Solo Leveling

Solo Leveling, also alternatively translated as Only I Level Up (Korean: 나 혼자만 레벨업; RR: Na Honjaman Rebeleop), is a South Korean web novel written by Chugong.

It was serialized in Kakao's digital comic and fiction platform KakaoPage beginning on July 25, 2016, and was later published by D&C Media under their Papyrus label since November 4, 2016. The novel has been licensed in English by Yen Press.

Solo Leveling
Solo Leveling
First webtoon adaptation volume cover, featuring Sung Jin-woo

AuthorChugong
CountrySouth Korea
LanguageKorean
GenreAction, fantasy
Publisher
  • D&C Media (Korean)
  • Webnovel (English)
  • Yen Press (English)
Published
  • July 25, 2016 – October 10, 2018 (KakaoPage)
  • November 4, 2016 – April 18, 2018 (D&C Media)
  • December 21, 2018 – June 24, 2019 (Webnovel)
  • December 29, 2021 (Final chapter)
Media typeweb novel
No. of books14
Solo Leveling
나 혼자만 레벨업
Na Honjaman Rebeleop
AuthorChugong
IllustratorDubu (Redice Studio)
PublisherD&C Media
Webtoon
service
Original runMarch 4, 2018 – December 29, 2021
Volumes9
Anime television series
Directed byShunsuke Nakashige
Written byNoboru Kimura
Music byHiroyuki Sawano
StudioA-1 Pictures
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkTokyo MX, GYT, Gunma TV, BS11, CBC, ytv
Original run January 7, 2024 – present
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Solo Leveling
Korean name
Hangul나 혼자만 레벨업
Japanese name
Kanji俺だけレベルアップな件
Kanaおれだけレベルアップなけん

A webtoon adaptation of Solo Leveling was first serialized in KakaoPage on March 4, 2018; it was illustrated by Jang Sung-rak (Dubu). The webtoon's first season concluded on March 19, 2020, and its second season was released from August 2020 to December 2021. Its individual chapters have been collected and published by D&C Media in nine volumes as of August 2023. The webtoon has been licensed in English by Yen Press.

An anime television series adaptation produced by A-1 Pictures aired from January to March 2024. A second season, entitled Arise from the Shadow, has been announced.

A Korean drama adaptation is in development and spin-off webtoon Solo Leveling: Ragnarok is set to premiere in 2024.

A role-playing video game titled Solo Leveling: Arise has been released by Netmarble.

Plot

In a world where hunters — human warriors who possess supernatural abilities — must battle deadly monsters to protect mankind from certain annihilation, a notoriously weak hunter named Sung Jinwoo finds himself in a seemingly endless struggle for survival. One day, after narrowly surviving an overwhelmingly powerful double dungeon that nearly wipes out his entire party, a mysterious program called the System chooses him as its sole player and in turn, gives him the unique ability to level up in strength. This is something no other hunter is able to do, as a hunter's abilities are set once they awaken. Jinwoo then sets out on a journey as he fights against all kinds of enemies, both man and monster, to discover the secrets of the dungeons and the true source of his powers. He soon discovers that he has been chosen to inherit the position of Shadow Monarch, essentially turning him into an immortal necromancer who has absolute rule over the dead. He is the only monarch who fights to save humanity, as the other monarchs are all trying to kill him and wipe out the humans.

