5 Point Discussions – Radiant 8: “Proof Of Strength -Progress-“

by Sage Ashford

Seth and Melie are forced to bring down a group of dangerous thieves…but Seth can’t use his magic! Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. It’s a fault of the series at this point, but Yaga is the most useless trainer I’ve seen in a shonen series in quite some time. Every episode seems to start with Yaga explaining how Seth’s not good enough to train under him, and leaving Seth to go train and figure everything out on his own. That could be a meta commentary on how ancient martial arts masters always seem to want their students to come to the lesson themselves, but the nuance implying such a thing is absolutely not there.
Anyhow, while training Seth again manages to break the gloves he needs to gather Fantasia. Annoyed his student’s training is going so slow, Yaga berates him, only for Seth to point out that to him finesse and skill don’t matter, only the power. Instead of Yaga pointing out this is how fascists are born, he clamps Seth’s arms down in black silver gloves to stop him from using magic, then promptly declares he’s forbidden to even try to cast spells for at least a day.

2. If you were wondering how long our heroes could run up the bill they owe with their insane antics, the correct answer was exactly three episodes. Just as Seth attempts to sulk about not being allowed to use magic, Master Lord Majesty summons him, Melie, and Doc to his throne room, threatening to kick them out of the city because their debt has grown so absurdly high. Given neither of them have even attempted to finish any missions or quests and spend their days drinking bad coffee and getting yelled at by old men (much as that sounds like they’ve been working), the surprising part is this didn’t happen any sooner.
Nonethless, Majesty gives them one last chance–to clean what looks like the outside of the city, while Doc is told to work a giant machine that makes shaved ice. Having young people perform demeaning, menial labor for low pay to pay off unfair amounts of debt?  I keep wanting to give this show up, but it’s just so topical.

3. Generally, when someone says they make magic with their butts, it isn’t on a show found outside the darker corners of the internet. Yet here we are, as the Bravery Quartet reappear in only their underwear to pull off a new heist.  Melie, who’s learned more training on her own than Seth ever has with Yaga, tries to fight them with the few offensive spells she knows…but then we learn the source of the Quartet’s power. Sorcerers generally have their gloves made out of special material to gather Fantasia and cast spells, so for whatever reason the Quartet’s made their…briefs..out of that material. It’s like the makings of a good idea–why not make all your clothes out of said material–but stopped short because these guys are idiots.
At any rate, what follows is a battle between Melie’s spells…and these guys’ talented butts, working together to cast new spells we’ve actually never seen before. It’s absurd, but Radiant is settling into being more of a shonen parody than an actual shonen, so it’s..fine, I guess?

4. Seth ultimately proves he’s learned the lesson Yaga lazily hinted at during the beginning after a showdown with the Quartet. Once again, Bossman tests Seth’s resolve as someone determined to make a difference, pointing out how power is the only thing that matters in the world–that when you have it you can take whatever you want, and when you don’t, people take from you. Seth responds with his belief that power is for protecting and helping other people. I’m not sure how to feel about Seth learning all his lessons from a villain which should really have either disappeared after episode three, never to be seen again, or become a permanent ally to the group.  I’m not sure if its unique, or a sign the plot’s been running in place too long.
Nonetheless, after Bossman’s attempt to salvage their latest heist goes wrong and he falls off the edge, Seth proves his resolve by taking off the magic-nullifying gloves and using his broom to save him.

5. What’s a good shonen series without learning the hero’s been operating with a limiter on the entire time?  Thanks to a last minute mishap on the part of Don Bossman where he falls off the edge of Artemis, Seth is forced to take the magic-nullifying gloves off and use his broom to catch the thief. Later, Yaga reveals he was watching their entire encounter, and because he was impressed with how Seth handled it, he agrees to continue teaching him.  He also hands Seth a new pair of fingerless gloves, explaining that up until now Seth hasn’t been able to gather Fantasia with his hands at all, and was just using whatever gathered around his arms.   Essentially, Alma was trying to protect him because of his unusual ability to use magic without a wand–but if Seth’s going to reach Radiant, he’ll have to learn how to be effective using all of his powers going forward.
I’d probably be more impressed with this if I weren’t sure the next episode was going to show him still struggling and using magic like an idiot.
Radiant is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

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