Arcane brings League of Legends to Netflix


League of Legends is certainly not new. Dating back to 2009, this video game has been loved for over a decade. League of Legends, commonly referred to as simply “League” or “LoL,” is a multiplayer online game in which teams defend and attempt to conquer a map using their chosen characters, known as champions. Many of these champions come to the screen in Riot Games’ new TV series Arcane.  

Coming out on Netflix in November of 2021, Arcane has a 9.1/10 rating on IMDB. Arguably the reason that Arcane has become popular so quickly is the fact that it can be watched and understood by LoL players and those new to the fandom alike. However, the beautifully animated show also sports an incredibly popular soundtrack that features artists such as Bea Miller, Sting, and Imagine Dragons. Imagine Dragons’ music video for their song “Enemy,” LoL’s opening credit music, has 2.8 million likes and over 90 million views on YouTube. 

The 3-act, 9-episode series takes place in the League universe, where the citizens of the wealthy city of Piltover exploit those in the poor Undercity. Sisters Violet (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) and Powder are adopted by Vander after their parents are killed by soldiers in Piltover. The show then jumps years into the future, where Vi, who is roughly 15, attempts to rob a house in Piltover with the help of an eleven-year-old Powder along with her friends Milo and Claggor. Once inside the house, Vi and her friends realize it isn’t the apartment of a regular “Piltie,” but of an inventor. The robbing seems to go along fine until Powder drops a blue crystal orb and accidently blows up the house. We later learn that the apartment belongs to Jayce, a young inventor who is trying to discover how to unite magic and science, creating the “arcane.” The blue orb was one of many failed experiments of Jayce’s, only much more dangerous than the rest. 

The complicated plot is difficult to describe without watching the show. This may have to do with the fact that the soundtrack, voice acting, and animation completely transport the viewer to the golden, gleaming city of Piltover and its steampunk counterpart. Every scene is a work of art, the color scheme and realistic characters working together to create a new dimension. 

However, the beauty of Arcane goes past the unique and extremely detailed character re-designs of the LoL champions, but to the core of the show. The classism and bad blood between the two cities are a classic trope, but the themes of sexuality, mental disorders, and substance abuse are issues many teens deal with today, making the fantasy show relatable to our younger generations.