The other day, I was asked by my better half if Arcane is any good. She doesn’t play League of Legends and was confused by the fact that they made a show based on a game – but with the increase in ads for Arcane, even she asked me if it was any good or if she needed to know anything about the game.
Well, Arcane is an animated series set in the League of Legends universe and the fictional world of Runeterra, after all. Hence, the question makes sense but I can assure you that while it may be beneficial to dig into the universe page or the map, you don’t have to know anything before watching the show.
Produced by Riot Games and a French animation studio named Fortiche, it follows the sisters Vi and Jinx finding themselves on opposing sides of a war over twisted ideologies and arcane technology. The show is based on the League of Legends lore but focuses on the struggle between the technically developed city of Piltover and the slum city of Zaun that exists in Piltover’s shadow. The internal struggles will make more sense when you’ve actually read the lore entries or informed yourself but even without that, the show does a great job at portraying the injustice in said society as well as how the world works and plays.
If you’re familiar with the story and the lore overall, you may find an easter egg or two in the show that you’ll feel chuffed about. Similarly, you may end up finding characters that might show up in the game eventually or whose lore was previously rather vague. It’s overall quite a great show for theory crafting but generally, just watch it. It’s well-written, entertaining and you don’t have to know shit!