Yes, yes, I know. I’m late to the party here… But I finally managed to watch the rest of the show, after initially only having watched the first Act (aka the first three episodes) of Arcane. Overall, I really enjoyed the animation and the writing. Getting a glimpse at the non-canon story is nice but honestly, I’d really love this to be canon, especially given how little some people are interested in the lore – and how accessible you make these stories and backgrounds to people by creating shows about the lore. Reading a long story about Sejuani is something that I don’t mind doing but most people would probably rather watch a show about the Freljord instead of reading prose. Either way, today I wanted to talk a bit about the show, my issues, and my favourite moments.
There will be spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Arcane has been fun. I really liked the focus on the steam-punk-ish city of Piltover and its underworld and the way that the show plays around with that contrast of the bright and prosperous city of Piltover, the city of progress, and the city in its shadow, the dark, ominous, and dangerous city of Zhaun, the city of Stagnation (in a way?). It was fun to dive deeper into the problems that the double-city comes with and how Viktor got to study at the Academy despite being from the underworld. I would have loved it if there was more here on the whole backstory of Singed, for example, and his connection to the underworld and the chem barons, but then again, I understand that this is just one season. Riot confirmed that there is going to be a second season that is most likely still going to be about the conflict of Piltover and Zhaun, as well as Jinx and Vi. I think I heard about it in some interview that Riot plans on probably releasing more seasons that will still be titled “Arcane” but their focus may lie on other regions of Runeterra and their conflicts. I know that a lot of fans would love to see Shurima’s rise and fall, for instance, and the whole fight against the Void. Demacia vs Noxus or the Noxian Invasion on Ionia are probably also good material for the story of further seasons – and I know that I’m looking forward to some animated show on the Freljord.
For Season 2, however, I think it will mostly be about Zhaun and Piltover again. Throughout Season 1, there were crows to be seen in almost every episode and Mel’s mother even mentioned that there has been some shift in power in Noxus. Hence, a lot of people believe that Swain might make an appearance in Season 2. The issue with that, however, is that Swain only got to rise in power after the Invasion of Noxus on Ionia, which should happen a lot more in the future. Singed also was involved in that, so maybe Season 2 might set that up? Who knows? More importantly, however, Zhaun still isn’t its own city or even republic. This may have been planned at the end of the show but well, there was something that happened that stopped that agreement at the end there. At the same time, however, it could very much be that Swain appears and that he’ll use his network of crows to influence the war between Piltover and Zhaun. I mean, since the Noxian invasion didn’t happen yet, he won’t be under the influence of Rhaun, the demon, but he’ll still be the wicked strategist that he is, I guess?
At least, I belive that it might be possible that we get to see Noxus’ involvement into the show soon, especially given Mel’s mother’s return.
Back to the first season, I can’t really say anything bad about Arcane. At its core, it was a great show, although I disliked the end there as it left a lot of things open – which makes sense given that the second season has been confirmed already but still, I would have loved to see some solution of sorts. I feel bad for Silco, even though he’s been the main antagonist and a real asshole for most of the show. I feel bad for Heimerdinger who tried his best. Jinx’ struggles have been portrayed in such a way that you’d actually have sympathies for her, even if she’s a lunatic. The writing in general has been amazing and the soundtrack supported all of that quite well. Naithin actually wrote a nice post about the music specifically and other stuff, so I’d recommend checking that out!
The writing was really good. I loved seeing Teemo there in one of the books… and I’d argue that there probably have been other easter eggs at times that even I may have missed. It took me a while to realise that Warwick made an appearance as well. As mentioned before, the show doesn’t require prior knowledge of League of Legends, the game, or its lore. I mean, it has nothing to do with the game, after all. More importantly, however, I found it great that they didn’t resort to cheap clichés like narration for the exposition and stuff. Naithin mentioned that he expected a show where you turn your brain off. Instead, we got some deep intricacies and you could make a bunch of connections to other characters throughout the show. None of this was shoved into your face, obviously, so if you didn’t pay attention, you might miss stuff. But all of it is there in the show. Heck, Silco is a character from Arcane, only, who will appear in TFT soon but who won’t be in League of Legends, mainly because of his lack of skills or powers that make him strong. He’s strong because of his intellect, not because of magic or special weapons or anything.
Either way, I found Arcane to be an amazing show. The music, the art and the writing were great, in my opinion. The characters in particular were written in a way that made me like everyone, which is interesting. I got quite excited while watching the show! Looking forward to the second season. :) What did you think?