Life + Arts TV

Review: ‘Arcane’ is a fun watch, stellar animation


Juana Garcia/the Cougar

Fans all over the web have been starkly raving over Netflix’s take on the long-standing strategy game “League of Legends,” known as “Arcane”. 

“Arcane” acts as a prequel to the games exploring the origins of popular and unknown characters alike, with some big names such as Jayce, Vi and Jinx. 

The story sheds more light on “League of Legends'” lore, exploring the sister relationship between the previously thought to be enemies, Vi and Jinx. It shows how they navigate to survive their prejudiced, cutthroat home known as Zaun, a city that has been neglected from its affluent sister city Piltover. 

After a traumatic childhood incident, the sisters find themselves on their own paths developing into their modern-day personas seen in the game. 

“Arcane” follows a three-part format with different story arcs, sporting a total of nine, 40-minute long episodes. Episodes one through three being part one taking place in Vi and Jinx’s childhood, where interestingly Jinx goes by the name of Powder and is much saner than the crazy wild card she is destined to be. 

Part two consists of episodes four through six, skipping to where the sisters are older and separated, after Piltover’s Progress Day ceremony is interrupted, by the disappearance of a dangerous invention called Hextech, magic and technology combined after magic being missing for years. Following the robbery, Caitlyn, a rookie Piltover enforcer sets out to Zaun to recover the stolen technology before it falls into the wrong hands.

The third and final part of the season, episodes seven through nine, sees the result of the prolonged tension between Zaun and Piltover finally clashing in a battle with devastating consequences leaving the future of both cities uncertain. 

My first impression upon starting “Arcane” was how amazing the animation style was, designed by Fortiche Productions who thankfully have been confirmed to be coming back for season two. 

I have never seen a style like it, even if the story itself was not interesting I would watch it for the stellar animation. 

Speaking of the storyline, the writers clearly did their research on mental health with the way they portrayed Jinx’s progression into insanity and the effects of unresolved trauma very poetically. 

Admittedly, I did find some parts of the show hard to watch with its climatic moments when the characters I came to love are dealt with harshly.

Thankfully, the immersive and action-fueled fight scenes were so much fun to watch, especially the fight between Ekko and Jinx during the third arc.

Season one exceeded my expectations immensely and has left them even higher for season two to see whether they will continue with the characters from season one or introduce different ones from the games’ enormous roster. 

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