The popular Solo Leveling anime faces heavy backlash and criticisms from Korean viewers after including a talented but controversial studio in its production, causing it to be removed from the credits entirely.
Studio PPURI, the studio responsible for animating the well-received Solo Leveling opening song, was the company that had to be removed.
This studio company has attracted a negative reputation among certain parts of Korea due to perceived 'anti-men' gestures included in its works and its links to the group Megalia, an online community and social movement of South Korean feminists,
This only affected the domestic Korean distribution of the series, and the decision to do so was most likely motivated by the stock drop of Solo Leveling publishers, D&C Media, according to a Naver Blog post notes.
Megalia has attracted attention in Korea in part due to its strategy of exposing misogynistic behaviour by doing it in reverse across online communities. Studio PPURI has been accused of sneaking this gesture into numerous works, including MapleStory. Some even claim that the Solo Leveling opening features the reference.
But News Tomato agrees that the decision to remove Studio PPURI from the credits was likely motivated by stock concerns, reporting that D&C Media's stock price on January 15 was more than 6% down from the previous trading day, as well as seeing a 10% drop during the day.
This comes as a blight on Studio PPURI after a great reception to the opening - the video currently enjoys over two million views and was the subject of widespread conversation in Japan and abroad this month, along with the Solo Leveling premiere.
The opening song’s popularity was, in fact, compared to the success of One Piece's beloved Gear 5 episode.
An anime insider's detailed claims about how the Japanese anime industry discriminates against Chinese animators noted that many foreign outsourced companies, such as the Korean Studio PPURI, were already on the same level as major Japanese anime studios.
Crunchyroll describes the series as: "They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s not the case for the world’s weakest hunter Sung Jinwoo. After being brutally slaughtered by monsters in a high-ranking dungeon, Jinwoo came back with the System, a program only he could see, that is levelling him up in every way. Now, he’s inspired to discover the secrets behind his powers and the dungeon that spawned them."
The unchanged Solo Leveling anime is streaming on Crunchyroll in both subbed and dubbed versions.
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