We'll start with Guiltrip! My main thought on this episode is oh my goodness, Piggella is adorable. Like, not just cute, but like cute squared, or cubed? It's one of those character designs where you can tell they did everything they could to deliberately make it cute, and if they'd gone just a step too far, it would have been more cutesy than actually cute, but they managed to stop just before going over the edge. And, as someone who appreciates cuteness and feels that cutesiness is an insult to actual cuteness, I really like that. I also suspect Precure had a hand in it. We're both 99.9999999% sure we've seen a weapon just like the one Piggella uses in some magical girl series somewhere, but we're not familiar enough with Precure...or anything but Sailor Moon, come to think of it...to know for sure.
Of course they gave Rose pigtails for her superhero persona, and I love it! She almost looks like Cindy Brady. But most importantly, after once being told by a manga editor that we had to change "pigtails" to "ponytails" (we fought back and ultimately won, but that's beside the point), it's nice to see that there are people out there who know what pigtails are. ...But in our editors defense, the pig/ponytails in question were way longer and straighter than the sort of hairstyle one would think may have been inspired by a pig's short, curly tail. Anyway, however broad or narrow the definition of pigtail is, Piggella definitely has them, and that's the best!
I also love that her costume is so sparkly, and that it has a cute little skirt. She's seriously just the cutest.
As for the rest of the episode...Adrien was super cool when he went into the boiler room to talk to Juleka. Juleka...is a character that I like, but I really want her to understand that it's not her fault. When people start blaming themselves for everything, I'm just like, "Please. You're giving yourself way too much credit." But on the other hand, I think she was fully justified in being annoyed at her class's behavior. Sheesh, Rose has had her sickness this whole time and you people never noticed. Like Marinette says at the end (at least in the English subtitle), it's not like she's made of glass. Still, it was pretty funny. It reminded me of Noragami when Yato and Yukine were following Hiyori everywhere and acting like secret service agents.
I don't think I have a whole lot else to say about this episode, except that I think it's super cute when Chat Noir uses Cataclysm on little things, and especially in this case, because he had to take Juleka's hand like she was a princess... Awwwww...
Since we're talking about new superheroes, I'm going to skip ahead to Mega Leech. I think my favorite thing about this episode is that we found out Ms. Bustier's first name, Caline. Athena tells me that, if Duolingo is not leading her astray, calin (with a circumflex on the A) is French for "hug." And considering that Hawk Moth managed to akumatize her by saying they'd wrap the world in one big embrace (or something along those lines; we haven't seen that episode in so long...), I think Caline is a great name for Ms. Bustier.
Anyway. I really like Mylene as a character, because I think it's really important to remind people that real courage isn't the absence of fear--it's being scared and doing stuff anyway. (Which is not to say that I think you should deliberately do everything that scares you. There's, like, safety to consider, and frankly, if you're just doing it for the sake of doing it, I don't see much point.) I thought it was super cute when she pointed out to Ladybug all her badges to help her overcome her fears of things, and her necklace to help her with her fear of badges. On the one hand, I laugh at the hyperbole, but on the other hand, I was that kid.
One thing we do want to say to Mylene is, yeah, we see where you were protesting Project Oxygen for a long time, but if you really want to get people's attention, sometimes you literally have to, like, tap them on the shoulder and address them directly. Standing in a crowded place and shouting can help sometimes, but a lot of people just tune you out. And since she's friends with people in her class, there was nothing stopping her from saying, "Hey, have you heard about Project Oxygen?" in a natural conversation somewhere. Of course, that's no excuse for the rest of us to be oblivious to what's going on, so in this case, it's probably more important to get that message across to the viewers.
Polymouse is really cute, too! Not as adorable as Piggella, though. But that's kind of impossible, so... She actually reminds me of Gus from Disney's Cinderella, but more feminine. I'm not sure if she ever said her name in the episode... We've seen it three times now, and we haven't noticed it yet.
But more importantly! Chat Noir! They almost did the hero pose without him! Was it purely for comedic effect, or is it playing into Chat Noir's story arc for this season? We're inclined to think the latter. We can't remember him using Cataclysm in this episode (doesn't mean he didn't; we do miss details sometimes...), which would mean really his only contribution to the team this time was to buy enough time for Ladybug to go find Mylene. Awww, poor Chat Noir...
And then Gabriel gets mad at Adrien for opposing him, which is totally unfair, because Gabriel lied to him about the project to begin with. I also have a hard time believing Gabriel was sincerely behind the project. I know he's willing to sacrifice all of Paris, and maybe even the world, for his whole "get the Miraculous" plot, but I don't see how Project Oxygen would have helped him with that, and except for the whole "anything to get Emilie back" thing, he seems to be a pretty decent guy. Or maybe I'm just misreading him. Or maybe all the evil plotting is starting to corrupt him. Or maybe Project Oxygen would have been helpful after all...he did start fiddling with his ring after he sent Adrien up to his room, and that seems significant.
I also like that this episode points out the importance of doing all the research, and not just listening to the "advertising", as it were. Find out what all the details are to see if the story really holds up, so that you don't end up accidentally promoting the commodification of oxygen, for example.
Today I'm thankful for having time to snap some Pokemons, having more grape juice, getting to watch more Miraculous today, getting Nayru's flame, and adorable new superheroines.