Last week we gave you a sneak peek at Nick’s new animated series Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir (Zag Heroez) and now that I’ve had the chance to watch the first and second episode, I can give you a complete rundown of what I think of the series so far.
Marinette is just your average teenage girl living the dream in an ultra colorful and vibrant Paris. She’s cute, smart, and a pretty awkward but she’s sweet until she activates her Miraculous jewels–with help from her kwami Tikki–by donning them as earrings. The minute they are activated she’s suited up and ready to kick some villainous butt as superheroine Ladybug. When Marinette is Ladybug she’s confident, strong, and commands attention. She’s solely focused on saving the day and with good reason. Her kwami (and Cat Noir’s) runs out of energy which can lead to her superhero cover being compromised.
Marinette has a life that most kids and teens (and even some adult viewers) can relate to or feel nostalgia for. She has a no-nonsense best friend, nice parents, that one girl–aptly named Chloe Bourgeois (shade)–that totally hates her because she’s threatened by her, and all the responsibilities that your average teenager has to attend to on a day-to-day basis. She also has a crush on her classmate Adrien, who is totally clueless about her affections for him and her superhero identity. Marinette also has no clue that Adrien is actually a fellow superhero and sometimes sidekick Cat Noir.
Instead of the countless new cartoons about princesses and all that other jazz, we get a strong superheroine with a male sidekick. That’s something you don’t see very often. For example, in “The Bubbler” she has to come to Cat Noir’s rescue using her strength and a little ingenuity twice. Don’t get me wrong, they work well together and they must if they want to thwart the evil machinations of supervillain Hawk Moth and his devilish akumas. They’re definitely a team, but it’s nice to see a that isn’t about a damsel in distress being geared towards young girls. There’s nothing wrong with being a damsel in distress, but variety is the spice of life, and sometimes young girls want to do the saving.
The animation is beautiful. The colors are light and vibrant with a sunny, dream-like quality, and the influence of anime is evident and heavy throughout from the way the characters interact to their mannerisms. Imagine looking at a highly stylized, CGI anime and you’ve got Miraculous.
I also loved the diversity of the characters. Paris is a very multicultural city and the creators didn’t cut corners, they reflected the diversity of the city in Miraculous. For example, Marinette’s best friend is either multiracial, Middle Eastern or black and Marinette herself is the product of an interracial marriage. Her mother is Asian and her father is Caucasian. That’s more diversity than you’ll see on some of the other high-profile cable channels that are aimed at kids.
If you weren’t sure about the show, let me tell you, I watched the show with the junior geeks who range in age and they love the show so far. Of course, the boys were grossed out by Marinette’s crush on Adrien, but they got over that. They were glued to the screen. So, I think it’s safe to say Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir should be a hit here in the United States.