SCREENCRUNCH: ‘Arcane’ is not just for League of Legends fans

Published November 30, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Rom Mallick

PS. Its story is even better than ‘DOTA: Dragon’s Blood’

When I first saw the trailer for “Arcane,” I knew it was something I needed to watch. And when I completed watching all of its nine episodes just the other week, I became even more convinced that this series based on the “League of Legends” (LoL) game franchise is a Netflix show worth binge-watching.

(Courtesy of Riot Games)

Set in the fictional city of Piltover and its underground world of Zaun, “Arcane” explores the backstories of several of the iconic characters from the game. But you need not be a fan or a player of the games to appreciate the wonderfully crafted world of this series—all delivered in a fantastic mix of hand-drawn and CGI animation by Riot Games and Fortiche Production. Add to that the excellent and fitting choice of using Imagine Dragons “Enemy” (featuring J.I.D) as the show’s opening theme.

Taking away the references to the games and just looking at the premise of the series, it arguably becomes more interesting than “DOTA: Dragon’s Blood,” which followed a more usual storyline. Although, admittedly, the premise of “Arcane” is an age-old theme in fiction—the clash between two societies, one literally putting itself above the other, while the other longs for independence—the way it’s delivered is quite refreshing. It’s layered on top of a conflict between two sisters, Vi and Powder, which is underlined by the internal (psychological) conflict experienced by the latter.

This conflict, this tug between two ideals, is also reflected in the other characters in the show: There’s young inventor Jayce who wants to bridge Piltover’s technological advancements with arcane magic, something that many of the city’s elders (notably councilman Heimerdinger) deem unnatural and dangerous.

This is as much as we will reveal regarding the show’s storyline. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can already binge all nine episodes on Netflix.

We give “Arcane” a 5 out of 5.

Check out its trailer below:

 
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