Have You Watched Arcane? (My Thoughts)

After I posted my recent favorite books and movies lists for 2021, I resolved to keep a list of the television shows I watch in 2022 to rank them at the end of the year. I still love movies, but I’ve found that some of the most powerful viewing experiences are also from shows.

I haven’t even started the list yet, but there’s already a contender for the best show I’ll watch in 2022: Arcane.

Arcane is possibly the most visually stunning TV show I’ve ever seen. It’s animated, but the animation style is so beautiful. It’s hard to describe without seeing it (or seeing it in motion). I’m generally not drawn to animated shows, but I would watch any show or movie that looks this good.

To go along with the visual style are compelling characters, sharp writing, tense action, exciting micro and macro plots, and superb direction. I want to stress that last part, because even though there’s no camera in a show like this, every shot and scene seem like they were planned by a master director.

The characters and the world are based on a very popular video game that I’ve never played, League of Legends. You really don’t need to know anything about that game to enjoy the show, which follows a group of scrappy kids in a steampunk undercity and a few other characters of various social standing as they delve into villainy, magic, and more.

The one caveat is that the show–while quite fun–has a serious/dark side. I think kids could watch it, but with parents there to talk it through afterwards. Or just enjoy it as adults.

Oh, also, it’s a 9-episode season. We’re through 7 episodes, and I’d almost recommend watching the first 3 episodes together as a movie, then watching the rest 1 episode at a time. It has been renewed for season 2.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What did you love the most about Arcane? Does it remind you of any other shows, animated or otherwise? In terms of worldbuilding, it reminded me a little of The Legend of Korra, but even better.

4 thoughts on “Have You Watched Arcane? (My Thoughts)”

  1. I absolutely loved this show as well and I know nothing of League of Legends. As I watched, I kept thinking to myself, “Why can’t other settings, games, or IPs have something like this done?”

    Amazing animation, writing, pacing, and depth? Hey, what about a setting done from Scythe? It would fit well.

    • I’d love to see a show like that for Scythe! I only have the tabletop rights, but I hope Jakub does something with the film rights someday.

  2. I am late to the party on this one but holy moley is it good. They pack so much emotion into it. I agree on the direction they gave all the characters depth and allowed them to be flawed. The bad guy is bad no doubt but also truly loves his daughter while the hero loves her sister she is also deeply flawed. A+


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