Radiant, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 4) introduces Seth. He is an apprentice Wizard, and is one of the “Infected.” Under the guidance of his cruel tutor, Alma, Seth is learning how to use magic (called “fantasia”) to stop evil creatures known as “Nemeses” that plague humanity.
However, Seth is special, and it will take a special place to train him so that he can reach his ultimate goal, to find and to destroy the mythical Nemesis nest, called “Radiant.” So now, he has to start, but The Artemis Institute seems like a helluva place to learn.
[This volume includes bonus manga.]
THE LOWDOWN: I was surprised to learn (via some Google searches) that the Radiant manga was originally a French manga. I thought that the author's name, “Tony Valente,” was an odd name for a Japanese manga creator, but I also speculated (to myself) that Tony Valente might be one of those foreign artists working in Japan as a manga artist. However, Radiant is good enough to get published in Japan as manga.
Radiant Graphic Novel Volume 1 introduces a narrative that could indeed be a Japanese-born and bred manga, published in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump or another Japanese shonen manga magazine. Radiant reminds me of and has the freewheeling spirit of Hiro Mashima's wildly popular manga, Fairy Tail. Seth is also similar to the plucky and stubborn Uzumaki Naruto, especially the young ninja of the early volumes of Masashi Kishimoto's beloved manga, Naruto.
One thing I did have to get used to about Radiant is that writer-artist Tony Valente packs almost every page with visual and graphical elements. Sometimes everything is so squeezed into a page or into an individual panel that it is difficult to read the dialogue and also takes considerable effort to interpret the story. Still, it is worth it. Radiant has a fascinating, Harry Potter-like quality that makes me want to read more. I think Radiant has a lot of potential.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of manga about teens with magical powers will want to read Radiant.