Radiant (Season One)

A young sorcerer battles prejudices and ruthless Inquisitors as he seeks to find Radiant, the home of the Nemesis and change the world.

What did you watch and why? I started watching Radiant back in November of 2018. It was one of the shows I selected to watch as part of the Fall schedule. At the time, I had assumed it was just a twelve episode series, but it was twenty-one episodes, something that almost worked against it on numerous occasions.

What’s it about? Seth is a young sorcerer. He was discovered by an experience sorcerer, Alma as she defended a city from a Nemesis attack. She lost her arm in the battle, but gained a son. I’m not entirely sure she’s happy with the trade… Seth’s close contact with the Nemesis cursed him, giving him the power to use fantasia.

Many years later and having survived an attempted execution by scared townsfolk, Seth is determined to find Radiant, the home of the Nemesis and put an end to their devastation. Most believe that Radiant is a myth and Seth to be a hot-headed, impatient fool.

Seth’s quest will bring him together with new friends and mentors, he’ll visit strange new cities, and face dangerous and powerful enemies, but he’s a determined kind of guy. In order to find Radiant he’s going to have to unlock his potential and uncovered his mysterious past.

What did you think? For quite a while, I really wasn’t enjoying Radiant. After eight episodes, I was ready to drop it entirely, but believing it to only be twelve episodes long I persevered. That was when I discovered that it was twenty-one episodes long and luckily for Radiant it was at episode eleven that it really started to get good.

On the whole, I would say the series was average with a lot of potential and some very well done scenes. Out of twenty-one episodes I loved nine of them. Basically, it was the entire Rumble Town arc, the Dragunov episodes, and the flashback to Seth and Alma’s past. Most of the episodes set in Artemis, the sorcerer city were tedious and infuriating and brought down the whole series.

What was your favourite scene? Rumble Town. Everything about that arc was excellent. It did an amazing job of really showing the contrasts between the two sides. For the Inquisitors, you had Dragunov and Konrad. Dragunov believes in justice and strives to do what is right, where as Konrad has cultured an environment where the people fear the immigrants and even gets them to turn on them. It’s brutal and certainly reminiscent of current world events.

Then with the sorcerers there is Seth and Hameline. Seth is determined to save everyone despite his past, where as Hameline wants to destroy everyone because of her’s. It’s really interesting because they went through very similar things and ended up on opposite sides. It makes Seth question himself and his motives.

This was the first time I really started to like Seth. Up until now, he had been the typical shounen protagonist, shouting and charging in without thinking, but now you could see the conflict and it makes him far more interesting. The same can be said for Dragunov. His sense of justice could put him at odds with the main Inquisitors later along the line.

What was your least favourite scene? I could pick any from the scenes in Artemis, but I’m going to settle on the one about the giant sewer squid-octopus that had an obsession with coffee. It wasn’t that funny and really didn’t do anything to advance the story. I understand that we need a way to see Seth grow and solve problems, but these were just boring. There had to be a better way to do it, especially given the incredible world that it was set in.

Who was your favourite character? Melie was my number one favourite character throughout the entire series. Her curse gave her a split personality which was awesome. Whenever she was in danger, the dark personality would take over and destroy everything with hesitating. After her, Seth did start to grow on me and I also enjoyed Dragunov and Hameline.

Who was your least favourite character? It could be Master Lord Majesty, the ruler of Artemis and not only for being responsible for Artemis. He was incredibly annoying and that’s enough. There was also the thief sorcerers and their magical underpants – The Bravery Quartet! There was plenty of other weird characters on top of these, but I don’t want to focus on them, so I won’t.

Which character needs more screen time? I feel like we need more Grim and judging from his final involvements in season one, I’m pretty confident that we will see him in season two. He is the bandaged sorcerer who helps Seth and Melie in Rumble Town, although at first they were at odds with one another.

Is it similar to any other anime you’ve seen? I joked about the concept being similar to One Piece and My Hero Academia, even Hinomaru Sumo follows the standard shounen tropes, but it ended up having some really interesting elements. I particularly liked how the boundaries between good and evil were blurred and there would eventually be some cross over.

Would you like another season? I actually would. Once you get past all the Artemis nonsense there is a compelling story. It’s nothing new or ground-breaking but it is fun and has the potential to get quite deep and philosophical. I do enjoy the action elements and it is nice to see the characters having to deal with the ramifications of their actions.

What elements of the story inspire you? Taking things from around the world, whether their political ideals or government propaganda and putting it into a fantasy world could be very interesting. If you look at Lord of the Rings that looks at the effects of the industrial revolution on a fantasy world. You wouldn’t think so at first, but go back and take another look. It happens a lot and I think it helps to ground the fantasy worlds with a sense of reality.

Other reviews in the series

Animercise: This one is a bit of an odd one. I started watching back in November so only 13 of 21 episodes fell into this year and four of those were when I was only doing one exercise after each episode.

Episode Count: 13 (195)

Push-ups – 100 (1,390)

Sit-ups – 100 (1,390)

Squats – 110 (1,370)

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