I feel like if you’re into gaming, you’ve most likely heard of League of Legends. And if you’ve heard of League of Legends, that means you’ve heard of a little something called Arcane. Well, not so little anymore.
Arcane, described as an “event series” on Netflix, was in development for quite some time. It’s a League of Legends series that tells the origin story of some of the most popular playable characters in LoL, focusing on the sisters, Vi (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) and Power - later known as Jinx (voiced by Ella Purnell). But with so few episodes to watch, one can binge through those forty-minute long episodes quickly.
Admittedly, that's exactly what I did.
So now, I’m doing my research and trying to find shows that are not only like Arcane, but can fill the void that it’s left in my heart once it's done. And guys, there are plenty of awesome shows that might remind you of the latest Netflix hit. If you’re looking for something new to watch after finishing up Arcane, check these picks out.
One Punch Man (Hulu)
To be honest, I think One Punch Man is one of the most famous anime out there, and for good reason. This anime follows the story of Saitama, a hero who has the ability to knock out any enemy with one punch - and this causes him to be bored. Trying to find the most formidable foe ever, he finds out more about himself and others through his journeys.
What reminds me of One Punch Man in relation to Arcane is two things. First, something about One Punch Man is that it relies on its impressive main characters with really interesting backstories to further the plot, and allow for more character development, something Arcane has done very well over its couple of episodes. And second, One Punch Man has a similar storyline much like the Shimmer drug in Arcane that turns humans into monsters, so there’s already a pretty good connection between these two.
Love, Death + Robots (Netflix)
In this Netflix original series, Love, Death, & Robots is an adult animated show that consists of twenty stand-alone episodes, all less than twenty minutes long. Each episode has something to do with the title, whether that be through love, through death, or through robots.
Love, Death, & Robots is such an amazing concept of a series. What I think Arcane fans will enjoy is how much story can be packed into a small, twenty minutes episode. I’m always astounded with how much happens in the forty-minute episodes of Arcane, but some of the storylines in this one will blow your mind from beginning to end, wrapping everything up in a beautiful, thematic bow.
The Future Diary (Hulu)
Arcane is known for its fighting scenes, so be prepared for a lot of shows that feature combat - including My Future Diary. In this anime, we follow another reluctant hero who is on a mission to overcome a dark past when he becomes a part of a sinister survival game that allows him to compete to become the next successor to God. His diary soon begins telling him the future, helping him defeat his opponents.
The Future Diary and Arcane have one thing in common that I believe fans will love, and that is badass, compelling characters. Both of the protagonists - or, rather anti-heroes - in these shows are haunted by horrible experiences but know how to survive. They know how to kick ass and take names, whether that be through survival of the fittest or working for someone powerful. But it takes true courage to change and become a better person.
Death Parade (Hulu)
Yeah, I know, it sounds depressing, but the intrigue is even more enticing than the name. In Death Parade, the story is set in a pub called Quin Decim that acts as a purgatory. There, the deceased must battle each other in order to get into heaven or hell.
While Arcane takes place in a futuristic city full of magic and wonder and really cool tech called Piltover, down below is Zaun, a hell-ish underground city where crime runs rampant and drugs are everywhere. Death Parade reminds me much of Arcane because the people of Zaun have to try pretty often to fight their ways out of poverty in the city, a way out of their “hell,” much like how the deceased have to fight for a way into heaven in Death Parade.
Deadman Wonderland (Funimation)
Do you want a great battle royale series as well? Check out Deadman Wonderland. This anime focuses on Ganta, a young man who is falsely accused of murdering his entire class, and ends up being sent to a hellish prison where prisoners are constantly bet on to fight to the death. Now, it’s up to him to try and find a way out and not die.
Man, this show gives me shivers all the way up and down my spine. Like seriously. I’ve watched this anime so many times and I still feel just as disgusted at some of the things the prisoners in this prison did. However, what makes this a perfect choice for fans of Arcane is that the prison reminds me a lot of Zaun, full of double-crosses, horrible people, and many other ordeals, which reminded me a lot of Vi and Powder planning on “rising up” one day out of Zaun, much like how Ganta wanted to escape the prison.
I remember when I first watched Castlevania, I didn’t know what to think of the Netflix original series, but I can confirm it’s worth watching. Castlevania follows Trevor Belmont, a human defender of Wallachia, against the vampire Vlad Dracula and his army, creating an epic battle of heartbreak, pain, and lotsa blood.
Guys, Castlevania is just good fun. If you love the action of Arcane but want something that might be a little more mature, I think Castlevania is your option. The stories often remind me of many horror movie plotlines with the inclusion of vampires, and the characters are genuinely full of compassion and deep complexities that make them so easy to root for - even if they’re supposed to be the villain. It’s truly a great original and an awesome one for Netflix to have.
Fighting Spirit (Crunchyroll)
Next up, we have Fighting Spirit, otherwise known as Hajime no Ippo. In this anime, a young man named Ippo Makunouchi is bullied in high school, but after he has a random encounter with a boxer, he turns his life around and decides to become a boxer himself, build up his self-esteem, and stand up to the bullies.
While not a big fantasy series like Castlevania or as chaotic as The Future Diary, Fighting Spirit always has had a special place in my heart just because the premise is so simple - it’s about a boy trying to stand up for himself and trying to carve out his own path in life. Makunouchi’s story reminds me a lot of Vi and Jinx in Arcane, both of which have lost a lot but decide to embrace the punches they’ve been given in life and follow their own paths instead of remaining down in Zaun.
Magical Girl Raising Project (Crunchyroll)
Magical Girl Raising Project is worth the time to watch. This anime follows a strange social game that randomly turns one of its participants into a secret magical girl, but when a glitch in the game causes sixteen to come out of the game instead of eight, a battle royale begins.
One thing I absolutely loved about Arcane was its animation. It reminded me so much of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in almost a comic book style way. The animation in Magical Girl Raising Project is super cool as well, paired with some hyper-violent combat scenes that can hold a candle to the fight sequences in Arcane. From the moment they begin on the screen, your eyes are glued to the TV, because you just can’t look away.
Fate/Zero is all about that action and adventure, telling the story of an organized fighting competition featuring seven mages who chose to battle with their own spirits, summoned by a sorcerer with the Holy Grail as their prize. Whoever wins gets the chance to have the Grail grant them any wish they want.
While Fate/Zero also packs a punch (pun intended) with its fight scenes just like Arcane does, it also pairs well with the difference in cities that Arcane has, with that same heaven/hell contrast. Fate/Zero features very different kingdoms, with their own people and their own personalities, much like Piltover and Zaun.
While not a long anime, Btooom! is a great one to watch for action fans. This story follows a survival gamer who suddenly wakes up on a tropical island to find himself in a kill-or-be-killed battle to survive. He needs to murder everyone on the spot, and collect seven gemstones.
Again, for fans of Arcane, the action in Btooom! is up your alley, filled with a genuinely fun storyline with so many amazing characters that you’ll find yourself struggling with which one you want to survive until the end. It almost reminds me of Squid Game in a way, mixed in with thrilling combat action that fans of not only Arcane but fans of action in general will enjoy.
While there are plenty of upcoming Netflix shows coming out soon, I think it’s time we get the chance to binge some other TV series’ that we’ll enjoy just as much as Arcane. Whichever one you pick, I’m sure you’ll have a bloody good time.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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