Arcane: Act II continues to impress


The second act of the Netflix show Arcane, based on the MOBA game League of Legends, picks up from the strong start of Act I.

It has been a very refreshing surprise to see what the people at Netflix have done with the source material it was given when tasked with converting the MOBA game League of Legends into a television show.

On the surface, there doesn’t appear to be much to work with. But if you look deeper into the lore behind each of the playable characters, then you can see why Arcane has been so successful with fans of the game and those who have never played League of Legends. As of right now, the show has a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Arcane has focused on storytelling, not League of Legends

The most important reason Arcane has done so well in the first six episodes of season 1 is its focus on storytelling. If the people making the show had decided to focus on the game, it would have been something that would have done well with fans of the game, but it would have struggled to gain viewers outside of those who played League of Legends.

In Act I of Arcane, the show set a groundwork of a class struggle between the elites of Piltover and the destitution of Zaun. It also established that the struggle would be viewed through the eyes of two sisters, Vi and Powder aka Jinx. The show established what the lives of these characters was like when they were all younger, and Act II of Arcane advances the story years after the events of Act I.

Act II of Arcane gets closer to the game experience

While it has been smart of the people running the show at Arcane to focus on the storytelling, they also were smart enough to know this show needed to start resembling the game some. There are still things fans of the game are wanting to see, like Vi in her massive gauntlets and Jayce with his hammer for example, but they began to show us more of what the game actually looks like.

Caitlyn, who was one of the less developed characters in the first Act, received a much bigger spotlight in this episode. We saw her with her trademark rifle and in her enforcer costume that looks very similar to the game.

The biggest character experience we received with these episodes was with Jinx. In Act II of Arcane,  we begin to see all the attributes of Jinx those who play the game are accustomed to which earned her the title of Loose Cannon. We also got to see her with her mini gun and how off her rocker she can be.

Arcane also showed us the complexity of the relationship between Vi and Jinx. While it is obvious in the show they care for each other, the way they were separated at the end of Act I has taken its toll on their relationship. How that strain is handled will be one of the more interesting aspects of Act III.

The other storyline we have followed closely is Jayce’s rise to power on the Piltover Council. Jayce has been wooed by Mel and turned his back on Heimerdinger. There are plenty of hints throughout Arcane that this could come back to haunt Jayce later in the show.

Act III of Arcane needs to finish strong

There are few loose ends that will need to be tied up at the end of Act II of Arcane. They have to decide if they will have Jinx and Vi reconcile, determine if there will be any fallout for Jayce’s rise to power, and if Viktor will fortify his body in hextech to stay alive.

The other thing to watch for is how they will establish what a potential second season might look like. Will they setup a continuation of this story between Piltover and Zaun, or will they focus on some other city or kingdom like Demacia.

Whatever they decide, we’ll all be eagerly anticipating what they give us in Act III of Arcane.

Grade So Far: A

Next. Arcane: Act I fulfills League of Legends expectations. dark

What did you you think of the second act of Arcane? Let us know in the comments!