TV review: Arcane
If seeing "based on the video game" makes you wince, Arcane could open your eyes to new possibilities.
This nine-part animated series showing on Netflix follows Castlevania and The Witcher in being a good video game adaptation where not knowing the game is not an instant block to your enjoyment.
Do you know League Of Legends beyond the name? If not, same here - and don't worry.
The animation is stunning and feels close to live action, but with more artistry that negates the uncanny valley. Plus, there's some great cinematography and an extra whip to the action.
Crucially, the characters can express emotions.
And then there's the story, centring on the plight of two sisters, Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) and Powder (Ella Purnell), who are caught up in the tensions between a prosperous city and impoverished underground.
Compared with other fantasy tales that drop you in a world of exposition and expect you to catch up, it's credit to the writers that Arcane is engrossing and the world-building is not overwhelming. - JONATHAN ROBERTS