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Solo Leveling Episode 11 Review




The following contains spoilers for
Solo Leveling
Episode 11, “The Knight Who Defends an Empty Throne,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Solo Leveling is slowly carving out its place in the RPG anime fandom, offering a breath of fresh air to the old MMO formula as dungeon crawling and modern society overlap. It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Jin-woo Sung’s worst fear was facing a goblin while out on a raid. Now, he can put up a fight with even the strongest hunters – a testament to how far he’s come in his search for power. Jin-woo finally meets his match, and the System makes sure he does not escape unscathed as a shattering encounter follows suit.

Titled “The Knight Who Defends an Empty Throne”, Solo Leveling Episode 11 seems to be the final test for Jin-woo Sung before the season wraps up. Directed and storyboarded by Takayuki Kikuchi from a script by Noboru Kimura with music from composer Hiroyuki Sawano and animation from A-1 Pictures, the penultimate episode gets down and dirty in an epic brawl between the E-ranked Jin-woo and a ferocious knight in one of the dungeons of the System’s creation. As always, voice actor Taito Ban leads the cast as the protagonist, followed by Genta Nakamura as Jin-ho Yoo, Daisuke Hirakawa as Jong-in Choi, and Banjo Ginga as Gun-hee Go, taking charge of the smaller narratives.

Is Solo Leveling Episode 11 Good?

Solo Leveling Episode 11 Goes All Out on the Action While Balancing Multiple Narratives to Craft a Well-Rounded Story


Who is the Strongest Ruler in Solo Leveling?

Solo Leveling’s Rulers are tasked with protecting the world, and the strongest Ruler has a complicated past that intersects with Sung Jin-Woo’s story.

Solo Leveling is the story of Jin-woo Sung, whose near-death experience led to him acquiring a magical System that adds the imaginary XP he earns from each dungeon encounter into his real-life skill. Each new arc has pushed him through ranks he never imagined possible and now he fights for the ultimate S-rank. Episode 11 goes one step further and sets Jin-woo up for a final trial to prove whether he deserves his gifts. The story opens with the same air of suspense that follows Jin-woo every time he ventures into a dungeon solo, alert and ready for whatever lies ahead. After watching him destroy whatever life throws at him at this point, the audience’s false sense of security backfires as nothing will prepare them for what comes next.

Episode 11 is great at baiting the viewer. Everything starts unremarkably with Jin-woo entering an empty hallway and meeting his first enemy type. The moment his dagger fails to pierce through his foe’s armor marks the first roadblock in Jin-woo’s path. As more and more armor-clad enemies start climbing out of the woodwork, the fight squeezes every ounce of strength and stamina out of him, leaving him breathless just a few minutes in.

The episode sows the seed of doubt early on, as viewers have become accustomed to Jin-woo making an example of his enemies. It’s not until he enters the second dungeon and meets Igris’ sword head-on where the direness of his situation really sets in. The stakes just keep rising with the quality and quantity of enemies making it exponentially harder for the fan-favorite protagonist to keep his wits to himself. It’s easy to see how Jin-woo’s struggles are a central aspect of Solo Leveling‘s storytelling, with his laboring breath and toiling mind putting fans on the edge of their seats.

That said, the series has made an effort not to just focus on the E-ranked hunter by making a concerted effort on parallel narratives that aren’t in the webtoon. Both Jin-ho Yoo and Jong-in Choi get some cameo time in the episode. The anime isn’t burdened by focusing on these these characters, tailoring a story for them that helps fill out the episode’s runtime and show their resolve to succeed against a whirlwind of action.

Solo Leveling Makes Great Use Of Its Supporting Cast

Solo Leveling Has Always Revolved Around Jin-woo Sung, but Episode 11 Gives Everyone Their Own Struggles to Deal With


Solo Leveling Launches Pre-Registration for First Video Game

The first Solo Leveling video game, Solo Leveling: Arise, opens pre-registration for players, alongside a new trailer release and reward information.

Just as Jin-woo starts to feel like an overpowered MC, Solo Leveling Episode 11 pulls the rug out from under his feet. The trouble starts from his very first encounter when Jin-woo comes across an enemy with such thick armor that he has no other option but to use brute force. As he fights more knights in crude armor, he realizes these tough creatures share the same strengths and weaknesses as the monsters he’s faced before. With how intuitive Jin-woo is, he quickly understands the dungeon is testing him.

