Miraculous Ladybug is an Empath’s Nightmare! (And other things)

Chloe is best girl, yeah, I said it.

Man is this show hard to watch and not get involved. Especially if you can sympathize with almost every villain, and the main one. Even if they annoy me.

Now that I finished Season 3, I think:

A. What the heck is wrong with you Natalie? Natalie, vous-ete (est?) tres stupide!

(I took French last year, this show keeps reminding me of it.)

B. Why, oh why, are they dragging out this ship, everyone knows it’s endgame by now.

C. They are wasting Yagame as part of a triangle, she’s freaking awesome, she should be a separate character.

D. Chloe is hands down the best character on this show. Sorry, HawkMoth, go suck an egg.

I am not crazy about the finale, I think they did my girl Chloe dirty, she slowly won me over as the most complex, sympathetic character of the main cast. Unlike the villains, she occasionally makes good decisions, and improves herself.

But by far the crowning moment for Queen Bee was being the very first person to successfully throw off an Acuma (the moth mind control thing, if you don’t know.)

The Mary Sue Marinette does dodge an acuma a couple of times, but only Chloe has thrown one off after already being infected.

Until suddenly, she’s too stupid to know HawkMoth is just using her, or too petty to care. This show has a habit of scrapping Chloe-character development whenever it’s plot convenient.

Even if it did make sense, it’s pretty negative to have a character regress so often, and I don’t see how it helps the message of the show.

But as an empath, this show can be one heck of a ride. The fact that negative emotions are the main antagonistic feature is both interesting, and difficult. They keep it PG, but some of the stuff is very adult, even so. Jobs, money, fraud, all that stuff that adults and kids alike have to worry about.

They have this little sociopath Lyla on the show now, and she’s officially the worst character.

But Lyla provides an all too ugly example of the kind of people we’ve all meant, the ones who embrace and nurse their wounded feelings, and choose hatred and spite on purpose, no matter what someone tries to do to make up for it.

Any little thing is enough to offend those people, and if it’s a big thing, you can be sure you’ll never hear the end of it from them.

One can’t help but think while watching about how we are tempted by our own negative feelings to give into them.

The show does not hide that many of the people who get acumatized feel ashamed afterwards, their private feelings were just displayed for all the world to see, and they do not even remember it.

The show even acknowledges that some people would begin to find the city of Paris a too dangerous place to walk around in freely, but the wiser characters remind them that giving into to fear will only make it worse.

The show kind of skips the distraction of politics that usually make it hard to focus on the point of whether living in fear is wise, or necessary, instead it goes right to showing how living in fear is the worst response to a threat because it gives it more power. Intimidation is a key component of any take over, the season 2 finale even shows this brazenly in its plot.

That being the case, we can draw some interesting parallels to many things in our world, where our fear makes the situation worse.

People decry the world for getting too relaxed, lazy, indolent. Shows like MHA, and RWBY, even have the villains taunt heroes with that attitude, but the fact is, fear driven societies are disasters. They are miserable, and there’s a collective wisdom in our desire not to dwell on fear.

How to Cope in a Fear-Driven Society | Psychology TodayIf It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media ...

The idea that we should not dwell on our negative feelings is one that strikes home with me too, as you may remember, I have been dealing with depression.

Happily, it’s gotten much better, I don’t think it was ever full force anyway, but I had to do some soul searching, and I came to the conclusion… soul searching doesn’t work.

There are times and phases in life when you have to look at yourself and ask “what the heck am I doing?” but not when you’re depressed, stressed, or anxious. Introspection is a real pain when you aren’t feeling great about yourself to begin with, and it’s rarely honest.

Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. 3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings cannot be searched. ” (Proverbs 25:2-3) 

C. S. Lewis gave up keeping a diary because he saw no use for focusing on his own thought and feelings so much anymore. As a young teen, having a journal kept me sane, I did not have a lot of people to talk to.

Now, I still don’t have a ton of people to talk to, but I think I understand emotions a little better than when I was 13.

I do still keep a journal, but it’s become less of a comfort, it can be fun to write out good things, but the hyper-focus on what’s wrong no longer helps me process, it’s become rehashing the same thoughts over and over.

