Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir or just simply Miraculous Ladybug, is a computer-animated magical girl superhero children’s television series. The show follows two Parisian teenagers Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, who transform into superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir and protect the city from supervillains. Even though it is mostly a children’s show, Miraculous Ladybug became really popular amongst young adult viewers and the fans started a discussion about what genre of animation Miraculous Ladybug belongs to. In this article, we will analyze if Miraculous Ladybug is an anime.
Miraculous Ladybug is technically an anime. The whole discourse of Miraculous Ladybug as an anime is really complicated. Originally, the show was supposed to be in 2D animation, which did resemble anime a lot because of the cooperation with Japanese animated studio Toei Animation, which helped create the Dragon Ball franchise and Transformers. In the end, the leaders of the project decided to animate the show through CGI, which is the Miraculous Ladybug that we know now. With all that said, Miraculous Ladybug is more of an anime than we think, and here’s why.
We will explain further what we meant with our answer, why we think that way, and what Miraculous Ladybug truly is. If you are interested in a deeper analysis of this topic, definitely stay with us until the end of the article.
Who Created Miraculous Ladybug Show?
Before we dwell on what Miraculous Ladybug truly is, we need to understand the circumstances around the creation of the show. Originally, the concept of the show was created by French writer Thomas Astruc. He was inspired by the lady who wore a t-shirt with the picture of the ladybug during his time working on another successful animated children’s show W.I.T.C.H. After, he decided to create an animated ladybug-themed superhero show. Astruc met Jeremy Zang who, even though he did not have a background in the cartoon industry, wanted to animate the show in the cartoon format.
Since the show took place in Paris, the creators wanted to create a cool superhero character with a European flair. It was decided that the show would be animated in 3D, but in 2012 it was announced that famous Japanese company Toei Animation Company is joining the Miraculous Ladybug project as co-producers. The studio worked on the other project that was set in Paris and got interested in the Miraculous Ladybug project because of it.
Everyone was excited and started creating and releasing the first Miraculous Ladybug art concepts in 2D animations and it was an absolute success. However, concerns over marketability and struggles to draw and animate the Ladybugs costume full of black dots, in the end, prevailed.
The show creators stayed with the same idea of animating the show in 3D but despite that, Japanese colleagues stayed with the project as co-producer. SAMG Animation, a Korean animation company started working on the project in CGI and it stayed like that to this day.
All in all, despite the CGI animation of the show, Miraculous Ladybug is still influenced by Japanese producers – the look of the show resembles the anime a bit, and the colors, camera angles, and even the details of the characters like their transformations into their superhero persona, makes anime a huge part of the Miraculous Ladybug project.
Toei Animation Company also worked on Sailor Moon, a world-renowned anime that follows the story of Sailor Soldiers who are trying to protect the world. Their transformations are one of the most iconic aspects of the show, and Miraculous Ladybug “borrowed” it from the Sailor Moon. Nevertheless, the Miraculous Ladybug show draws a lot of inspiration from Sailor Moon and manga with the help of Japanese company Toei Animation, and that can be noticeable in the show pretty often if one pays attention to it.
Is Miraculous Ladybug an Anime? (Explanation)
This discourse ties closely to the other article that we did a few weeks ago – the argument that Avatar: The Last Airbender is an anime. In that article, we did acknowledge that Avatar took a lot of inspiration from anime, in both animation and worldbuilding but in the end, it was concluded that Avatar: The Last Airbender, with The Legend of Korra, of course, are Western cartoons inspired by Japanese anime, animated by Korean Animation company in cooperation with Nickelodeon.
We also did mention the way animation is labeled today – it is harder and harder to actually determine which genre something belongs to, and that is the case in every media. Drama movies are not only dramas anymore, but they are also thrillers that can be tied into horrors and other genres and that is the reality and era that we live in today.
It is really hard to think of something original and innovative if most of the things were already created and released in the world in the past. Postmodern artistic direction thought us that inspiration from old arts and works, combining them with some arts or pieces of media we usually would not and the ending product that we get is something we never saw before, something new.
Miraculous Ladybug operates like that as well – it is a French show for children, which was originally animated in 2D, anime style of animation and later reverted back to the CGI. Moreover, it was animated by a Japanese company known for creating and animating Japanese anime.
So, what is the Miraculous Ladybug? To me personally, it is an animated TV show that has both cartoon-ish and anime-ish aspects made in 3D animation. Because of that, I cannot say for sure that Miraculous Ladybug is a pure anime. Some will disagree with my opinion and say the opposite, and that is totally okay. If a fan watches the show and says: “The Miraculous Ladybug is an anime!”, they are not wrong at all. If the creators come out tomorrow and post that The Miraculous Ladybug is an anime, that is a legit statement and something that most of the time cannot be deducted.
My reasoning for why I don’t think The Miraculous Ladybug is an anime stems from the fact that the original concept art and animation for the show that was animated fully in 2D by Japanese Animation Company at the beginning, was replaced by CGI or 3D animation.
All in all, that is the beauty of it – The Miraculous Ladybug can be whatever you want it to be, and you would not be wrong at all, being it an anime or not.