Top 5 similar Manhwa that you can read as Solo Leveling Anime releases today

Solo Leveling Anime has been one of those uproars that have stirred the community on a pan-global level after quite a long time. While shows like Frieren stood completely on their own prominence, the upcoming Anime adaptation of the Manhwa of the same name has been longed after for quite a long time. For those who have already tasted Solo Leveling Manhwa and while they saviour the release of the anime, are actually in the long haul for other similar Manhwas – I have compiled a meticulous recommendation just for you.

You may also be interested in this one: All the Ways Solo Leveling Anime May Differ From the Manhwa -Explored

Why Solo Leveling?

A still from Solo Leveling anime
A still from Solo Leveling anime (Image via Studios A1 Pictures)

The Solo Leveling manhwa, originally hailing from South Korea, is made by Redice Studio but is in itself an adaptation of the South Korean web novel written by Chugong. From 2018 to 2021, Solo Leveling Manhwa saw a steep rise in its reading audience – from being contained only to South Korean fans to soon reaching western overseas, and even reaching many of the Southeast Asian Nations. It even garnered a spin-off named Solo Leveling: Ragnarok, which continues the story through the protagonist’s son.

Before we proceed, you may be interested in the release timings for Solo Leveling Anime.

Japan is making cultural changes to the source of the Anime?

On the other hand, the Solo Leveling Anime is an undertaking in Japan – produced by A-1 Studios. As of late, there have been some mild controversies regarding the animating producers’ decision to make cultural changes to the Anime.

Rumour has it that certain story elements from the Manhwa that depicted critical views of Japanese characters shall be changed. Heck, the entirety of the setting of Solo Leveling is now situated in Japan, which originally should have been in South Korea instead. That also warrants changes of the places depicted into Japanese locations, along with the names of the main characters being turned from (for example) Sung Jin-woo to Shun Mizushino. 

Moving to the main topic, here are the top 5 other Manhwa that you should read if you are into Solo Leveling.

5. Overgeared 

A snippet of Overgeared - one of the top 5 Manhwa that are similar to Solo Leveling Anime
Greed, the protagonist of Overgeared, courtesy of Webtoon.

Initially, novice readers were tricked (by no particular entity) into believing that every Manhwa made by Redice studio would carry the same significance as Solo Leveling Manhwa. But ever since Redice studio has started producing huge amounts of multiple such works, a few of which are amazing and others moderately mediocre – people have been disillusioned with such beliefs. One of the early works that were swept into the impression that ‘oh Solo Leveling is good so will be this one’ was Overgeared. 

Read it here. Follows Shin Youngwoo who is a rather poor brickworker fellow. Set in a relatively modern future where VR games are quite the norm, Shin dives into ‘Satisfy’ and finds this one particular bugged cave. Bugged, because the cave gave him this certain item which is game-breaking, to say the least. Changing his ‘class’ of the in-game character into that of a blacksmith/mechanic, Shin starts overcoming his absolute lack of strength by overgearing himself with SSS+ items. And also making a lot of greedy money, while doing so, of course.

4. I Became The Tyrant of A Defense Game 

Transported into the very game which he completed, the MC (Main Character) now has been teleported into that very game. And the standing characteristic of this game while he was still on Earth, was that this game’s difficulty level was near-supreme-hell. Yet this particular protagonist is not your run-of-the-mill average joe. Unlike other Manhwa where the MC rides a strength ‘bus’, this one sees the protagonist actually struggling – almost losing himself and his companions along the way to the hell of a setting. Read it here.

Having taken over a character that was originally hailed as the dictatorial lazy-alcoholic delinquent prince son of the largest human empire named Ash Everblack, the protagonist must defend his territory which happens to be at the border of the empire. Coming from the end of the horizon are 100 waves of monsters, each stronger than the previous.

Similar to Solo Leveling, Tyrant of A Defense Game also gives the protagonist access to game menus, although with limited functions. Though the direct game-like level-up thing is not here, levels, abilities, etc are a thing here. The direct source of your enjoyment is the protagonist’s god-level strategies in overcoming his hell-level obstacles.

