I’m often thrilled and surprised by things that younger people take for granted. Like in Arcane for example. The central structuring relationship is between two sisters, one of them a lesbian, and the lesbian romance is the central one in the series. The secondary romance is an inter-racial one, heterosexual. Indeed the world of Arcane is one peopled by all kinds of shapes and colours, and the only difference that is rendered a problem in the narrative is that of class: rich people live up there with clean air; which is not to say that it’s representation of race is not communicated as something to think about for a viewer: the only slave owner we see is a black warrior woman who’s cast out her highly intelligent, beautiful and diplomatic daughter for representing a weakness to her will for conquest. A constructed family is given even greater importance than a nuclear one; indeed, we see all kinds of relationships, something rarely imagined, usually not allowed, and certainly absent from any representations available to me in my youth. All of this, plus the beautiful graphics, the expressive and imaginative use of colour, the skill in evoking feeling through highly detailed close-ups, often of eyes, registering slight shifts in emotion, make of Arcane something special, particularly if you’re interested in a steam-punkish mix of past and future, science and magic.
A brief clip illustrating what I mean regarding the animation:
and a brief homage to the great Grace Jones: