‘Small’ Gesture In Massively Popular “Solo Leveling” Anime Gets Korean Studio Kicked From The Show

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Solo Leveling is one of the most famous Korean web novels around. Written by Chugong, the story follows a weak monster hunter, Sung Jin Woo, as he gains mysterious powers that help him become the strongest.

The episodes were animated by A-1 Picture and directed by Shunsuke Nakashige. Korea-based animation company Studio Ppuri, meanwhile, was in charge of the visuals that brought to life the opening song “LEvel” by Hiroyuki Sawano [nZk] and TXT.

It was recently revealed that Studio Ppuri was removed from the ending credits. This was due to heavy backlash from Korean male netizens who alleged that the studio incorporated “anti-men” gestures in the middle of the opening video.

The gesture was the placing of the index finger next to the thumb (🤏). It sparked backlash due to its implication that Korean men have small penises.

They linked this sign to the controversial feminist group Megalia who uses it as their symbol. Formed in 2015, they garnered negative reactions from certain sectors in Korea due to their reputation for exposing misogynistic behavior in a provocative manner online. The group would “mirror” misogynist content with the gender roles reversed, aiming to provoke laughter or outrage.

| Yahoo News

The reactions to Megalia have been mixed. Mainstream Korean media has criticized them for being vulgar while many women have credited them for revitalizing the feminist movement in Korea.

Male groups, meanwhile, considered them misandrist, thus igniting their disdain for Studio Ppuri and pushing for their removal from Solo Leveling. While there will be no change to the anime episodes itself, the Korean studio will no longer be seen in the post-credits.

Feminism in South Korea is a constantly heated topic. Discourse surrounds unfair wage gaps, job opportunities favoring men, sexism, and alarmingly high rates of sexual abuse.

| Los Angeles Times
Source: Hindustan Times