Imagine two cities, intertwined but divided by politics, power, culture and their people. Two cities depicting two very different spectrums of society and views.
One is where the sun shines the brightest with a thriving future and in the other, there is nothing but smog and filth and people struggle for survival through despair.
One is where the children live a comfortable and happy life and in the other, most children grow up knowing war, death and destruction.
This story can be found in Netflix's animated series 'Arcane', an animated adaptation of 'League of Legends'.
The story of the show revolves around the nation of Piltover and Zaun. The two nations are symbiotic yet different from one another. Where Piltover is a shining beacon of progress, the Undercity of Zaun is a much darker place filled with shady activities.
It is a contest between the privileged elite and the shady underworld, with both sides developing technology to assert dominance.
In a state of constant tension brewing between the two spectrums of life, it is a question of dominance to some and for the rest, it is a question of survival.
The show tells the story of many playable characters in the game 'League of Legends' based on their lore; however, the main focus of it all are on the characters named Vi and Jinx.
The show was a combined effort of Riot Games and Fortiche, a French animation studio. The animation of 'Arcane' is not a typical 3D animation; rather it includes the crude technique of hand painted backgrounds, with a mixture of 2D and 3D style, to fit the theme of the show.
Coupled with the immersive storytelling, the unique animation style brings realism and can make the audience forget the difference between fiction and reality.
Whether or not one has played League of Legends is irrelevant. The beauty and art of 'Arcane' is bound to reel anyone in to watch the show.
As the first TV spin-off series of the game, its production began six years ago in 2015, when the streaming services were still quite unpopular among the people.
To build the perfect world consisting of the League of Legends characters, was a massive task for both Riot Games and Fortiche. Six years later, that task would prove to be a great success. Netflix gaining its distribution rights would also play a major role in its reign.
Instead of following the mainstream protocol of releasing an entire season for the fans to watch, Riot adapted an unorthodox method where they released the season in three acts and each act contained three episodes.
The reason behind this was Riot wanting to expand the world of Arcane into their video games 'League of Legends', the original inspiration of the series, and 'Valorant'. It was done so that the admirers can receive an immersive experience of this massive world building.
2021 so far has been a fantastic year for pop culture enthusiasts, all over the globe. With the release of numerous highly anticipated films and adaptations, the pop culture communities and connoisseurs found themselves embroiled with the things they admire, all year long.
'Arcane' started its journey as an undercard with recognition mostly from the gaming community and only a little from mainstream TV series audiences.
Even with such an 'under the radar' flare during its introduction, the series has gone on to become Netflix's most watched animated series of all time.
The show was able to dethrone 'Squid Game' for the top spot on the trending list, only 1 week after its release. It has garnered remarks of excellence from all over the world within a short period of time. This recognition from the critics can be called nothing less than astounding and groundbreaking for an animated series.
There are not many live action or animated adaptations of video game series or their lore. While many of them have gone under the radar, 'Arcane' sets an example, breaking all stereotypes that, even a video game can be masterfully brought to other mediums.
With compelling characters, an endearing story and a fascinating lore, 'Arcane' has set a standard for animated shows and will be talked about far longer.