Solo Leveling Episode 2 Review

Solo Leveling Episode 2 Review

Now That’s What I Call Solo Leveling

Solo Leveling Episode 2 was better than Episode 1. But, I still have complaints. And, the biggest complaint I have is that these opening episodes feel too much like a prologue. Yes, I said the prologue feels too much like a prologue.

I know, there are going to be people saying I’m nitpicking. But, this is a real issue. The problem is that we know this is the prologue and we have a pretty good idea of where it’s going. Even someone like me, who knows nothing about the series, could see where it was going.

Even in the previous episode, it was clear that this was leading up to Jin-Woo getting his level-up skill. That’s the entire point of the prologue. It introduced how the world works, then will introduce Jin-Woo’s world-breaking skill. That’s it. So, how many episodes of that do we need?

The commandments of the dungeon temple from the anime series Solo Leveling Episode 2
The commandments of the dungeon temple

It’s in the name, “Solo Leveling.” We know Jin-Woo is going to be able to level up despite that going against the “rules” of the dungeons. With that in mind, I don’t think we need three episodes to get to that point. We’re two episodes in and haven’t reached it. It could have been done in one.

Now, sure, that would be rushing things a bit. I get that. And I’ve heard that the anime is already going through the prologue faster than the manhwa. But, think of it this way. We’re going to spend a quarter of this season redoing what the two-word title already achieved.

I don’t mind speeding up the pace in a case like this. It’s not like Goblin Slayer II, which did a speedrun of the whole season, including the good arcs. We can pick up the pace for a prologue.

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Revere God, Praise God

Alright, now let’s get to the actual content of the episode. The gimmick of this dungeon temple was pretty cool. It would have been better if it was within the main portion of the series. But, whatever. It made the prologue bearable to watch.

As you may recall from the first episode, this dungeon temple has three commandments. First, revere God. Second, praise God. And third, prove your faith to God. In this section, I want to take a look at the first two of those commandments, revere God and praise God.

Basically, if you want to survive, you need to follow all three commandments. So, what does the first one mean? It’s simple. All you have to do is keep your head bowed while in the presence of the God statue. If everyone within the temple does that, you pass. Anyone who doesn’t do it dies.

The dungeon temple God statue from the anime series Solo Leveling Episode 2
The dungeon temple God statue

The second commandment is where things start to get more interesting. What does it mean by “revere God?” Well, since Jin-Woo is a smart kid, he figures out that it has to do with the other statues in the room. Most of the statues are holding weapons. But, some are holding instruments.

To “revere God,” you need to stand in front of a statue holding an instrument. But, only one person can stand in front of each statue. So, if you have too many party members, this phase will weed some out. Anyone not in front of a statue with an instrument dies.

If we just look at these first two commandments, we can see that there doesn’t seem to be a way for everyone to survive. The number of survivors is limited to the number of statues with instruments. And, it looks like there are only six.

Prove Your Faith to God

The third and final commandment is where things get a bit less clear. The implication of the commandment is that one of the party members must be sacrificed. But, is that really the case? Does there need to be a sacrifice?

All six remaining party members must enter the circle around the altar. When they do, a flame ignites for each of them. And, blue flames ignite around the altar and start disappearing one at a time. These blue flames serve as a countdown. But, to what, we don’t know exactly.

At this point, the doors to the temple also open. And, party members are free to leave. But, if they do, their flame is extinguished and the doors close slightly. If five party members leave, the doors will close on the sixth. So, the natural assumption is that one person must be left behind.

Jin-Woo sacrificed on an altar from the anime series Solo Leveling Episode 2
Jin-Woo sacrificed on an altar

However, there are some other things going on. There are the blue countdown flames. Does everyone inside the temple die when they go out? Apparently, no. Jin-Woo was still alive in the temple when the final blue flame went out and he received a reward.

So, if everyone stayed in the temple until the blue flames went out, would they all receive that reward? It’s very possible. The reward didn’t have a requirement that you be the sacrifice — only that you showed courage. Anyone who stayed in the temple could have shown courage by doing so.

And, there’s another thing I haven’t mentioned yet. The statues with weapons moved toward the altar unless they were being looked at. So, as party members leave, it becomes harder to hold the statues at bay. But, if everyone stayed, it would be easy. The challenge is having the courage to stay.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Solo Leveling Episode 2? Do you think the prologue could have been sped up even more? Are you expecting the God from the dungeon temple to show up again later in the series? And, do you think all six remaining party members could have received the skill Jin-Woo got? Let me know in the comments.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

My review of Episode 3 is available now.

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