With so many fantasy adventure series out there, how can you decide on which one to invest your time and feelings into? Well then, look no further! Not only is Radiant a promising series filled with magic and a lot of excitement, it’s also sure to reel you in with its relevant themes and amusing characters! I think this is still a baby compared to the famous shounen anime out there, but this rookie won’t lose to anyone since it has its own charms! To prove that, it’s already slated for!
Seth lives in a world where humans are threatened by monsters called Nemesis. They come down from the sky with no warning, and anyone who touches them often end up dead. Those who do survive are cursed with different defects, but are then able to use Fantasia in exchange. Seth is one of these sorcerers who can wield Fantasia, and to make sure that sorcerers and normal humans can live together happily, he has set his sights on destroying the source of all Nemesis, a place called Radiant!
If you’re the type to hunt around for comments before getting into a series (maybe that’s the reason you’re here?), you may find some people saying that this show is boring. Honestly, it kinda feels that way at the beginning, but I assure you that the story gets intriguing as you go along! Don’t let the lighthearted aura and silly escapades fool you; it gets pretty deep and chaotic halfway, which will make you appreciate the peaceful first episodes.
What I love about Radiant is its courage to tackle themes that are quite relevant today. I know topics about discrimination, prejudice, and herd mentality are already part of other stories, but this show revolves around these themes without making it too dark, too deep, or too extreme. It’s especially amazing how no group is inherently good or evil. Sorcerers are just trying to live peacefully. Inquisitors are just trying to make the world safe. Normal citizens just want to feel secure. Most of the characters’ goals revolve around these motivations, so I couldn’t really put a definite label on them.
Aside from most of the characters’ blameless objectives, they’re also quite likeable! They have their unique traits, not only because of their curses, but also because of their own kinds of silliness! And then when the going gets tough, you’re able to see them shine and do what they do best. Seth is a pretty good example for this. He may look like your generic genki protagonist, but he’s actually very noble at heart! His goal is for everyone to live in peace and be happy, compared to most characters who only want to get stronger and be the very best. It’s easy for me to become super proud of him because of that!
I just think that the pacing and storytelling of some episodes were off since I’m pretty sensitive to those. Certain events ended up like they’re dragging on and became boring, even making certain episodes feel disconnected from the last. It honestly turned me off whenever it happened. You should also probably know that this anime adaptation had obvious changes from the original comic, although they’re not really that major as far as I’m aware. There were fillers here and there, though most of them pretty informative and fleshed out the story some more. Some comic scenes weren’t included in the anime, but the ending of the first season still didn’t deviate from the comic for the most part.
Art & Music
When I found out that Studio Lerche (Asobi Asobase) was going to animate this series, I had pretty high expectations. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! The visuals were often consistent from start to finish, and they were really beautiful! They really brought the world of Radiant to life with bright colors, solid character designs, captivating scenery, and most of all dynamic action scenes! I could clearly see that they spared no effort to put everything together so well! It made getting into such a fantastical series easier, giving off a sense of wonder.
As for the seiyuu behind the characters, you could say that this show is star-studded! Paku Romi, Yūki Aoi, and Koyasu Takehito are just some of the well-known ones, and they did such a great job with their acting! I also really liked Seth’s voice, done by Hanamori Yumiri, because I could really imagine such an energetic and youthful boy with that voice!
Themes & Trivia
Radiant is French, created by Tony Valente. He started it in 2013, and turned out to be such a big hit that it was the first French comic published in Japan!
Discrimination: As I mentioned, discrimination is one of the biggest themes this show tackles. Normal citizens act under the misconception that being near sorcerers will cause them to be infected by the Nemesis’ curse themselves. Their hate can even go so far as hurting these innocent people.
Magic ban: Since only sorcerers are able to use Fantasia and they’re pretty much hated, use of this magical ability is pretty much banned from the world. The Inquisition upholds this law, and arrests anyone who disobeys it.
I truly love the concept and story of Radiant. The visuals are super eye-candy, the characters are intriguing, and Seth’s goal has me rooting for him all the way! You can see that I praised it a lot over the course of this review. The pacing and the way the story was told over the course of 21 episodes was just really off for me, so I personally didn’t get to enjoy it to the max. That’s just me and my sensitivity, though. I’m sure many others liked this show a lot, especially when it got interesting. Maybe you’ll love it more than I did! I still highly recommend you give it a try!
- Light-hearted story tackles relevant and deep themes
- Interesting worldbuilding and lore
- Beautiful art & animation, usually consistent every episode
- Has characters you will root for, especially the out of the box protagonist you can be proud of
- Pacing and/or storytelling sometimes feel off that events seem to drag on and feel boring
- Deviated a lot from the original comic on certain aspects
For those of you who’ve watched Radiant, what are your thoughts on it? Liked it? Hated it? Let us know in the comments!