A look into the Arcane


Courtesy of Netflix

Taking a peek at past marketing productions by Riot Games reveals a focus on marketing their mainstay esports titles, including original music videos promoting its annual World Championship events. Imagine Dragons performed a few of the songs used in those music videos, and also created the opening song of Arcane alongside JID titled Enemy. Arcane serves the same purpose by introducing League of Legends to a widespread audience on Netflix.

Elijah Pacis, Sports Editor

On November 6, Netflix released “Arcane”, a Netflix animated series based on the universe of the competitive multiplayer game “League of Legends”. The show succeeds at both introducing newcomers who know nothing about “League of Legends” and pleasing longtime League fans with a refreshing, mesmerizing look at its lore. 

“I would recommend Arcane because the animation, the acting, the directing are all phenomenal to immerse you even though it’s a fantastical story. It satisfies that fantasy or creative itch the people look for while immersing you in its plot,” senior Lorenzo Alarcon said.

The story follows multiple protagonists spread out among the city of Piltover and its criminal underbelly, Zaun. Tensions between these two city-states reach a breaking point with Piltover innovating a method of magic control called Hextech, and Zaun releasing a new drug that can transform humans into mutated beasts called Shimmer. This conflict between cities sparks division among family and friends, creating a backdrop to build up several of League’s most famous champions. Featuring Vi, Powder, Jayce, Caitlyn, and other major and supporting characters, these people find their lives intertwining in ways that will shake the foundation of their society. 

A visually stunning production, “Arcane” delivers blow after blow with its mix of 3D and 2D animation. The action sequences never appear over-the-top like numerous other video game adaptations, and similar to “Castlevania” and “The Witcher”, never presents itself as a light-hearted children’s show. The show embraces its setting and lore by gracing viewers with eye-popping visuals and extraordinary attention to detail overall, telling its existing characters’ stories in a new way.

The plot centralizes around the main conflict between the two cities and follows the characters’ lives as they live through this conflict. A couple of them live on totally opposite sides of the story, where characters like Vi and Powder live in poverty as Zaun children, and characters such as Jayce and Caitlyn live in comfort and wealth in Piltover’s upper-class. “Arcane” emphasizes Vi and Powder’s sibling relationship, and how the main conflict drives them apart. Similarly, it also focuses on Jayce’s ambition and intelligence as a forthcoming technological innovator and Caitlyn’s dreams of upholding her ideals as part of Piltover’s law enforcement. The story borrows heavily from steampunk and utopian/dystopian genres but spins a fresh take on both these popular premises to craft a unique story that effectively introduces the League universe to television.

“Arcane” found wild success by toppling “Squid Game” off its throne as number one on Netflix’s top program in November 2021. It also broke records as Netflix’s highest-rated show to date, boasting an unprecedented 98% on IMDB among Netflix Originals. 

“It’s clear everything in Arcane has been crafted with the goal of making not only a great video game adaptation but a series that any fan of compelling characters and absorbing storytelling can appreciate. To that point, you needn’t have played League of Legends — or any game at all, for that matter — to be pulled into this incredibly engaging world,” Common Sense Media said.


The Chant’s Grade: A+