Characters

    Sung Jin-woo
    Voiced by: Taito Ban (Japanese); Aleks Le (English)
    Japanese name: Shun Mizushino (水篠 旬, Mizushino Shun)
    Sung Jin-woo (성진우; Seong Jin-u) is the main protagonist of the series. Originally an infamously weak E-Rank hunter, he gets the chance of a lifetime when he is selected as the Player of a magical program called the System and gains the unique ability to grow in strength without limit. By taking advantage of this new power offered to him by the System, Jinwoo eventually rises up to become humanity's greatest hunter, but also eventually finds himself to be a major player in a war that has been going on forever between the Rulers and the Monarchs, two groups of unbelievably powerful humanoids who have their own agendas with mankind, as he is inherited Ashborn's power, becoming the second Shadow Monarch.
    Yoo Jin-ho
    Voiced by: Genta Nakamura (Japanese); Justin Briner (English)
    Japanese name: Kenta Morobishi (諸菱 賢太, Morobishi Kenta)
    Yoo Jin-ho (유진호; Yu Jin-ho) is a Korean D-Rank Hunter and Jinwoo's best friend. He comes from a very wealthy family and eventually becomes the vice chairman of Jinwoo's guild after he impresses the latter with his sense of loyalty and commitment. Jinho also shares a brother-like relationship with Jinwoo, due to the fact that he is estranged from his biological brother and tends to dress up in very fancy and expensive armor that he usually buys from foreign manufacturers, which serves as a prominent running gag throughout the series.
    Sung Jin-ah
    Voiced by: Haruna Mikawa (Japanese); Rebecca Wang (English)
    Japanese name: Aoi Mizushino (水篠 葵, Mizushino Aoi)
    Sung Jinah (성진아; Seong Jin-a) is Jinwoo's younger sister. Unlike her brother, she is not a hunter and is a student in high school.
    Park Kyung-hye
    Japanese name: Satoko Mizushino (水篠 聡子, Mizushino Satoko)
    Park Kyung-hye (박경혜; Bak Gyeong-hye) is Jinwoo and Jinah's mother. Four years before the events of the main storyline, she suddenly became ill with Eternal Slumber, an incurable and magically induced sleeping disorder, and fell into a coma soon after, forcing Jinwoo to take over as the breadwinner of the family in her place. However, about four years later, Jinwoo was able to cure her condition and wake her up by using a rare potion he crafted while training with the System.
    Lee Joo-hee
    Voiced by: Rina Honnizumi (Japanese); Dani Chambers (English)
    Japanese name: Eri Mizuki (観月 絵里, Mizuki Eri)
    Lee Joohee (이주희; I Ju-hui) is a Korean B-Rank hunter who specializes in healing magic and one of Jinwoo's old friends during his days as an E-Rank Hunter. Although she survives the double dungeon alongside Jinwoo, she is left shell-shocked by the experience and ultimately retires after failing to overcome the mental trauma she suffered from the incident.
    Cha Hae-in
    Voiced by: Reina Ueda (Japanese); Michelle Rojas (English)
    Japanese name: Shizuku Kousaka (向坂 雫, Kōsaka Shizuku)
    Cha Hae-In (차해인; Cha Hae-in) is a Korean S-Rank Hunter who specializes in swordsmanship and the only female S-Rank in the country. She has a rare condition that causes other hunters to smell foul to her and eventually develops romantic feelings for Jinwoo after witnessing him in action and discovering that he is the only hunter she has ever met who actually smells nice to her.
    Sung Il-hwan
    Japanese name: Junichro Mizushino (水篠 ジュンイチロー, Mizushino Junichiro)
    Sung Il-Hwan (성일환; Seong Il-hwan) was a Korean S-Rank Hunter, Kyung-Hye's husband, and Jinwoo and Jinah's father. Ten years before the events of the main storyline, he suddenly disappeared inside a dungeon while on a raid, leaving his family to presume him dead. However, about a decade later, he returned to the human world to aid his son in the coming war against the Monarchs and was eventually revealed to be a Rulers' vessel, one of the seven humans chosen by the Rulers to serve them as their hosts. Although Il-Hwan ultimately succeeded in his mission, he ended up exerting far more power than his body could handle in his last battle with the Monarchs and consequently died afterwards in his son's arms, with Jinwoo unable to do anything to save him.
    Go Gun-hee
    Voiced by: Banjō Ginga (Japanese); Kent Williams (English)
    Japanese name: Kyoomi Gotou (後藤 清臣, Gotō Kyoomi)
    Go Gunhee (고건희; Gu Geon-hui) was a Korean S-Rank Hunter and the Chairman of the Korean Hunters' Association, the government agency responsible for overseeing all the hunters, gates, and guilds active within Korea. Although he was later revealed to be a Rulers' vessel, he suffered from a variety of health problems due to his old age, preventing him from using his powers to their maximum output, and was ultimately killed by the Monarchs in battle.
    Thomas Andre
    Thomas Andre (토마스 안드레; Tomaseu Andeure) is one of the strongest hunters in America and one of the five National Level Hunters, ranking 1st in the world. He is also a Rulers' vessel and is nicknamed the Goliath due to his large build and immense superhuman strength. He later befriends Jinwoo after the latter defeats him in a fight and give him Kamish's Wrath, the strongest magical weapon in the world, as a gift.
    Liu Zhigang
    Liu Zhigang (류즈캉; Ryu Jeu-kang) is the strongest hunter in China and one of the five National Level Hunters, ranking 2nd in the world. He is also a Rulers' vessel and was the strongest hunter in Asia until Jinwoo surpassed him in power. He later becomes on good terms with Jinwoo when they meet each other for the first time during the annual guild conference.
