OP: 「」 (LEveL) by (Sawano Hiroyuki[nZk]:TOMORROW X TOGETHER)
“If I had one more chance”
This is sort of what I was alluding to last episode, something about bravery for others not being your own, I have no idea. Sometimes I write these reviews in a manic state. But whatever – I do not move backward only forwards. So this episode finally had the OP and ED, which I’ve been looking forward to seeing. I especially liked the ED. Its surreal visuals bring a different vibe that I quite enjoy. I am an enjoyer of the weird side of things, so seeing an ending so bizarre and with imagery that has been taken out of context is great. Yet, I’m sure it will provide many opportunities for those wanting to scrub through it frame by frame and find all those hidden details on the TV’s.
On the other hand the OP – god it was amazing. Upon rewatching it for this review, it’s just amazing. The animation certainly does wonders for the show – it gives that hype that is necessary. You’re about to watch Solo Leveling and this opening puts that in the forefront. The song by TXT also is incredible and I might have it on repeat in the future. Is this the first time a K-POP group does the opening for an anime? I do not know but it’s certainly interesting they went with that direction. Solo Leveling is shaping up to be a multicultural production and I’m here for it.
Let’s talk about the episode proper – first of all the scene we were all waiting for that creepy smile from the statue is a staple of the manhwa that has been shareable online ever since it started its first original run. I know it’s an image that attracted me to read the comic. On the other hand, I’m glad A-1 didn’t skimp on the gore. Even though somewhere in there it started to feel like gore pr0n. I think all of this was necessary to set the tone for the rest of the series. Sung really gets into some dire situations and his leveling-up technique really helps him out in some places as well. Even though some of it was hidden behind censoring like the black fog and mirror shots. I certainly appreciated how visceral the whole experience was.
Somewhere during the end, Sung comes to the realization that he is in fact somewhat of a hypocrite. Because in some sense he has been relying on other’s to get him through the dungeons. And that’s why people above him – basically everyone else – treat him like a little brother. Because he is. He’s defenseless, in fact, I believe that this is Ju-Hui Lee’s main infatuation with Sung. She wants to protect him, and that brings her some type of control or power over him. She is a healer after all. When she sees Sung with half a leg missing, she springs to action – even if it makes her bleed from every orifice on her face. She wants to prove she can heal him and be of use to him. But I digress. As always this is just my opinion.
Anyway, Sung taking the lead in this episode also was something important because, over the course of the anime and the comic itself, he becomes a really good leader that we will see more of. He’s not annoying and these first two episodes are the only time we will see this version of him as the rest of the series has him really leveling up. Both in skill and emotionally.
In the end – he sacrifices himself because it’s the only logical thing to do – this other guy has a family and still has all of his limbs. Sung would slow them down and the door would close on them. So he does the only right thing to do – but in the process before he dies a text appears above him and he is asked to join something called ‘courage of the weak’. I’ve always wondered if the rest of the people who decided to leave him to die – would also have stayed, would they also have gotten Sung’s power? That is a question only for headcannons.
So – overall I’m very happy with how A-1 is adapting the comic and so far these two episodes have been great! Here’s hoping you’ll stick around with us here at RC and watch Solo Leveling with us!
Have a lovley day!
Full-length images: 39.
ED: 「」 (request) by (krage)