Miraculous Ladybug

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Fandom
Name: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir
Abbreviation(s): Miraculous Ladybug, ML, MLB
Creator: Thomas Astruc
Date(s): September 1, 2015 (South Korean premiere); October 19, 2015 (French premiere); December 6, 2015 (United States premiere)
Medium: Cartoon
Country of Origin: France
External Links:
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Miraculous Ladybug is a 3D animated series created as a collaboration between French, Korean and American animators. It aired initially in French, but was subsequently dubbed in Korean and finally English. The order of episodes vary by country. Miraculous Ladybug is aimed at children but has a substantial older fandom, and it has a strong fan presence on Tumblr with it being the most popular TV show tag for several weeks.[1] At least three seasons are being planned. The second season was planned to premiere in May 2017,[2] and ended up premiering in October of that year.

Canon

Set in Paris, the series follows two superheroes called Ladybug and Chat Noir, whose civilian selves are Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste respectively. This crimefighting duo fights against citizens of Paris, corrupted and given powers (akumatized) by the villain Hawkmoth. Marinette has a crush on Adrien, and Adrien has a crush on Ladybug; however neither realises that their civilian self and superhero self are the same.

Adrien and Marinette are given their superhero personas by two kwami (or miraculous), small mysterious creatures that seem to have been around for hundreds of years. Marinette's kwami is named Tikki and Adrien's is named Plagg.

Fandom

Miraculous Subtitles

Enterprising fans created fansubs when the animated series was first released to increase accessibility to those who did not speak French. When official English dubbed episodes aired, these subbed episodes were taken down.

Shipping

There are few shipping wars in the fandom, with the main ships being part of the "love square" that is central to the show. The "love square" is the complicated set of relationships between the two main characters, Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Ladybug and Adrien Agreste/Chat Noir. The drastically different dynamics between these characters and their superhero personas is a point of fascination to many fans.

Ladynoir (the portmanteau for Ladybug/Chat Noir), in fact, was number thirteen as one of the Top 20 ships "most reblogged" in 2016 on Tumblr[3].

And it is interesting to note that, unlike many other fandoms, the most popular shifts by far in AO3 are M/F ones - as of August 2018: of the ten most popular ships, seven involve Marinette/Ladybug and Adrien/Chat in various combinations (three of which are platonic), two are Alya/Nino and Plagg/Tikki, and only one is not M/F (Juleka/Rose, a F/F ship).

Minor ships that are common:

  • Alya/Nino
  • Marinette/Nathaniel
  • Marinette/Luka
  • Marinette/Alya
  • Adrien/Nino

Minor ships often used as background relationships:

  • Plagg/Tikki
  • Alix/Kim
  • Juleka/Rose
  • Ivan/Mylène
  • Tom/Sabine

Theories

A common fan activity is theorizing about the show. The first season introduced a lot of interesting concepts that weren't built upon in canon, but Thomas Astruc has referenced on his Twitter as key aspects in a longer story arc, such as the origins of the kwami, [4] history of past Ladybugs and Chat Noirs [5], Adrien's mother, [6] and other kwami wielders. [7] Fans enjoy theorizing about these and other undeveloped story details. Astruc and other members of the production team are quite vocal and participatory in the fandom as well, often giving out trivia or minor spoilers on Twitter, which helps fuel the fires of the fandom.

A popular topic of fan debate is the order the episodes occur in. The show airs in three different countries almost simultaneously, but none of the countries air the episodes in the same order (for example, the first episode to air in France was the third episode to air in the United States). As a result, fans work hard to find details in individual episodes that could reveal some continuity. [8] [9]

At the 2016 New York Comic Con the wielders of two kwami (the fox and bumblebee) were revealed. The wielder of the fox kwami would be Alya, while the wielder of the bee kwami would be Chloe. It also revealed new character designs for villians, power earrings for Marinette, the design of the peacock kwami, and the design for someone who would use the peacock kwami.[10] These revelations confirmed popular fan theories (the wielders of the fox and bee kwami in particular) and started new theories about the roles of the new villains or who wields the peacock kwami.

