So we checked a little after midnight, and there it was, and Athena's hand was shaking as she moved the remote to select it because it feels like we've waited so long and it was just so momentous or something. And we were still afraid that it was too good to be true, like maybe we wouldn't get to watch it with French audio. I mean, technically we could just watch the English dub, but we've fallen so in love with the French cast that we just can't bring ourselves to do it, especially not for a first viewing. Especially because we think the cast is one of our favorite things about the show.
And we watched it right away! ...But with the volume down really low, because the walls in our apartment are really thin and we didn't want to bother the neighbors. And we had to try starting it three times. Disney+ said it was because of internet problems; we suspect it was all the people tuning in to watch the Mandalorian season finale. But if it was a bunch of people tuning in for the Miraculous special, that would be awesome!
Anyway. We have now seen it four times, which means we only have to watch it six more times to catch it up to the rest of the series. And oh my goodness, there's just so much in it that I don't know if I can talk about it coherently. I'm going to try, though!
Oh man, where to start? First of all, I admit we were surprised that the story focused on Adrien as much as it did. Ladybug is the main character, and since it's in a fancy new country and kind of a big deal, we figured he'd be in his usual sidekick position. Well, that and the fact that surely we weren't the only ones who heard they were going to New York and immediately thought, "Yeah right, like Gabriel Agreste is going to let his kid leave the country." Our first guess was that maybe there was a Fashion Week or something going on, but I guess we should have had more faith in the writers, because what actually happened makes way more sense than that.
I really liked that they started off with a reference to From the Earth to the Moon, especially because when I thought about it, that book is a book by a French author about America (and oh em gee, it's the most Murican thing ever), and this special is a TV show by French creators about America. ...Well, about stuff that takes place in America. The portrayal of the States was pretty fun, too. I kind of like that, despite all the bad press we've been getting lately, there is still at least a slight image of America as being a cool place. The thing about superheroes everywhere and them not having to keep their identities secret reminded us of "There Are No Cats in America" for some reason. It also made us think of Tiger & Bunny, or more specifically Barnaby Brooks, Jr.
The magic hot dogs were pretty funny. I saw the kids eating them and changing color and stuff, and I was like, "That does not seem safe. I think I would pass." And then it reminded me of the parties I went to as a kid where people were sucking helium, and I was like, "Yeah, that tracks." And then! Nino and Alya's hot dog had a helium effect!
Oh, but Marinette and Adrien with their magic hot dog! It was exactly like Alya had described earlier--they're either the cutest couple or the most embarrassing. But the silhouette of Adrien against the moon when he asked Marinette to dance was one of the most beautiful things. It's interesting to me that she's pretty clearly trying to get away from him, but he reaches out to her anyway. Of course, since he is as clueless as Nino says he is, maybe he thought she was freaking out because she was floating away (which, seriously, could be an extremely dangerous situation), so he reached out to make sure she didn't get stranded in the atmosphere all alone. Aww, when I think of it that way, it makes me love Adrien even more.
And that would be a good segue into talking about Adrien some more, but I'm not entirely sure I can do that coherently. I mean, I loved watching everything with him...wait, no, not everything. When Kagami kissed him and he didn't pull away like in The Battle of the Miraculous...that physically hurt me. Athena and I keep talking about how she's all wrong for him (I mean, we like her, but), because she's too protective and too serious, and he needs someone who can make him laugh and who will let him have his freedom. Oh my goodness, he is sock-Washington! And Marinette is sock-Lafayette, who will help him be free. I love how the individual episodes of this series have these little symbolic representations of the overall story.
By the way, I think telling the story of Washington and Lafayette with sock puppets is a great idea, and I wish I could see the whole movie. And I want to know who all did what to help with production.
Changing the subject abruptly, I have to mention how much I adore Aeon. She is just the cutest thing ever, and I love her to bits. I would definitely watch an Eagle spinoff just for Aeon, but Jess is really great, too. And I really love the Eagle costume and the Sparrow costume. That coat is too cool (I mean that metaphorically of course; leather does not breathe, so I'm sure it would actually be very very warm).
But back to Adrien and Marinette. I must say that I am extremely relieved to see that Marinette is not as over Adrien as the finale to season three led us to believe. And of course I'm glad to see that Chat Noir hasn't given up on Ladybug (even if he's not recoiling from Kagami's kisses). It was so cute when he explained that he looked up the meanings of different roses so he could get one for Ladybug that she would actually accept. Athena said when he said, "I looked it up, " her reaction was, "That's Adrien." 'Cause the thing is, Adrien and Chat Noir are so very different that it's hard to believe they're the same person sometimes. So we always like to see when aspects of Adrien poke out from the Chat Noir exterior (that's why Glaciator is still one of our very favorite episodes--that scene on Marinette's roof! *swoon*). And when you can see a little Chat Noir in Adrien, like in this special when he tells Marinette she has something, like she has a special something that makes her so attractive, but then goes on to say, "...In your hair."
The Astrocat costume! It's so shiny! I love it! We wanted a transformation sequence. We didn't know we wanted it the first time we saw the special, but then we figured it out. We noticed right away that Adrien used a different command for Plagg to transform him, and the music was more epic. It wasn't until our fourth viewing that we realized it was the same command Chat Noir and Ladybug used at the beginning when they changed into Cosmobug and Astrocat, and since he was Astrocat immediately after that... On the other hand, we didn't get a Cosmobug transformation, so I guess it's fair. But it doesn't make us want one any less.
