Normally, people would consider animation not made by a Japanese company, not anime. However, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir is a confusing case. The French CGI animation series was made possible with the help of Toei Animation, a famous animation studio in Japan. Because of Toei’s involvement, is Miraculous Ladybug an anime series?
Miraculous Ladybug isn’t necessarily an anime. It’s true that Toei co-produced the show, but other production companies were involved in its creation and distribution. In addition, Toei’s initial pitch to make the show into an anime-style cartoon was scrapped because it was harder to sell in areas like the States and France.
While it’s true that anime exists outside of Japan, it’s still heavily influenced by the Japanese production company handling the show. In Miraculous Ladybug’s case, the story is influenced by several shoujo magical girl anime series. However, the creator still steered the series to have a bigger appeal to their French and American audience. So let’s figure out why Miraculous Ladybug isn’t an anime.
Why Did People Think Miraculous Ladybug is an Anime?
People mainly considered Miraculous Ladybug an anime due to Japanese animation company Toei Animation’s involvement in the series. Toei also created a trailer for the show using traditional anime-style 2d art. It was done in an attempt to convince the developers to push through with a Japanese animation style.
However, the developer felt it might be challenging to sell the French cartoon with anime-style art. One of the reasons is that the developer felt Ladybug’s costume would be better in CGI due to wanting to highlight the spots. So, the crew all went for the CGI style we see today. The style also had fewer issues on the technical aspect and felt more natural.
Fans can still find the Japanese anime-style trailer around the internet. That trailer would be considered more of an anime due to Toei spearheading that project over other developers and the style and design closer to the Japanese anime we are familiar with. Or, at the very least, if the developers decided to spearhead the project using anime-style graphics, it would be considered anime-inspired.
Is Miraculous Ladybug Anime-Inspired?
Despite the switch in animation style, Miraculous Ladybug is still anime-inspired. You can see a lot of shoujo and magical girl elements involved in the show. The classic romance dynamic between Marinette and Adrien is a recipe for a great shoujo plot. Take a look at the transformation sequences you see in the show; it looks similar to Pretty Cure and Sailor Moon.
Fans shouldn’t forget the magical familiar or animal companion shoujo anime tend to have. All of these elements are present in Miraculous Ladybug. Of course, with Toei involved with the production, it’s also not outside the realm of possibilities that they added those bits in.
Who are the Characters Involved in the Japanese Trailer That Did Not Make the Final Cut in the Show?
Sadly, the Cat Noir in the trailer did not make the cut to the final show. Instead, the character was redesigned to Adrien Agreste. Fans decided to dub the prototype character as Felix. Unlike Adrien, Felix was designed to be more aloof and uninterested. While Adrien did not like Marinette romantically, he was at least kind and caring towards her as a friend. The two act the same as Cat Noir with their obsession with Ladybug.
Felix is the only character that did not pass the final production, but other characters that were involved in the P.V. were simply redesigned, such as Marinette, Mr. Pigeon, and the Mime. However, some of them still underwent revisions, such as their powers and significance in the show.
Meanwhile, characters like Ayla and Chloe, who have essential roles in the final series, never made an appearance in the anime trailer. For fans interested more about the backstory of the trailer created by Toei, there is an art book called the Ladybug Artbook that reveals interesting facts about the characters in the trailer.
Is Felix Graham de Vanity the Same Felix in the Trailer?
Felix Graham de Vanity is a character introduced in Season 3 of the show. He isn’t the same Felix in the trailer, but he was based on that character. Felix was the name of the original Cat Noir in the trailer, but Thomas Astruct stated that the character would not make an appearance and had no intentions to use him.
However, the creators used the name and design of the original Felix to create Adriene’s cousin. The only difference from the base design is the eye color, and the character’s hair is combed in a different direction. Unfortunately, his backstory and other story elements were not retained. In fact, Marinette seems not to be attracted to this Felix at all.
What is Miraculous Ladybug Considered?
According to the Miraculous Wiki, the show is a French CGI Animated series or French CGI cartoon. It still falls under the animation umbrella. The show is mainly targeted at a younger audience, but teens and adults have been following the crime-fighting adventures of Ladybug and Cat Noir religiously. Currently, there are four seasons out, but the show has already confirmed that they will be releasing seven seasons for now.
The animation was so popular that after only ten weeks on air in America, it has already entered the top 10 animation series on various networks all over the world.
Do French Cartoons Have Their Own Name?
There isn’t really a designated name for French cartoons like Japanese cartoons do. Japanese cartoons or animation are generally called anime, but the French seem to simply have their translation for the word but do not market their cartoon as a certain style or name.
Are There Other French Cartoons That Made a Big Hit in the United States?
Currently, Miraculous Ladybug is the most popular French-made cartoon marketed in the U.S., but it isn’t the only cartoon out there that made it big in American waters. Robotboy is a show a lot of adults would remember from their childhood days. 2D animations about powerful girls characters like Totally Spies and W.I.T.C.H. also had French involvement.
French animation is a treasure cove for great shows that anyone who loves toons should try watching a few titles. They even have an anime called Oban Star-Racers, which is actually categorized as a French-Japanese anime series.