The first time that League of Legends peeped into the world of video games first and then esports, the last thought that its creators had in mind was to build a lore, a narrative, around it. In 2014 everything changes. Riot Games plans to explore the world of Runeterra, to bring users into a real narrative universe, shifting the focus from the game itself, which has now evolved independently.
They are presented short stories, comics, cinematics that tell the daily life on Runeterra of the various champions already known and sometimes of totally new figures who are not yet part of the character park (and who knows if they will ever be part of it) but who live in Valoran, lined up for one or the other faction. It is in this context that it fits the trailer for Arcane, the new animated series from Netflix who wants to bring League of Legends fans directly into the personal stories of some of the champions who are used daily. The series, presented on the occasion of Netflix’s TuDum, is divided into three acts consisting of three episodes each, for a total of nine episodes.
The story of Jinx and Vi
The trailer starts with a siren sound typical of the opening of an armored door inside a prison, a place confirmed by the long and dark corridor that opens in the first shot. The narrator in these early stages, and which is encountered again during the trailer, is that of We, one of the protagonists of the series, played by Hailee Steinfeld and that in Italian we will listen with the voice of Letizia Scifoni, a voice actress that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have come to know as Gamora.
“When I was a kid, me and my sister“are the first words of the trailer that immediately direct the viewer to the core of the story: the family and the relationship between two sisters, united and divided at the same time. Arcane is in fact focused on the story between Vi and Jinx, two of the most famous characters of League of Legends.
“When we decided to create Arcane“- said Christian Link, co-creator of the series -“we knew we had something special in hand with the story of Jinx and Vi. We wanted to explore the idea of what you can do for your family, the compromises that can be reached and the conflicts that follow. The story, along with the hand-drawn graphic style and character animation we created together in Fortiche, will allow players to discover the world of League of Legends.”
Di We immediately discover its distinctive character: as well as in the game his strong point is his fists. If at the beginning of the trailer, locked in a cell, she has the strength to destroy its walls, in the following seconds we see her training, in a probable flashback as a girl, against specially built robotic machines.
While he tells you about the will of the two sisters to chase their monsters and chase them away, Jinx finally appears: first as an adult, with her long braids that we have learned to recognize on League of Legends, and then as a child next to her older sister. Then the first new character appears at the end of the sentence “Then the real monster showed up“, “and at that point the real monster appeared“. It’s about Silco, interpreted by Jason List in the original language and by Guido Di Naccio in Italian.
New characters and old acquaintances
Partly disfigured on the face, Silco seems to present himself as one of the villains of the e series responsible for atrocities on some inhabitants of Runeterra. But where are we, exactly? In addition to the relationship between Vi and Jinx, Arcane focuses on the conflict between Piltover and Zaun: on the one hand a rich, thriving, technologically advanced city, called “the city of progress”; on the other, the squalor of Zaun, where the outcasts of Piltover take refuge, the waste of society, those who have been rejected and forgotten by the city above.
A precarious balance, threatened by the creation of the Hextech, a technological artifact that allows you to harness and reuse magic at will, the result of the work of the brightest minds in the city. And among the brightest minds, the face of could not be missing even in the trailer Heimerdinger. But it’s not the only one: two other characters are introduced in the previous few seconds.
One is undoubtedly recognizable: it is Jayce, perhaps a younger version of him than we know in the game, the one who seems to have discovered the power of Hextech together with Viktor, another champion who appears fleetingly and in a totally different version from the one we are used to seeing him in the game. A power that Jayce brings to the attention of what appears to be the city council of Piltover from which peeps out Mel, a new character played by Toks Olagundoye, whose voice in Italian is Benedetta Degli Innocenti, voice actress of Lady Gaga in the film “A Star is Born“.
Despite being presented as a great and revolutionary discovery, even capable of projecting a beam of light from the highest tower in the city, Heimerdinger immediately tries to warn the city council by stating that “You do not understand [questa scoperta] what it entails.“Notice that does not seem to have been taken into consideration, given what is shown in the following seconds with the explosion of a window. And this is where Silco comes back into play: “Power is not meant for those who are born strong but for those who would do anything to achieve it.“
Protect the family
From this moment the pace of the trailer jumps forward very fast, alternating fleeting images of new characters, the anti-heroes of the story, with childhood memories of Vi and Jinx, among which stands out the introduction of what seems to present us as the father of the two, Vander, played by JB Blanc in English, while in Italian the voice is by Massimo Bitossi, mainly known as the voice actor of David Harbor in “The Secrets of Brokeback Mountain”, “Quantum of Solace”, “Black Mass – The last gangster “,” Suicide Squad “and” Black Widow “.
Vander replies once again one of the most important concepts on which the series will focus, namely the family: “Protect the family“, at any cost he implies. Line confirmed by Jinx’s next words on black screen”Are we still sisters?“, “we are still sisters“, index of a complex relationship between the two, perhaps gone away for some time but still united: “Nothing can change our being sisters“Vi replies as the trailer shows the handshake between the two. Along with a novelty: He finally shows you the two mechanical punches he wears in the game, already seen in the cinematic Warriors (as well as in the game, of course).
And as well as on Warrios also on Arcane there will be Caitlyn to fight alongside Vi. Known in the universe of League of Legends come the best police officer in Piltover, nicknamed “The Sheriff”, in the trailer we find her in two different moments: first next to Vi while together they walk a corridor whose walls are adorned with graffiti, presumably on a mission to Zaun, and then on the ground in difficulty, surrounded by flames. Pow Pow, the machine gun used by Jinx to hit enemies in the game, also appears.
A history of dualism
What most transpires from the trailer is the concept of dualism, the common thread that will develop throughout the series as Alex Yee, co-creator of Arcane pointed out: ”Arcane is a story of dualism. How the characters are divided between the two halves of a city with opposite but complementary values and opportunities. Each with its own merits and flaws. You can be the hero in one story, but the villain in another.” Because, as we have often learned, it is not always easy to clearly divide the good from the bad. And the same seems to propose Arcane, with the trailer that closes on the notes of one of the songs of League of Legends: but this we let you guess.
The first act of Arcane will be available on November 7, just the day after the conclusion of the competitive world championship of League of Legends. A case? Absolutely not, as Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games pointed out: “To celebrate this moment, we want to put players at the center of an incredible launch experience. The World and Arcane will come together to form a global party made of competitions, entertainment and communities, in a totally new way. A sort of super weekend for players.“
The second and third act will arrive respectively one and two weeks later, November 13 and 20. At the beginning of the week also some of the voice actors who lend the voices (including the Italian ones), to the various characters were announced: Vi is played by Hailee Steinfeld (Letizia Scifoni), Caitlyn by Katie Leung (Chiara Gioncardi), Jayce by Kevin Alejandro (Emanuele Ruzza), Silco from Jason Spisak (Guido Di Naccio), Jinx from Ella Purnell (Margherita De Risi), Mel from Toks Olagundoye (Benedetta Degli Innocenti), Vander from JB Blanc (Massimo Bitossi), Viktor from Harry Lloyd ( Emiliano Coltorti).