    Christopher Reed
    Christopher Reed (크리스토퍼 리드; Keuriseutopeo Rideu) was one of the strongest hunters in America and one of the five National Level Hunters, ranking 3rd in the world. He was also a Rulers' vessel and the first of the seven to be killed by the Monarchs.
    Siddharth Bachchan
    Siddharth Bachchan (싯다르트 밧찬; Sitdareuteu Batchan) is the strongest hunter in India and one of the five National Level Hunters, ranking 4th in the world. He is also a Rulers' vessel and the only one of the seven to never make a physical appearance in the webtoon.
    Goto Ryuji
    Goto Ryuji (고토 류지; Goto Ryuji) was the strongest hunter in Japan. Despite the fact that he was small fry compared to the National Level Hunters, Goto was very egotistical and had a callous disregard for human life. His hubris ultimately cost him his life when he was later killed in one hit by a powerful ant monster called the Ant King during a raid on the Jeju Island S-Rank Gate.
    Hwang Dong-soo
    Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese); Matthew David Rudd (English)
    Japanese name: Masato Ukyo (右京 将人, Ukyo Masato)
    Hwang Dongsoo (황동수; Hwang Dong-su) was a Korean S-Rank Hunter based in America who attempted to kill Jinwoo after learning that the latter was responsible for the death of his older brother Dong-suk. He was eventually killed by Jinwoo himself after making the mistake of abducting and brutally torturing Jinho for information on the circumstances of his brother's murder. Following his death, he became one of Jinwoo's shadow soldiers.
    Lennart Niermann
    Lennart Niermann (레나트 니어만; Renateu Nieoman) is the strongest hunter in Germany, ranking 12th in the world. Despite being the best in his homeland, Lennart is not particularly arrogant and has a strong sense of duty towards the cause, as displayed when he was willing to use himself as bait to save Thomas from getting killed by the Monarchs.
    Ashborn
    Ashborn (아스본; Aseubon) is the King of the Dead and the Monarch of Shadows. He is also the strongest Ruler and the Greatest Fragment of Brilliant Light. After spending eons fighting in the ancient war between the Rulers and the Monarchs, Ashborn grew weary of the ceaseless violence, leading him to eventually chose Jinwoo as his host in hopes of ending the bloodshed once and for all. When Jinwoo is later killed by the Monarchs, Ashborn appears in the flesh to save him and gives Jinwoo a detailed explanation of his past. After transferring the rest of his powers to Jinwoo and bringing him back to life, Ashborn goes into eternal sleep and allows Jinwoo to take his place as the Shadow Monarch.
    Antares
    Antares (안타레스; Antareseu) was the King of Dragons and the Monarch of Destruction. He was also the strongest Monarch and the final antagonist of Solo Leveling. After Jinwoo killed three of the other Monarchs, Antares invaded the human world in order to draw him out and finish him off. However, despite his best efforts, he ultimately failed to achieve his ambitions and was killed by the Rulers.
    Baek Yoon-ho
    Voiced by: Hiroki Tōchi (Japanese); Christopher Sabat (English)
    Japanese name: Taiga Shirakawa (白川 大虎, Shirakawa Taiga)
    Baek Yoon-ho (백윤호; Baek Yun-ho) is a Korean S-Rank hunter who specializes in transformation magic and the Guild Master of the White Tiger Guild.
    Choi Jong-in
    Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
    Japanese name: Shin Mogami (最上 真, Mogami Shin)
    Choi Jong-In (최종인; Choe Jong-in) is a Korean S-Rank Hunter who specializes in fire magic and the Guild Master of the Hunters Guild.
    Woo Jin-chul
    Voiced by: Makoto Furukawa (Japanese); SungWon Cho (English)
    Japanese name: Akira Inukai (犬飼 晃, Inukai Akira)
    Woo Jin-chul (우진철; U Jin-cheol) is a Korean A-Rank Hunter and the Chairman of the Korean Hunters Association. Prior to the death to Go Gunhee, the previous Chairman, he was the Chief Inspector of the Korean Hunters Association's Surveillance Team.
    Rulers
    The Rulers (지배자들; Jibaejadeul), also called the Fragments of Brilliant Light, are an ancient race of winged humanoids who aim to protect the human race from being annihilated by the Monarchs. Although they have noble ambitions, they are willing to use morally questionable methods to achieve them and are indirectly responsible for the millions of human lives lost ever since monsters first began using gates to cross over to the human world. The Rulers also heavily resemble angels in appearance and are able to use a form of telekinesis unique to themselves called Ruler's Authority.
    Monarchs
    The Monarchs (군주; Gunju) are an ancient race of monsters who seek to wipe out the human race for their own ends, making them the primary antagonists of the series. As a result, they have a cruel disregard for life and are generally very arrogant towards those they find inferior to themselves, especially humans. The Monarchs also each govern a different race of monsters and take after the race that they rule over in appearance.
    Igris
    Igris, the Blood-Red Commander, is a high-ranking knight with exceptional swordsmanship and loyalty. He kneels before his master after battles. Igris dislikes Iron’s foolish behavior in battle. Despite loving the battle, Igris values education and argues with Bellion about Suho’s schooling. He is also one of the most powerful knights.

