Trapped in a temple within a dungeon, the hunters are struggling to stay alive. Surprisingly, Jinwoo Sung seems to be the only one keeping his head. There are rules to this temple and if you don’t follow them, you die!
Solo Leveling (Episode 2) – If I Had One More Chance
Twelve hunters entered the temple. One was killed by a stone statue as he tried to open the door and another was incinerated by the god of the temple. The others survived only because of Sung’s intuition. The leader of the party, Chiyul Song asked Sung if he had any idea what was going on. However, as they talked another of the hunters decided that he was going to make a run for it. He was fast, but not fast enough. The god blasted him into nothing. Sung came to the conclusion that they had inadvertently followed the first rule, “Thou shall worship God” when they bowed their heads. After some time, the main statue’ climbed to its feet and walked towards them’s eyes dimmed.
At first, they thought that they had beaten it, however, Sung knew otherwise. The second rule was “Thou shall praise God.” Within seconds, they would have to work out how to do that as the statue climbed to its feet and walked towards them, rocking the room with each footstep. One hunter tried to pray to it, but he was squashed beneath its foot. They ran scattering across the temple. However, any that got too close to the other statues with weapons were instantly cut down too. Then, Sung noticed that some statues had instruments and not weapons. He called to the others, telling them to stand in front of the ones with instruments.
It worked, however, only one hunter could stand before each statue. Sung left Joohee and raced for the next one. The god chased him across the temple and almost squashed him. However, when Sung dived out of the way, he ended up too close to one holding a shield. It slammed it down, slicing off one of his legs. Sung dragged his body across the floor and made it to a singing statue just in time. The god returned to his throne and waited. An altar appeared in the middle of the room. Sung knew what that meant. The third rule was “Thou shall prove thy faith.”
Once all of the hunters had approached the altar, a set of flames appeared that slowly began to extinguish. The other statues strode towards them, weapons raised. However, as long as someone was watching them, they would not advance. With just six hunters left, things were stretched. That only got worse when two more ran for the now open door, leaving the others behind. Then, another left, leaving Sung, Joohee, and Song. They couldn’t watch all the statues and Sung and Joohee couldn’t walk. Sung told Song to take Jinwoo and leave him behind. He reluctantly did so.
What did you think?
I loved the first episode, but it didn’t hold a candle to this one. It’s possible that I loved the first one because I knew what was coming. This episode was tense as hell. Even when it changed locations to show us Sung’s sister visiting his sick mother in hospital you could feel the foreboding energy. Seeing the hunters try to work out how to survive and then escape from the temple was amazing. I remembered reading it in the manwha and being blown away. The anime really captured to atmosphere and tension of the situation. My only minor criticism was that I felt like it could have gone on longer and ramped up the tension even more. I also think the season should have started with a double-length episode so that we could have gotten all this on week one.
So, now we’ve seen that Sung has been entered into the “Player Program” after he completed the secret quest “Courage of the Weak.” The first volume only goes a little bit further so I don’t know a great deal about what is to come, but I am excited to see where this goes. The temple itself raises so many questions. If these are dungeons in another dimension that have monsters who are trying to break into our world, what was the temple doing here? It didn’t follow the same rules as the monsters. On top of that, I don’t think the statues were trying to kill Sung at the end. We’d seen how efficiently they took care of anyone else, so the fact that he survived multiple attacks and ended up on the altar feels like it was part of the trial. It obviously wasn’t easy, but they could have killed him if they wanted to. I can’t wait for the next episode.
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