Miraculous Ladybug: The Latest Teen Obsession?


Photo: The TeCake

Jacqueline Kim, Staff Writer

In hand with its many other strange trends, TikTok has introduced a recent obsession with the children’s TV show, Miraculous Ladybug. Although the show is nowhere near new, Miraculous Ladybug has received its own share of spotlight on the media as teens dissect the show in a new light. The French show, first aired in France in October of 2015 and in the United States in December of 2015, has gained immense popularity, especially from U.S. viewers. Beyond just an increase in U.S. viewers, the show has also gained great attention from adolescent audiences worldwide. 

Viewers cannot get enough of Marinette (Ladybug) and Adrien’s (Cat Noir) adventures. While the premise of the show revolves around their double lives, caught between the average, everyday Parisian teenager and their city-famous superhero personas, the media has been obsessing over the obvious romantic tension between the two main characters. While Marinette is head-over-heels for Adrien, Adrien (or Cat Noir) is madly smitten with Ladybug. But here’s the catch: the two are unaware of the other’s true identities, and their responsibilities to their powers must keep their identities secret. Audiences are caught in the suspense of the romance, anticipating the identity-reveals of the two heroes. While the true, underlying identities of Ladybug and Cat Noir seem painfully obvious, the showmakers keep viewers on edge through teasing episodes that balance their hidden identities on the verge of exposure.

However, the newer, mature audiences have found that there are actually numerous underlying themes interwoven throughout the show that have enhanced its depth. Viewers sympathize with characters in the show that exhibit the struggles of daily life. Adrien Agreste discovers a new unbound freedom that he’d never known before as Cat Noir. Under the pressures of his successful father as well as the pressures of Paris—on behalf of his fame due to his modeling career—Adrien finds himself denied the freedoms of a normal life. While he is composed to fit the standard to which his father and all of Paris have placed him as Adrien Agreste, his alter ego, Cat Noir, enables him to unlock an entirely new asset of liberties that had once evaded his reach. Similarly, Marinette Dupain-Cheng finds herself limited by her own occasional shyness and clumsiness that hinder her ability to speak up for her beliefs and stand firm in her desires. The character differences between Marinette and Ladybug are significant enough to easily confuse the two as completely separate characters, although their obvious (to the audiences) similarities in appearance reminds us that the two are, in fact, the same person. While Marinette’s shyness and stutter (especially around Adrien) may impede her social abilities, Ladybug flaunts an obvious confidence that is absent in Marinette. The same dilemma is seen in Adrien, as he takes on the role of Cat Noir. Audiences are able to appreciate the momentary opportunities of freedom that the two characters enjoy as their counterpart personas, through which they are able to express the greatest versions of themselves.

Teens worldwide have been obsessing over Miraculous Ladybug and all of the hidden meanings and themes scattered throughout the plot. Although seemingly childish and meaningless upon first glance, the show has got the Internet hooked as viewers await for the fourth season’s release this September. The screenwriters and producers of the show have also allegedly adjusted the age-group target and the maturity of the show, acknowledging its recent rise in popularity among teens.