'Arcane: League of Legends' Is About as Violent as Its Source Material
The new 'League of Legends' animated series just started streaming weekly on Netflix, but is 'Arcane' appropriate content for kids?
An esports game as massively popular and successful as League of Legends was bound to be adapted to other media sooner or later. But unlike ill-fated Hollywood adaptations such as Warcraft and Assassin's Creed, League lucked out with Arcane, a new animated series streaming on Netflix.
Released in 2009, League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena where two teams of five players compete in magical battles as they vie for each other's territory. As players control their in-game "champions," they must utilize their unique abilities and cooperate with their team to push through and overtake their opponents' base to destroy their "Nexus" and claim victory.
The game's critical success and long lifespan have made it a veritable staple in esports events. And now, the game has even earned its own spinoff show with Arcane. But is the new Netflix show appropriate for kids?
Is 'Arcane: League of Legends' appropriate for kids to watch?
Arcane acts as a retelling of several origin stories for the champions in League. The first part follows sisters Vi and Jinx. In the original game, Vi is a criminal in the rugged city of Zaun, who carries little respect for authority and works with the Wardens of Piltover. Meanwhile, Jinx is a loose cannon who specializes in chaos and explosions.
In Arcane, Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) and Jinx (Ella Purnell) are seen growing up as orphaned sisters as the series explores the not-so-humble beginnings of these two classic champions. The young girls are brought up by rebellion leader Vander (JB Blanc) as they steal tech and survive in the underbelly of Zaun. The show also focuses on other champions, like Jayce (Kevin Alejandro), Caitlyn (Katie Leung), and Silco (Jason Spisak), among several others.
The series began streaming on Nov. 6 and the show's page features a TV-14 rating. As such, the show is not suitable for younger viewers, and it features plenty of violent imagery and harsh language. This would certainly match up with the overall tone of the original game, which is rated T for Teen by the ESRB for "blood, fantasy violence, mild suggestive themes, and use of alcohol and tobacco."
The series is being released in three different arcs.
The first three episodes, which follow the young champions-to-be of Zaun, are currently streaming. The series will be released on Netflix in three-episode "acts" over the course of November 2021. The next two acts will be released on Nov. 13 and Nov. 20, with three more episodes each.
The first three episodes have been met with critical acclaim, earning a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 98 percent audience score. The Critics Consensus reads, "Arcane makes an arresting first impression, combining a spectacular mix of 2D and 3D animation with an emotionally compelling story to deliver a video game adaptation that could become legendary."
Anyone trying to adapt video games into other media might want to take cues from the likes of Castlevania and the newly released Arcane: League of Legends. But make sure the kids avoid this one for now.