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29 April 2016 @ 01:00 pm
Shipping Manifesto: Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Adrien Agreste (Miraculous Ladybug)  

Fandom: Miraculous Ladybug
Pairing: Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Adrien Agreste
Manifesto by: mirime_vy
Spoilers: Entirety of Season 1 and speculations on the identity of a certain character


Miraculous Ladybug (also known as Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir) is a cartoon made in French/Korea cooperation. The plot of the show follows two Parisian teenagers who, with a help of magical objects called Miraculous and fairy-like beings called kwami, fight against brainwashed minions of the villain Hawkmoth.

Marinette Dupain-Cheng is a daughter of bakers, who own the best bakery in Paris and are incredibly supportive of her; she's an aspiring fashion designer. She becomes the spotted heroine Ladybug thanks to a set of earrings and a cookie-loving kwami Tikki. Her main weapon is a magical yo-yo and she possesses the power of good luck, which usually manifests itself as a random object that is just specific enough to help her win the fight. She's also the only one capable of purifying Akumas - evil butterflies that latch themselves onto someone's precious possession and turn the said person into the above mentioned brainwashed minion.

Adrien Agreste is an only son of a fashion mogul Gabriel Agreste, with his mom having gone missing some time before the show's start; he's the teenage heartthrob for most of the girls in Paris, due to his job as a model for his father. He becomes Cat (Chat) Noir, his powers tied to a ring thanks to a kwami by the name of Plagg, who loves cheese, the smellier the better. His weapon is an extendable baton and his power is that of destruction. Cataclysm is capable of destroying anything it touches.

Together, the two are an unstoppable team that stalwartly protects Paris from the machinations of Hawkmoth. That is, when they're not busy with school or family life. Or frustrating the heck out of the fans.

The thing is, Cat Noir is in love with Ladybug. He's taken a hit for her a couple of times and he frequently flirts with her even in the heat of battle. They trust each other unconditionally, except for one thing - their secret identities. While Cat is more than willing to let a cat out of the bag, Ladybug finds the idea too dangerous to them, their families and friends. And because Cat loves her, he respects his lady's wishes on the subject.

This lack of knowledge has an amusing side-effect. Cat Noir is in love with Ladybug who continues to rebuff his advances. The reason for that is mainly the fact that Ladybug's civilian alter ego, Marinette, has a massive crush on her classmate Adrien, who seemed to view all the girls in his class as friends because his heart is already spoken for and it belongs to none other than his masked partner in crime-fighting, Ladybug.

Cue love square with only two participants. The good thing is that thanks to the secret identities, there are four relationship dynamics in the main pairing of the show and each one gets its time in the spotlight. Four pairings for the price of one, happy ending practically guaranteed. What a treat for the shippers.

Adrinette (Adrien/Marinette) draws heavily on the fact that Adrien was homeschooled and as such, doesn't navigate the social sphere of the class easily. He's still very kind to his classmates, even though it's pretty obvious he has no clue just why Marinette always becomes a tongue-tied, stuttering mess around him. That doesn't mean he's not taking notice of her and it's easy to see that if not for Ladybug's presence in his life, he would be falling hard and fast for Marinette.

Ladynoir (Ladybug/Cat Noir) embody the essence of a battle couple. They are a dream team, able to communicate with just a glance and trusting each other completely. They fight and banter and flirt their way across the streets and roofs of Paris and it's a delight to watch.

Marichat (Marinette/C[h]at Noir) is the cathartic pairing. Marinette is sometimes shown to struggle with feelings of inferiority in regards to her alter ego. Ladybug is an icon and Marinette fears of not living up to the expectations. Adrien's life is heavily controlled and managed. He has a schedule and image to keep and being Cat Noir is literally the only time he feels free and himself. Marichat is most of all about acceptance, about two kids finding and helping each other see how amazing they both are.

Ladrien (Ladybug/Adrien) had to wait until almost the end of the season to get proper scenes but what scenes it were. The usually calm and collected Ladybug and quiet and contained Adrien are stumbling and blushing around each other. The crush is mutual and it renders them both incredibly awkward. At the same time, it's also incredibly sweet.

Due to the secret identities involved, a large amount of fanfics deal with identity reveals. Anything goes, from identical bruises, handwriting, wrong autographs, time running out on their transformations (after using their special powers, they have 5 minutes before they revert), their kwamis outing them out accidentally, mixed-up phone numbers, wrong nicknames and the list could go on.

A very specific term that gets thrown around the fandom is sin. And it's exactly what it sounds like. The characters in the show are 15, going on 16. Teenagers in love are going to explore and some fics can get very steamy (it can lead to cultural clashes in the fandom, though; some people tend to forget that France has a very different approach towards sex and the laws reflect that - the fandom consensus is to age the characters up to whatever feels more appropriate to the author).

