Arcane: League of Legends Review


Ian Dahl, Contributor

Arcane is video game company Riot Games’ latest project and is definitive proof that video games have the capability to be successfully adapted to other forms of media. Arcane, also known as Arcane: League of Legends, is an animated television series created by Riot Games and animated by French animation studio, Fortiche. The show was released November 20, 2021 on Netflix and currently only has one season and twelve episodes.

The series takes place within the League of Legends universe and features various characters from the game series. However, despite being set in the League of Legends universe, prior knowledge of the series is not necessary in order to enjoy Arcane. The show features many original characters unique to Arcane alongside the cast of characters from League of Legends meaning there is something for veterans of the League of Legends series and new fans of the franchise.

Arcane takes place in the realm of Runeterra, the world of League of Legends, and is primarily set in the two cities of Piltover and Zaun. Piltover is an advanced utopia with technology and inventions being commonplace in the city. In contrast, Zaun, also known as the Underground, is a poor set of slums where a majority of the common people reside. Powder and her sister Vi live with their adoptive guardian Vander who also acts a de facto leader for the Underground. After Powder, Vi, and their gang of friends attempt a heist in Piltover that ends with an unexpected explosion, tensions between Piltover and the Underground begin to rise as someone needs to be convicted. Up in the city of Piltover, Jayce, the target of Powder and Vi’s heist, begins to research the power of the arcane and magical energies. Officers from Piltover harass and interrogate citizens in the Underground about the heist explosion and the people in the Underground are planning to fight back. Vander wants to keep peace between the two cities but does not want to convict someone from the Underground, keeping a neutral stance on the conflict. After Powder, Vi, and their group of friends are directly attacked by the officers, Vi decides to turn herself in to the officers and bring peace between the two cities. However, Vander decides to take Vi’s place and turn himself in instead but is captured by Silco, a crime overlord from the Underground. In an attempt to rescue their guardian, Vi and Powder fight against Silco that results in two sisters being separated and Silco capturing Powder in the conclusion of the first act of Arcane.

Arcane was released to instant popularity and critical claim by fans and critics alike. The first season on Arcane received a 100% from critics on Rotten Tomato and a 97% from fans, becoming one of the top shows on Netflix. The animation of Arcane is often considered the best part of the show, masterfully combining 2D and 3D animation to create a unique and beautiful animation style that captivated audiences. The story of Arcane is also considered to be very high quality and is often praised for its ability to handle mature themes while also still being enjoyable for those without any experience with the League of Legends series. Overall, Arcane is an incredibly animated show with a story that anybody can enjoy, a fan of League of Legends or not, and is worth watching.