Radiant Season 3 release date: When will Radiant S3 come out?

Radiant anime art
The Radiant Season 3 anime will have Seth and his friends journeying to Bome, the capital city of the Inquisition. Pic credit: Tony Valente

The Radiant Season 3 anime will continue Seth’s journey with Melie, Doc, and Ocoho as they track down a former ally into Bome, Estria’s capital city and the seat of power of the Inquisition.

But how long will anime fans need to wait to watch the third season of the Radiant anime?

The Radiant anime series is being produced by NHK Educational TV, which is Japan’s national public broadcasting organization.

Presumably, the same Japanese cast and FUNimation’s Radiant English dub cast will return as well as the staff from animation studio Lerche. Much of the team had worked together on previous projects such as the Assassination Classroom anime.

The first season was comprised of 21 episodes and premiered on NHK Educational TV starting in October 2018. Similarly, the second season was also 21 episodes and aired from October 2019 through February 2020.

The finale, Radiant Season 2 Episode 21, aired on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

This article provides everything that is known about Radiant Season 3 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Radiant anime staff at Studio Lerche

The first and second season was directed by Seiji Kishi, who is well known for Angel Beats! and Persona 4. Daisei Fukuoka is the series director, and he’s best known for his work on Danganronpa 3, and Yuki Yuna Is A Hero Season 2.

Makoto Uezu is the scriptwriter. All three worked together on the Yuki Yuna Is A Hero anime. Character designer Nozomi Kawano (Scum’s Wish) and composer Masato Koda of KonoSuba anime fame rounded up the staff.

Radiant manga's ending progress and Patrem Inquisitor spin-off ideas discussed by creator Tony Valente
French manga creator Tony Valente has a lot of plans for the future of the series. Pic credit: Tony Valente

Radiant manga series is actually a French manfra

Unlike most shonen-style manga series, the Radiant manga series by writer and illustrator Tony Valente is a French manga (or manfra) that started in 2013. As of January 31, 2020, the Radiant manga will be up to Volume 13 in French.

Based on history, Radiant Volume 14 should come out in the second half of 2020. Valente has said that he spent 10 months working on the first manga volume, but he now releases two volumes per year.

In a January 2019 interview at Angouleme International Comics Festival, he said he had hoped to release three volumes in 2019, but that plan didn’t pan out.

North American publisher VIZ Media has licensed the official English translation for the Radiant manga series.

As of January 2020, the English Radiant translation is up to Volume 9, but Volume 10 is scheduled to release on March 10, 2020, Volume 11, on May 12, 2020, and Volume 12 on July 14, 2020.

The release dates for Volume 13 and beyond have not yet been announced.

Check out our story where Valente discusses his progress toward the Radiant manga’s ending and his ideas for a prequel spin-off.

Radiant Manga Patrem Inquisitor
The planned Radiant prequel spin-off would tell the tale of the founding of the Inquisition. Pic credit: Tony Valente

Changes to the Radiant manga’s story had the creator saying, ‘Aaah, it hurts! Aaah, it’s a pain in the ass!’

The manga creator was a consultant for studio Lerche during the anime’s production. He provided feedback and on character designs and scripts to ensure the studio staff’s ideas fit his world. Now he’s confident that studio Lerche is an expert on the Radiant universe.

“When it comes to the details, they do not show me every single blueprint you know, it’s not like that. It’s really like – they send me the scripts and I give them some feedback. For the episodes that were completely original, I did little more than give them a glance and say, ‘Well, this can’t happen because it doesn’t exist,” or “It’s not like that in the source material.” But I couldn’t say much because ideally, I would have preferred that it didn’t’ happen this way, so I would just look and see if the world still made sense. It’s like on the shooting of every Star Wars movie there’s a guy that’s a Star Wars specialist that says, “No no you can’t talk about bananas because they don’t exist in the Star Wars universe”. So that was my role.”

The first season of the anime series greatly expanded on the initial premise, although the big plot points are the same. Lerche desired to provide more information to the younger audiences of NHK Educational TV so they would better understand the characters’ motivation and their actions in later story arcs.

“Since their audience is younger than the manga readers, they had their heart set on really structuring at best the conveying of information, so that the young audience would understand as well as possible the stakes before entering the dramatic side [of the work],” Valente explained. “So, there was also this constraint, which means the information is distilled differently.”

In short, Lerche rewrote Volume 1 and added extra character development. For example, Kouji Yusa, the voice actor for Dart Dragunov, is popular, so that character was given a new story in Episode 9.

The episode worked since it gave a better sense of who Captain Dragunov is and how the Inquisition was not this monolithic organization filled only with villains.

At the same time, the anime removed some nuanced dialogue from the Rumble Town arc that showed how even the heroes can be biased or wrong. This dialogue was apparently removed or altered in order to make it easier for younger audiences to follow along.

Admittedly, Valente was not completely happy with the idea at first. He’s the type of anime fan who only watches anime with completely original stories. He does not watch anime adaptations since he prefers to read the manga.