I think journaling does work, but perhaps God has not put his hand into that at this time of my life. So, I switched to therapy.

And in my last talk with my therapist, she told me again that my controlling father will probably not change, after decades of getting away with the same behavior.

At one time, I would not have wanted to hear that. While he was around, hoping he’d change was about all that kept me from despairing of my situation, up until last year, I never imagined he could leave. It’s still remarkable that it happened.

I can’t say I enjoyed hearing that it may be hopeless, but I did realize something, a lot of my hope depends on the idea that other people will change, or that I myself will somehow learn a new trick to manage my life.

In therapy, I’m being encouraged to just keep doing what I’ve already done, with few extra tips. Turns out, maybe therapy is  support system for what people already would need to do, but we can get so psyched out if left to ourselves, and not make those decisions. We need someone else to back us up.

See, the approach so far is not that I need to be “fixed” like I thought, but that I need to be encouraged to keep making the right choices, it’s having someone else on your team.

So, if you’ve ever considered therapy, at least Christian therapy, let me say, don’t expect it to be carrying you, but it can give you more resolve and help you feel there’s a way to move forward.

I now don’t think I’d have lost my mind without it, but it is hopefully shortening the amount of years I’ll spend recovering from this, since a huge part of recovery is not walking in the same circles of anxiety.

How does this tie in to the show?

Well… everyone on this show needs therapy. They need to learn ways to make better choices.

Chloe had the right idea, having someone you can trust to care about you is  good first step, you need to have hope.

Chloe hit the wall of having hope in a human being though, they will not always understand, or make wise choices.

Honestly, one of the ironies of the show is that Marinette, the person with a good background, loving parents, loyal friends, can be the most insecure, immature person in the main cast, save for Hawkmoth, ’cause that guy is whacked.

However, I’ve been thinking about that.

See, my dad had a royally flipped up background. Some of it might blow your mind, but some of you might have had similar experiences, I’ve discovered that suffering and evil are not what’s uncommon.

I know people with better parents than mine, too. But I have still been lucky in some ways.

The thing is, the people with good parents, aren’t necessarily the strongest, neither are the people with bad parents, despite what anime seems to think.

Trauma+tragedy is not a recipe for strong, brave character. In many cases, they are the most afraid and abusive of all.

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But, good family also doesn’t make you compassionate. Marinette is a perfect fictional example of how it make you less able to understand what others go through, while Adrian is far more sympathetic to people’s difficulties.

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Miraculous Ladybug is Adrien's Story: Here's Why

I used this analogy the other day, your background is like being dealt a hand of cards (I borrowed this from Stasi Eldredge).

The thing is, in most card games, you don’t win with the hand you start out with. With games like Shanghai, you have to add and replace cards slowly over time to get the right combinations.

A hand of cards at the start of a game of bridge - ABC News ...So, whether it was good hand, a bad hand, or in between, you still can’t win, unless you play the game, and play it well.

The game is life, bro.

What I mean is, you can choose to discard what was negative in your life, to stop listening to that, to exchange it for something better, in a Christian’s case, a new history in God.

How To Play UNOYou can get help, you can change your course. You can build on a good background, if you have one.

Whether you start off bad or good, you choose where it goes from there.

On the show, Chloe has to look at the very bad examples of both her parents, and realize she wants to be a hero, she wants to be kinder.

77.9k Likes, 709 Comments - Chloe Bourgeois ...Thomas Sanders just released a new video talking about almost the same thing, and asking the question “Why should we be good? What’s our motivation.”

I could have saved him 45 minutes of screen time, I have the answer.

Because God made us with that purpose. God requires goodness of us, and God has provided a way to be justified in his sight, because we cannot pull it off.

When you love God, you will want to be good. You will be able to be, more than if you were just trying for some abstract standard. Love is really all that motivates us.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

And for me, I don’t love myself so much I want to be a better person just for that reason, I do want to be happy, but there are times I loathe myself, not because I think it’ right, but because I have issues. I can’t always feel pleased with who I am.

But what I don’t do, is hate on myself when I feel that way. I try to remind myself God has a better vision of who I am.

