In recent years, the lines between manga and manhwa have become increasingly blurred, with fans in China and South Korea becoming increasingly involved in the webtoon/novel genre. In particular, web novels or manhwa have regularly received adaptations in various forms, namely live-action and anime adaptations. Unlike the usual shonen or shoujo genre, Japanese animation houses are keenly interested in popular South Korean works, including the recently trending webtoon: Solo Leveling.
Solo Leveling is a recently concluded South Korean web-novel written by Chugong that took the internet by storm after the conclusion of its 179th chapter. Also called I’m the only one to level up, the web novel was published on Kakao KakaoPage’s digital comics section in 2016 and later by D&C Media the same year. The webtoon version of the story was illustrated by Jang Sung-rak, also known as Dubu.
The story takes place in a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction and needs the help of hunters with magical abilities to save it. Sung Jinwoo is a particularly weak hunter, constantly struggling to ensure the survival of those around him, as well as himself. A narrowly escaped mission later, Jinwoo is approached by a mysterious entity called “The System”. Jinwoo is elected as a solo player, giving him the ability to level up to any known level beyond the limits. Armed with a new set of abilities, it’s up to Jinwoo to fight against the evil in the world, be it human or monstrous. Embarking on a journey to clean up the world, Jinwoo must learn to cooperate with other hunters and people with similar abilities to him.
Viewers are eagerly awaiting the hyped anime which is set to release in 2023. To sate fans’ curiosity, here are some of the things viewers should really expect from the anime:
8 The manufacturing team:
Director Shunsuke Nakashige is the name everyone knows for delivering scenes full of suspense, emotion and action. Such a talented director will be responsible for directing the Solo Leveling animated. Some of his notable works include Re: zero and Sword art online. Noboru Kimura is a writer and actor known for his screenwriting in the phenomenal Mai-HiME and Princess Principal Crown Handler Chapters 1 and 2. He will participate in the writing of the screenplay for the animated adaptation. Additionally, character design will be handled by Tomoko Sudo, whose previous work includes The Blue Exorcist and Alice in Borderlands.
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As announced at Anime Expo, the anime series will be produced by A-1 Pictures, a Japanese animation studio. A-1 Pictures has many notable anime hits under its name, such as Your lie in April and The seven deadly sins. From the first glimpse of its special trailer, the animation is already being praised for its sharpness and detail. The characters featured in the trailer seem to be similar to those of the manhwa, mostly using a very monochromatic color scheme, and including bright blue details to emphasize the modern fantasy.
6 Sheet music
Iconic Japanese music composer and producer, Hiroyuki Sawano, will compose the original music and soundtracks. His previous, most notable and most memorable works include scores of The attack of the Titans, Kill la kill, seraph of the end and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. As can be seen through the trailer, the music adds an environment of suspense, power, speculation about something big that hasn’t happened yet.
5 Diversity of characters
Given the length of the manhwa, fans can expect to see the large number of characters integrated into the plot. For those who haven’t read the mahwa, we can expect a diverse cast of alluring characters to appear in the anime. The excitement of seeing favorite characters, such as Jinwoo, Hwang Dongsuk, and Chae Haein, has already made fans impatient.
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4 Dark theme
Solo Leveling as it is said that a manhwa is not for everyone due to gruesome combat detail, recurring themes of danger, and an overall dark outlook. There’s a lot of dark imagery present throughout, and can also be seen in the special trailer for the anime adaptation. They rely heavily on the composition of the music to portray the difficult background that would be present in the anime adaptation.
3 Scenes rich in traditions
One of the greatest attractions of the Solo Leveling mahwa is the tradition present in the scenario. These are mostly identified with the Monarchs who are ancient monsters, wanting to wipe out the human race. The depiction of ancient aspects of Korean life mentioned in the manhwa easily attracts readers to be immersed in the story. Seeing this play out in an anime adaptation would be everything Solo Leveling fan dream come true.
2 Exciting action sequences
Solo Leveling can be a goldmine for those expecting action-packed scenes. The animation studio in charge has a great reputation for presenting unique combat angles and solid suspense. For example, in the mahwa, the fight between Jinwoo and the dragon king should offer some brilliantly executed moves. With the anime currently in production and having one of the best production teams on board, Solo Leveling action sequence can leave the jaws of any viewers hanging.
A beloved manhwa sent into production for an anime adaptation welcomes a lot of speculation, especially due to the lack of details. According to the creators, the anime might not completely follow the manhwa. This shows that there might be a change in the anime’s location from Seoul to Tokyo, and Sung Jinwoo might be turned into a Japanese guy. Speculation like this is rampant due to the recurring anti-Japanese themes in Solo Leveling which do not appeal to the Japanese public. However, more information should be released as soon as Crunchyroll updates fans.