CRITICAL / REVIEWS SERIES: “Arcane”, the new Netflix production centered on the world of the “League of Legends” video game, has just unveiled its first three episodes. An impressive animated series that makes the buzz on the platform.
Arcane : what is this new animated series?
Sunday November 7, 2021, Netflix has released the first three episodes of its new production: Arcane. Led by Christian Linke and Alex Yee, Arcane is an animated series derived from the world of video games League of Legend (LoL for the close friends). Launched in 2009, it is a free-to-play online multi-player video game. This offers arena battles with different types of characters, different classes and different special powers. Arcane explore this world well known to gamers, via the story of two legendary champions: Jinx and Vi. Prequel to LoL, Arcane was developed by the French animation studio Fortiche and consists of 9 episodes. The next three chapters will be revealed on Friday, November 12, and the last three the following Friday.
On the casting side, the show brings together a vocal cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, Kevin Alejandro and Katie Leung. Fortunately for video game neophytes, Arcane is also aimed at non-connoisseurs. The series decides to adapt a totally original story, which is aimed at a wide audience. Obviously, names and places will sound familiar to gamers around the world (who are still 180 million to be active), like Jayce, Jinx and Vi. The series moves away from the concept of video games to develop a real plot in the world of Runeterra. The wealthy inhabitants of the upper town are opposed to the lowlands of the district of Zaun. The show follows the fate of Vi and Powder, two sisters who are about to write their story.
A mind-blowing animation!
The great strength ofArcane, it is obviously its dantesque animation. Fortiche Production studios have gone all out in this often stunning visual proposition, which mixes 2D and 3D for superb cinematic rendering. The stylized aesthetic is the main strength of this series with its disproportionate visual ambition. The whole is of a finesse at all times, and offers nervous action scenes and mind-blowing fluidity.
Often inventive, punctuated by blurs, depths of field and slow motion, physical contests are the obvious interest ofArcane. Each confrontation is an addicting visual candy. In just three episodes, the series got everyone to agree.
The plot, for its part, after a somewhat timid start, begins to spread his web. The first two episodes, which still remain a little in restraint, highlight the endearing and sometimes tumultuous relationship between the two sisters, heroines of the series. The third episode ends with an unexpected twist. The latter calls into question the rest of the show, and the balance of power between the two protagonists.
Real backbone of the show, this intrigue between the two sisters is surrounded by modern and exciting themes. Arcane thus addresses the class struggle, social and technological progress, the conservation of the established system, and the overthrow of the powerful by the new generations.
Unfortunately, the series sometimes gets lost in a didactic and talkative overdose, which slows down the overall pace. Some dialogues, some set-ups take too much time and sometimes lose the attention of a spectator looking forward to the next action scene. Because let’s not be hypocritical, even if the plot remains relatively interesting, it also remains quite classic, and does not deserve a permanent explanation like Arcane sometimes does. The subplot about young Jayce, for example, takes up too much space for not much. In any case, episode 3 of Arcane is a small masterpiece on its own and builds a monstrous hype for the rest of the series!
Arcane on Netflix since November 7, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.