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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.
After a first season with both good and bad points all around, season 2 is starting to really pick up the slack, and has overall managed to be much better than the previous season. Yes, I know how early that it to say, what with three episodes, but there is no denying that those three episodes have been fantastic, advancing the plot and character development and growth.
While it still has flaws here and there, season 2 is off to a very promising start. The Collector has to be one of my favorite episodes so far, Despair Bear gave Chloe some much needed growth, and Prime Queen gave us a good look at Ladybug and Cat Noir's relationship. Hopefully, it will keep getting better and better.
Miraculous Ladybug is nothing new. A Magical Girl with transformation, Fairy Companion, victims of the day with various aesops, identity mishaps, and so on. There isn't any deconstructions here, nor complex plots, or anything groundbreaking. So why watch this show?
Because it's a lot of fun. Cat Noir and Ladybug are goofy, likable leads with endearing personalities and powers. Cat/Adrien's entropy and decay is especially unusual. Being voiced by Bryce Papenbrook and Cristina Vee doesn't hurt, both bring a lot of energy to their performances.
Marinette is a quirky, likable ditz trying to balance her schoolwork, missions as Ladybug, and her dream of fashion designing and her crush on Adrien. The cat himself isn't half bad a guy either. He may be a model with a wealthy father, but the show makes clear that outside of school, he has no time for himself or friends, who only feels happy in his Noir persona. Their interactions are quite sweet, most of all in their crime-solving banter.
Both the main heroine's bishoujo antics and the frenetic action that takes up a hefty chunk of screentime are a lot of fun. If the villain and plot setup don't grab you in every episode, odds are good that the action setpieces and creative powers on display will. It's a lighthearted action show first, and the staff know what you've come here to see.
The animation is great for tv cg with good models, backgrounds of Paris, and especially particle effects in fights. The main theme and transformation bgm are catchy. Suffice it to say that if nothing else, critics can't deny the presentation is excellent.
The villains can be a mixed bag, but are usually varied from episode to episode that it's worth watching just to see what comes next. Some are downright silly from the Bubbler who, traps adults in bubbles, to a guy who's power is...controlling pigeons to cover the city in poop. Then you get some of the hammier types like a weather girl with forecast puns, an Egyptologist kid who thinks he's a Pharoah, and an honest to goodness robocop homage.
And occasionally you get interesting characters like the Evillustrator, who's reasonable with anyone other than his target of revenge, and tries not to hurt anyone with his Art Attacker powers for understandable if misguided reasons. Or Sabrina, one of the more sympathetic Betas to the Alpha Bitch I've seen in a while, who's surprisingly likable.
Above all, the creator seems to love the genre. It wares its Sailor Moon and comicbook influences on its sleeves, and that's not a bad thing. It's brimming with enthusiasm in a lot of superhero cliches, but does it well enough that you'll be entertained. You've seen it before, and odds are you will again, but here you get the feeling that the predictability isn't out of bad writing, but more like a trusted brand of candy. It's sweet while it lasts, and despite yourself, hard not to try just one more. It's good, clean and solid fun, and sometimes, that's enough.
Woo that title is long but Miraculous Ladybug really grasp the main point that the main protagonist is a badass girl that can kick villain ass like a soccer ball.
Marinette is the main girl who is Adorkable but as Ladybug (her alter ego) she is a badass. Most animated action series usually have a guy as the main badass or if a girl is the main protagonist she usually the "damsel in distress" or the male protagonists do all of her dirty work (ex. Yona of Dawn). You also can't forget the fact if a girl is the main heroine it usually has her filled with girly attacks like "Love attack!" *attacks villain with a mass of heart. (Ex. Winx has something along those lines)
In Miraculous Ladybug, Ladybug uses inventive ways to use her power "Lucky Charm" (which creates random objects) to take down her villains. Most times when she needs to corner the villain or counter the villains attacks she uses her yo-yo (made out of indestructium).
If you like badass heroines I strongly suggest this series. If you don't like badass heroines there are many other great qualities about this series, like the comedy, romance, and the numerous heartwarming moments. Marinette is just A-DORK-ABLE!!
(But seriously who doesn't like a badass heroine?)
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