Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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Review of Netflix's Arcane. In the thriving city of Piltover, a research to combine magic with technology leads to unrest in the city's politics. Meanwhile, Piltover's Undercity is once again disturbed by ambitions of rebellion.

This review relates to season 1

I watched Arcane a year after its release, after most of the hype around it had died down. I didn’t really know what I had to expect. I only knew a lot of people liked it and that it was based on League of Legends, a game I only knew the basic game mechanics of. Luckily, from the first minutes on, I was enthralled. I binged the whole first season within one day. And it haunted me for months thereafter…

There’s a lot to say about the quality of this series. The animation, to start somewhere, is outstanding and incomparable with anything else I’ve ever seen. Every shot is amazing to look at. Frankly, words fail me in this regard. I feel that if I were a film maker or animator myself, I could more properly describe the many brilliant techniques that were used. I’m not, however, so instead I’ll move to something I have a better understanding of: the writing.

At its core, Arcane’s story revolves around both the utter salvation and ultimate downfall of every person alive ever: their relationships with loved ones. And it explores this theme without ever reverting to the easy storytelling pitfalls. As a result, we get an emotional narrative which never gets truly predictable.

It’s not often that a piece of media makes me care for every one of its characters. However, while watching Arcane, I found myself rooting for literally everyone. Vander, but eventually also Silco. Victor, Jayce and Heimerdinger. Cailtyn and Vi and Powder/Jinx. Honestly, it was somewhat jarring to watch a story in which you hope every character achieves what they want, but you simultaneously know that some of these goals cannot coexist. It’s an impressive feat of storytelling.

I’ve yet to succesfully convince the other curators to give Arcane a try, but I’d certainly say it’s worth the watch!

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