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Radiant Volume 1 Manga Review


Not so radiant.

With the debut volume of the manga series “Radiant,” writer/artist Tony Valente has crafted a story in which creatures known as Nemeses seemingly drop down from the sky from an alleged place called Radiant. These creatures wreak havoc wherever they go and only infected wizards with powers can stop them. Unfortunately, the wizards aren’t looked upon as heroes by normal people. Instead they are feared and even preyed upon the Inquisition led by General Torque “The Feral.” The main story revolves around the young Wizard apprentice named Seth who is a sheltered screw-up than wants desperately to be a hero. He stays with his sort of guardian and mentor named Alma (a bad-ass freelance tracking Wizard). While I won’t go into great detail about the story so as to not spoil everything, I will say readers can expect to meet other Wizard characters, a Nemesis, a band of thieves, and a magical institute.

Right off the bat, it’s clear the clunky dialogue, poor attempts at humor (keyword: attempts), and story construction is a bit off. When you’re left with more questions and plot holes than anything else, it’s a problem. Sure, there will likely be more answers in future volumes, but a lot of world building should have been done in this debut volume. The fact that a bonus story describing the universe gives you a better picture of the lay of the land than the story does is both lazy and problematic. The setting, time period and the world’s rules should have been firmly established here. What we do get is often vague and slapped together (see fantasia, magic usage rules, and the humans in this universe).

Another major issue is that we do get here feels like a mixture of other hit films and shows ala Hayao Miyazaki films, Harry Potter, Pokemon, and One-Punch Man. The story’s hero (Seth) is also your standard prototypical hero in that he means well but is naïve. He’s also incredibly obnoxious to the point of being off-putting.

The saving grace here is the artwork. If you just look at the manga you’re in for a treat as the detailed backgrounds and imaginative buildings, character designs, and items are impressive. If only the text surrounding it complimented it.

August 21, 2018 - Posted by | Book review | , ,

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