Many video games have extensive lore that their fans fall in love with, and it’s not often that those fans get to experience that universe in a setting other than the game itself, and it is even less often that the transition is done well, but “Arcane” is the exception.
The show takes place in the League of Legends universe, but just hearing that should not put you off of the show if you aren’t a fan of the game. There is no requirement of game knowledge to be able to understand and enjoy the story that is being told.
The nine-episode series, which is now fully available on Netflix, focuses on the sisters Vi and Jinx as they grow up in the undercity and take on two different paths, but there is a large cast of characters for those familiar with the franchise to enjoy, or for new fans to fall in love with.
After being abandoned as a child, Jinx grows up under the wing of an undercity crime lord, while her sister Vi rots in prison, the city believing her to be dead. Vi tries to win back her sister from the brink of insanity.
On the flip side, the show also focuses on the politics of the topsiders. Following Jayce’s rise to power after his invention of the hexgates, the fall of his partner Victor, and his manipulation by Mel.
The sides cross paths after Jinx attacks the topside. Officer Caitlyn then heads to do what she can, and the rest of the series unfolds from there—I’ll spare the spoilers.
Overall, the effort Riot has put into the series is really impressive. Everything from the attention to detail, to the animation, the voice acting and even the soundtrack is exceptionally well done.
Speaking of the soundtrack, one thing that viewers might recognize is the intro song for the show, which is performed by Imagine Dragons and rapper JID.
The show has also seen support within the game itself. Characters Vi, Jinx, Jayce, and Caitlyn have all received free in-game skins to celebrate the release of the show.
Imagine Dragons and JID were also invited to perform the theme during the opening ceremony for the League of Legends World Championship final.
Each act always left me wanting more in the best kind of way. The League of Legends universe is expansive and “Arcane” can be just the tip of the iceberg with the stories that they can tell.
The show has been massively successful and well-received. Taking the #1 spot on Netflix in multiple countries after each act was released. The show is currently sitting at a stellar 100% on rotten tomatoes, along with a 9.3/10 rating from IMDb.
It was so successful that a second season has already been confirmed, with a release in 2023 seeming likely.
I highly recommend the show, even if you are unfamiliar with the universe. The story and all of the details that are there make it worth watching. I’m already looking forward to what is in store for “Arcane” in the future.