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I want to like Miraculous Ladybug. I really do. In some ways, I do like it. The animation is superb for a 3D Western cartoon, the character designs are neat, the music is good if a little poppy, and the localization is good without being cringeworthy or resorting to really bad jokes or puns (and what jokes/puns they DO use really work well with the show's tone). Plus, it's a magical girl show! What's there to not like?
Unfortunately, I hate to admit this, but it needs to be acknowledged: Miraculous Ladybug has problems. Serious problems.
Something like this could have been a masterpiece. But as it is, it's extremely flawed. Anyone who's not Marinette or Adrien are completely one-note, one-dimensional, and never develop throughout the series. None of them really grow as people, and that gives us almost no reason to care about any of them or their plights.
The show itself basically has zero story other than Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World. That's it. What makes this worse is that the whole series is episodic in nature, and there is NOTHING progressing the story in any way. All of the episodes are basically glorified filler. They're all the same: Hawkmoth turns someone into an Akuma, the heroes fight for 80% of the episode and purify them, the end! Not only that, the fights take up 80% of the episodes, leaving little time for characters to just be normal. It's like the show is afraid to get out of its comfort zone, or that any slice-of-life at all will lose the kids' attention. Come on, writers. Kids are better than this. Stop insulting their intelligence.
Hawkmoth is in particular a completely inept villain. He doesn't do anything except corrupt people and never leaves the Eiffel Tower! He doesn't even fight the heroes himself! Why does he even want their miraculouses anyway? Why does he want so much power? And no, don't say to take over the world, because we all know that's a horse's corpse that has been rotting media since the dawn of time. He's not threatening or intimidating, and just sits around in the tower like a shut-in. That's NOT how to write a good villain, writers! In fact, the show itself doesn't explain why Marinette and Adrien even deserve their powers, let alone Master Fu's role in this and why he picked them in the first place.
So...yeah, honestly, I don't think Miraculous Ladybug deserves the popularity it gets. It's not groundbreaking, nor is it different from other shows of its kind. It could have been great, but all of its flaws completely hold it back. I guess had network execs not forced Astruc to sanitize it from the ideas presented by the original 2D pilot, it could have been great in its own right. As it is, it's just not for me. I think LoliRock is a better Western magical girl show that isn't afraid to do what Ladybug is afraid to do. But if you like it, that's okay! The show's not perfect, but that doesn't mean it's bad. But its flaws do hold it back from being something truly great.
The Series was only released on Nick in America after it was released on TFOU in France and Disney Channel in Korea. In fact, America is the only country that it airs on Nick.
Oh. Right. Whoops. Really need to check facts every now and again. But you get what I mean, right?
Small nitpick, but Hawk Moth\'s lair isn\'t in the Eiffel Tower.
Otherwise, I think this was a pretty good review, even though I\'m an on-again, off-again fan.
"the show itself doesn't explain why Marinette and Adrien even deserve their powers, let alone Master Fu's role in this and why he picked them in the first place."
It's explained in the 2-part "Origins" episode, but since you don't seem to remember, I suppose that's just you finding the show forgettable. That's alright.
Can't really, contradict you on the show being so formulaic (in fact, that's what made it hard for me to get into it), but a few of your complain are a bit misplaced, if you allow me:
Hawkmoth is in particular a completely inept villain. He doesn't do anything except corrupt people and never leaves the Eiffel Tower! He doesn't even fight the heroes himself!
Aside from the fact already adressed above that his hideout isn't in the Eiffel Tower... yes, he doesn't do anything else nor fight the heroes himself because that's how his power works! His Miraculous literally grants him Super Empowering and nothing else, and it's made rather clear he has No Self Buff. It's not like he has much more options. Granted, that still doesn't excuse how repetitive the show is, but you can't exactly call him stupid for not doing something that would clearly be at his disadvantage.
Why does he even want their miraculouses anyway? Why does he want so much power? And no, don't say to take over the world,
Actually, his goal is gradually hinted at and being slowly revealed in season 2. Took a bit too long, but it's explained. And no, it's not "take over the world", if anything we saw is to go by. In fact, it appears to be more sympathetic than that.
In fact, the show itself doesn't explain why Marinette and Adrien even deserve their powers, let alone Master Fu's role in this and why he picked them in the first place.
Actually, yes it does. Marinette and Adrien deserved their powers because they proved themselves selfless and willing to help people, which Master Fu figured out through Secret Test Of Character. And while Fu's own full role isn't revealed in season 1, season 2 explains who he was and how he ended up with the Miraculous.
Honestly, that show's problem isn't that it's staying in its comfort zone, but more that it had a slow start due to trying to play it safe before slowly adding elements and revealing more, much like Code Lyoko (another french animated show) did. I blame this on the producers, since based on what I heard, the writers would have rather put the more interesting stuff from the start.
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