Solo Leveling (Episode 4) – I’ve Gotta Get Stronger

Solo Leveling Title

Jinwoo Sung is stuck in an instance dungeon. If he can’t defeat the boss, he’ll never be able to leave, but can he really do it all on his own? He’s not even sure if he can defeat the single monster standing before him.

Solo Leveling (Episode 4) – I’ve Gotta Get Stronger

What happened?

The steel-fanged lycan was not giving Jinwoo any chances to attack. With its first attack, it destroyed his dagger, leaving him weaponless. Desperate not to be killed again, Jinwoo threw his fist at it and made a connection. The monster flew across the corridor and slammed into a shutter. However, it did barely any damage. He kept hitting it, but the same thing happened over and over again. Without a weapon, he was going to get nowhere. Then, he remembered the display that was following him around, he called on the inventory and found a magic sword there. Unsure of where it came from but not prepared to question it, he slayed the steel-fanged lycan. He had no time to rest, however, as two more appeared.

After defeating one, the other turned and ran, no doubt sensing the difference in their power levels. Jinwoo examined the results of his quest so far. He’d progressed to level two and with that, all of his skill points increased by one. It was a far more efficient way of increasing his stats, even if it was more dangerous. Then, he noticed a wall of glowing eyes staring at him from the end of the tunnel. The steel-fanged lycan had returned and brought with it some friends. Jinwoo stepped forward and attacked. This might be his best chance to level up. He needed to get stronger.

Having slain a load of steel-fanged lycan, Jinwoo’s level had increased considerably. He’d also gained a lot of gold and loot in the process. His sword, however, was starting to get worn down. He found the passageway that led to the dungeon boss and started his descent. Could he defeat it alone? A giant snake appeared, smacking him into a wall and breaking his sword in two. It attacked again and threw him across the tracks. It was a blue venom-fanged kasaka and its skin was hard as iron. Even with all of its weight behind it, he still couldn’t pierce its armour.

Jinwoo fought and fought, getting thrown around like a ragdoll in the process, but he never gave up. Then, when the kasaka appeared to have him, he threw away his sword and gripped the snake’s neck. It started to panic as he tightened his grip, crushing the armour plating. It drove him into a wall, but he held on. Then, with one last push, Jinwoo crushed its throat and killed it. He acquired a dangerous new dagger and a lot of skill points, levelling up in the process. With the dungeon boss defeated the dungeon reverted to its original state. On his way out, Jinwoo came across a group of hunters trying to defeat a stone golem that had escaped from a gate. They were under-levelled and had no way to defeat it. Jinwoo took a moment to assess the situation and then launched his broken sword at it, smashing through its defences. Guess he had gotten stronger!

What did you think?

I absolutely loved this episode. One aspect that resonated with me was the way Jinwoo decided to stick it out and level up. He’s a grinder, which is exactly how I play video games. My kids like to play Pokemon on the Switch and have badgered me into playing. I obviously have more patience than them as I’m hitting all the bosses with my Pokemon almost double the level of theirs. Needless to say, I’m walking through the game and have no doubts that I’ll breeze through whatever it throws at me. This is the future I see for Jinwoo, however, he’s also already shown us that he’s not in it for the glory. He could have stuck around after creating the opening that allowed the other hunters to defeat the golem, but he just slipped away.

I think that was always going to be the way Jinwoo would deal with things. He wants to get stronger so that he can look after his family. I doubt he wants to get too caught up in the politics of the Hunter’s Association and as soon as they realise he’s stronger, they’re bound to become a thorn in his side. We’re only four episodes into the series and I am already locked in for the duration. If they keep making them, I will keep watching them. This was a thoroughly entertaining episode and it delivered a couple of great feel-good moments. I’m pumped up. I just need my Daily Quest Window to pop up and it’s go-time!

Solo Leveling Episode 4 Jinwoo Sung leveling up

Episode highlights

Other posts in the series

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  1. Even if I never ever read the webtoon adaptation, I believe I would still enjoy this series which is ashamed that I kept on seeing many anime-only audience disregarding it with a very tone-deaf bias. Sure it’s all trope-y & has the similar generic terms of LitRPG subgenre, but Solo Leveling is recognised as a “gateway” for said subgenres being written in Korean-language LNs and/or manhwas.

    I think I should be glad that I’m one of those audience that are neither very picky nor very easy to please; just in between with the level-headed acknowledgement that Solo Leveling is a very protagonist-centric story, not to mention the title itself is a literal one-man show throughout the majority of the story. This episode may be at its slowest burn with many monologues coming from Jinwoo, but that’s the point: we’re experiencing his assessment on his very first solo raid.

    A big factor in great execution of this episode is the original voice actor himself (though I’m sure other major foreign dub VAs will do well for this episode), and Taito Ban, who can be said is a late bloomer with the status of a semi-veteran VA, really did well & way better than what’s expected from me. Reminds me of Chainsaw Man’s voice casting being a great thing to happen. In that case, I shall trust whoever does the voice casting for another future prominent adaptation like Omniscient Reader.

    • Agreed. I’ve read the first volume and that goes up to the end of the last episode so this was completely new to me and I loved it. I want to hear Jinwoo’s assessments of the situation. It’s important that we know what he’s thinking so we can see why he’s doing what he does. It makes sense that he pushed on, knowing that this was his best chance to level up, even if it might get monotonous or end up with him getting killed. I think people like to dump on popular shows just because and when pushed they really don’t have any solid reason as to why.

      And yes, the VA was outstanding in this episode. I hope we get many more seasons like this.

What did you think?