And for the love of God, I can keep trying, He is the one who’s there for me, and I am so grateful for that. Even on days when I feel down, and feel like it’s not worth it, and I’ll never be free.

That’s just an illusion, a Lie, if you will.

Volpina (2016)Gotta watch for that.

Until next time–Natasha.

If you want to support my other writing, check me out on Kindle and Wattpad 🙂

 

 

 

 

https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj

 

Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj

Why Miraculous Ladybug is actually brilliant (unironically).

Well, when in Quarantine, start binging new shows.

One more episode, please?: Why we can't stop binge-watching on ...

Why We LOVE Binge Watching And What It Does To Your BRAIN - YouTube

I’m always behind the latest fads, either because I don’t really care what everyone is watching, or because I don’t have NetFlix (isn’t that really the same thing?)

So, though I’ve heard about Miraculous Ladybug for quite a while, I never though it was worth checking out, but my sister finally convinced me it was kind of interesting, and we started watching, and it was way better than either of us thought.

The show has a genius concept, it allows for all the plot convinces you could want to keep anything from having consequences, and the only time it breaks the suspension of disbelief is when you can’t understand why no one knows the true identity of the heroes and villains.

I am only on season 2, so I don’t know all of what happens, but I thought I’d talk about what makes the show intriguing for a 21 year old like me to watch.

I am not venturing to say how it will end, so this is just about the hook of it, not where I think they are gong, I can’t really predict it.

But the show’s hook lies in two very interesting and rarely used concepts that render it almost impossible not to find intriguing.

The first is the villains:

MIRACULOUS | 🦋 HAWK MOTH - Transformation 🦋 | Tales of Ladybug ...

Miraculous Ladybug villains are mostly innocent people being controlled by the real villain in the shadow. HawkMoth (weird name I know, get used to it) possesses something called a Quami (or Kwami?) It’s like a genie that can only grant a specific kind of wish, but his allows him to grant people superpowers, but at the price of controlling them through their negative emotions.

The person never remembers what they did afterward, indicating that brain function is hindered by the process, but they are still left with enough willpower to purse their own twisted desires, but they also have to do what HawkMoth wants. It’s kind of weird.

But what makes it genius is the writers neatly escape any need for the audience to feel conflicted about the villains. We both pity them and know that they are doing what is wrong, but their wrong doing does not stop us from rooting for them to get better, because the whole point is they need to be rescued from themselves.

You skip all the debate over if they redeemable or not, because the whole point is that they have to be. Yet the emotions they show are ugly and ones we recognize in ourselves, just blown way out of proportion.

It’s so perfectly simple that it feels like the writers are cheating, but it’s hard to really complain because it would be awful to have so many people really just be evil on purpose. (Kind of MHA’s problem, but MHA solves it by equating super villains to regular criminals int he world, so it’s not that special to run into them).

Also the show gives Ladybug the power to undo any an all damage, from evilized (their word not mine) victims to broken buildings and time rifts, which is also genius, because they get to have death defying, surprisingly well animated fight scenes that can destroy a lot, put a whole city underwater, and break priceless objects, and none of it has lasting consequences because the in universe rule expressly is that Ladybug’s power is to restore it all. The characters themselves even comment on it, and save time worrying about property damage.

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But there remain stakes, because we are never told that people cannot die, one of the main issues of the plot is that someone wants to be able to control life and death, which suggests even Ladybug’s power is limited, in a sense.

This is really just me complimenting the authors on how genius it is to write this way, it’s like getting all the pros and none of the cons. I’m just impressed, because as an author, dodging these bullets often makes me jump through a lot of hoops and make internal logic in my stories, which I try to keep child friendly because those are my favorite books anyway.

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Aside from how the action and opposition is written in general, there is HawkMoth, who is also a rather uniquely written villain, basically Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin, but with more of heart, and a son…yeah…well, later.

The other brilliant but annoying thing is the Shipping.

There’s the most bizarre love square between the main heroes and their secret identities. It’s hard to follow, and messes with your head, but it’s cure enough that you still enjoy it.

