This weekend, the creative team behind Miraculous decided to release the show’s two-parted season finale a month ahead of time in both France and South Korea. The sudden change has led to the delay of the twenty-second, twenty-third, and twenty-fourth episodes – not that this fangirl is complaining. “Birth of Ladybug,” also known as “Origins,” is exactly what fans have been clamoring for since Marinette’s debut.
Ladies and gentlemen, we finally get an origin story.
While I mentioned in my last post about Miraculous that the heroes’ lack of background encouraged the audience to sit tight and enjoy the ride, I was thrilled nonetheless to watch the narrative bomb that is “Birth of Ladybug.”
I’ll say this right off the bat: I’ve officially been converted from a Lady Noir girl to an Adrinette fan. I was often charmed by Ladybug and Cat Noir’s fun and flirty dynamic. They entrusted each other with everything but their identities – as is expected of those in the line of duty. However, the writers have done well to refocus the latter half of the season on the budding relationship between the pair’s unmasked counterparts. The result? Adorable.
“Birth of Ladybug” opens with the legend of the Miraculous – revealed to be powerful gemstones that have kept the world at peace for centuries. The relics may appear to be mere trinkets, but boast immense power when put in the proper hands. Those possessing the power of creation (Ladybug) and destruction (Cat) are considered the strongest; they must also work together if they are to complete their goals. In other words, our heroes are to serve as the physical manifestations of Yin and Yang, of balance. Once again, Miraculous manages to incorporate Chinese culture into its unique superhero story without being offensive.
We are then introduced to a shrouded figure demanding that his moth kwami, Nooroo, grant him powers. Unable to refuse, Nooroo transforms the man into the delightfully evil Hawkmoth we all know and love. Sensing a “disturbance in the force,” a turtle kwami named Wayzz alerts Master Fu – the ancient Keeper of the Miraculouses – that Nuru has been captured. Master Fu sets out in the hopes of finding the next Ladybug and Cat Noir.
Enter Marinette, a clumsy girl down on her luck. On her way to school, she even loses the macaroons her father baked after saving the life of Master Fu. This moment was perfect in showing us how much more awkward and introverted Marinette was prior to episode one. The shift really is remarkable. A similar situation happens with Adrien who, against his father’s wishes, is determined to go to school with other teens. Even during this moment of conflict, Adrien takes the time to help a fallen Master Fu. Naturally, the fans know how these encounters with the Keeper are going to end.
Among the many goodies the fans received in the season finale, we get the meeting of Marinette and Alya as well as the akumatization of their classmate Ivan. In order to combat the new villain, Marinette and Adrien are transformed into superheroes by their kwamis. Needless to say, their reactions are hilarious. Adrien jumps into the role as the confident supermodel he is while Marinette absolutely loses it. Eventually, the pair meet up, work rather well together, and “succeed” in their first mission.
In the likeness of Sailor Moon, it turns out that Ladybug’s failure to capture the akuma gives it the opportunity to spread more evil. Having lost face, Marinette gives up her Miraculous and decides to focus on school. The fateful day in which she and Adrien meet is less than ideal, a misunderstanding leaving them on rocky terms. Considering how crazy Marinette is about him up to the season finale, this meeting definitely felt off.
However, as expected, the dynamic duo take on their personas once more and save the day. Interestingly enough, two of the classmates Ladybug and Cat Noir save are later realized as a romantic couple. I hardly think this parallel is a coincidence. Furthermore, the second part of the episode ends as you’d expect – with Hawkmoth angst, the beginning of Alya’s “Ladyblog,” and a more confident Marinette. However, I was not at all prepared for the last two minutes of “Birth of Ladybug.”
I felt like I was watching a different show altogether.
In fact, I felt like I was watching Disney’s “Paperman” short. Adrien’s vulnerability coupled with the soft lull of piano music made my heart melt. To see he and Marinette’s rocky relationship give way to such a sweet moment was the clincher for me. It is only through their shared screentime that Adrien/Cat Noir ever seems happy. Similarly, Marinette/Ladybug only reaches her true potential by placing trust in new friends and family alike. With the season finale, we get to see Adrien and Marinette at their most human. Also, keeping in mind what we’ve learned of the Ladybug and Cat Miraculouses, I believe that Adrienette has become much bigger than itself: their relationship is part of a legacy of crime-fighting partners, friends, and even lovers.
Miraculous’ finale gave us all the lore and shipping material we could have ever wanted. Master Fu even has a line where he says that Marinette and Adrien “are made for each other.” Putting my reinvigorated love for Adrinette aside, to end the show with a beginning did leave me a bit unsatisfied. Unless the “missing” three episodes break the normal mold of the series, I think it’s safe to say that season one will end without Marinette and Adrien learning the other’s identity. But no need to fret, Miraculous fans, for creator Thomas Astruc has confirmed a second AND third season.
After all, three Miraculouses still lay unclaimed – and Marinette and Adrien’s superhero love story is far from over.