Arcane is an animated series set within the narrative universe of League of Legends, the massively popular 2009 multiplayer online video game.
Developed and produced by Riot Games, who also created the video game source material, Arcane is aimed at an older teenage audience (described as “16+”).
It’s just begun streaming on Netflix, but what exactly is this new animation about, and will non-gamers enjoy it as much as League of Legends fans?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is it about?
According to the series’ synopsis, “Arcane dives into the delicate balance between the rich city of Piltover and the seedy underbelly of Zaun.
“Tensions between these city-states boil over with the creation of hextech — a way for any person to control magical energy - in Piltover; and in Zaun, a new drug called shimmer transforms humans into monsters.
“The rivalry between the cities splits families and friends as Arcane brings life to the relationships that shape some of League of Legends' famous champions including Vi, Jinx, Caitlyn, Jayce and Viktor.
“Based on the world behind the game League of Legends, the animated event series features a complex world filled with moral decisions, breathtaking animation and suspenseful storytelling.
Who stars in it?
Despite the series being aimed at a relatively niche audience, it has managed to attract an enviable lineup of Hollywood talent for its cast.
Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, Kevin Alejandro, Katie Leung, Jason Spisak, Toks Olagundoye, JB Blanc, and Harry Lloyd are all a part of the voice cast.
Is it any good?
According to review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of the 12 reviewers who have submitted write-ups to the site have given Arcane a positive review.
EJ Moreno from Flickering Myth called Arcane “a force to be reckoned with”, with “a totally immersive and engaging story,” while Decider’s Joel Keller said that “even if you're not a gamer or a fan of League of Legends, Arcane will be more than entertaining enough to hold your interest.”
That sentiment was echoed by Paste Magazine and reviewer Tara Bennett, who said “even if you have no interest in picking up any kind of gaming console, do yourself a favour and give Arcane a try.”
When can I watch it?
The series is releasing in a slightly different manner to what we’ve come to expect from streaming series.
It’s releasing in three, three episode chunks (or “acts” as they’re being called), with a new act being released each week.
That means that the first three episodes were released on Saturday 6 November, with episodes four, five and six releasing on Saturday 13 November, with the final three instalments following the Saturday after that.
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