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) – Present
Medium: Cartoon
Country of Origin: France
External Links:
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Miraculous Ladybug is a 3D-animated television 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 has a strong fan presence on Tumblr with it being the most popular TV show tag for several weeks.[1]

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 who have been 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 can transform into their superhero personas via two Kwami: small, mysterious, animal-based creatures that seem to have been around for hundreds of years, and their Miraculous, magical jewelry that give their wearers power via a magical girl-style transformation. Marinette's kwami is named Tikki, and Adrien's is named Plagg. Hawkmoth transforms using his own Butterfly Miraculous and Nooroo, his kwami. In season 2, other kwami and superheroes/villains become prominent.

Spoiler Warning: This article or section may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Characters

Fandom

Perhaps due to the younger audience, Miraculous fans tend to congregate on Tumblr and Instagram, with some on Twitter, Pinterest and Discord.

On Instagram, the creators have experimented with multimedia storytelling, creating Instagram accounts for the characters who post their own posts which tie into the stories in the episodes. Many fans follow these profiles and comment on the images.

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. Subbed French episodes and Korean are still shared around as some prefer the feel of the show in French. A discord exists for MiraculousSubs where fans can discuss the subbed works.

Shipping

The most popular ML ships belong to the "love square", which is a term based on love triangle that incorporates all four of Marinette and Adrien's identities (their two civilian selves, and their two superhero selves). Four ship names are used to describe the square:

  • Adrienette (or Adrinette) focuses on the interactions between their civilian selves; Marinette is often flighty and preoccupied with her crush, while Adrien is aloof and tends to unintentionally friendzone Marinette while he focuses on winning Ladybug's heart.
  • Ladynoir focuses on the interactions between their superhero selves. Ladybug and Chat Noir share a great bond of trust, but Ladybug keeps the relationship professional and brushes off Chat Noir's frequent attempts at flirting and winning her heart.
  • Ladrien is the ship between Ladybug and civilian Adrien. Both characters, in this identity, are crushing on each other, which leads to fanworks which play out the flustered and often hilarious interactions they have with each other.
  • Marichat (arguably the most well-known ship) is between Chat Noir and civilian Marinette. In canon, neither character is crushing on each other in this identity; this gives fanworks considerable leeway to depict smooth, jovial, and equally flirtatious interactions between the two in various amounts (especially on Marinette's rooftop balcony, in what is called the "Balcony Scene" in fic).

Shipping in ML fandom is primarily het. The most popular ships in AO3 are M/F ones - as of June 2020: of the ten most popular ships, two involve Marinette/Ladybug and Adrien/Chat in various combinations (romantic and platonic). The rest of the top ten are Alya/Nino, Luka/Marinette, Juleka/Rose (the only slash pairing in the top ten), Marinette & Alya (platonic), Gabriel/Nathalie, Plagg/Tikki, and Marinette/Damian Wayne (a crossover pairing known as "Maribat", which stemmed from dissatisfaction with Marinette's implied canon love interest during Chameleon, a season 3 episode).

After Season 3, Lukanette, featuring Marinette and a new character Luka, as well as Marigami (Marinette/Kagami), have become increasingly popular. The Gabenath ship, featuring Gabriel and Nathalie together, also grew in popularity over this time.

Minor ships that are common:

  • Alya/Nino (DJWifi)
  • Marinette/Luka (Lukanette)
  • Adrien/Kagami (Adrigami)
  • Juleka/Rose (Julerose)
  • Gabriel/Nathalie (GabeNath)

Minor ships often used as background relationships:

  • Plagg/Tikki (Plikki/Cheesecake)
  • Tom/Sabine (Marinette's parents)
  • Ivan/Mylène (Myvan)
  • Marc/Nathaniel (Marcnath)

Other growing ships:

  • Alya/Marinette (Alyanette)
  • Chloe/Kagami (Chlogami)
  • Adrien/Nino (Adrino)
  • Adrien/Luka (Lukadrien)

The nature of heroes and villains with secret identities presents unique opportunities for shipping shenanigans, including selfcest. Adrichat (Adrien/Chat Noir) was the first major selfcest crack ship to come out of the fandom, suggested as a ship of Adrien's own creation in order to protect his identity. The phenomenon inspired other selfcest crackships such as Maribug (Marinette/Ladybug), Gabemoth (Gabriel/Hawkmoth), and Nathyura (Nathalie/Mayura), though Adrichat and Gabemoth remained the most popular.