Common Tropes

General

  • Revealed/Known Identities - alternate universes where Marinette and Adrien are about to become or already are aware of each other's secret identities are common.
  • Pastfic - fanworks about Adrien's parents and past Ladybugs and Chat Noirs are popular due to their current lack of elaboration in canon.
  • Futurefic/Aged-up Characters - as the main characters are fairly young, it is popular to age them up, especially if there is a desire to involve darker elements or smut.
  • Kidfic - Marinette and Adrien (sometimes Alya and Nino as well) having children, which are often named as Marinette had wanted in canon (Emma, Hugo, and Louis).
  • Alternate Universe - the most popular ones are Canon Divergence, Soulmates, and No Powers (with variations - sometimes it shows as No Miraculous, sometimes as No Kwamis, often a combination of both).
  • Redemption - for either Hawk Moth or Chloé (sometimes, Gabriel Agreste is included).
  • Character is a Cat - used for Adrien/Chat or Plagg.

Fandom-specific

  • Kwami/Miraculous Swap - where the characters have different miraculous/kwamis than the ones they possess in canon.
  • Hawk Moth is Gabriel Agreste - before the identity of Hawk Moth was revealed, many fans believed him to be or liked casting him as Gabriel Agreste. (There is also the opposite trend - fans writing Gabriel Agreste as explicitly not being Hawk Moth.)
  • Reverse Crush/Reverse Love Square - Marinette having a crush on Chat Noir instead of on Adrien, and/or Adrien having a crush on Marinette instead of on Ladybug.
  • Miraculous Side Effects - a relatively popular concept is Adrien/Chat Noir suffering side effects from having the cat miraculous; in general, fans are partial to purring and cat-like affectionate behavior. This trope is also used, although less usual, for Marinette/Ladybug, whose side effects tend to involve mainly a weakness to cold.
  • New Miraculous Holder - characters who canonically don't have a miraculous (or didn't at the time of producing the fanwork) obtaining one. Fans typically give Alya the fox miraculous, Chloé the bee miraculous, and Nino the turtle miraculous. Sometimes, either Nathaniel, Mrs Agreste, or Nathalie get the butterfly miraculous. The peacock miraculous is usually given to either Nathaniel or Gabriel Agreste.
  • Akumatized Characters - often Adrien/Chat or Marinette/Ladybug. The fandom created an akumatized identity for both of these cases: "Miss Fortune" (sometimes "Lady Fortune", or "Lady Miss Fortune", perhaps to make the pun on the word misfortune more obvious) for Marinette/Ladybug, and "Chat Blanc" for Adrien/Chat.

The Original PV

In 2012 the original promotional video (PV) for Miraculous Ladybug was released. [11] It was very different from the final product, featuring a different art style, different characters, and darker themes. The two main characters were an earlier version of Marinette [12] and a character named Félix [13], who was eventually scrapped in favor of Adrien. For various reasons it was retooled into the current Miraculous Ladybug. [14]

This PV garnered a lot of attention and interest in the concept of Miraculous Ladybug. It is still object of fan interest today, with fans inserting the original main characters into the current canon universe, often as the siblings or predecessors (or both) of Marinette and Adrien. When this is done, the original Marinette is generally given the name Bridgette. [15]

Fanworks

Fanfiction

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Zines

Meta

References

  1. popularity of show
  2. Happy Birthday Miraculous Ladybug! Season 2 Announcement by Jeremy Zag
  3. 2016’s Top Ships
  4. Hey Miraculous Fandom! What if, by whiteflamedkitsune
  5. Day #4: History of Ladybugs and Chat Noirs Past by lennymcdragons
  6. Theory Time! by stray-chat
  7. Peacock and other theories by skaylanphear
  8. Miraculous Ladybug Timeline (COMPLETE) by thewalkingweapon
  9. OKAY NOW I HAVE PROOF THAT EPISODE 16 CAME BEFORE EPISODE 15 by thewritingunicorn
  10. Clearer images from Miraculous Ladybug NYCC Panel by miraculousdaily
  11. Miraculous Ladybug PV
  12. Zagtoon, Toei's Ladybug Animated Trailer Streamed
  13. Tweet by Thomas Astruc confirming Félix's name
  14. INTERVIEW WITH: Miraculous Ladybug executive producer, Jared Wolfson
  15. Bridgette Cheng by miraculousbox