Updated on December 22, 4:01 p.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy.

“If I don’t know anything about League of Legends, would I still enjoy Arcane?”

As a League of Legends player since post-beta, and a fan of more than ten years, I can’t answer that question in this Arcane review. No hardcore LoL player can.

Full list of League of Legends champions in Arcane and the episode they appear

When Riot Games first teased its debut animated series Arcane during its 10-year anniversary celebrations in 2019, it got the community excited. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Schedules were pushed back, developments were delayed, and there was barely any talk about it.

Funko Pop Games League of Legends Vi Vinyl Figure Action Figure
Credit: Funko Pop, ONE Esports
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Years later, out of nowhere, Arcane is everywhere.

It was on the tallest building in the world in Dubai, on the Worlds 2021 stage in Iceland, in the streets of Paris, along the red carpet runway in Hollywood, in every single Riot Games title, streaming on Netflix around the globe.

Riot Games’ build up to the show was intense and positively overwhelming

The enormous hype around Arcane scared me.

I’m a huge League of Legends fan who plays the game daily. I played jungle Vi a lot when she was meta because Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong played her on SK Telecom T1.

How Imagine Dragons wrote Arcane’s opening song ‘Enemy’ using only two chords

I play Jinx and Caitlyn because I am an e-girl who prioritizes champion aesthetics above all else. I hang out with these characters every single day and know them so well, maybe even more so than my IRL friends.

Arcane creators and executive producers Alex Yee and Christian Linke
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

Clearly, I care, so I was very afraid that Arcane wouldn’t live up to its tornado of high expectations.

I even got the chance to speak to the creators, Christian Linke and Alex Yee over Zoom and felt the love they’ve put into this title, yet, I still didn’t know what to expect as an OG LoL player.

Apparently, Caitlyn is taller than everyone except these 2 Arcane characters

So when Act 1 episode one was released at 10 a.m. on Sunday, I sat in front of my computer alone in my room, opened Netflix, put my headphones on, and quietly pressed “play”.

League of Legends Dual Cities Pack w/Exclusive Jinx, Heimerdinger, Vi, Caitlyn, and Ekko, 4-Inch Collectible Figures
Credit: Riot Games
TAKE THEM HOME: Dual Cities Pack with exclusive Jinx, Heimerdinger, Vi, Caitlyn, and Ekko 4-Inch Collectible Figures

Then went on to episode two.

Then episode three.

Then it was way past lunchtime and I hadn’t eaten anything yet, but it didn’t matter because the overwhelming feeling of eternity engulfed my body as I realized that I would have to wait an entire week — seven days, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds — for Act 2.

Arcane review: League of Legends fans will love Arcane with all their heart

Warning: Minor spoilers if you haven’t seen Act 1.

The best thing about watching Arcane through the lens of a League of Legends player is the raw tension we feel throughout the show precisely because we know each character’s eventual relation to each other.

Katie Leung is Caitlyn's voice actress in League of Legends' Arcane series.
Credit: Faye Thomas, Riot Games
Exclusive: Katie Leung on how she prepared for her major role as Caitlyn in Arcane

How did Vi and Jinx fall apart? Why does Jinx hate her so much? I can’t wait to see Viktor change into an augmented monster! When will Vi meet Caitlyn? Where is Jayce’s big hammer? Where are Vi’s big gauntlets? How will Ekko discover how to turn back time? Wow, that’s Singed? When is he going to drink his own poison and carry it around? Why is Ryze not yet blue? Will we get to see all the champions of Piltover and Zaun? Will other regions come into the picture?

Vi, Jinx, and Claggor in the Arcane series.
Credit: Riot Games

Arcane takes us on a journey we never knew was possible in the League of Legends universe.

Sure, we’ve watched Riot Games’ awesome cinematics over the years, enjoyed champion spotlights, read their biographies, immersed ourselves in skin and new champion events, dabbled in the expanded world of Legends of Runeterra, maybe even read the game developer’s unique set of Marvel comics and single novella.

The most memorable Arcane quotes from the Netflix League of Legends anime

This fragmented storytelling style, however, has nothing on an actual full-length animated nine-episode series that Riot invested in, which in turn makes you feel entirely invested.

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Credit: Riot Games, ONE Esports
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Anime fans would know that a 12 or 13 episode series takes more than a year to produce. Arcane took six years, and it shows.

Every second, every frame, every scene is just right. There wasn’t a single moment that I thought was too rushed or too draggy. The script was compact yet meaningful, the opening theme by Imagine Dragons impossible to skip, and every cliffhanger so carefully crafted that it leaves you wanting more.

Exclusive: How the star-studded voice actors and musicians of Arcane were selected

Arcane is art. It’s a work of art. It’s many different styles of art combined into one. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you feel deeply human all at the same time.

Silco has some of the best Arcane quotes in the League of Legends series.
Credit: Fortiche Production, Riot Games

Ever since I tasted Act 1, I’m still not over how great Arcane is. Every day, it occupies my mind, rent-free. I’ve written so many words about it, yet I still can’t put into words what Arcane means to me as a League of Legends fan.

Exclusive: Arcane cast reacts to becoming part of massive League of Legends fandom

All I can say is, “Thank you Riot.”

Also, “Can we have 10 more seasons focusing on every single champion and every region, Rito pls?”

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