Sung Jinwoo from Solo Leveling Episode 8 preview

The Japanese Title for ‘Solo Leveling’ Has Some Intriguing Layers of Meaning

Although you probably watched Solo Leveling in Japanese and/or English, it was based on a Korean manhwa by Chugong, published on KakaoPage. The manhwa was completed on December 29, 2021, which makes all 179 chapters available on Webtoon and Tappytoon in English.

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The Korean title of the manhwa and anime would be ‘Na Honjaman Rebeleop’ (나 혼자만 레벨업), which directly translates to ‘Only I Level Up.’ This further emphasizes Jinwoo’s lone progression and meteoric rise in the events of the story. Similarly, the Japanese title is ‘Ore dake Level Up na Ken’ (俺だけレベルアップな件). This is a direct translation from the Korean title.

There is an interesting word choice for the Japanese title. There are several ways to say ‘I’ in Japanese, and ‘Ore’ (俺) connotes superiority to whoever is spoken to. You’re probably already aware of that if you’ve played too much of the Yakuza series and its spinoff games. It’s also an informal and rough way of addressing oneself, so please don’t use ‘ore’ while speaking to customer service at the airport.

But just like the original translation, the Japanese title of Solo Leveling places focus on Jinwoo’s strange ability to level up in comparison to other Hunters who are stuck with the ranks they’re dealt. A few episodes in, and you’ll see Jinwoo progress to heights no other Hunter could ever hope to reach.

If you want to watch Solo Leveling’s latest episodes, we’ve got the Crunchyroll release schedule for you here.

(featured image: Crunchyroll/A-1 Pictures)


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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) is a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue. She graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Japanese Studies. She speaks three languages, but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. As a mixed race bisexual woman, she frequently writes about race, gender and sexuality both academically and professionally. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.