A first look at Riot Games’ Arcane

In the past, video game developer Riot Games has created remarkable animated shorts for its game, League of Legends, to introduce and promote new characters, events and e–sports tournaments, cultivating interest from fans for an animated show. For many years, fans have been asking for a show based on the characters from the video game, and Riot Games finally delivered.

Arcane, developed and produced by Riot Games and animated by Fortiche Production, a French studio based in Paris, released on Netflix on Nov. 6.

The nine episode series is divided into three acts, with each act containing three episodes. Only the first three episodes have been released, with episodes four–six releasing on Nov. 13 and episodes seven–nine on Nov. 20.

Arcane takes place in the utopian city of Piltover and the oppressed undercity of Zaun. The first three episodes follow the origins of League of Legends characters Vi and Powder (Jinx) in Zaun as they suffer the consequences of a destructive heist in Piltover. 

Meanwhile in Piltover, the show explores League of Legends characters Jayce and Viktor in their studies towards harnessing the dangerous power of magic through machinery to utilize for good. 

Some other characters that fans may recognize are Caitlyn, Ekko, Heimerdinger and Ryze.

The art style of Arcane very similarly resembles Riot Games latest game, Valorant. The animation is impressively smooth and the visual effects are stunning. Aside from the intriguing plot, viewers can appreciate the beauty and hard work that Fortiche Production put into animating this story and bringing it to life. 

Additionally, Riot Games has done a phenomenal job on the Arcane soundtrack for this first act. The soundtrack perfectly captures the essence of the show in pivotal and various moments throughout the first three episodes. The video game studio also partnered with American pop rock band Imagine Dragons and American rapper and singer JID for the introduction song “Enemy.”

The show is geared towards a 16+ audience, as it is pretty grim and intense, contains blood and violence and deals with some dark themes. However, in my opinion, nothing in the show so far is too hard to witness. 

Although the series is based off of many fan favorite characters from League of Legends, no prior knowledge from the game is needed to understand the show. Arcane allows fans to watch characters they know and love grow and develop while also introducing new viewers into the world of League of Legends.