Christian Feminist Podcast – 173

Introduction

Hello, and welcome to episode 173 of the Christian Feminit Podcast.  I’m Sara Klooster.  Today we are discussing the beautiful Netflix animated steampunk series Arcane which is based on the lore for the League of Legends video game.  Arcane has the distinct honor of being, in my opinion, the best video game adaptation ever done which is kind of like saying it is the dog with the least fleas at the pound as video games are notoriously difficult to adapt.  League of Legends is a 2009 multiplayer battle arena game which pits two teams of five players against each other.  League is incredibly popular and one of the top Esports games. 

One does not have to play the game to appreciate the series though it is filled with Easter eggs for fans.  Arcane is filled with strong female characters who are fully fleshed out characters without a Mary Sue to be found in the whole series which is well worth your time to watch.  If you’ve been hesitating because you weren’t sure about watching a show based on a video game, go ahead and watch it.

Before going further, I’ll let my co-hosts introduce themselves.  Hello Christina and Laurie. 

I think this is a show that is easy to have preconceived notions about.  Had you heard of the series or had any thoughts on it before watching it?

Reading

Arcane is set in the city of Piltover which calls itself the city of progress.  However, this city is very much physically and economically divided.  Piltover has an undercity which is where the destitute and criminal element live.  The two halves are connected only by a single bridge. The story pits characters from the undercity which they call Zaun vs. Piltover. 

Our main characters are sisters Vi and Powder.  We find out from the first scene that their lives have been filled with violence.  We jump ahead to see the girls getting ready to pull a heist with their found family from the undercity.  The girls’ personalities are immediately apparent as older, more confident Vi can jump from building to building with ease while her younger sister struggles to keep up with the group.  A traumatic event happens which separates the sisters who take very different paths but are reunited many years later.

Our other characters from the topside are Jayce, Caitlin, and Mel.  Mel holds immense political power in Piltover while Jayce begins as a student secretly studying magic, and he is family friends with Caitlin.  When his secret experiments are discovered he pushes until he can show “hextech” as the series calls it is extremely valuable to the city.  Fast forward several years and the topsiders have grown even richer with the new technology while Zaun is left further and further behind.

Ladies, anything else y’all want to add about the initial plot or characters?

Knowing

The show has almost every type of female relationship represented: sisters, mother daughter, father daughter, friendship, romantic. 

Vi and Powder/Jinx

Vi and Caitlin

Mel and Jayce

Mothers – Ambesa and Cassandra

What does the show say about parent relationships? Vander, Silco, 

What does the series say about trauma?

What does the series say about the corrupting nature of political power?

What does the series have to say about income inequality and technology?

Let’s talk about the art style, it is 3 dimensional animation with hand painted effects to create something truly beautiful.  How does the animation help tell the story? 

Recommendations

Laurie – Akira (1988) dir Katsuhiro Otomo

Christina – Mythic Quest Season 1 and 2 

Sara – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 

By Sara Klooster

Sara Klooster is a librarian living and researching in Fort Worth, Texas.

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