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The Appeal of the female characters in Arcane: League of Legends

Ever since "Arcane: League of Legends" came out, the praises haven’t stopped and are still keeping the show alive in people’s minds. Even months later, people are still loving its story, characters and storytelling because it has come out in an era where diversity and an agenda have now convinced screen writers and comic book writers that it was enough to make a good story.

So many things stood out in "Arcane", but one of the most important was the way female characters were written. Violet, Caitlyn, Jinx, Councilman Medarda… they were written and characterized in a way that made them both appear strong and weak at the same time. Circumstances of the story showed their vulnerability and their strength in a matter of ‘Show, don’t tell’ that has been lost these past few years in movies and TV shows where they have female leads.

This begs the question as to what else could have made these female characters so appealing to the public upon the release of the hit Netflix series. What has made them stand out so much in "Arcane: League of Legends" among the throng of other female characters? How has the writing of the show made them special and quite unique in their own way?

  • Arcane is an excellent show. There are a host of well developed female characters in the show (as well as male characters). I think that one of the things that make the characters so great are that the characters all have clear goals, desires, and fears that they are dealing with throughout the season. Rather than simply being a love interest or minor background characters, each of the characters has their own arc, with nuanced exploration of who they are and what they want. – Sean Gadus 5 months ago
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  • I find this really interesting. I watched Arcane through twice; once alone and once with my parents. Watch through one I found myself in adoration of Councilman Medara. Arcane fascinatingly has no inherently right or wrong people; they are borne of their ideas and upbringing which shape their decisions (like real people). I find other shows haven't really done this with women to the same extent, haven't given them the space to be debatable or mildly disagreeable but still very likeable. It also helps that it's rare in this type of media to see a person of colour with this depth of character. The second time was a bit different. It came with a few insensitive remarks from my father about character design, mainly how they're depicted in similar ways to his eras sex icons were portrayed. I don't necessarily agree, and I doubt these designs were made entirely for this purpose and yet his comment has me thinking about how much their likeability is tied to their character design, and would we like them less without Jinx's iconic braids or V's build. I'd say no, Caitlyn's outfits aren't too remarkable and I love her character's progression. – Zephyr 5 months ago
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  • This is a great topic, I have re-watched the series multiple times. The way the writers deal with gender in the story is very unique in how they neutralise gender stereotypes, with not only the women but also the men. I particularly applaud how they show Vi taking many hits, and showing the ugly side of violence that isn't often shown on female characters. – TheResearchPixie 5 months ago
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  • I think female characters are seen as more appealing because they finally get the representation in video games. – hafsakhan310 2 months ago
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  • I definitely agree that the female characters in Arcane stand out from other films and tv shows I've watched. They have actual depth and personality. We have strong, capable characters like Vi and Caitlyn who we actually want to root for. We have an interesting antagonist like Sevika who is respected by someone with the kind of power Silco has. None of the female characters (including even Mel and Jinx) are treated as if because they are women they have a less important role. They're just treated as people with their own trauma, expectations, motives, etc. Many of the women in the show exist, not to serve some arbitrary purpose or to prop up a male character, but because they are important to the story. – AnushkaJ 2 months ago
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  • Having female characters as the main characters for a show, which came from a game, which is not only male-dominated, but often sexist within the gaming community, is a very smart move from the producers/Riot. League of Legends players, along with many other consumers of this show, cannot deny how amazing the story was, and how amazing the main characters' lives were portrayed and I think this was really a powerful way to combat the negative perspective of women in games. Well done Riot, and lovely article! – Aleyna 5 days ago
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