Like Overwatch, Apex Legends, Valorant and the series this show is based on League of Legends, the reason I did not check them out was because of my personal disinterest in online multiplayer games. I am still intrigued in their settings and characters so were they to make multimedia set in their respective worlds I may be inclined to check them out provided the premise piques my interest. Thus here we are with a Netflix 3D animated series. Of course viewers who are versed in League of Legends will get more from it than a newcomer like myself, references and the like. But it can be watched without having played the game. Question is whether it is worth checking out. Well it got the ultra rare standalone post by Euroninja-chan over at YuriReviews instead of the usual reviews by Rocko Romero so that is a good sign. This is a quick look at Season 1 of Arcane.
Put simply this is a Steampunk sci-fi action drama set during events prior to that in the League of Legends game. It is a tale that goes over themes such as class divide between hierarchy and underground slums, great power used for greatness or destruction, politics, tragedies of war, physical and mental illnesses, science vs magic and of course family. There are others of course but these were the more prevalent ones during my viewing. The story is split between two sides going through their own trials and tribulations. The first being survival underground as a rebellion against the wealthy upper class slowly begins. The second is set in the aforementioned upper class and has a more political narrative but because it is a fantasy setting it is less of a nuisance than that of, say, “Carole and Tuesday“. The two stories eventually come together to form a pretty good overall plot of vengeance, justice and the various roads to peace and prosperity. Some clean, many dirty.
The presentation surprised me quite a bit. Most of it is CG as is the norm for big budget Western animated features nowadays but sometimes the animation goes 2D, graffiti, super quick schizophrenic doodles and many more visual treats. The closest thing I could compare the animation to would be Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Not identical but a similarly awesome feeling. Even that one pseudo “H scene”, had me laughing, not at it but at the madness on screen. The soundtrack is what it is. The insert songs match the scene, be it an awesome action scene or melancholic despair.
As always we now get to what everyone came here for.
I admit pre-time skip (Yes. There is a time skip) I thought the yuri would go in the “Really? This again? Didn’t we already do this in another Netflix show with a lesbian protagonist?” route but after the time skip it went in an “Ahhh. THIS is where it’s going. Now this I really dig.” direction. Not to mention how our leading buff badass hottie and her surprise equally badass ojou sweetie’s taco cravings were confirmed was hilarious to me.
On a personal note while the upper city stuff was mainly het I was treated to a healthy dose of, pardon me if this offends, hot chocolate of the curvy and buff variety. Lastly this show showed me how much the mainstream LOVE a certain DC Comics villain turned anti-hero. Personally thought their journey was fascinating and painful at times. Pretty good stuff along with the rest of the show.
Overall the first Arcane Season 1 was very enjoyable and it is a good thing a second season was confirmed after the season finale because I really want more as this will hopefully fill my “Muscle Money” yuri need a certain series had to go down the comic book route to expand upon. I need my animated “Muscle Money” Yuri. Oh and of course the other stuff I want to know more about too.