Yet no amount of mental fortitude saves him from the absolute thrashing he receives from Igris the Bloodred. While most will give in sooner or later, Jin-woo fights till his last breath. He has not overcome repeated deadly encounters to die in an optional quest from the System. But his conviction starts to quiver when he feels the might of an enemy whose skills are on a greater level than the monsters he’s gotten used to fighting.

Gone is the cold, ruthlessness of Jin-woo, who finds himself pushed back on his last leg. All the turmoil around him manifests inside as his inner voice, torn between backing down or standing back up. Taito Ban brings back a hint of desperation in his voice, last heard in the Cartenon Temple episode. Ban’s narration exposes Jin-woo’s deepest, darkest feelings and shows the calculative side of his mind through inner monologues as he tries to come up with ways to survive the barrage of punches.

Despite so much happening in the main storyline, Solo Leveling makes sure the supporting cast does not feel alienated. Like Jin-woo, both Jin-ho Yoo and Jong-in Choi have their own arcs to take care of. While Jin-ho holds out hope of establishing his own guild despite the intimidating glares from his wealthy family, Jong-in spends his sleeping moments suffering nightmares and waking moments in agony about his unfinished business on Jeju Island. Whether driven by ambition or anxiety, Episode 11 fleshes out everyone’s motivations. In contrast to Daisuke Hirakawa’s resolute voice acting of Jong-in that stems from doubt within the character, Genta Nakamura emulates Jin-ho’s nervousness well as he slowly plucks the courage to silently one-up his father and brother in their own game.

Episode 11’s Excellent Animation Helps Solo Leveling Reach New Heights

The Action and Animation Share a Symbiotic Relationship That Makes a Great Episode Even BetterJin-woo Sung defending the attack from Igris in Solo Leveling Episode 11


How Solo Leveling Avoids Anime’s Power Fantasy Tropes

Solo Leveling has an overpowered protagonist in the form of Sung Jinwoo, but the anime avoids many of the narrative pitfalls seen in similar shows.

Solo Leveling has never shied away from the sight of blood or brutal beatdowns, but Episode 11 goes hard even without gore, making the one-versus-one battle between Igris and Jin-woo the centerpiece of the action – poetic in motion and stunning in execution. All the credit goes to A-1 Pictures and its staff for meeting the hype fans have been waiting for while exceeding expectations with some truly wild animation. Although smaller details like the reflection of gilded doors on shiny marble floors and the structural design of a Chinook aircraft go unnoticed because of the destruction that follows suit, the fight’s incredible pace puts the bigger picture into perspective.

While Episode 11 has a lot to offer, the action is where A-1’s animation really shines. Igris weighing up to Jin-woo and his dagger with his huge sword is intimidating to see. Audiences used to seeing Jin-woo throw his enemies from wall to wall will be shocked to see the same happen to him with the tables now turned. The exchange of blows and the reverberating aftershock is the excitement Solo Leveling has been missing since its debut episode.

Especially after the dull affair that was Episode 10, Solo Leveling Episode 11 levels up to a different kind of beast. The action bolsters the story and characters who express their own agency. Most importantly, Episode 11 has heart that comes out in the fire emanating from the Jin-woo Sung’s soul. While an argument can be made that the episode stalls the plot’s progression before the finale, this has been Jin-woo’s biggest moment and fans have a chance to enjoy it all in its animated glory. Episode 11 is nothing short of Solo Leveling at its best.

Jin-Woo Sung and Other Warriors Pose on the Solo Leveling Promo

Solo Leveling Episode 11

The penultimate episode spices up things with an epic battle that puts Jin-woo Sung through a grueling test, offering an exhilarating fan service.


  • As Jin-woo meets his match, episode 11 turns up the heat to eleven.
  • Multiple fomenting narratives create great suspense.
  • A-1 Pictures goes all-out in the action-adventure spectacle.

  • Plot progress takes a backseat for Jin-woo’s nervous battle with Igris the Bloodred.

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