Another Slow-Moving Shounen?
- Episodes : 21
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Magic, Fantasy
- Airing Date : October 2018 – currently airing
- Studios : Lerche
Seth is a young sorcerer who aspires to fight the dangerous infected beings known as the Nemesis—partly because that is one of the few things he is allowed to do. All sorcerers are seen as infected as well, due to their curses from contact with Nemesis. As such, they are shunned by the rest of society. In order to ease that barrier between sorcerers and society, Seth decided he wants to set out to find Radiant, a mythical place that is said to be the nest for all Nemesis.
Radiant is another shounen anime introduced this season, based on a French comic. Though it follows many of the same shounen tropes as other series in the genre, Radiant does have a few things going for it. We’re hopeful that this series might grow on us over time, much like Black Clover has done.
1. Interesting Themes
From the beginning of the series, it is clear that Radiant is making a statement about discrimination, as sorcerers are hunted down. In many ways, sorcerers are treated as women were during the witch hunts of our own history, when people were told if they survived tests (or in Radiant’s case, attacks of the Nemesis) they were evil. Partnered along with the typical shounen themes of determination and friendship, the discussion surrounding discrimination is particularly intriguing. Even from just the second episode when the Bravery Quartet is introduced, it is clear that discrimination does not have an easy solution in this world.
2. Melie’s Split Personality
Radiant’s characters all seem pretty typical for the most part – except, that is, for Melie and her unique personality! When Seth first meets the airheaded young girl, she doesn’t seem to be much more than a pretty face and a few defensive spells. It is when Melie becomes stressed that her personality flips completely as a result of her curse, and she becomes an offensive magic-wielder with a penchant for fighting. Though Melie doesn’t like it when she gets out of control, she is an interesting character and we’re excited to learn even more about her past!
3. A World Set in the Sky
Another unique thing that Radiant has is its setting, which is a world where magic-users are rejected by everyone else and people reside on different floating islands spread throughout the sky. It is reminiscent of Grandblue Fantasy in this sense, with a variety of different small islands spread throughout the sky and our main character striving to reach an unknown, mythical location. However, Radiant uses this setting to enhance its story in a slightly different fashion, giving a refreshing world for a shounen anime. As Seth and his friends discover more cities, like the sorcerer-only island of Artemis, we continue to be excited about the potential for this anime’s unique setting!
1. Bland Main Character
As is the plague of shounen anime, Seth follows many of the typical tropes of a protagonist and comes across very one-dimensional. He is determined to fulfill his goal of finding Radiant and destroying it, no matter what. Since we’ve seen this type of character goal from every other shounen protagonist, it feels overdone at this point. And Seth’s airheaded and frivolous yelling does nothing to make his character more interesting either…
2. All the Shounen Tropes
Radiant is a shounen anime at heart, despite being based on a French comic, and that is made clear by all of the genre’s tropes it includes! With a loud protagonist who wants to achieve his dreams through determination and a pretty standard cast of characters to follow him, this series is pretty typical for the most part. Following along with the typical trends is not always a bad thing, but when the anime is fairly new and doesn’t have a lot to make it stand out otherwise, it does not make an impression.
3. Continuity Issues
One of the biggest issues with Radiant is the haphazardly organized story, something which cannot be easily overlooked. Within the first few episodes, we noticed some continuity issues. For example, when Seth leaves Alma originally, he heads out right away, with few words shared between them. However, the very next episode, he flashes back to a scene that had not been shown before, where Alma suddenly advises him exactly where he needed to go. Changing a story that quickly just to further the plot, especially when it is noticeable to the viewers, is detrimental to the quality of an anime.
Radiant’s series has a few promising elements, but it suffers from many of the things that the shounen genre often does. An interesting setting, themes, and some unique characters are some of the things we enjoyed about it. Yet, as it stands right now, Radiant is not a very memorable anime. With a rather ordinary main character, continuity issues and a lot of the standard shounen tropes, Radiant’s unique setting and interesting dialogue don’t seem enough to make it worth watching over other anime in the genre.
What do you think of Radiant? Let us know if you agree or disagree with us in the comments section below!