Solo Leveling Season 1 Ending Explained: Does Sung Jinwoo Become the Shadow Monarch?

The anime adaptation of the widely beloved manhwa Solo Leveling has truly made its mark, and grabbed audiences far and wide. It’s been a whirlwind journey for fans, both seasoned readers of the original material and newcomers drawn in by the animated spectacle.

This winter, the anime wrapped up its first season with the twelfth and final episode titled “Arise,” which aired on Sunday, March 31, 2024. As expected, emotions ran high as viewers bid temporary adieu to the series until its much-anticipated return for a second season.

The climax of this season left fans on the edge of their seats, especially with the revelation of Sung Jinwoo, the protagonist, receiving a new job title from the System. However, some lingering doubts among fans have surfaced regarding Jinwoo’s new class designation as the Shadow Monarch.

The Solo Leveling fandom is abuzz with anticipation, eagerly seeking further insights into the conclusion of the anime. One burning question on everyone’s mind is whether Jinwoo indeed ascends to the coveted title of the Shadow Monarch.

Fortunately for fans, the answer is a resounding yes. Sung Jinwoo does indeed achieve the prestigious status of the Shadow Monarch, marking a significant turning point in his journey within the Solo Leveling universe.

Jinwoo vs. Igris (Credits: A-! Pictures)

Sung Jinwoo Get the Title of Shadow Monarch in the End of Season 1

The Solo Leveling anime’s finale showcases a pivotal moment as Jinwoo secures the Shadow Monarch job title, overcoming the challenging job-change quest. In the climactic conclusion of the debut season, Sung Jinwoo emerges triumphant after vanquishing an endless onslaught of adversaries.

His victory rewards him with the class of Necromancer bestowed by the System, accompanied by the choice to either embrace or reject this newfound title. Initially hesitant, Jinwoo hesitates to accept, favoring his role as a frontline combatant akin to an assassin.

However, a warning from the System regarding the potential of unlocking a hidden class prompts Jinwoo to reassess his stance. Recognizing that adopting the mantle of a Necromancer doesn’t confine him solely to support roles, he makes the decision to embrace this new title after careful deliberation.

Following his acceptance, Jinwoo receives a windfall of bonus points, a testament to his extraordinary performance during the quest. Surpassing all expectations, he not only survives beyond the anticipated time frame but also refrains from utilizing the Instant Teleportation Stone.

Remarkably, he concludes the quest with over 50% of his HP intact, emerges victorious against all encountered adversaries, and amasses advancement points, surpassing the class threshold.

In recognition of his exceptional achievements, Jinwoo is bestowed with the illustrious title of the Shadow Monarch. With this pivotal moment, the Solo Leveling anime concludes its first season, setting the stage for Jinwoo’s journey towards assuming the mantle of the true Shadow Monarch in the future narrative.

Jinwoo (Credits: A-1 Pictures)

While this development may pose questions for viewers solely following the anime, enthusiasts of the manhwa and light novel are already familiar with this storyline element.

According to the original narrative, Jinwoo’s designation as the Shadow Monarch in the anime’s conclusion signifies merely the commencement of his path towards becoming the authentic Shadow Monarch.

It’s crucial to note that this acknowledgment doesn’t imply Jinwoo has fully awakened as the true Shadow Monarch. At this juncture in the anime’s storyline, Jinwoo has only taken initial strides towards embracing his new identity and responsibilities.

Sung Jinwoo (Credits: Kakao Page & A-1 Pictures)

Though he has begun assembling and commanding his shadow army, he has yet to attain the formidable power associated with the true Shadow Monarch, reminiscent of Ashborn.

The ending of the Solo Leveling anime also lays the groundwork for an important plotline by initiating the forthcoming Jeju Island Arc. In the final episode, viewers witness Choi Jongin, Cha Haein, and a group of hunters embarking on Jeju Island, where they encounter a remarkably evolved ant monster equipped with wings.

This significant development serves as a precursor to the trials and tribulations awaiting the characters during the upcoming fourth Jeju Island expedition, which is anticipated to take center stage in the anime’s second season.