Solo Leveling Episode 12 Review

Solo Leveling Episode 12 Review

Perfect Time for a Penalty

Solo Leveling Episode 12 is the end of the season. And, I’m glad to see it end. I get that this is a very popular series. But, so is Sword Art Online. As far as I’m concerned, this is just Korean SAO.

So, what happened in Episode 12? Remember how Jinwoo dropped his teleportation stone (again)? Well, that didn’t end up mattering. It turns out that the endless waves of enemies weren’t so endless, after all. I’m not sure why Jinwoo’s directive was to survive for as long as possible.

All he actually had to do was kill six mages. That’s it. The only reason this was difficult is because he didn’t know that’s what he had to do at first. Once he figured that out, he didn’t have much of an issue. However, he did get a little help.

Jinwoo holding his new Knight Killer blade from the anime series Solo Leveling Episode 12
Jinwoo holding his new Knight Killer blade

Jinwoo was going to die — again. But, since he hadn’t done his daily quest that day, the system teleported him to the penalty zone at the last second. There, he was able to level up, heal, and purchase a new weapon to help him defeat the knights more easily.

That really felt like a cop-out. He was in the middle of a special class change quest that didn’t allow him to heal. So, why is he allowed to jump into another dimension where he can heal? I’ll tell you why: It’s because this isn’t a good series.

Anyway, the system was acting pretty suspicious in this episode. It saved Jinwoo by sending him to the penalty zone, but that’s not all. It was also very pushy when it came to the job it wanted him to change to. It’s even more clear now that the system has a plan for him.

Jinwoo the Shadow Monarch

Why did Jinwoo receive the Necromancer class? There’s actually a very simple and obvious reason. It’s because Necromancer is the edgiest of all classes. That’s literally the only reason. As I said earlier, Solo Leveling is the Korean SAO. It’s not that deep.

Of course, Jinwoo isn’t only a Necromancer. No, he’s a Shadow Monarch — an even edgier name. What does this upgraded class do differently than the normal Necromancer class? I’m not sure. Jinwoo’s shadow soldier skill is supposedly connected to this class. But, if a normal Necromancer can’t do that, what can they do?

Alright, so, let’s look at Jinwoo’s new class from an in-universe perspective. Yes, it’s edgy and that’s definitely why the author gave him this class. However, we should also consider why the system would want Jinwoo to have this class. After all, he didn’t exactly get much of a choice.

Jinwoo undergoing his class change from the anime series Solo Leveling Episode 12
Jinwoo undergoing his class change

To me, it looks a lot like the system is trying to turn Jinwoo into a boss. I brought this up in one of the earlier episode reviews, but we’ve seen Jinwoo’s personality change a bit. Sometimes, he appears to “lose his humanity” a bit and has the same eyes as the God Statue.

And now, we’re seeing the system give him a skill that will let him raise and command an army. Do you think the system is doing this so that Jinwoo can use his army to take the system down? I doubt it.

What seems more likely is that the system is using Jinwoo for its own gain. I’m predicting that, at some point, other Hunters will view Jinwoo as a dungeon boss. They’ll have to fight him and his army. That’s the direction the series looks to be heading in.

Arise, Igris

Does anyone else want to call Igris “Ignis?” Pretty much every time I type his name, I have to go back and fix it. I even misspelled it on the file name for the picture within this section. But, I didn’t care enough to fix that mistake.

Whatever you call him, it looks like Igris is going to stick around for a while longer. And, that’s a good thing. I know he hasn’t spoken (I don’t know if he ever will), but I liked him as a character. When Jinwoo killed him, I thought that was a bit of a waste.

How could I like Igris as a character, though? What characterization did he even have? Well, we saw that he was a chivalrous knight. Unlike the other knights Jinwoo fought, Igris seemed to have a personality of sorts. Or, at the very least, a sense of honor.

Igris resurrected as a shadow soldier from the anime series Solo Leveling Episode 12
Igris resurrected as a shadow soldier

The thing that really showed me that Igris was a character — not a mindless monster — was when he threw down his sword. Jinwoo stopped using his sword because it couldn’t pierce Igris’s armor. So, to make it a fair fight, Igris stopped using his sword, as well.

I hope we get to see more of that from Igris in the future. That is, if Solo Leveling gets a second season. You might think that’s guaranteed, but it’s not. As of the writing of this review, I haven’t heard anything about a second season.

But, if there is a second season, I want Igris to play a bigger role. He’s Jinwoo’s commander of the knights. He has to be more involved than the rest of the knights. Even if he never speaks, I want to see him fighting alongside Jinwoo and not simply following orders.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Solo Leveling Episode 12? Did you think the timing of Jinwoo’s penalty was a little too much of a Deus ex machina? How do you feel about Jinwoo earning the Necromancer class? And, are you expecting Igris to become a real character?

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