You know how every year usually tends to have that one big thing that gets you excited beyond belief and borderline obsessed? In 2019, it was Fire Emblem: Three Houses for me, and in 2020, that would have been Genshin Impact. In 2021, however, there is no doubt in my mind that Arcane filled that role with flying colors.
Before we go into this review, please note that this is all from the perspective of someone that has never played League of Legends before and that only got their short history lesson of all the needed lore from watching a handful of Youtube videos. You’ve been warned.
So going into this without knowing anything about LoL (League of Legends) is possible, if only a little confusing at times. The show does take the needed steps and presents this universe, or more precisely, the location where the story takes place, well enough, even for people with absolutely no prior knowledge of this game or its characters.
In short, the story focuses on the growing imbalances between the rich, utopia-like city of Piltover and the oppressed and almost filthy underground city of Zaun. We follow characters from both parts, witness how magic can both enhance but also endanger lives, follow the path of how psychopath Jinx is born, and also see the rise and fall of an evil mastermind. All of this and so much more in the span of 9 episodes, each one of which around 45 minutes long.
Each and every character, even or should I say especially the ones on the evil side of things, get the time they deserve to shine and develop enough that even if they do unspeakably evil deeds, you will probably find it difficult to hate them, and I’m not just talking about Jinx here.
In general, characters that I thought would be there for the whole run died within 3 episodes, while others that I didn’t even make out to be important at all, turned out to be the most important to the story by the end of it. There’s simply a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and the fact that you never know what will happen keeps you entertained and invested at all times.
The attention to detail is also simply amazing, especially so with the animation. I think I have never seen anything of that quality in my life. It’s gorgeous and stunningly beautiful at all times. You could basically pause the show at any time and whatever image it shows then could be used as a high-quality wallpaper for your desktop. The art style as well is just amazing and fits so well with the theme of the show. Basically, I could go on and on about how this show is just candy to the eye, but we also can’t forget that it’s a pleasure for other senses too.
The music, as expected from Riot, was also just outstanding. Apart from the main or opening song by Imagine Dragons, basically all other featured songs were amazing. And don’t even get me started on the voice acting. I usually prefer any dubbed language over English, as especially the Japanese ones are mostly simply better. With this one, however, the English dub was perfect – for all characters, but especially for Silco, Vi, and Jinx. Gotta love Hailee Steinfeld~ (the voice of Vi)
Coming to the most important part now, let’s talk about the gay in this show. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting any so what a pleasant surprise it was to find that the show actually had to offer quite some to us. Yeah, we could argue that we didn’t get a kiss or a confession, but was that even needed? We got outright flirting between Vi and
Cupca Caitlyn, not so subtle hints at their sexuality, and quite literally the softest moments between the two toughest women. Even better, these two come from two different worlds, that being Zaun and Piltover, and yet, despite their differences and mistrust at first, they came to so obviously care about each other in the end. What an absolute treat that was. Can’t wait for all the fanfiction to quench my thirst for all the things the show unfortunately didn’t show. 😛
To be completely honest, I would have probably rated Arcane a 12/10, because it is just that good. Each and every episode just keeps getting better and better and not even the fact that I had no prior knowledge about LoL (other than knowing some K/DA songs) could stop me from falling head over heels in love with the whole setting, the lore, the characters, and the pure quality of this show.
However, the one thing that makes me go with a 10/10 instead is the simple fact that Vi and Caitlyn didn’t kiss yet. I’m saying yet because I’m pretty damn sure it will happen in season 2. Trust me, if they won’t give us at least one kiss by then, I will go out onto the streets and start a riot.
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10