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Time to Get Back in the Game, Jin-Woo

Solo Leveling Ep 5 Review

If you’ve ever played online games with other people, then there’s a good chance this happened to you, or you saw it or heard about it. If a player’s not pulling their own weight in a group or keeps making things harder for others, the others may decide to not revive them the next time they die. Or they may have to leave them behind if it could endanger the rest of the group. It’s usually not done out of malice but logic. How, some players might purposefully use their weakest links as meat shields, or abandon them rather than give them the share of the loot. Why am I bringing this up now? Because Jin-Woo ends up dealing with these kinds of people in the latest episode of Solo Leveling.

And, yes. I intend to review each episode from here on out. This is a great show, and I’ve been reading the manwha online. It’s going to get crazy!

Jin-Woo is Now Jacked as Heck

#SoloLeveling Bro this mf is shining

— Arthur (@radrocket8ss) February 3, 2024

After spending weeks stuck in the hospital, Jin-Woo’s finally cleared to leave. However, he’s no longer the same skinny guy who came close to death for the umpteenth time. Thanks to his System-enforced exercise routine, he’s gotten taller, put on a lot of muscle, and has a different appearance in general. To further emphasize how different he is, the episode opens up with all the nurses talking about how attractive he’s become. The nurse who comes to discharge him blushes when she sees him finishing up his exercise routine and then asks for his phone number. Humorously, since he’s not used to this kind of positive attention, Jin-Woo doesn’t realize he’s being hit on!

This kind of transformation isn’t something new. There have been a number of anime where the protagonist has undergone a radical transformation, turning them from either an unremarkable-looking or unappealing looking person into what Jin-Woo is now. This even happened to the likes of Spider-Man when he first got his powers. That said, it’s still amusing to see how everyone else reacts to the change. So, seeing the nurses gushing over Jin-Woo, I couldn’t help but smile in amusement.

Getting Back in the Game

In any event, now that he’s out of the hospital, Jin-Woo needs to start earning money; he’s got to pay the rent for his family. That means that it’s time for him to start going back into the Dungeons, and a local team is looking for two people to join so they can meet the minimum requirement to go dungeon-diving. Thus, Jin-Woo signs a contract with a man named Hwang Dongsoo alongside another temp, a newcomer named Yoo Jin-ho. Who comes way too overdressed for the job.

The first impression that Jin-ho gives is that he’s very much a rookie. He’s ready and eager to take on being a Hunter, but he doesn’t really know what being a Hunter is like. Some people might consider him annoying, but he’s got this dorky charm to him that makes him endearing. It also helps that the dub has him voiced by Justin Briner, the voice of Deku from My Hero Academia. That man is good at making the people he plays endearingly dorky.

Plus, it turns out he’s one of the people that you know you can trust to have your back.

Jin-Woo is about to Start Piling Bodies

What’s the most dangerous animal in the world? A lion, bear, elephant, or shark? While there are plenty of animals out there that can kill a person with little effort, they’re not the most dangerous. That honor falls to humanity itself. Thanks to our ability to think, reason, and adapt, humans are the most dangerous animals on Earth. And even being inside a dungeon filled with otherworldly monsters like giant insects doesn’t change that fact. As dangerous as those beasts are, they’re still hunted by Hunters. And, as this episode reaffirms, not every Hunter is as nice as Jin-Woo was or Jin-Ho is.

The show subtly drops a few hints as the episode progresses that something’s not right with the dungeon. While that could be chalked up to the monsters, the unease only grows as the group makes it to the boss’ lair. That’s when Jin-Woo realizes why Dongsuk’s group needed two more to help them: bait. To get their hands on the mana crystals, they seal Jin-Woo and Jin-Ho in the boss’ cave to wear it out so they can finish mining without worry. It’s a common tactic in MMO’s: weaken the boss first, then rush in and let the rest of the group finish it off. Except this will leave two people dead.

This is when Jin-Woo has the first of what will, no doubt, be many “I am HIM” moments. He looks at the giant spider, and realizes that it’s nothing compared to the giant statues. So he tells Jin-Ho that he’s going to handle things. Alone. 

Solo Leveling EP5 teased us with PEAK A buildup ep today for the craziness that Sung Jin Woo will bless us with in Ep6, soloing the C-rank monster, AND the ppl who dared trap him there Bro finna go mf insane #SoloLeveling #俺レベ

— Masked_saiyan101 (@DbsContents) February 3, 2024

Full disclosure: I wound up reading the manwha to see what happens next, and we are not ready. This is going to be the fighting animation that we need right now. 

Solo Leveling episode 6 PV!

“The Real Hunt Begins”#SoloLeveling #俺レベ #俺だけレベルアップな件 #나혼자만레벨업

— Solo Leveling Shots (@SLShotz) February 9, 2024

I Give “A Pretty Good Deal” a 4/5 

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