Solo Leveling anime reportedly in production

Solo Leveling Character
The Solo Leveling anime TV series will need to be multiple parts or cours in order to properly adapt the story. Pic credit: Dubu

UPDATE June 6, 2022: Please see the newer article about the Solo Leveling anime release date for the latest news.

The Solo Leveling anime TV series is reportedly in production. The Korean series is also known as Only I Level Up in English.

On January 1, 2022, anime news leaker SPY claimed, “Solo Leveling TV anime in production.” When SPY was asked if he was “sure” he simply replied, “Yes.”

This information hasn’t been verified with an official source or confirmation. As such, it should be treated as a rumor and taken with a grain of salt. However, SPY does have a history of providing accurate anime news leaks.

It’s also a believable rumor since the popular Solo Leveling manhwa finished adapting the ending of the web novel’s story in late 2021. There’s already a Solo Leveling video game and live-action TV drama being developed, so why not an animation?

The number of episodes for the Solo Leveling anime has not yet been announced. However, based on the manhwa comic series (see the anime/manhwa comparison section below for more details), it’s likely that the first season will be multiple cours.

A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting block based on the physical seasons, usually composed of 10 to 13 episodes.

Since the Solo Leveling comic series is already finished, it’s also possible the first season could be a complete adaptation rather than continuing with a Solo Leveling Season 2. In that scenario, let’s just hope the Solo Leveling anime is a split-cour anime for the sake of the production schedule and animation quality.

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A “split-cour” is where a single anime season takes a multi-month break before resuming TV broadcasting. Recent examples would be Attack On Titan Season 4 Part 2 and Spy x Family Part 2.

The Solo Leveling OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet… well, at least for the anime itself.

In late December 2021, Solo Leveling publisher D&C Webtoon shared a teaser trailer for the Solo Leveling OST (official soundtrack). The K-pop group The Boyz released the OST track “Echo” in February 2022.

【PV Teaser】 『나 혼자만 레벨업』 OST - Echo (feat. 더보이즈) ㅣ 『Solo Leveling』 OST - Echo (feat. THE BOYZ)
The Solo Leveling trailer for the OST got fans excited since it shows how the series could look if it was fully animated.

This article provides everything that is known about Solo Leveling Season 1 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Solo Leveling studio to be Japanese or Korean?

The main studio and staff making the Solo Leveling anime haven’t been announced yet.

In the past, three Japanese studios have already adapted a Manhwa series into an anime: Telecom Animation Film (Tower of God), MAPPA (The God of High School), and Production I.G. (Noblesse). Arguably, Studio MAPPA already has enough projects on its full plate (Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, Jigokuraku, etc.), and Studio Telecom Animation Film is reportedly already working on Tower of God Season 2.

Since Solo Leveling is a South Korean creation it’s always possible that a Korean studio like Studio Mir could handle the project. (Studio Mir is simply an example since they’ve never adapted a manhwa or manga series before. Most of their projects have been produced for Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, or Netflix, including Voltron: Legendary Defender and The Legend of Korra.)

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The reason that a Korean studio seems more likely is due to how the novel addresses some political issues between South Korea and Japan. On that basis, Japanese studios may be leery about associating their name with the project unless significant story tweaks are made, which would be controversial in its own right.

Of course, it’s not like the politics of the story focused on only Korea and Japan. The Solo Leveling Season 2 webtoon also featured issues between the USA and China.

A secondary issue is whether the animation could even be considered an anime if a Japanese studio isn’t involved. It’s a difficult question to answer since there have been anime projects where the director was Korean (The God of High School). There have also been anime projects where a significant portion of the work was outsourced to Chinese, Korean, and Philippine studios.

Solo Leveling Chapter 179 ending the webtoon’s story

The story for the anime TV series would be based on the Solo Leveling webtoon (Korean manhwa) by writer Chugong and illustrator Jang-Sung-Rak aka Dubu. The ending of the series was released as Solo Leveling Chapter 179 on December 29, 2021 (the English version came out on January 4, 2022).

The Solo Leveling webtoon has released by multiple services. KakaoPage provides the original Korean version, while Piccoma handles the Japanese release, and Pocket Comics/Tappytoon the English release.

On Tappytoon, the Solo Leveling chapters can be read for free, but there is a long multi-day wait until the next chapter is unlocked. Alternatively, readers can unlock new chapters immediately via tokens or points. Also, the newest 16 chapters must be unlocked with tokens or points, so you can’t simply read to the ending for free.

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The Webtoon was divided into two parts. Solo Leveling Season 1 ran from March 2018 through March 2020. After a multi-month hiatus, the Solo Leveling Season 2 release date was on August 1, 2020.

The webtoon has been released in four print volumes by D&C Media as of April 2021. There will probably be around 12 print volumes in total.

The Solo Leveling web novel was first serialized starting in July 2016. Solo Leveling Chaper 270 was the ending of the web novel. There are 13 print volumes in total and one side story volume. The Solo Leveling English translation of the web novel was released with the title Only I Level Up from December 2018 through June 2019.

North American publisher Yen Press has been releasing the official print edition of the English translation for both the Solo Leveling light novels and the graphic novel series. The English light novels were up to Volume 4 as of March 29, 2022, while the final webtoon Volume 4 was released on March 22, 2022.

Solo Leveling Light novel
The Solo Leveling light novel cover art has its own distinctive style. Pic credit: D&C Media

Solo Leveling Season 2 anime likely?

The Solo Leveling story is long enough that it will require multiple cours to adapt properly into an anime. The 179 chapters of the webtoon (or 270 chapters of the novel) are divided up into 22 story arcs, including the Chapter 0 prologue and epilogue. None of the story arcs are overly long, with the longest being 18 chapters in length.

Assuming the Solo Leveling anime TV series is divided up into multiple seasons, the best stopping point is shortly after the Jeju Island arc (Chapters 90 through 107). Without getting into spoilers, it offers a climactic battle and a major turning point in the story based on certain character developments.

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If the story is divided up that way, then the Solo Leveling Season 2 anime would line up with the second season of the webtoon. Of course, an optimal adaptation would be a split-cour anime a Solo Leveling Part 2 anime picks up the story again at the same point.

Solo Leveling anime release date predictions: Is 2023 possible?

As of the last update, D&C Webtoon or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Solo Leveling release date. Nor has the production of a Solo Leveling anime been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Solo Leveling Season 1 release date will occur in the future.

Typically, once an anime project is announced to be in production the time frame for the first episodes will be confirmed within a year or two.

In this case, it’s possible that the production decision has been decided internally but they’re not ready to announce the Solo Leveling anime project to the public. Anime productions are scheduled years in advance so often times the staff and studio involved in the production need to keep the project a secret for years before they’re publicly announced. But that’s when anime news leakers will hear about the project through their sources.

Therefore, if the Solo Leveling anime is officially confirmed in the first half of 2022 then it could be coming out in 2023. Otherwise, expect to wait until 2024 or 2025 since the entire production cycle for an anime project can often be up to four years. Stay tuned!

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