3. Pick Me Up, Infinite Gacha 

Pick Me Up Infinite Gacha
Loki, as seen in Pick Me Up Manhwa

Similar to the previous addition, Pick Me Up follows the ranker Loki in a mobile game that has a similar structure as our world’s Clash of Clans, but way too intricate, and detailed.

His world named ‘Nilfheim’ is among one million other worlds, each led by a certain master from their illuminated mobile screens. Yet the game always felt so detailed that the protagonist felt too many times that his characters and troops were quite human-like – which seemed hilarious given that they were mere AIs in a mobile game. Yet when suddenly he is transported to this very game, now no longer a master who led his world but now part of another person’s world playing the same game, Loki comes to realize that the characters he was building were no mere AIs.

Having begun as a 1-star 1 level character, the bottommost of the bottom, he then climbs the tower’s 100 floors under a new master named ‘Amkena’/’Any’thing’. The game itself is a gacha game, the master can pull as many characters as he likes, from paid pulls to free pulls (Genshin Fans gather!). The world-building, along with the character’s leveling is insanely more intricate than Solo Leveling. While the latter had focused entirely on Sung Jin-woo, Pick Me Up focuses quite a lot on building the entire world as a whole even including the new master of the world ‘Amkena’ and all his supporting crew mates.

2. The Tutorial is Too Hard 

The Tutorial is Too Hard, similar to Solo Leveling Anime
Image courtesy of Tapas

Lee Ho Jae on quite a random day, is invited to a particular game menu saying ‘tutorial’. Having clicked yes, Ho-Jae appears on a world that claims it is a ‘tutorial stage’. Yet unbeknownst to him initially, he ends up on hell-level difficulty. Having begun from zero, Ho-Jae must now survive the tutorial and climb 100 floors, each going even more insane than the previous floor in terms of difficulty.  Read it here.

Similar to Pick Me Up, the Tutorial is Too Hard sets itself apart in terms of its character growth. In Solo Leveling the actual development of the protagonist in terms of power mechanics – such as abilities, skills, movements, etc was quite untouched.

Yet this one dives quite deeply into that, so much so that you fall in love with how the protagonist comes up with a certain ‘skill’. At one point, the protagonist is able to manipulate the world mechanics to the point he can manipulate that world’s equivalent of sub-atomic particles to incur a nuclear fusion – that’s just one example of how many subtle aspects the author has paid attention to.

1. Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint 

This one stands as my de-facto top of the world, one of the finest South Korean fictional works ever created. Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint follows Kim Dok-Jae, who has been the lone reader of a particularly long novel with over 3000 chapters named ‘Three Ways to Survive in a Ruined World’. The day he is about to reach the epilogue of the same, however, in the subway, he is faced with a bizarre situation.

Somehow a dokaebbi appears in front of him and his fellow passengers, telling them about how a stage is about to unravel. Having grasped the situation, the otherwise timid Kim Dokjae rises up to the occasion – becoming the king of a kingless world as his fictional novel, of which he is the sole reader, is now a reality. Read it here.

Concluding

ORV’s actual depth can only be realised when one dives into the novel. The Manhwa will need quite some years before it can fully adapt the source novel. ORV’s world-building is transcendental. In some sense, it carries a similar depth of intellectual genius behind its creation as the author of Attack on Titan does. The beginning connects with the ending and the ending paves the way for the middle of the story. In a work of fiction that bends the 4th wall, and makes you wonder if you the reader yourself are a character of this world – that’s the magnitude of this story.

I personally have read ORV’s over 500+ chapters in the web novel. And it is my personal opinion that Solo Leveling can not be compared to this work of art. Each arc seems to keep you engaged, and things are foreshadowed 300 chapters earlier and revealed later on. It’s as if the author finished the novel in his head first and then published it. The foreshadowing, the character development, and the grace of the protagonists and the way they carry the very twistedly complicated story structure – it’s a work of art. A true, work of art.

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