Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (French: Miraculous, les aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir; also known as Miraculous Ladybug or Miraculous) is a French-South Korean-Japanese computer-animated magical girl superhero series produced by Zagtoon and Method Animation in collaboration with Toei Animation in Japan, SAMG Animation in South Korea, and De Agostini Editore in Italy. The series features two Parisian teenagers, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, who transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir, respectively, to protect the city from supervillains.
Prior to its debut in France on October 19, 2015 on TF1, the series was first shown in South Korea on September 1, 2015 on EBS1. In the United States, the series debuted on Nickelodeon on December 6th. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the show premiered on January 30, 2016 on Disney Channel. On November 20, 2015, producer Jeremy Zag announced that a second and third season were in progress. On December 20, 2016, Zag announced that Netflix had acquired the U.S. video-on-demand streaming rights to Miraculous for seasons 1–3, including the English premiere of the Christmas Special, and a planned launch of Season 2 in 2017.
Set in modern-day Paris, the series focuses on teenagers Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste. When evil arises, Marinette transforms into her secret superhero persona Ladybug, while Adrien transforms into his superhero persona Cat Noir, using powerful objects known as the Miraculous. Oblivious to each other's true identities, the two work together to protect Paris from the mysterious villain Hawk Moth, who covets and attempts to steal their powers by using his akuma, butterflies infused with black energy, to transform everyday citizens into supervillains.
Why It Rocks
- Has an interesting and unique premise.
- Speaking of unique, the mix of a Magical Girl and superhero-themed series for a Western show is really great (and unique, as mentioned previously) as no one has ever done this before.
- The SAMG-animated episodes have great CGI animation.
- The animation for the series' spin-offs Tales from Paris and Miraculous Chibi is also pretty good.
- Good and likable characters with unique personalities.
- Extremely catchy theme song.
- Great story.
- The English dub is on point.
- Speaking of which, the voice acting is very good, especially the French dub. The English dub is nothing to scoff at either, featuring a who's who of anime voice actors such as Cristina Valenzuela and Bryce Papenbrook as the leads.
- Hawk Moth is one of the darkest villains in modern Western cartoons. He manipulates the emotions of even some of the youngest Parisians.
- Interesting superhero and supervillain names that are sometimes references to pop culture, like "Guitar Villain", and the supervillains themselves are entertaining and threatening.
- The moments between Marinette and Adrien can be romantic and funny.
- Great chemistry between Ladybug and Cat Noir.
- Season 2 only improved the series, because Ladybug and Cat Noir get some new powers, their relationship starts getting explored further, Nino, Alya, and Chloe become superheroes in some episodes, and we finally discover who Hawk Moth really is and his purpose of trying to take Ladybug and Cat Noir's miraculuses.
- The show's spin-off shorts Miraculous Secrets, Tales from Paris, and Miraculous Chibi are all pretty good.
- Unlike most action shows, the heroes find very intelligent, crafty and strategic ways to defeat the villain other than just fighting, and these strategies may include illusions of something that would tempt the villain, or playing along with the villain's games until the villain is trapped.
- Some of the characters are mean-spirited and unlikable, especially Chloe Bourgeois, although Chloe is trying to redeem herself throughout the series. Lila Rossi took over as the new "mean girl" in the later seasons of the show.
- Whilst the show has an overarching story arc, the episodes are fairly formulaic (barring the season finales) and always follow this formula:
- A random Parisian feels misery due to something occuring to him/her, that Parisian becomes a victim who turns into a supervillain thanks to an akuma Hawk Moth sent, Ladybug and Cat Noir defeat the villain somehow, the victim gets little to no memory of the event, its purified akuma flies away, problem solved. However, this can be justified as other Magical Girl series rely on this trope as well.
- Although the SAMG episodes look great, the animation done by the show's other oversea studios varies:
- DQ Entertainment's episodes tend to vary in quality but most of the time look pretty bad.
- Symbiosis Studio's episodes look ugly and rough with poor rendering and sometimes freezes to hide errors. They were fired by Zagtoon after their only season (Season 3).
- Assemblage (so far, have only animated a Season 3 episode)'s episodes while not as great as SAMG, shows potential in quality.
- While the voice acting is very good for most of the dubs, the Korean dub was not well received.
- Hawk Moth's motivation comes off as very similar to that of Mr. Freeze from Batman: The Animated Series, as both are villains who sacrifice their love in order to resurrect their dead wives.
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir was well received by critics and audiences, who praised the show's animation style, voice acting, characters, humor, and premise. It was reported that the show has inspired teens and adults to create and propagate Miraculous remixes, and many people liked that the show featured multiracial characters as with the film Big Hero 6. The series currently has an 8.2/10 rating on IMDb.
- The series was originally going to be an anime made by Toei Animation along with Thomas Astruc, but it was later scrapped in favor of CGI animation due to complications when animating it in 2D.
- A live-action feature film based on the series and the franchise was in development, with Thomas Astruc and Jeremy Zag involved as writer and producer, respectively. It is set to be released in 2020, with EuropaCorp, Skydance Media, Lionsgate, and Columbia Pictures also involved. However, it got cancelled and got replaced by a musical animated film titled Ladybug & Cat Noir and is set to be released in 2021.
- This is one of the most controversial shows of all time due to its' fairly large teen and college student fandom. Parodies of it even appeared on ads that adverrise topics that are... not suitable to minors. (Yeah, let's not get to that.)