A lot of fics also deal with Adrien's relationship with his father. There is a 99% probability that Gabriel is the Hawkmoth and angst flourishes when the discovery is made. This often ties together with a concept of Akumatized heroes. Chat Blanc is a widely accepted villain version of Cat Noir. Ladybug gets more options, several of them tied into her identity as Marinette.

Lastly, I have to mention Felix. Back in the early concept days, Marinette's partner and love interest was very different. He was more of an aloof bad boy archetype who would want to use Ladybug's powers to help him get rid of being Cat Noir and whose civilian identity was more harsh and uncaring towards Marinette. He would get redeemed through love eventually, but Thomas Astruc, the creator of the show, felt that such a portrayal was too cliché and scraped it, replacing Felix with Adrien. Felix still makes appearances in fanon, usually as a brother or cousin to Adrien.

To sum up: Four pairings for the price of one who can be cute, sad, fluffy, angsty and many things more. A show which, although primarily aimed at kids, captivated a lot of older audience the world over with the friendship, romance, diversity, action and plain old fun.

The following fics are all complete. It's what I would recommend as a starter pack. Be sure to check out other stories by these authors and their bookmarks and favourites as well. This fandom has no dearth of talent and this is just a tip of the iceberg.



Rec #1: One Thing after Another
Author: DemonDogDean
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): G, some canon typical violence

Why This Must Be Read: Because Adrien doing cat things never gets old. Plus the way thee relationship between the two develop is a pleasure to read.


Rec #2: Secret Santa
Author: Thelastpilot
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): T, none

Why This Must Be Read: An absolutely adorable Christmas story about two people getting closer together. Also has a sequel here.


Rec #3: Rainy Days
Author: Thelastpilot
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): T, canon typical violence

Why This Must Be Read: Bad weather becomes a reason for something beautiful happening. Also with a sequel.


Rec #4: History
Author: panda013
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): G, none

Why This Must Be Read: An amusing reveal fic where the main culprit is a phone.


Rec #5: Tendencies series
Author: KryallaOrchid
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): T overall, some suggestive themes, some violence

Why This Must Be Read: One of the best plotted and written fics in the fandom. It expands on the mythology of the show in a very believable way and is filled with powerful moments for many characters. No longer canon-compliant but definitely worth the read.


Rec #6: Telltale
Author: Zizzani
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): T, none

Why This Must Be Read: One of the best reveal fics out there.


Rec #7: Valentines and Denial
Author: amiraculousladybug
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): T, none

Why This Must Be Read: A delightful account of how Adrien came to notice Marinette.


Rec #8: when an empire falls
Author: demistories
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): G, none

Why This Must Be Read: Adrien finds out that Hawkmoth is his father. Marinette becomes his rock. Not very shippy but amazingly written.


Rec #9: Someone like you, someone like me
Author: Inkkerfuffle
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: AO3
Rating/Warning(s): T, none

Why This Must Be Read: Reveal fics, especially partial reveal fics, don't get better than this.


Rec #10: Papa Pain
Author: MythrilMoth
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: FFNet
Rating/Warning(s): T, canon typical violence

Why This Must Be Read: Well written, plotty and a reveal fic. What more could you want?


Rec #11: Kiss and Dash
Author: RicardianScholar Clark-Weasley
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: FFNet
Rating/Warning(s): T, some suggestive themes

Why This Must Be Read: Marinette is dared to kiss Adrien. He retaliates by kissing her as Cat Noir and it snowballs from there. Reveal via kissing.


Rec #12: Her Smile
Author: Krazy ky-Sta Hatter
Pairing: Marinette/Adrien
Link: FFNet
Rating/Warning(s): G, none

Why This Must Be Read: Because Marinette leaving little notes for Adrien is an adorable concept and this fic is just the right amount of fluffy as not to become overwhelming.
 
 
 
super_tricie341super_tricie341 on May 5th, 2016 09:45 pm (UTC)
YESSSSSSSSS. I recently fell in love with this show, but there's so much fic it's OVERWHELMING. I can't wait to read these!
Mirimemirime_vy on May 6th, 2016 12:08 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. I didn't even touch up on WIP fics because there are so many. And some of the well-written and well-received fics have things I don't care for, i.e. I'm not really fond of stories with Akumatized heroes so they're missing here.

Happy reading (some of these fics are novel-length)
blithersblithers on May 8th, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH for this manifesto. I've been knee-deep in the show and reading fic since I read your manifesto, and it's been amazing. What a great ship/quadrangle of ships. :) Thank you for your great manifesto!
Mirimemirime_vy on May 9th, 2016 09:07 am (UTC)
You're welcome. It's always a pleasure to introduce someone to a thing I love, especially when it's something as good as this show and fandom.