Another day, another review! Welcome to today’s review on Only I Level Up which is also known as Solo Leveling. I must warn you now that before you continue reading this review, be sure that you take into consideration that the following review is based on the first few chapters of the manhwa, along with some current up to date spoilers which could possibly spoil a lot of things for you if you haven’t read/looked further into it.
What Only I Level Up (나 혼자만 레벨업) (Solo Leveling) Is About
Artist: Jang Sung-Rak (REDICE Studio)
Known As: Solo Leveling, 나 혼자만 레벨업, Na Honjaman Lebel-eob, I Level Up Alone, Поднятие уровня в одиночку, Na Honjaman Level Up,
Light Novel: Yes
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A Small Synopsis
Only I Level Up (Solo Leveling) begins with an introduction to the main protagonist, it shows him just about to die against monsters in a mysterious room. The story is based in the city of Seoul and focuses on an RPG type style system which our protagonist acquires mysteriously after dying. The system wants him to level up and gives him quests and tasks to achieve within certain amounts of time, the penalty for failing to do what the system wants is death.
Overview of Chapter One
The story begins with an introduction to our protagonist, Sung-Jin-Woo, an E-rank hunter who is just about to die. He exclaims he did not expect his early demise to happen to him and the panel ends with a mysterious monster-type humanoid taking a swing towards him.
We are then presented with a look of South Korean city Seoul and our protagonist walking alone while giving us a little introduction about himself. Sung explains that aside from his slightly abnormal strength – it’s embarrassing even calling himself a hunter. He continues to explain how he is always getting hurt and has had a lot of near-death experiences. He mentions how being a hunter means your life is always on the line, and that he doesn’t do it because he wants to.
We are then taken to a construction site somewhere in Seoul and are given the first glimpse of the “gate” which Sung and other hunters have to go into to fight the monsters. Sung expresses his reasoning behind becoming a hunter and explains that he is just barely paying his mother’s hospital bills with the pay he gets from being an E-rank hunter, he also explains that this was the only option as otherwise, he would be a normal person without any particular talents and be incapable of providing the care for his mother.
Other characters are being introduced and introductory dialogue commences between two new characters Kim and Bak. We see Kim ask Bak why he is back and that he thought he had given up being a hunter, Bak exclaims that he had no other choice as his wife was expecting another baby boy. Kim agrees and states that there is nothing like doing a raid to earn a fortune – both continue to make conversation when suddenly our protagonist’s name is called out from the background. Everyone is greeting Sung and making sure that he is keeping well and has eaten, Bak is a little confused and mistakes Sung for a highly capable hunter to which Kim explains that he is the world’s weakest and the complete opposite to an S-class hunter. It is explained that as Sung had joined the raid that it should be relatively easy as Sung himself is still able to get hurt within an E-class raid, meaning that the other hunters shouldn’t have any problems.
The conversation comes to a close as they suspect that Sung may be able to hear them, to which Sung subconsciously says that he’s heard them all along. Sung approaches a stall and asks if he may have a coffee to which the owner responds stating they are all out and continue apologising to Sung, he walks away and states its fine. As Sung is walking he is startled by another hunter, she got his attention by shouting his name and stating he is hurt again.
The fellow hunter’s name is Ju-Hee and she asks him why his face is hurt, again. Sung just responds with the fact it happened during hunting… but Ju-Hee forces him to tell her what actually happened. He confesses it happened during the last E-class raid and that he also had to go to the hospital and that out of everyone that had attended the raid, only he was hurt. It’s then revealed that due to the previous party being strong, they didn’t bring a healer because they knew they’d be safe and wouldn’t require healing. Sung exclaims that he understands that it was due to his strength and that he is weak, and tells Ju-Hee he is used to it. Ju-Hee is visibly not impressed however she doesn’t say anything, Sung stands up and states it looks like the raid is about to begin and that they should get ready to go.
A new character is introduced, his name appears to be Mr Song, he asks if everyone would be happy if he were to take the lead of the raid, to which everyone else agreed to as he is the strongest amongst them all. Once everyone had agreed on the leader, Mr Song stated they should get going into the dungeon. Mr Song turns around to Sung and tells him to try and not get injured in this raid, Sung laughs and says okay. We then see Ju-Hee enter first and call for Sung to follow, Sung is determined to do his best during this raid and the chapter comes to an end as Sung walks through the gate.
What Is Good About Only I Level Up (나 혼자만 레벨업) (Solo Leveling)
With Only I Level Up (Solo Leveling) being one of the first manhwa that I have read, it’s hard to say anything negative about it. I follow it closely along with a colleague from work and we always discuss recent chapters and what we think may happen next with the main protagonist Sung.
Overall the idea behind Only I Level Up (Solo Leveling) is unique in itself to anything else which I have read, the storyline is kept mysterious and twists and turns are thrown in just as you think you’ve figured it all out.
The protagonist, Sung – is very charismatic and he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. He can be a bit overwhelming at times and show off his real strength, however, he is not the kind of person who shows off his strength unless he needs to prove a point. His goal is to make a better life for his family and to ensure that they are never faced with any troubles again. He himself wants to rise to the top and become the strongest hunter in the world.
The art style is very good and some of the double-page shots are insanely detailed, with it being one of the first manhwa that I had read, it made me want to find others like it, however, I did notice that there were added sound effects (which now I have seen in other popular manhwa) but it really gives the reader a nice way to build a mental image of what is really going on.
What Is Bad About Only I Level Up (나 혼자만 레벨업) (Solo Leveling)
Personally, I cannot find any faults with Only I Level Up (Solo Leveling) and think that it is made incredibly well – I suppose the very, very minor things that I could point out are that sometimes the text in speech bubbles is identical, but this happens rarely so that it doesn’t make such a big difference to the overall readability of the manhwa.
So if you have made it this far down I congratulate you as I did write a lot more for this review than my previous one. However, I feel that Only I Level Up (Solo Leveling) is a manhwa well worth looking into and reading if you haven’t started it already.
Awesome characters, awesome art scenes and definitely an awesome storyline. There is nothing else which could be included to make this manhwa any better than it already is.
Let me know if you have read Only I Level Up (Solo Leveling) or are thinking of picking it up in the comments below! Be sure to share this with your friends and make them aware of this awesome manhwa.