One of the most important elements a manga needs is a good storyline. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that Radiant has it. Packed with whimsical characters and magic, this manga may have started off a little slow but it has built up to a great conflict. There are some issues that I have with it, but it really looks like Radiant will be a manga that I’ll continue to keep tabs on. Written and illustrated by Tony Valente and published by Viz Media, Radiant takes us to a world of monsters and magic.
Our hero, Seth, is now training in an institute that will help him better control his magic, which is called Fantasia. While it’s not uncommon to find in others, Seth is uniquely able to use it without wielding a weapon. As he is training with his new teacher Yaga, there are hints that Seth might conceal an even greater power. This may sound confusing, but it never is.
With that in mind, you start to see various parallels to other popular stories that you may already be familiar with. A young hero training under an older and wiser old man? Ring any bells? (My Hero Academia, anyone?) Being that Seth’s training under a powerful wizard, we can automatically assume that the great power that he wields is something he’ll grow to control as the story continues. I hope to see more of his progress on this front.
Although I do believe the storyline might lack a bit of originality, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. We start off with a slow introduction of Seth training and obtaining knowledge of Nemeses. The Nemeses are monsters of unknown origin that wreak havoc and destruction wherever they go. The conflict does not truly start to build until they begin to get hunted. We see more action as Seth encounters another character named Grimm. We don’t know much about him besides that he has greater control over Fantasia than Seth does. In this thrilling hunt, Grimm causes detrimental events that prevent Seth and his friends from capturing Nemeses while managing to further his own mysterious goals. One of Radiant’s drawbacks is that it never fully develops Grimm or his motivations.
Questions appear throughout the volume and it’ll be intriguing to see where they all lead to. The mystery of where the monsters’ nest is, the true nature of Seth, and who Grimm truly is are all incorporated into an even greater enigma in the story. Although Radiant’s plot and some of the characters feel familiar, Valente includes distinct details about each character that’ll draw you further into the story. The true adventure is just barely starting, so I’m surprised that the storyline is a little stretched out with Seth’s training. With that said, I’m hopeful that upcoming volumes will provide us with fulfilling answers to the holes in this story, as well as more action.