a great storyline. I’d give this manhwa 4.7/5 stars, and a definite Yay for me!