Arcane: Magic in motion

by Guest Writer

The following piece was written by a mysterious guest writer sourced right from GRHS’ very own English Department. Guess which English Teacher contributed to this edition!

Scrolling listlessly through the browsing section of Netflix, I sighed from my slumped position in the corner of my couch. I was growing tired of my usual rewatches: The Good Place and New Girl. I needed something different, but not complex–something to have on in the background. When Arcane came across my screen, the animation style intrigued me. I checked the details: one season, nine episodes. Perfect.

I had no idea that this show was about to become the only thing I would talk about to any nearby friend, family member, or colleague for months to come.

Truthfully, the show hadn’t initially engaged me, because I hadn’t given it the chance; I needed a background show, so that’s how I’d treated it. However, I found myself glancing up from whatever menial task I was doing at the moment–folding laundry, organizing my desk, truthfully I can’t remember–before resuming said task. The moment where I’d dropped everything and decided I needed to start from the very beginning was the final ten minutes of the third episode. Mouth agape, I paused the episode and sat in silence for a moment. I had severely underestimated this show.

As I re-watched, this time I gave the show my full attention. I remember marveling at the show’s artful world-building. Rather than a cheap cop-out as they’d done in The Hunger Games with words on the screen (I love that series, but seriously, they had so many other choices),

this show chose to trust its audience. The beautiful art style and natural dialogue of the characters allow the audience to piece together an understanding of the show’s world and society.The bright, golden Piltover with clear blue skies and skyscrapers towers over the smoggy, downtrodden Undercity, demonstrating the clear divide in class and power without needing to overtly say so.

Beyond the world building lies the show’s greatest strength: character development. It’s impossible to choose a favorite, even for the most decisive of viewers. Their flaws, while present, feel forgivable the more you learn about them. Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) has a stubbornness that would give anyone a run for their money, but within that lies her loyalty that never runs dry. Powder (Ella Purnell) inserts herself into situations she shouldn’t, but it stems from a sincere desire to help. Yet, just when you feel like you’ve gotten over it, they make you want to toss your popcorn up and yell, “I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!”

If you enjoy dystopian fiction, realistic characters, and unique animation styles, I highly suggest giving Arcane a shot. Just be sure not to make my initial mistake–its narrative requires attention, so set down the phone, get comfortable, and keep a box of tissues nearby. You won’t regret it.