Why did Solo Leveling Episode 8 not air this weekend? When will it premiere?

Fans of the hit anime series Solo Leveling will be disappointed this weekend as they expected to be able to stream Solo Leveling, Episode 8 just like they have streamed every other episode of the fantasy action adventure since it premiered on January 8th.

Instead, they were faced with Solo Leveling, Episode 7.5. (What the hell?)

An episode nobody wants to watch as it is nothing more than a recap of the first seven episodes of the anime series and, in my mind, a complete waste of your time unless you suffer from short-term memory loss.

Why was Solo Leveling, Episode 8 delayed then, and when can we expect to be able to watch it?

Solo Leveling, Episode 8 delayed as voice actor Taito Ban diagnosed with Covid

Yes, sadly, unlike most of the rest of the world where contracting Covid-19 is a minor cold at worst nowadays, in Japan, they are still treating this minor virus that is no more serious than a cold to 99.9 percent of people that contract it as a “health hazard”.

That is why, after Sung Jinwoo’s voice actor Taito Ban was diagnosed with Covid-19, the production of Solo Leveling, Episode 8 was apparently put on hold. (Well, that’s the excuse A-1 Pictures is apparently using to explain the anime’s delay anyway).

Something that also wouldn’t happen in most other countries, as most other countries don’t produce TV series right up until several hours before an episode is due to air.

Only Japanese anime studios do that.

Taito Ban’s Covid diagnosis then is apparently why Solo Leveling, Episode 8 is not airing this week but, instead, has been postponed until March 2nd at its usual time instead.

Odd considering, unless Taito Ban completely lost his voice, most voice actors can voice a part on equipment used in their own home (and most did during the Covid lockdowns), thus allowing the studio to still manage to release an episode on time.

Japanese anime studios milking Covid for all they can get?

Then again, this is nothing unusual, as Japanese studios have been using the “Covid excuse” for a lot longer than any other production company in most other countries used it.

While the rest of the world had moved on from Covid months before, Episode 7 of BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense was delayed by SilverLink back in February last year supposedly due to “Covid”.

Silver Link also used the “Covid excuse” to delay episodes of The Misfit of Demon Academy in the same month, while Pine Jam used Covid as an excuse for the postponement of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible the month before.

Studio Connect also blamed Covid for the postponement of Ayakashi Triangle during the same month.

In other words, in Japan it seems, if you have an anime production problem, blame Covid and fans won’t be as pissed off when the episode they have been waiting for doesn’t arrive.

Well, that’s what used to be the case.

Nowadays, however, more and more anime fans are getting tired of the Covid excuse and pointing out it is more likely to be the anime studio’s inability to stick to a deadline, or the fact that they are still in post-production just hours before an episode is due to air on TV, that is the problem instead.

Just like it has been for decades before Covid even appeared.

After all, if several completed episodes were already in the can a couple of weeks before Taito Ban tested positive for Covid, there would be no need for any delay at all, right?

Meanwhile, the Koreans are putting out episode of drama after drama after drama with hardly any delays. Unless it’s for a football match most of the country wants to watch.

And even then, the episode is already ready to air.

Oh Japan. Give it up already, as we’re all getting so tired of this.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I'm also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!