The Winter 2024 anime season has arrived, and Solo Leveling is already one of the year’s most popular new anime. Based on a Korean novel of the same name, the Solo Leveling anime is a fantasy action/adventure that stars protagonist, Sung Jinwoo, an E-rank hunter who has everything to gain in a career that revolves around dungeon diving and monster slaying. Other hunters find it easy to massacre monsters and loot the dungeons that continually appear. However, Sung Jinwoo is weak and he needs an entire party just to survive.
Sung Jinwoo, over time, gets stronger during his solo leveling adventure as he fights monsters and powers up to finally make something of himself. Anime fans can watch the action unfold on the Crunchyroll streaming service. That being said, new Solo Leveling fans can also check out other, similar anime on Crunchyroll to stay entertained between Solo Leveling episodes. There are plenty of similar anime that have the same fantasy and action vibes or star an underdog hero who grinds their way toward greatness.
There are some great manhwa to check out in the fantasy genre.
10 Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Is About Discovering The True Meaning & Value Of Life
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End
An elf and her friends defeat a demon king in a great war. But the war is over, and the elf must search for a new way of life.
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 9.14
- IDMb: 9.0
- AnimePlanet: 4.54/5
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is a fantasy adventure anime that starts where most anime end. Many fantasy and isekai anime involve a quest to slay the obligatory demon king, but Frieren actually starts with the heroes’ defeat of this demonic tyrant. This heroic party then celebrates by watching a meteor shower that only occurs once every 50 years. Elf protagonist, Frieren, proceeds to embark on a peaceful journey where she learns more about magic.
However, Frieren forgets that other people naturally age and die, while elves live on for centuries. Frieren must come to terms with the fleeting mortality of her old adventurer friends. Frieren learns that there’s more to life than magic and adventures. There’s also the power of friendship. What follows in Frieren is a charming, emotionally charged story of a nigh-immortal being who learns that there’s more to life than simply the number of years that one has lived. Frieren may feel like a different kind of protagonist than Sung Jinwoo, but Frieren remains a charming, meaningful fantasy series that’s sure to delight Solo Leveling fans.
9 Goblin Slayer Depicts Its Fantasy Heroes In Non-Stop Combat With Monsters
In a fantasy world, a lone hero makes his living by exterminating all goblins he encounters. But one day he meets a friend, and his life begins to become more intense.
- Release Date
- October 7, 2018
- Yūichirō Umehara , Yui Ogura , Brad Hawkins , Hayden Daviau
- Action , Fantasy , Adventure
Goblin Slayer is an intelligent hero who never underestimates his opponents, creating clever strategies that maximize his chances of success.
Goblin Slayer Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 7.42
- IDMb: 7.4
- AnimePlanet: 4.01/5
The Goblin Slayer anime is a violent and exciting fantasy-action anime that stars a Dungeons & Dragons-style team of adventurers. This includes an elf archer, a defensive cleric, and most importantly, the armored Goblin Slayer. The Goblin Slayer is determined to rid the world of goblins, which are the same vicious creatures who have taken almost everything from him.
Goblin Slayer‘s heroes learn and grow during the course of their adventures, especially the young cleric who evolves from a terrified victim to a brave, loyal member of her own fantasy crew. Any Solo Leveling fan who eagerly wants to see anime heroes slaughter horrible fantasy monsters will definitely like Goblin Slayer‘s two seasons.
8 The Rising Of The Shield Hero Features An Underdog Action Hero
A gamer is magically summoned into a parallel universe, where he is chosen as one of four heroes destined to save the world from its prophesied doom.
- Release Date
- January 9, 2019
- Kinema CitrusDR Movie
The Rising of the Shield Hero Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 7.96
- IDMb: 7.9
- AnimePlanet: 4.31/5
The Rising of the Shield Hero is a dark, gritty isekai anime series whose protagonist, Naofumi Iwatani, gets summoned to the Kingdom of Melromarc against his will. Naofumi, unlike the other three summoned heroes, can only use shields. Naofumi realizes that something has to change after he’s forced to fight alone.
