You would be forgiven if you had not yet heard of Arcane, the Netflix animated series that premiered in November this year. And even if you did notice it on your Netflix homepage, where it ranked No. 1 on the Netflix Top 10 and quietly maintained a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, you may have dismissed it.

The decision to watch Arcane comes with hurdles. It’s an adult animated drama, which is still an oxymoron to some people. (“You’re recommending another cartoon?” I was asked at the dog park yesterday.) Worse, its story is based on the universe of the online multiplayer video game League of Legends, a game you may not care about or have even heard of. But ignoring Arcane would be a mistake, and recommending it is a gift.

Arcane is—and I do not say this lightly—perfect.

The story is set in Piltover, within a world with both humans and weird anthropomorphic creatures—come back, stick with me here—where inequality has fractured the city into two parts: the people who live above ground and enjoy the spoils of wealth, and the undercity of the poor. But the heart of the story is the relationship between two orphan sisters, Vi and Powder, and their group of friends.

To read the rest, subscribe to The Atlantic.

Already a subscriber? Sign in