Title: Solo Leveling Vol. 8
Author: Dubu (Redice Studio), Chugong (Original Story)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Publication Date: January 23, 2024
Volume eight of Solo Leveling sees Jinwoo attempting to start his own guild; however, coming up with a name for it is harder than it seems. Jinho tried to offer up a name by combining parts of their names together but Jinwoo didn’t like it. He then came up with the name Soloplay but that seemed really bad as well. It wasn’t until his sister suggested a name that he went with it.
Meanwhile, the Knights guild wants to take a high A-Rank gate; however, they are having difficulty getting permission to do so. They turn to Jinwoo for help and he accepts their offer but modifies the terms to a 50/50 compensation. When he arrives, an emergency occurs and there’s a dungeon break with orcs pouring into the real world. All of this is happening at Jinwoo’s sister’s school all while he’s on the raid… so… he handles it the only way Jinwoo can. He leaves Knights to fend for themselves but offers up some of his strongest shadows to aid them!
Jinwoo arrives at the school just in time. After the event, he learns from the Hunter’s Association that more and more gates are opening at an exponential rate. There seems to be a correlation between the number of gates opening and the number of hunters that are popping up… almost as if the gates are compensating for the increased hunter population. Because as such, Jinwoo is receiving official requests from multiple countries around the world but still wants to form his guild. There is a caveat; however, and he asks President Go to go before the government and get some rules about Hunters changed in his favor!
Finally, it’s time for Jinwoo’s newly formed guild to go on its first raid. Because as such, there is a very high abundance of press there to cover it. Meanwhile, in Japan, probably the largest gate anyone has ever seen has opened!
Thinking through this volume, I can only think of one character that truly received some development, and that was Haein. She came to Jinwoo wanting to join his yet-to-be-named guild and he was curious as to why. Haein recalls all of her encounters with Jinwoo and realizes that she has a crush on him but she can’t bring herself to say that was the reason. To think that an S-Rank hunter like her would fall in love with Jinwoo! There’s still some story left here to tell with her so I’m sure this will carry over into the next volume or two but it looks like Joohee has some competition!
Jinwoo did get SOME development… just not personality or character-wise. We learned what happens to him when he surpasses level 100 and, through his previous examination, we now know that his power is limitless. There seems to be a double-edged sword to his power, though, because a certain someone offered up a warning about that very power. Still, even after learning about his limitless power, there is still a mystery involving its source. We know his power is drawn from darkness but where that darkness is coming from is what the mystery is. Sure, we know as readers that it’s from the System; however, it seems to be something more than that. What is the system, truly? That’s still the main question yet to be answered.
Well, if Jinwoo was looking to start this guild and have a nice, quiet, easy life of soloing gates, the media sure changed those plans in a hurry. Coupled with all of the world’s top countries asking for his help, it seems as if he’s going to be busy for quite some time. While the formation of his guild took center stage here, there were some interesting parts to the story such as the orcs coming through a dungeon break. It was even stated that gates could be up for a long time because sometimes they appear in sparsely populated areas that are sometimes ignored. Pair this with the increase in gate activity, and I can easily foresee more and more dungeon breaks happening.
Another clue to this is Jinwoo reaching level 101 and realizing that his core abilities get powered up… such as his Shadow Exchange getting a reduced cooldown. His ability to transfer places at a faster rate would mean that his high demand is going to get even higher.
The last interesting thing was when Jinwoo left the dungeon to head to his sister’s school to deal with the dungeon break, he left Beru in charge of his minions. Beru came face-to-face with an arch lich and had a very interesting conversation with him about Jinwoo. I won’t spoil it but it may have offered up a massive clue about Jinwoo or, at the very least, his powers. I would say this single encounter was the most interesting part of this volume as it has the biggest potential for story and character growth for Jinwoo.
All in all, another fantastic volume! Can’t wait to see how it goes with Japan since that’s where we are most likely headed to next.
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press.