Anyway. On the one hand, it makes me happy to see that Marinette's determination to be friends with Adrien has set her even farther back as far as actually being able to interact with him, because it makes me think that eventually she has to realize that she can't possibly actually get over him, right? We really wanted her to sit with Adrien on the plane, so I was pretty mad at Alya for teasing her, because I figured that was why Marinette freaked out and chose to sit next to Principal Damocles instead. But thinking about it, the results probably would have been the same with or without Alya's teasing, and frankly, I'm about as impatient with Marinette as Alya is. And it's a lot of fun watching Alya and Nino be impatient with their friends together. And all the little things they tried to get Adrien and Marinette to notice each other! Aaahh... Nino and Alya are the best.
I feel like I should mention Luka. He is so sweet to Marinette, and I feel like he really does want what's best for her, and if that means she's with Adrien, he would step down without any arguments. But he's so much the best that I want him to be happy, too...but not with Marinette, because I want her to be with Adrien. But Marinette is the best, too, so I have a hard time thinking he would find someone to replace her...
Although. I will say that I don't think Marinette was quiiiite the best in this special. I do appreciate that Adrien was willing to take responsibility for all of his bad choices, but I also think that maybe he wouldn't have been despondent to the point of letting a supervillain make him Cataclysm a person if Marinette had been able to pause their argument until they'd already beat the bad guy. So when Adrien said, "You were perfect, as always," I was like, "Actually..." But I also know that Marinette is well aware of her flaws, and I can understand why she was so upset, and she's had a hard time not lecturing Chat Noir many many times in the past.
And it's also true that Adrien did make a lot of bad decisions. But they were all understandable. That's what I love about this series--the characters have to make bad decisions sometimes, but it feels organic and not just to move the plot along. Everything always makes sense for the characters. For example, you'd think Adrien would have learned not to let Plagg talk him into doing anything, but he'd also really want to hang out with his friends in New York, and most importantly, he can't say no to his father. And much as I think Ladybug would have appreciated a heads-up about Chat Noir also being out of town so they could work out a solution to the problem, I can see where he wouldn't want to back out after already promising her he'd take care of Paris. He's just a teenager, and even grownups make mistakes like that.
We also felt like it was kind of important for Adrien to go through an experience like this. Marinette made some really bad mistakes in the season three finale and had to learn how to recover from messing up, now Adrien had to learn it, too. But oh man, it must have hurt to have Knight Owl say, "If Ladybug's powers are to fix Chat Noir's mistakes, we don't need them." He'd already done the worst thing he could ever do (Cataclysm a person), as a result of deliberately making a decision he knew was not the most responsible, and Ladybug had already said she can't trust him anymore, which means he'd basically destroyed their partnership... That must have been the worst day ever. Sheesh, at least when Ladybug messed up, she had Luka, Chat Noir, and Master Fu all saying, "Hey, it's okay!" But when Chat Noir messed up, everyone was telling him he was a failure. No wonder he was like, "My mistakes are unforgivable."
I loved how, when Knight Owl was telling them to give up their Miraculouses until they went back to France, and Ladybug said, "We can't let them have our Miraculouses," he followed her instructions, but you could tell he was thinking that Knight Owl was right. It was shocking when he renounced Plagg, but only because we didn't want to believe it, not because it was so abrupt. (We also loved how you could see how relieved he was when Uncanny Valley was healed. We still don't know exactly how badly Cataclysm would hurt a human being. Miraculer used it on Chat Noir, but it seems reasonable that that would have been a weakened version of the power.)
But back to Adrien. Uncanny Valley's pep talk was super cute. We would have liked to see him a little more surprised to hear Ladybug say she couldn't be a superhero without him, and spend a little more time processing that, but knowing Chat Noir and his absolute faith in Ladybug, it makes more sense that he would hear what she said and immediately get his confidence back. (Frankly, I almost think Adrien is too trusting. The way Nino's like, "Oh, man, what happened to my headphones?" and Adrien just goes to check the other room without even questioning it. Like, dude, he never takes those headphones off. How could he possibly have lost them?)
...And I think that covers everything we wanted to say. Oh! Except that I think Miss Bustier will make a great mom, but I really wonder who the father is.
Oh! And the ladies first thing. We noticed that when Ladybug and Chat Noir were following Door Man...oh yeah, Door Man! We saw Dean Gate (these names are straight out of Ace Attorney and I love it) and immediately I was like, "It's the doorman from the hotel!" At least, it looks just like him. Did he move to the States, or is it a doppelganger...? At any rate, I kind of liked that guy, so I'm glad he didn't just vanish.
But anyway, when Ladybug and Chat Noir were following him, there was the one time where Chat Noir was much closer to the door, but he let Ladybug go through first, and we thought, "Aww, that's so gentlemanly of him." I thought of that on a later viewing when we were watching Adrien and Marinette getting stuck behind the automatic doors again. I was wondering why in the world he couldn't just open the door for her, because obviously super athletic Adrien would be much more adept at opening automatic doors than Marinette.
I thought maybe it was the "ladies first" thing, and that might be part of it, but after all, I think it is just that he really likes being with her, and the way she'd been acting, once they're through that door, there's no telling how quickly she'll run away from him. That's the really frustrating thing about Adrien. It seems pretty obvious that he really likes Marinette, so why can't he do something to break the stalemate? ...Because he thinks he likes someone else! It's just like Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. Sigh...
Okay. Now I think that's really all we had to say. For now, anyway. We might come up with more later.
Today I'm thankful for finally getting to watch the Miraculous World: New York, United Heroez special, Disney+ letting us watch in different languages (and most importantly, French), Mom's package arriving safe and sound, now being in possession of about a hundred cookies (courtesy of Mom and her baking phase), and having the day off so we could watch the special four times.