Naofumi rebuilds his team from scratch and recruits new friends to fight by his side and take on the deadly waves of fantasy monsters. Naofumi, like Sung Jinwoo, must embrace a creative — almost desperate — fighting style in order to level up and become an action star, despite the many factors that work against him during this war for survival.
7 That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Stars Rimuru, Who Gains Incredible Skills Over Time
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
Average 37-year-old Minami Satoru dies and is reincarnated as the most unremarkable creature imaginable-a slime.
- Release Date
- October 2, 2018
- Miho Okasaki , Megumi Toyoguchi , Mao Ichimichi , Makoto Furukawa
- Eight Bit
- The Slime Diaries
- Number of Episodes
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 8.14
- IDMb: 8.1
- AnimePlanet: 4.38/5
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime features a famously overpowered isekai protagonist named Rimuru Tempest. He powers up much faster in the Tensura anime than Sung Jinwoo does in Solo Leveling, but the basic premise between these two anime remains the same. In both series, a fantasy hero starts from zero and steadily power up as they go.
Rimuru gets stabbed to death in Japan, only to then be reborn in a fantasy world as a blue slime who holds immense potential. Rimuru goes on to gain new skills and traits, make new friends, and turns enemies into allies as he strives to build an all-new nation of monsters. Rimuru cultivates a world where all non-human species can finally live in peace.
6 Chainsaw Man Shows Denji Rise From Zero To Subversive Hero
Following a betrayal, a young man left for dead is reborn as a powerful devil-human hybrid after merging with his pet devil and is soon enlisted into an organization dedicated to hunting devils. When his father died, Denji was stuck with a huge debt and no way to pay it back.
- Release Date
- October 11, 2022
- Kikunosuke Toya , Ryan Colt Levy , Tomori Kusunoki , Suzie Yeung
- Anime , Action , Adventure
Chainsaw Man is one of the most popular and subversive anime of recent memory, as the show provides many twists on familiar shonen tropes.
Chainsaw Man Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 8.53
- IDMb: 8.4
- AnimePlanet: 4.36/5
Chainsaw Man is a highly subversive, ultra-bloody action anime that questions everything in the shonen rulebook, all while it still follows the basics. Chainsaw Man‘s protagonist, known simply as Denji, is an even bigger underdog than Sung Jinwoo. Chainsaw Man‘s story begins with Denji as an impoverished, desperate boy who has nothing but his devil dog, Pochita, by his side.
Denji then faces certain death, only to fuse with Pochita, the Chainsaw Devil, to become Chainsaw Man. Denji’s Chainsaw Man is the newest Devil Hunter on the block and from here he goes on to fight a variety of horrific Devils for the right price. Denji also learns quite a bit while he’s on the job and he desperately strives to satisfy his humble, relatable desires as a lonely teenage boy.
5 The Faraway Paladin Showcases A Hero Who Must Find His True Purpose In A Fantasy World
The Faraway Paladin Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 6.86
- IDMb: 6.7
- AnimePlanet: 3.77/5
The Faraway Paladin is a slightly off-beat fantasy isekai anime that stars William G. Maryblood, a boy who dies on Earth and gets reborn in a new world, all while he retains his memories from the past life. William now lives in the capital of the dead, surrounded by undead beings, rather than an elf village or capital city. Rather than antagonize or envy the living William, three undead beings instead choose to raise him as a foster son.
William owes much to his undead caregivers, who include a ghost sorcerer, a mummy, and a skeletal warrior. William, once he’s old enough and ready, must uncover the mysteries of the dead land that he now calls home. William must figure out who he really is and what he stands for. It’s an inspirational tale of self-actualization that may remind anime fans of Solo Leveling‘s underdog protagonist, Sung Jinwoo.
4 Berserk Of Gluttony Shows Its Hero Trying To Boost His Skills
Berserk of Gluttony Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 6.76
- IDMb: 6.6
- AnimePlanet: 3.57/5
Berserk of Gluttony may not be Crunchyroll’s single best fantasy action anime, but it does have a fairly similar vibe to Solo Leveling. This makes Berserk of Gluttony a satisfying watch between episodes of Solo Leveling. Airing in the Fall 2023 anime season, Berserk of Gluttony shows what happens when a gatekeeper finally decides to get stronger and make something out of his “useless” skill.
