A section of Japanese fans are reportedly unhappy at A-1 Pictures being in charge of Solo Leveling‘s anime adaptation and have voiced their discontent on social media platforms.
The general discontent exists, not because of A-1 Pictures inability aptly to animate Chugong’s web novel, but due to the fact that a Japanese studio has taken up the project.
In Solo Leveling, Japan is often depicted in poor light, with minor characters and villains in both the web novel as the webtoon shown to be hailing from the land of the rising sun.
Solo Leveling also singles out Japanese culture at some instances, apparently irking the fans from the country.
“Does Sony take into account the risk of a storm of negative reviews from Japan? If it is not, it could become the seed of strange political disputes between the left and the right. Does that mean they are willing to get involved in the conflict?” a fan comment quoted by Yaraon read.
Another fan pointed out that the original story is anti-Japanese.
“Those who know him know it, but the original story is anti-Japanese. The content is that the Japanese are the bad guys and that Japan is collapsing. For some reason, the Japanese version has a Japanese protagonist, do you think they’ll get away with that?”
The disappointment over the portrayal of Japan, its people and its culture in both the Solo Leveling webtoon and the novel made them question what A-1 Pictures was thinking when they took up the project.
“I have heard that it is based on an anti-Japanese story. I wonder what is the intention of A-1 Pictures in making an anime of such a thing in Japan. Well, I don’t care because I don’t watch this kind of anime,” another comment read.
There were, however, some fans who were of the opinion that an altered version of Solo Leveling, similar to how it was distributed in Japan with a Japanese hero, would be adapted into anime by A-1 Pictures.
Crunchyroll announced at their Anime Expo panel on July 3, 2022, that Solo Leveling will be getting an anime adaptation. The anime will release on the streaming platform sometime in 2023.
A new trailer and a teaser visual were released to commemorate the announcement.
Crunchyroll describes the story of Solo Leveling as follows:
It’s been over a decade since the sudden appearance of the “gates”—the paths that connect our world with a different dimension. Since then, certain humans have awakened to supernatural powers. We call these individuals “hunters.” Hunters make their living by using their powers to conquer dungeons inside the gates. In this world of tough customers, the low-ranked hunter Jinwoo Sung is known as “the weakest hunter of all mankind.” One day, Jinwoo gets fatally injured when he runs into high-rank double dungeons hidden within a low-rank dungeon. Just then, a mysterious quest window appears in front of him. On the verge of death, Jinwoo decides to accept the quest and starts leveling up… while the others aren’t.