Netflix has adapted a pretty large number of video games into animated series at this point, so at the surface level, the new show Arcane, based on League of Legends, may not stand out in a crowd.
But even though Arcane doesn’t have many critical reviews in yet, the fans that have watched it? They are positively raving about it.
Arcane has an unusual format in that Netflix is releasing batches of three episodes at a time over the next three weeks. And this first batch seems to have hooked players and delighted longtime League fans.
- Arcane has a 98% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, dramatically higher than anything in the site’s “top streaming” category.
- Arcane has a similar 9.6 user score on Metacritic, albeit with fewer reviews in so far.
- Arcane has inspired top-voted threads on r/television and r/leagueoflegends. Here are some excerpts:
r/television, 2550 upvotes – “Arcane is some of the best television I’ve watched in a long time” – “I just watched the first 3 episodes with my friend, and we were both left absolutely speechless. My friend has never played a game of League in his life, yet the show hit him just as hard as me.”
r/leagueoflegends, 8700 upvotes – “Arcane is everything we could have wanted, and more!” – “Without going into details to spoil anything for anyone who may not have seen the first three episodes, Arcane went beyond my wildest dreams of what to expect from the first real feature-length cinematic experience. I knew it was going to be good, but this is truly ground-breaking. I really hope this is the dawn on the League of Legends cinematic universe because this is definitely a champagne cork-popping moment.”
Again, almost all reaction has purely been from fans alone so far, as it seems like this just wasn’t on the radar of many critics. But the two RT reviews that have come in are both positive, so it’s possible it will score well there as well.
This would obviously not be the first time that Netflix has produced a stellar animated video games series, as everyone raves about Castlevania to this day. But unlike Castlevania, which was based on a very old series, League of Legends is still one of the biggest games in the world as we speak, which puts this in a different sort of category. And trust me, there are no bigger potential critics than video game fans who don’t want to see their favorite IP ruined by a bad adaptation, so the reaction to Arcane’s premiere episodes here is nothing short of extremely impressive.
The next two weeks will bring the final two sets of episodes, and we’ll see if the enthusiasm continues throughout the full series. Expect this to start rising up Netflix’s top 10 charts soon, and for more people to be talking about Arcane.
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