Almost nobody knows about this, but I'm a huge fan of Miraculous Ladybug. Since I watched the first episode I got excited to see the next one and so on, seeing how the concept of magical girl has been brought back beautifully, full of color and movement.
One of the things I like the most is the fact that the characters are not left aside: everytime a character close to the main characters is introduced, they at least make another appearance, doing something useful or becoming a temporary villain, and that's amazing, because most of the cartoons nowadays introduce some characters at first, and at some point they're forgotten (Star VS The Forces of Evil, for example). The plots are mostly interesting (even if sometimes the villain is brought by a very stupid situation, forced even), and the main plot is intriguing.
But there's an interesting fact that I can't quite grasp yet, and it's the main characters. Both Marinette and Adrien have a double life as Ladybug and Chat Noir, but I have a small problem with them. I like Marinette and Chat Noir, but I can't get quite yet Ladybug and Adrien, and that's because how they're portrayed.
I remember my days as a teenager, and most of Marinette's situations happened to me: forgetting to do something, doing something wrong and feeling bad for it, learning from my mistakes and so on. Marinette is a good character, well developed, who we see grow up as the series move on. She has a full array of emotions which she displays depending on the situation she's in, and she's not a perfect girl: she gets greedy sometimes, she acts on her own behalf without thinking about others, and hey! That's what we all do sometimes, we are human after all!.
But then comes Ladybug, and all that is thrown out of the window. As Ladybug, Marinette almost never has doubt: she does everything she feels like, and if she fails, she mostly say "ups" and moves on. She tries to use her powers to fix certain things she did as Marinette, and while that could happen if we had powers as well, I see Ladybug as a two dimensional character. Everytime she's on screen and makes a snide remark I can't help but roll my eyes. And then her fandom. Everyone lose their brains for her, while Chat Noir is left in the shadows (which is a great plot device for him, but I'll get to that later).
Problem is, her character is divided into two sides far too different from each other to relate. When she's Marinette you see a real girl trying to cope with teenhood; when she's Ladybug, you don't see her trying to grasp the concept of her powers, she just moves with the flow.
Now, what I think is one of the biggest flaws of the series: Adrien. At least in the first episodes, he's a blank slate. I get he's always the center of attention, and he's a tad shy and wants to hide, but his father wants him to become succesfull and all...but we never see that. We only see him awkwardly laughing and doing whatever people tell him to do. It's only when he's about to transform or when he talks to Plagg (his tiny companion) when his personality comes out. The rest of the time is like he wasn't there.
I guess that's why when I see Chat Noir I don't see Adrien. As Chat Noir, he's confident, but he's still shy in front of some things. He's not a perfect superhero: he screws up sometimes and tries to fix it; he knows when he's done wrong and feels bad for it: as Chat Noir, Adrien learns. And there's the important plot point: since as Adrien he gets all the attention, as Chat Noir you can see him perfectly okay with taking a back seat and watch how Ladybug receives all the fame. He always talks about how awesome she is, and tries to keep the focus on her, and I can see why: he wants to stay hidden and do whatever he pleases. That's a great plot point.
Only at the end of season one Adrien starts doing something when comfronting his father. We see him getting angry and sad, trying to reach his father but failing at it. The moment his father hugged him, but only recognized he had a ring, that moment was a very good one.
I think for the next season, both Adrien and Ladybug need a revision, give Ladybug a bit more humanity, as well to Adrien. i know new characters will be introduced, but these two need more work put into them.
Listening to: In the rain . Miraculous