I belong to the camp of people that believe every anime and manga series out there has its niche. Far be it for me to judge what is or isn’t overhyped, considering how other people might judge my own tastes. But one thing that is pretty ubiquitous amongst anime fans is their love for Shounen series, which are often underdog stories with some impeccable battle scenes. So, is it any wonder Solo Leveling is so popular?
One of the main reasons Solo Leveling is so popular is because it just gets everything right. Solo Leveling has an actually well written plot that is supplemented with some amazing fight sequences in the middle. Plus, it has a cast of characters that are well-rounded and intriguing. The story gets you pretty hyped which is why the webtoon had such an established fanbase, even before the anime came along. It has elements from all over, such as Isekai and Shounen, yet ends up being unique.
Still, Solo Leveling is just one of many webtoons from Korea that have become massive following the globalization of apps like Line WebToon and Tapas. After all, webtoons in general have been popular for a while now, thanks to their ease of accessibility and user-friendly reading interface. They just hold so much potential, with dedicated fans hyping them along the way. So, is it really all that strange to see them crossover into the anime realm?
Following the success of Tower Of God and Why Raeliana Ended Up At the Duke’s Mansion, it was only natural that an anime adaptation of Solo Levelling would come out sooner or later. Dark Fantasy anime are already proving to be hits, so Solo Leveling being so popular? It’s practically a given. Still, let’s discuss the immense popularity of Solo Leveling and how its anime debut is going in another round of F.Y.I.!
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Solo Leveling: Not Just Popular Because of Hype!
So, here’s the deal: You don’t get to the heights that Solo Leveling did if there isn’t something truly good about your work. And Solo Leveling has that in spades. It’s a great series that is both balanced and yet mega hyped. It’s not just about the cool fights and flashy designs. There is a lot of substance to Solo Leveling that becomes apparent once you get invested.
The truth is that despite being a Power Fantasy? Solo Leveling makes the characters work for the results, resulting in a believable power struggle. Even if everyone involved in said power struggle feels larger than life, there are moments where you can see their weakness and realize just how easily the mighty can fall. This holds true even for the protagonist himself, Sung Jin-Woo. Like, sure he starts out as the weakest Hunter that barely scrapes by an E-Rank, only for ‘The System’ to suddenly make him the ‘Chosen One™’. But that’s not without some hangups.
And that’s the ticket right there: Sung Jin-Woo isn’t some overly powerful character from the start. He isn’t an edgy Gary Stu, the guy had to go through many adversaries to reach the point where he was considered ‘the strongest Hunter in the world’. It doesn’t happen overnight, which is what makes following his journey all the more interesting.
Like I said before, it’s not just about the stylistic choices taken here. Solo Leveling simply had all the potential, it was only about realizing it and utilizing said potential to its strengths.
The Right Management Matters:
Another thing that people don’t often bring up when discussing why Solo Leveling is so popular is the team behind the writer. That includes the artist, yes. But it isn’t just the art that encapsulates you. A bunch of other manhwa similar to the Dungeon style that Solo Leveling has are also big. But none have reached quite the same level of global appeal. And that’s thanks to the translation.
Unlike the argument people make for anime that is subbed or dubbed, the thing with translation is that it’s the only way a medium can crossover to western markets. And back in the day when fan translations were all you had? Well, a ton of context in the plot would get lost due to translation errors. This is something Solo Leveling’s management anticipated when it got picked up for distribution and they decided to rectify it with Solo Leveling’s global release.
And it worked. The translation is probably one of the main reasons why Solo Leveling makes for such an engaging read, alongside the impeccable art style and world building. Everything just blends together to make an insanely good story. It’s exciting and new, while still being in the realm of easily understandable. You can pick Solo Leveling up without any prior knowledge, and slowly get used to the lore it creates.
So, it isn’t hard to see why and how Solo Leveling got so popular. But the question is, will you be tuning into the anime? If you already have, how has it held up against the source material? Sound off below!