Netflix’s animated series Arcane stars characters from and is set in the world of popular video game League of LegendsNonplayers don’t have to care. Nearly nothing on the show attempts mimicking the game. It’s genius.
The show is more than just a gamer-fan service. It offers nine episodes of a riveting, dramatic drama that chronicles the friction between Piltover’s privileged inventors and its poor, alchemy-fueled underclass. Both sides are full of heroes and villains, with a central subplot involving the attempts by the residents to escape the city’s control.
This series does not take sides. Instead, it examines who is hurt by the stigmatizing value judgements, how trauma impacts them and how they are affected.
Animation is meanwhile jaw-droppingly good-quality. It combines strong stylized storytelling with realistic expression and movement. Hollywood studio executives need to study this. Arcane before attempting any more game adaptations.