Radiant Pre-show – Episode 1 Analysis

Radiant is pretty cool. Haven’t seen anything regarding it prior to watching the first episode so to see it is indeed a fantasy shounen kind of anime; I’ve come understand there’s a competitive spirit residing in the show as it has to stand out from the rest of the pack. Believe it or not, that isn’t super difficult to do. Black Clover made a name for itself as that shounen that has the yelling protagonist.

In this first episode I wouldn’t say Radiant necessarily managed to stand out. However, I will say that there is potential. The reason I feel this way is because I like the aesthetic. The art design doesn’t necessarily stand out but it does in very small doses. Specifically within the character designs I think the protag looks pretty cool; albeit, barely a little too shounen-y for my taste. But personality-wise I think he’s different enough that he doesn’t feel like a straight copy from the Goku/Luffy/Naruto persona. Yes, he’s still thick-headed but in a way that’s fitting of a child his age. While most people probably don’t even think about Luffy’s age and everyone just assumes Goku is autistic. The way Seth’s outfitted to look obviously like a 14-year old because that’s the demographic most shounen aims to please. But, at the same time, it is interesting how modern it looks but pulls it back into a fantasy-like attire with the colors. It gives me a good impression that this world looks somewhat different than what you might picture an average fantasy setting looking like. And I certainly wish that was more prevalent in this first episode.

Don’t get me wrong! There were moments where I was intrigued by the unique aspects of this setting. What with the elephant/cow-looking creature (Should’ve called them “cowlephants”… But they’re just “cows”) and the flying castle that were pretty cool on their own. But for a first episode stuff like this needs to be more integrated into the minds of the viewer to get a better understanding of what we’re about to commit to. Now, a character that hasn’t been introduced yet but seems to be a main character caught my eye whilst looking through the MAL page for this anime. A character by the name of “Mélie”? I noticed her design in the OP and thought I had to look her up because she looks awesome! She is single-handedly one of the best female designs I have seen in awhile! Maybe since Erza from Fairy Tail. Seeing her has risen my hype-levels exponentially and I really, REALLY wish she was in the first episode. But hopefully that isn’t indicative of anything.

Besides all of that only one notable thing has been established this episode: That is that sorcerers are basically seen as monsters and get treated improperly by the village Seth and Alma reside closely to. I do feel… Somewhat empathetic towards them despite this being a bit of a generic storyline. Witches are hated and get burned at the stake. This one’s a little different. They don’t seem to be considered as creatures that have to be killed. Rather, the villagers acknowledge that their duty is to protect everyone from the creatures they call “nemesis”. But since there is no nemesis it just is weird to have a sorcerer nearby since they’re the only kinds of people who can make anything go awry in a way that isn’t natural. Probably doesn’t help that Seth gets into a lot of trouble trying to show off his magical abilities. Here’s the thing: While I am empathetic towards Seth and Alma; I do understand the villagers. If it was me… I wouldn’t go near sorcerers. There’s just a lot of chaos that comes with magic. If someone, like Seth, lived near my village I would be a little scared because he’s a child who has control of power he isn’t too knowledgeable about. One mistake can create casualties. Like, the rock Seth punched around the beginning… What if that fell on someone? That’s scary shit. I’m not saying I would go out of my way to belittle and slander them like the villagers were doing. I just don’t think I can live near sorcerers. Seems too risky.

So, that’s one other thing I am interested to see. How they take the whole sorcerer racism and turn it into a positive story. I should probably mention that- yeah, I do like Alma. Alma’s pretty rad. I think the character designs are just the most appealing part of Radiant so far. And i’m really interested in it. I do not think this was the greatest first episode. If anything, it might’ve fallen a bit flat. I do not think Radiant will do too well. But I am gonna hold faith and hope for a turnaround. I probably wouldn’t have paid any mind to this one if it wasn’t for Crow who made a slightly amusing comment on Twitter and got me to check this one out so… Thanks buddy. 

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