So, when Lerche told him they were “going to have to create content and do something other than what [he had given them],” he was thinking, “Aaaah, aaaah, it hurts! Aaah, it’s a pain in the a**!”

At the same time, Valente recognized the necessity of making the changes since the Rumble Town story arc was not long enough to fill in 21 episodes, while the first three story arcs, including the Caislean Merlin story arc adapted by the second season, was too big to condense into the first season.

“I would have preferred that the first part of the season follow at best my story, but that would have concentrated all the story really quickly, and there wouldn’t have been enough material to make the Rumble Town part last long enough in the second half. … They couldn’t go onto the material I had started on the following [Caislean Merlin] arc either because it was way too much to fit in a single season, so we couldn’t pad things this way. Anyway, we had plenty of discussions, and yeah, there ended up being some filler episodes at the beginning. Finally, I quickly got used to the idea that the anime exists as its own entity with its own Radiant universe. We try to make it coincide as best as possible with the source material, but it’s its own story because it has characters that aren’t in the manga for example, and for me, the manga, no-one else touches it, and no one is going to touch it. So now it’s all right. I am relaxed with the fact it can be different from what I’ve made.”

The ending of the first season was also an anime original story. By having Nemesis eggs rain down on Artemis Academy and showing Seth go berserk once again, the anime finished off with an action sequence that expanded on Seth’s motivation for leaving Melie and Doc behind when he left for Cyfandir.

Radiant Manga Volume 13 Cover Art
The manga cover art for Radiant Volume 13. Pic credit: Tony Valente

The Radiant S2 anime adapted the manga’s story more closely

The first season adapted four manga volumes up through Chapter 28 (although some of the panels ended up at the beginning of the anime’s second season). The story picked up once again with Volume 5 for the second season.

In the earlier episodes, the second season skipped some minor story points involving shopping in Artemis (which better explained how Seth got stuck with half a broom) and economics discussions by the Merchant Barons.

When Melie, Doc, and Ocoho first exited the Forest of Caillte, there was a small skipped sequence that showed how time behaved differently in the enchanted woods (Chapter 44 also explained how time paradoxes could be avoided).

In general, the anime tends to skip any crude jokes, especially the overtly sexual jokes made by Myr. During Myr’s introduction, the anime skipped his comedic singing, the bawdy poems to his wife, and the sequence where the pixie urinated on the Merlin statue only to escape with a smell spell. Radiant Episode 21 had Myr singing a goodbye ballad to his wife’s memory, but all of the sexual innuendoes were removed.

Even the character designs and actions were toned down to be more kid-friendly. Jill the Dryad was far more voluptuous and provocative in the manga. Plus, Jill healed Seth by “brooding” him in her sap, which literally involved her shoving him up her… you get the idea).

In the manga, when queen Boadicea dressed down the troops in the castle, she was partially visible while undressed.

Otherwise, the first half of the anime’s second season followed the manga pretty closely this time around, including the introduction of Ocoho and Diabel.

The anime also made certain to fully flesh out Chapter 35 by showing the emotional depth of Melie’s anger at Seth (minus the jokes about Boobrie farting and the “giant scrotum Nemesis”).

During the Inquisition invasion, the manga’s skillfully crafted action choreography was simplified to be easier to animate. For example, Dragunov’s confrontation with Seth was horribly toned down, barely showing off Dragunov’s arrow teleportation ability.

Still, some fights were added. The airborne fight between Lord De Gulis and Baron Cristolom was originally depicted in the manga as a comedic set of bonus panels included at the end of each chapter.

Sagramore fought back and spoke to Mordred rather than merely being cut down in a surprise attack. Mordred’s betrayal was slightly more sinister in the anime even though the anime also made it clear that Mordred did not experience emotions like a normal person.

The anime filled the gap in action with additional exposition. Melie and Lieselotte were given extra lines. Myr and Jill’s plight due to the disappearing Fantasia was explained earlier instead of being left as a major plot twist from Chapter 69.

This change also meant that Seth wasn’t carrying Myr when Dragunov initially captured Seth.

The biggest change was showing why Captain Dragunov was motivated to turn on the Inquisition since the Thaumaturge felt betrayed by General Torque, who had claimed he intended to seize Cyfandir with limited bloodshed.

The anime also showed Dragunov regrouping with his men, which made sense since the anime had developed these side characters while the manga did not.

All in all, the faster pacing of the second season covered six manga volumes since the anime didn’t rely on filler content this time around except for some flashback scenes to provide emotional impact.

The second season’s halfway point, Episode 11, corresponded to Chapter 49 of Volume 7. The ending, Radiant S2 Episode 21, finished up with Chapter 75 of Volume 10.

That means the Radiant Season 3 anime should pick up the story again with Chapter 76 of manga Volume 11. English-only manga readers wanting to read ahead of the anime will need to wait until May 2020 for the new volume to release in North America.

Radiant Ocoho Manga Art
Ocoho will continue to play a role in the Radiant Season 3 anime. Pic credit: Tony Valente

Radiant Season 3 release date might need to wait until 2021

As of the last update, studio Lerche, NHK, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Radiant Season 3 release date. Nor has the production of a Radiant sequel been announced.

