Netflix’s ‘Arcane’ Episodes 1-3 Review

Arcane is one of the latest series to drop on Netflix! Based on the popular game, League of Legends, Arcane drops us into a fictional world with unique animation and lots of potential. Don’t be fooled, this thing may be animated but there is plenty in here for adult audiences.

I would haved liked to do this review episode by episode, but by the time I got to the end of the set (third) I felt that some parts far outweighed others. In other words, my review is going to focus heavily on the end of episode three and if it was enough to lock me in for what’s to come.

What I will say about the first two episodes is that they do a good (yet slow) job of bringing us into this fictional world and meeting these characters. The animation style is a great selling point for getting one to hit play on this thing. There were legitimate moments I was barely paying attention to the dialogue because the color, the style, the costume design, the architecture etc. was pure eye candy.

There were certainly promising elements in the first two episodes such as seeing the relationship of these sisters (Vi and Powder) and the evolving conversation around magic (Viktor and Jayce). Yet, nothing that really locked me in. Until episode three…

My god the end of the third episode was disturbingly brilliant. We are convinced that this show is going to be about this group of friends but nope. Dead. Not only that, but it all comes to be the fault of Powder as she rushes to intervene using the unstable blue crystals.

What makes it even MORE tragic is the fact that the heroes were fine! They had managed to get Vander out of the chair AND break down the brick wall for an escape route. It was a hard moment to swallow that set us up with a complicated and rich dichotomy between these two sisters. Therefore, just for that, Arcane... I am LOCKED IN.

I have never played the game, nor think I will, but I am certainly curious to know how these characters fit into the games and if any of these stories are reflected there as well.

I also have to give it to Netflix who is experimenting with a hybrid weekly release schedule by doing three episodes every week. Though this is Arcane‘s time, I find it worth mentioning that I feel this is a release strategy other animated shows such as Young Justice on HBOMax should have embraced.


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