Media

Web novel

Solo Leveling was first serialized in Kakao's digital comic and fiction platform KakaoPage since July 25, 2016, and later published by D&C Media under their fantasy fiction label "Papyrus". Since 2016, the novel has garnered 2.4 million readers in KakaoPage. The novel was licensed in English by Webnovel under the title Only I Level Up and released from December 21, 2018, to June 24, 2019.

The novel has been licensed and published in collected volumes by Yen Press since February 16, 2021.

Volumes

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
01 November 4, 2016979-11-7033-666-2February 16, 2021978-19-7531-927-4
02 November 4, 2016979-11-7033-667-9June 22, 2021978-19-7531-929-8
03 December 21, 2016979-11-7033-755-3October 19, 2021978-19-7531-931-1
04 January 25, 2017979-11-7033-858-1April 5, 2022978-19-7531-933-5
05 February 23, 2017979-11-7033-911-3August 9, 2022978-19-7531-935-9
06 March 30, 2017979-11-7033-976-2December 13, 2022978-19-7531-937-3
07 April 4, 2017979-11-6140-318-2March 21, 2023978-19-7531-939-7
08 May 24, 2017979-11-6140-412-7July 18, 2023978-19-7531-941-0
09 June 22, 2017979-11-6140-467-7
10 July 20, 2017979-11-6140-549-0
11 August 24, 2017979-11-6140-626-8
12 September 21, 2017979-11-6140-693-0
13 October 27, 2017979-11-6140-827-9
Side Story April 18, 2018979-11-6268-337-8