Marionette (I hope I spelled that right) and Adrian have some good moments as friends, despite her weird stalker-ish tenancies (at 14, I doubt I would have been that much more mature though) and his insecurities.

As Ladybug and Chat Noir they have a reversed dynamic, but that’s what makes it interesting.

One feels that if they ever blended their two lives together, they would end up realizing they both liked each other the whole time.

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i have to say, and this is of shows in general, that kids shows tend to portray a “crush” as much more like real love.

A crush is obsessive, but it’s rarely as mature as what shows do with it. The kids just want to hang out and talk, and flirt, and kiss, maybe, but when it comes to understanding each other deeply, they haven’t learned that yet, unless maybe they were old friends who developed feelings for each other.

Most 12-14 year old’s idea of depth is talking like a Romance Novel, and fahm, that’s not what real people sound like when they share their feelings.

I’ve had a crush on a guy for almost 4 years now, but we’re also friends, and if he talked to me like that, I’d laugh, I could never take it seriously, nor would I talk like that… I’d laugh at myself.

By contrast, kids shows depict the kids are far more mature than kids their age are, I get why, it’s a better example, but it’s impossible for kids to live up to it, you haven’t had enough experience at 10 to know what it’s like to be mature in your romantic interests (at leas I hope not).

And yes, I’ve never dated, but my idea of what men are like, what relationships re like, had changed a lot over time, and I’m glad it had. I’ll never be fully prepared for marriage, but I’d like to at least not be totally delusional about it. (Is that possible?)

So, I am not criticizing ML for this, because I think it’s the best they can do, showing kids actual crushes does not make for good romance writing. Honestly, adult shows are way worse about relationships.

While kids shows have been somewhat honest, in my experience, that people have issues and that is what causes fights, and you have to forgive them and be more considerate, the average adult show just makes it about sex and flirting and high action scenes, if you’re into that kind. It has very little to do with the real part of relationships that requires learning to get along.

It’s sad when we’r e more honest to kids than to adults, but there it is. I hope the kids learn from it.

That’s also why I believe young adults like me are drawn to the good kids shows, we want to hear more than just sex get talked about, we want to see people really trying to understand each other, because we’re old enough now to see how rare that is, while the target audience often isn’t.

But then, children’s stories have always been the way adults choose to express to each other the things they really want to say, without having to dress it up in adult language and situations that usually only serve to cloud the truth.

Per example:

You can portray someone’s damage from their past and their insecurity by having them drink a lot, or sleep around, in an adult’s show. But then you have to talk also about if alcohol is a bad or acceptable way to deal with, is sleeping around wrong, or is it normal? Ect.

Contrast that to a kids show, which can make the same point, but use something much more obvious, like the kids yelling at each other, or trying about not having friends, or in this case, getting turned evil and taking it out on other people in destructive ways that are literally destructive, and you show it, and skip the debate about whether those ways were acceptable or not, of course they weren’t.

What’s clear in the kids show is that the reason behind it was bad, even if what thy were dong wasn’t bad to being with, it becomes bad when done for that reason.

Like when the artist stops trying to use their heart to praise people, an uses it to hurt them instead.

When giving people ice cream to celebrate love becomes punishing them by freezing them if they aren’t showing enough love.

That’s some in depth stuff that adults can appreciate, but it’s also clear enough for kids to follow.

No debate, the message is made apparent.

That, to me, is the reason kids shows are better. Adult shows often don’t make any real point at all, and you wonder why they bothered writing the story int he first place. Do you ever tell someone something without a reason for it, even if it was only to be funny?

So, that the genius of Miraculous Ladybug, it creates a vehicle for it’s plot that evade a lot of the roadblocks most shows have to deal with.

It’s flaw is often not exploring its own great ideas in depth, even at  a level kids would understand. It’s getting a little better with time, but a lot of creativity goes to waste.

However, the fans can do that part themselves if they wish, maybe I will in a futre post, for now, I just tip my hat to their creativity.

Until next time–Natasha

And if you want to check our some of my other writing, I have stuff on both WattPad and Amazon Kindle under Natasha Queen. I am also working on a longer book in a different genre, so I’ll be updating you on that too.

https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj (cover art by my sister)

Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj