The full series of the Netflix Arcane animated series is now complete after the three-week event in November that led up to the release of the series. It was released in three parts, three episodes per week, and was paired with in-game drop events that were through twitch.tv and Riot Games’ Arcane launch event livestream.
Just this release alone is unique for Netflix. Most Netflix series are either released in full seasons or in single episodes week by week on Netflix but never in three-episode bursts. Looking at this partnership between Riot Games and Netflix though, these company must have struck a deal so that Riot Games could get the most out of the release of Arcane as possible and in return, Netflix also found success with Arcane.
Moving into the actual contents of the series, the nine-episode long series portrays the stories of several characters from the popular Riot Games game League of Legends. Each episode is around 40 minutes long, not including the show intro and credits, but a notable mention about the intro is the song playing over it, Enemy, is performed by Imagine Dragons and JID.
Arcane is set in the Piltover, the City of Progress, which is a utopic over city with grand structures and access to the latest technology and leisure of the time but has a dystopic, lawless, and suffering undercity. This undercity will come to be known as Zaun as the series progresses.
The story follows several different characters from League of Legends and the relationships between them. Arguably the main story follows the character Vi (Violet), her sister Jinx (Powder), and a bit of Ekko (Little Man). The names of these characters and when they are used are incredibly important to the flow and meaning of the story. These three grow up with their father figure Vander in the undercity; Vi and Jinx’s biological parents had died to Piltover Enforcers, this is the first scene of the series. Ekko’s family whereabouts are not shown, he starts the show as a shopkeeper’s helper in the undercity.
The second storyline follows Jayce and Caitlyn, who are first seen as students at the University of Piltover. Caitlyn comes from a rich family and is studying to take her mother’s place as a councilwoman of Piltover, but her interests lie in helping the people on the ground level. Jayce is a smart and curious student of science who tends to enjoy doing experiments on his own, off the record. His science is the reason this series has its name.
The final storyline between confirmed League of Legends champions is Heimerdinger and Viktor. Heimerdinger is the head of the Piltover Council and President of Piltover University, he basically oversees everything that happens in the city. Viktor is originally from the undercity and was born with a terminal illness but starts the show as the assistant to Heimerdinger.
All of these characters have different interactions with one another and their relationships and status change throughout the series, but one thing remains the same throughout the series, the main antagonist is a man named Silco. The story goes, Silco and Vander, Jinx and Vi’s guardian, are brothers who grew up together and worked to make the undercity a better place. However, they had a falling out on a difference of opinion on the path they should continue to lead the undercity. At the start of the series though, this falling out has already happened and Silco has already become a large arms dealer and drug lord who is set on getting revenge on Piltover for not helping the undercity. Vander’s influence in the undercity is the only thing keeping Silco at bay.
A character for honorable mention is Singed. It is not confirmed to be Singed because his name is never said in the whole series, but he is the doctor that is often in the background but is very important to Silco’s undercity drug trade. I have a feeling he is will have a much larger part in season two.
I thought about giving a breakdown of the story’s timeline, but the full series has only been out for a week. If you have not seen it, I think it is definitely worth a watch, especially if you are NOT a League of Legends/Riot Games player. Why? Because the story will be new, entertaining, and there is a giant game franchise to get into if it interests you. Not just League of Legends, there are several other Riot games based on League of Legends lore and there a many more coming out in the future. The second season for Arcane is already in production.
I will leave you with this, the Season 2020 Cinematic, though it was released before Arcane was announced, it has potential spoilers for Arcane season two as well as other potential storylines that could be made into shows. The potential Arcane spoilers start around 50 seconds. The video also portrays two other storylines apart from Arcane with other familiar League of Legends characters.