Postponed its release a couple of times and dragging quite a bit hype Behind, the new animation series from Riot Games based on the League of Legends universe: Arcane is finally released. Courtesy of Riot herself we have had early access to the first of the three acts that make up what we assume will be its first season and the first episode of the second act. That is, we have seen four of the nine chapters of the total and it must be admitted that They have exceeded our expectations in virtually every way.
Arcane is a series full of nods to League of Legends player, which will see some of its most popular characters come to life for the first time beyond the exhibition cinematics that have been seen so far. It’s a step up from short stories and comics that have been delving deeper and deeper into the lore of the game over the past few years. But it is not only a series designed for fans; is a series designed for the older animation fan who wants to enjoy a fresh adventure series with a plot focused more on character development than an underlying leitmotif.
In other words, the plot – at least for the moment – is the characters themselves and the series neither abbreviates nor skimps on resources to show you how they are, why they are the way they are and how the circumstances for which they have gotten there have occurred. It’s beautiful and emotional from the LoL player’s point of view but also interesting from the perspective of someone meeting these heroes for the first time. And also the set is canon within the universe of League of Legends, which adds a bit of packaging.
As you could see already in the trailer, Arcane revolves around Jinx, Vi and in general about the members of the city of Piltover and what is later known as the undercity of Zaun. The most important personalities and names of the so-called city of progress have a presence (Jayce, Caitlyn, Heimerdinger) along with some surprises that we will not reveal. It is curious that Riot has chosen to locate his series here since in the absolute section of power, these characters are quite low within a theoretical list of the total entities of the game. And we are not talking about power within a LoL game (which is all magically to scale), but rather that in the great set that constitutes the universe of the game the names mentioned above are more or less Yamcha comparing them with Goku in the last super transformation saiyan, so we can understand each other.
It is true that the moment in which it is set is historically important but we are glad that they have set the plot in a much more humane plot than many imagined it would happen. There are other very seductive paths that Riot could have explored – and that he can and may do in the future – (the path of magic in Demacia, the invasion of Ionia, the power struggles in Noxus, the triumvirate of the ninja, the Ruined King …), with which we understand that this is the beginning, hopefully, of something even greater that is yet to come.
But what we have seen so far is frankly well executed; from drawing to animation, interpretation or photography itself, they more than fulfill their role. Arcane paints very well the duality between the city above and the one below, which in essence exist in every large city and very much in the style of Final Fantasy VII, and it is noticeable in each shot of the 40 minutes that each episode lasts. And we finally see a more unleashed Riot, less worried about not wanting to show explicit violence or something as simple as someone smoking. The tone of the series may be far from what many consider the target from League of Legends but it would certainly not be strange if it reached an audience that may not know anything about the game and is simply looking for an animated series of this type on Netflix, where they are not abundant. The League of Legends universe is too rich and too tempting not to use it as an excuse, but Arcane stands on its own and that is perhaps one of the greatest compliments that can be given when the brand on which they rest has the weight it does.
A fourth chapter that changes the color
And as we pointed out before, Arcane is a story of origins. It is a story that wants to show you the whites, the blacks and the grays of some of the most charismatic characters in his game; It is not without a topic, of course, but it manages to empathize with all the branches that have been opening up until now and their footage flies by. The first three episodes do this job very well and perfectly lay the foundation for what its creators want to develop later. The fourth episode is a change of third that begins to color the background that the previous two hours have drawn on the viewer. What we’ve seen is entertaining and colorful, to be sure, but also harsh and raw at times without needing comic relief of any kind because it handles tension very efficiently. There is a lot of love put into Arcane and production values well above the average in terms of animated series.
I really want to know how it continues Jinx and Vi’s adventure, although in essence we already know how it ends. It is also very interesting to see how they have managed, for the moment, the concept of hextech and the magic and intrigues of power that drag not only well-known names from the game scene but also with new secondary characters that until now we did not know anything about. There is honestly a lot of desire to see how Riot has decided to progress the plot because the only thing to regret is that you have to wait another week to see how it continues. Arcane is a series that we have to recommend to fans of the League of Legends universe, because it is more than a gift to the fanbase, but also to any general adventure fan who has never touched the game. And then maybe that person might want to go to the Summoner’s Rift and see their TV characters in their natural habitat.