Fate Graphite, Berserk of Gluttony‘s main character, has the seemingly worthless power of Gluttony. After he endures taunts and mockery from his wealthy employers, Fate decides to forge a new path for himself. Fate must somehow reforge his Gluttony skill into something great, all so that he can become an accomplished warrior and karmically get back at the family who humiliated him. However, Fate proves to have far more enemies and getting personal revenge is hardly his biggest problem.
3 Sword Art Online is All About Fighting & Leveling Up In Game Worlds
Sword Art Online
In the year 2022, thousands of people get trapped in a new virtual MMORPG and the lone wolf player, Kirito, works to escape.
- Release Date
- July 8, 2012
- Yoshitsugu Matsuoka , Haruka Tomatsu , Bryce Papenbrook
- Action , Adventure , Fantasy
- Production Company
- A-1 Pictures, ASCII Mediaworks, Aniplex, Bandai Namco Games, Genco
- Number of Episodes
Sword Art Online stumbled many times, but it was still the right anime at the right time to launch the isekai subgenre for fans of MMORPGs.
Sword Art Online Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 7.2
- IDMb: 7.5
- AnimePlanet: 3.98/5
Sword Art Online is a fantasy action anime that appeals to gamers, much in the same vein as Solo Leveling. Both anime star a male lead who must use all his wits and courage to fight powerful monsters in dangerous dungeon crawls. Over time, both series’ protagonists, Kirito and Sung Jinwoo, become incredibly powerful through hard-won experience.
In Sword Art Online, a virtual reality MMORPG becomes all-too-real for its players. These dedicated gamers end up trapped in the world of Aincrad, where the only way out is to clear all 100 floors, or die trying. Sword Art Online‘s first season tells the ultimate video game escape story. As the anime continues, Kirito visits other MMORPG worlds, the likes of which are populated by fairies, snipers, and much more.
2 The Unwanted Undead Adventurer Features A Skeletal Hero Who Wants to Help Others
The Unwanted Undead Adventurer Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 7.38
- IDMb: 8.1
- AnimePlanet: 3.83/5
The Unwanted Undead Adventurer is a fantasy anime that’s currently airing alongside Solo Leveling in the Winter 2024 anime season. This anime functions like a gentler version of the Overlord isekai anime. It stars a protagonist named Rentt Faina who dies as an adventurer, only to return to life as a skeleton. Rentt will do whatever it takes to support and guide other adventurers in his town, which progressively makes him a likable hero.
Rentt is forced to start over from the bottom, which makes him a charming underdog hero who has plenty to gain. This character type is not unlike Solo Leveling‘s Sung Jinwoo. The Unwanred Undead Adventurer also incorporates some entertaining humor. Rentt, before he dies, is close to a lady named Lorraine Vivie. Lorraine is evidently still interested in her skeletal friend and she gets jealous anytime he befriends other female adventurers.
1 Mashle: Magic & Muscles Thrills Audiences With Its Non-Magical Underdog Star
Into a world of magicians is born Mash, a young boy who lacks magic but is the strongest person around. His existence and destiny will change his world.
- Release Date
- April 8, 2023
- Hajime Kōmoto
- Chiaki Kobayashi , Katsuyuki Konishi , Takuya Eguchi
- A-1 Pictures
- Number of Episodes
Mashle: Magic and Muscles Anime Scores:
- MyAnimeList: 7.56
- IDMb: 7.5
- AnimePlanet: 3.94/5
The comedic action anime, Mashle: Magic and Muscles, is deeper than it initially lets one. It proves itself to be far more than One-Punch Man meets Harry Potter. This anime is actually all about how to stand up to bullies and societal inequality. “Himbo” protagonist, Mash Burnedead, tirelessly fights to prove himself as a great hero. Mash lacks magic in an all-wizard society, but he doesn’t let this discourage him..
Mash is an underdog in many ways. He faces serious discrimination and doubt wherever he goes, but he doesn’t let this get in the way of his mission. Mash, like Sung Jinwoo in Solo Leveling, fights hard and uses whatever he’s got to make something of himself. Gloriously, Mash’s rigorous training regimen soon pays off and he’s ready to show the world that real magic comes from the heart, not a wand.
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