Solo Leveling (Episode 3) – It’s Like a Game

Solo Leveling Title

Jinwoo Sung thought he had died. Somehow, however, he woke three days later in a hospital completely healed. Some men came to talk to him about what happened and tested him to see if he had experienced a second awakening!

Solo Leveling (Episode 3) – It’s Like a Game

What happened?

He had not. In fact, his reading on the mana meter was ten. Just ten! Most E-ranked adventurers had a score of seventy. That didn’t answer any of their questions as to why he survived or where the temple dungeon had gone. After reporting back to the boss, they were told to keep an eye on this case as it would require more investigation. It was only the stories from the other survivors that left them believing Sung’s story. Admittedly, he was disappointed that he hadn’t had a second awakening, but then he also wasn’t sure what to do about the floating screens the only he could see.

Soon after the two men had left, Sung’s sister came to visit him, telling him off for making her worry and threatening to get a job if he got injured again. She was relieved to see that he was all right, even if he had made her worry. Sung also learned that Song lost his arm and was most likely going to have to retire. Joohee was physically fine, but the stress was likely to cause her to retire too. After his sister had gone, Sung explored the screens floating in the air and found a daily quest. He needed to complete one hundred push-ups, one hundred sit-ups, one hundred squats, and run ten kilometres. Failure to complete them would result in a suitable punishment.

Sung soon forgot about them and returned to recovering in his bed. However, when the timer for the quest ran out, he was transported to a desert where he had to survive for four hours. That might have been hard enough being it was a desert but there was also a poisoned-toothed giant desert centipede that seemed to want to eat him. He survived for four hours and was transported back to his hospital room. The next day, he took to the daily quest as soon as he could. Upon completion, he received a full recovery, some ability points that he could allocate to his stats and a mystery box.

One mystery box gave him a key to an instance dungeon where he could test out his new abilities. He was definitely getting stronger, but would it be enough? Either way, he was sure he could run if he had to. However, upon activating the instance dungeon, he learned that he would be stuck there until the boss had been defeated. So much for running! After fighting off three goblins, Sung found himself facing a steel-fanged lycan and it just destroyed his dagger. Things just got a whole lot harder!

What did you think?

While this episode didn’t have the tension of the last episode, it did a great job of setting things up for Sung to grow. I love how his motivation isn’t to get stronger for the sake of it. His first thought when he learned that a second awakening might be possible was that he would be able to earn enough to keep his mother on life support and pay for his sister to stay in school. Sung is a good guy which makes him easy to cheer for. I like that he’s having to work for his ability points, especially as it’s the same routine that made Saitama into the One Punch Man! I think I’m going to need to give that routine a go at some point. Running ten kilometres a day is a little too far for me at the moment, but one day maybe…

Anyhow, this episode ended with a nice scene in the underground where he fought and defeated three goblins before coming up against the steel-fanged lycan. He’s already improved considerably from where he was when we first met him so that’s good. Will it be enough to win? I think it will, but I doubt it will be easy and that’s good. The more we see Sung struggle to overcome his obstacles the more we’ll support his development. There’s nothing more frustrating than someone who goes from zero to hero in a short period of time without having to overcome something. Even Midoria went through hell as he learned to use One for All in My Hero Academia. It’s been a great start to the season. I’m looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

Solo Leveling Episode 3 Jinwoo Sung's daily quest

Episode highlights

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  1. So, the patience we needed to get past the first episode is paying off now. I am interested in seeing where this goes now.

    I have to laugh a bit at Sung’s initial reluctance to do the training regimen. I mean, the temple god reveled in blood and death and horror, and now Sung, who passed the trials, will get stronger. And when he tries to blow it off, the power behind this chance was like, “*AHEM!* We said you WILL get stronger! You can do this the easy way or the fun way… fun for *us,* that is, not you. And you better believe we’ll happily let you die just like your friends died for us.” Yeah, a thing that inflicts such pain and death on little mortals is not something you want to show you its version of a penalty.

    • Definitely. I think the first episode should have been a double length episode as that would have been far more effective at grabbing people that the first episode alone. I knew what was coming so that influenced my opinion of episode one.

      And, yeah. Imagine thinking that they can’t expect him to train since he’s in the hospital recovering! Nothing like pissing off a powerful and terrifying being like the god of that temple.

  2. It’s odd how “you can’t please everyone” is being unable to be conveyed to anyone who’s an anti to this series. Sure it’s not perfect and some cool parts from the webtoon version may get probably left out in future episodes, but if you ask me, this is a faithful adaptation that I hope anyone who’s enjoying this series shouldn’t be ashamed of liking it.

    As much as I like the webtoon adaptation, I still support some being adapted more from the light novel itself since several parts from it are heard to be more cohesive than its webtoon counterpart. And when I find out that several anime-original scenes in this episode are not from the reading material or may have a mixture of webtoon & LN adapted parts, it’s a wonderful experience to see the production team, especially those from the screenplay department, still got the pacing right.

    The best part is that an important character makes a very early appearance with an obvious hint that his involvement with Jin-woo will be more relevant, if not more cohesive with the narrative surrounding Jinwoo’s literal character growth. I can’t spoil here but I do know anime-only audience are in for a surprise though I’ll miss some cool shocking lines said by this character from the webtoon itself.

    Another best part is Cha Hae-in getting more lines or expressions than her webtoon counterpart though I can’t get my hopes up that she becomes a properly developed character since it’s a fact that supporting characters of SL feel two-dimensional. Again I’m hoping the production team knows what they’re doing for this important character. Honourable mention would be Joo-hee’s trauma is being emphasized more and may serve with a proper narrative on why she can’t appear in future arcs more often. In other words, I’m satisfied with how this adaptation feels “sensibly predictable” in terms of having so much original scenes that feel more aligned with the plot progression.

    • More and more, I’m seeing instances where people are complaining about something that they don’t personally like and therefore deciding that the story is trash and anyone that likes it has no idea what they’re talking about. It’s insanely frustrating because there’s no arguing with these people and it’s hard to just ignore them because they’ve basically attacked you because of something you enjoyed.

      There’s also the crowd that gets upset whenever an adaptation isn’t an absolute copy of the source material, even if it’s the original author who made those changes. I need to find a better way of blocking out these voices as they add nothing to the conversation.

      I’m also glad that Cha-Hee is getting more time. She seems to be far more interesting than the usual hero types, much like Jinwoo. I’m really enjoying this series and can’t find anything to fault it so far. I understand it might not be to everyone’s tastes, but they can go watch something else.

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