Webtoon

A webtoon adaptation launched in KakaoPage on March 4, 2018, and concluded its first season on March 19, 2020; its second season began on August 1, 2020, concluding on December 29, 2021 with its 179th chapter. It was illustrated by Jang Sung-rak (aka Dubu), the CEO of Redice Studio, who died on July 23, 2022, after suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage. Its first collected volume was released by D&C Media on September 26, 2019. In Japan, Solo Leveling launched in Kakao Japan's webtoon and fiction service Piccoma, and accumulated over 1 million cumulative readership. It was also selected as the No. 1 webtoon in Piccoma's "Best of 2019". The webtoon has been published digitally in English by Webnovel and Tappytoon since May 7 and June 4, 2020, respectively. It is also published on Tapas in English. The collected volumes have been licensed and published in North America by Yen Press since March 2, 2021.

A side story was published between January and May 2023, with Chugong returning as writer and featuring a new art team following the death of Dubu.

Volumes

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
01 September 26, 2019979-11-89320-29-4March 2, 2021978-1-97-531943-4
02 January 30, 2020979-11-89320-36-2July 20, 2021978-1-97-531945-8
03 August 27, 2020979-11-89320-69-0November 16, 2021978-1-97-533651-6
04 April 29, 2021979-11-91363-73-9May 10, 2022978-1-97-533724-7
05 October 7, 2021979-1-16-777002-8September 20, 2022978-1-97-534438-2
06 July 25, 2022979-1-16-777037-0March 21, 2023979-8-40-090026-6
07 February 22, 2023979-1-16-777070-7August 22, 2023979-8-40-090048-8
08 May 25, 2023979-1-16-777089-9January 23, 2024979-8-40-090107-2
09 August 30, 2023979-1-16-777113-1August 20, 2024979-8-40-090193-5

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced at Anime Expo 2022. It was produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Shunsuke Nakashige, with Noboru Kimura writing the scripts, Tomoko Sudo designing the characters, and Hiroyuki Sawano composing the music. It was originally scheduled for 2023, but was later delayed, and eventually aired from January 7 to March 31, 2024, on Tokyo MX and other networks. Crunchyroll is streaming the series in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, CIS, and India. The first episodes were screened from December 2023 in Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, India, and Europe.

The opening theme song is "Level", performed by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]: Tomorrow X Together, while the ending theme song is "Request", performed by Krage. Crunchyroll licensed the series outside China, Japan, and South Korea. Medialink licensed the series in Southeast Asia and Oceania (except Australia and New Zealand).

After the final episode of the first season, a second season, entitled Arise from the Shadow, was announced.

Game

In January 2022, Netmarble announced that they are developing Solo Leveling: Arise, a role-playing video game based on the series. The game was released on May 8, 2024.

Korean television series

A live-action adaptation television series is in development.

Solo Leveling: Ragnarok

In April 2023, Kakao announced a sequel titled Solo Leveling: Ragnarok. The web novel began releasing through KakaoPage on April 10, 2023. A webtoon adaptation is set to premiere in 2024.

The story is set after the events of Solo Leveling; the side story acts as a prelude. Sung Su-ho, the son of Sung Jin-woo and Cha Hae-in, inherited his father's powers as the Shadow Monarch. However, his powers and memories were locked as a child, so he can have a normal life. But when Gates started to open up around Earth again during his third year of university, Su-ho is chosen as a Player by the System. Therefore, Su-ho must become a Hunter in order to face the new threat that is related to his parents' disappearance.

The web novel is written by Daul, who replaced Chugong, the writer of the original Solo Leveling web novel. Chugong revealed he decided to support Daul, saying he still experienced the same emotions he felt when he first began serializing the original web novel. The first 105 chapters debuted on KakaoPage on April 10, 2023.

Notes

References

This article uses material from the Wikipedia English article Solo Leveling, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license ("CC BY-SA 3.0"); additional terms may apply (view authors). Content is available under CC BY-SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.
®Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wiki Foundation, Inc. Wiki English (DUHOCTRUNGQUOC.VN) is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wiki Foundation.

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