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, [2] history of past Ladybugs and Chat Noirs [3], Adrien's mother, [4] and other kwami wielders. [5] 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. [6] [7]

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.[8] 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

  • Reveal Fic - alternate universes where Marinette and Adrien discover each other's identities in various ways. These fics frequently explore the wild emotional swings that the characters have when finding out, either settling into a fluffy Developing Relationship or a Hurt/Comfort fic as the two reconcile their mutual crushes and friendzoning.
  • Revealed/Known Identities - alternate universes where Marinette and Adrien already are aware of each other's secret identities are common; the two often share a strong bond that confuses other characters because it seemed to develop from nowhere.
  • 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. Often, fic writers will age them up to 16-18 without changing many plot details, for no other reason than to make romance and smut easier to write.
  • 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).
    • Mundane AU - Alternate universe where Marinette and Adrien's superhero personas either may not exist, or are secret identities for non-hero circumstances. For example, Ladybug and Chat Noir may be stage names for musicians or aliases for criminals. Alternatively, there may be no secret identities at all, in which case the story exclusively explores the Adrinette ship.
  • Redemption - for either Hawk Moth or Chloé (sometimes, Gabriel Agreste is included).
  • Enemies to Friends to Lovers - An alternate universe where Chat Noir works for his father Hawkmoth, fighting against Ladybug instead of with her. This trope frequently involves pining by one or both parties, angst, and a change of heart that leads to Chat betraying Hawkmoth to fight alongside Ladybug; it may or may not include romance depending on the author.

Fandom-specific

  • ML Salt - The fandom's term for content focused on criticism or Character Bashing. Salt became increasingly common with the release of season 2, and is usually motivated by the perceived mistreatment of Marinette. Frequent targets are Lila, Chloe, and less frequently Alya and Adrien.
  • Miraculous - there are many tropes and theories in fandom related to the Miraculous and their powers. These include headcanons and theories about how the powers work, their origins, or swapping Miraculous.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Breakdance AU - invented by starrycove. Some fanart of the miraculous characters as dancers lead to the immense popularity of this particular AU. In many cases, the characters hide their identities and perform at "Club Miraculous" in dance battles against the akumatised characters(where the akuma versions are just their break dance identities). Often the normal identities do ballet at the same studio. [Further reading]
  • True Selves - Some fans like the 'true selves' way of thinking about the main characters, in which Marinette & Chat Noir are the 'real' versions of their personalities and Ladybug & Adrien are the 'fake' versions presented to the public. Other fans dislike this way of thinking, as it may be reductive or overly-simplistic. The trope in itself is entirely neutral, but can spark anything from casual discussion to intense, fiery debate between fans who strongly like and strongly dislike it. The linked meta below is an example of 'true selves'.

The Original PV

In 2012 the original promotional video (PV) for Miraculous Ladybug was released. [9] 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 [10] and a character named Félix [11], who was eventually scrapped in favor of Adrien. For various reasons it was retooled into the current Miraculous Ladybug. [12]

This PV garnered a lot of attention and interest in the concept of Miraculous Ladybug. It is still an object of fan interest, 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. [13] Episodes from season 3, like "Felix", were met with significant interest from PV fans (Felix was the original Chat Noir).

Fanworks

Fanart

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

Fanfiction

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

  • Heartstrings by taylertot, one of marinette’s rare unlucky days turns into something treacherous. thanks to a certain cat, the real danger passes, but there are other things to be more afraid of. her heart, for example, might be one of them. An early and very popular fic.
  • Tendencies Series by KryallaOrchid, Miraculous have side effects. From pats becoming a necessity to eating flowers, follow Adrien and Marinette as they come to terms with their new tendencies, and each other. Hawk Moth is coming. Example of characters taking on animal tendencies, an early and well known series.
  • The Ladybugs and the Bees(Ao3 Link) by BullySquadess, Next up on Miraculous: Ladybug and Chat Noir tackle teenhood! Watch our heroes face the realities of growing up- surviving puberty and akuma alike as together they navigate the unknown pitfalls of love and first-time intimacy. A "sin" fic, featuring abundant smut. As of July 2020, the most kudosed ML fic on Ao3.
  • Throwing Up These Butterflies (series) [1] by MyMayura, A broken miraculous does more than damage its wearer. Gabriel and Nathalie find this out the hard way. When Gabriel realizes that he actually has everything left to lose, what will his decision be? A well known GabeNath fic.

Challenges

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

Zines

Meta

Links & Resources

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

References

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