However, the end credits of Radiant S2 Episode 21 proclaimed, “The adventure continues. See you again someday!” Unfortunately, teasing a Radiant sequel is not a direct announcement of a third season.

Radiant Season 2 Episode 21 End Credits
The ending of the second season definitely seems to be teasing Radiant Season 3. Pic credit: Studio Lerche

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Radiant Season 3 premiere date will occur in the future.

The Radiant anime may have been popularly received both internationally and in Japan, but the biggest issue is the lack of source material for creating Radiant S3. If Valente manages to release three manga volumes in 2020, the series will be up to Radiant Volume 15.

Depending on the length of the current story arc and whether Lerche adds more filler content, it’s possible NHK could be shooting for premiering Radiant Season 3 annually, which would mean October 2020. However, in the worst-case scenario, it’s possible Radiant S3 may need to wait until 2021.

Radiant Season 3 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

The last time we watched the Radiant anime, Seth, Melie, and Doc were heading back to Artemis with the newly minted Princess Ocoho and her loyal mount Dracoon.

It’s not long before they almost collide into fast-flying sorcerers who are busy training for the upcoming Broom Broom Cup Survival competition.

They almost literally run into Taj, who had come from Rumble Town to enter the broom-flying race. It turns out the Broom Broom Cup Survival is a team-based race where sorcerers are allowed to use offensive magical items found on the course ala Mario Kart style.

The course itself is also very dangerous in comparison to previous races, with water challenges and fantasia vortexes.

Needing a second man, Taj convinces Seth to fly with him. And, of course, the egotistical Nick is once again their opponent. Worse, Nick has managed to sway the other teams to support him, completely making the race unfair in an unofficial 5 vs 1 bout!

Note: It’s possible that Lerche will introduce filler episodes at the beginning of Radiant S3. The manga briefly mentions that Ocoho wanted to sight-see on their way to Artemis but did not show their travels. Also, the anime could potentially introduce a time gap between the end of the broom race and the next major story arc.

While the race ends in a crazy fashion, what’s even crazier is that Grimm breaks out Hameline’s Nemesis from their safe habitat within Artemis’ vivariums. Forced to hunt down a former ally, Seth and his friends join Yaga to track Grimm down.

Using Melie’s trace magic, they make their way to Bome, the capital of the Eastern Townships and the seat of the Inquisition as well as home base for one of the largest factions of Domitors — the vaunted tamers of Nemeses.

Dodging a giant flying octopus that’s come up from the deep, they eventually find themselves on a civilian airship heading in the right direction.

In addition to passengers, the airship is carrying a caged Nemesis. Even Inquisitors are onboard, so Seth and his friends do their best (sort of) to blend in with the crowd.

Radiant Sargon Inquisitor General Manga Volume 11 Cover Art
The Inquisitor General Sargon is featured on the cover art for Radiant Volume 11. Pic credit: Tony Valente

Along the way, they run into the Inquisitor General Sargon, who has been protecting civilians in Pharenos South from infected sorcerers. Sargon is apparently a little bit more open-minded in comparison to other Inquisitors and judges Seth based on his actions rather than just his appearance.

It turns out Sargon is heading to Bome for a gathering of the Council of Inquisitor Generals.

While Inquisitors are dangerous, Seth must deal with a hag-like creature called the Mesnie. At first glance, an old crone, the multi-eyed Mesnie, is a nightmarish amalgamation that devours sorcerers to gain their various infections and powers.

The Mesnie can command creatures to obey their will. The Mesnie even controls the giant octopus, which lurks just beneath the surface of the cloud cover.

Powerful with just two present, the Mesnie roams in a pack, and now they are on the hunt! And all the merged “brothers and sisters” of the Mesnie crave Doc’s particular power.

Fortunately, while Doc is still stuck in a youthful body, he retains the power of the Armor of Pen Draig… and Doc still hasn’t unlocked all of its powers!

Radiant Mesnie Doc Pen Draig Armor Manga
Doc attempts to flee the powerful Mesnie using the Pen Draig Armor, which has 5 combat profiles including the flight-capable Dragonfly. The cowardly Doc might be like a multi-personality Iron Man, but he still needs the help of Yaga to survive the Mesnie. Pic credit: Tony Valente

All of these dangers present are bad enough, but Seth is caught off guard by the power of the Domitor Sorceress Luppa Lyco.

Seemingly shy and quiet, she manages to capture Seth, Melie, and Ocoho in addition to an escaped Nemesis let loose by the Mesnie. Sucked into the Domitor’s book, everyone is stuck in their best memories from the past.

The Domitors are not happy with Seth for stopping Hameline, and their operation in Rumble Town. Luppa desires revenge for Hameline and she takes Seth and his friends toward Bome to face their fate at the hands of the strange Domitor leader, Adhes the Guide of the Domitors.

Unfortunately, anime fans will need to wait until the Radiant Season 3 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

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