Miraculous Ladybug revolves around what fans call “The Love Square“.
To explain the dynamics:
Ladybug/Chat Noir– One sided
Adrien/Marinette– One sided
Marinette/Chat Noir– No attraction
Ladybug/Adrien– Mutually attracted
Today, we’re going to be focusing on Ladrien, the mutually attracted pairing between Ladybug and Adrien. This is by far the least popular of the love square ships because of how “boring” fans find it in comparison to the others. To them, Ladrien doesn’t leave room for either characters to grow and keeps the dynamic stagnant and uninteresting.
I’m going to explain why it’s my favorite ship, why it’s not boring, and why I like the other ships less in comparison.
- Adrien has an idol-type crush on Ladybug and Ladybug has a celebrity crush on Adrien, who’s a super model. Since they already see each other as out of bounds (so as not to make the other one uncomfortable), this allows for a fairly respectful relationship (for starters). Adrien will not aggressively flirt with Ladybug because Ladybug doesn’t know he’s Chat Noir. Ladybug won’t lose control of her bodily functions talking to Adrien because as Ladybug, she is calm and collected.
- They’re both in love with someone who they view as perfect. They automatically assume the best about each other because without realizing it, they’ve gotten to know that specific side of their personas very well. Adrien knows Ladybug is brave and wonderful, because he’s hung out with her as Chat Noir. Ladybug knows Adrien is sweet and considerate because she’s one of his friends in school. Nothing about the “perfect” view is fake.
- I find many fans ignore that Ladybug is just as much Marinette as the other way around. When arguing about why they prefer one side of the love square, they’ll often say Marinette is her “true” personality while Ladybug is just a mask. To me, this isn’t a good assessment. We’ve seen Marinette transform into her Ladybug personality when taking charge in her class and sticking up for her friends. The suit emphasizes the more confident side of her, letting her shyness take a backseat. This means Adrien fell in love with a Marinette who’s more self-assured, not a mere mask hiding her true personality.
- On the flip side, Ladybug is falling in love with the more reserved side of Adrien. For fans who argue this ship is vanilla, look no further than the fact that while Adrien is in love with Marinette/Ladybug, Ladybug is NOT in love with both sides of Adrien. The celebrity worship comes into play here. There is room to grow. If Ladrien started dating, Ladybug would have to learn to love all sides of Adrien, outside of the model. There’s little doubt in my mind that Adrien would find Ladybug’s shyness endearing, while Ladybug would be surprised to learn Adrien can be flirty and assertive. Then it’d be up to here to decide if she still liked Adrien. This ship is not necessarily all rainbows and sunshine. Just as Kagami rejected Adrien’s goofy side, there’s no saying Ladybug wouldn’t be at least a little put-off by his flirtatious tendencies.
- Dynamic aside, there’s a lot of potential for chaos if they ever tried dating as Ladrien. Alya knows Ladybug’s true identity, so there would be a barrage of questions about why Ladybug couldn’t just reveal her identity to him since they’re dating anyway. Luka knows both Ladybug’s and Chat Noir’s identities, so he’d more than likely be a big supporter of their idiocy, maybe assisting them in sneaking out every now and again. Organizing dates would be…interesting…because of Adrien’s restrictions and Ladybug’s sheer presence in Paris. It would not go unnoticed that the city’s superhero was consistently showing up at the same time with Paris’ most famous model. It’s canon that Parisians gossip about the superheroes’ dating lives, so this isn’t far out of scope.
- Plainly, the aesthetics of this ship are astounding. They’re both attractive people, Adrien for obvious reasons, and Ladybug being considered a muse for others.
- Because Adrien isn’t a superhero in Ladrien, if they ever got into trouble, it’d be a reverse damsel-in-distress situation for Adrien. The optics of this are muddled by slight sexism, but I find it far more preferable to Marinette being saved by Chat Noir.
Getting into why I don’t like the other side of the love square as much:
Adrienette– I believe Adrien would like to be friends with Marinette, but Marinette just isn’t ready for that. The extent of her celebrity crush is still too much, even after dating Luka. After this long, she still panics seeing him in public and keeps a schedule of his day-to-day activities. I’ll chalk it up to bad writing, but I find Marinette’s unbridled enthusiasm about Adrien’s business very cringe-inducing. I’d much rather they be friends and grow into a relationship.
Ladynoir– It’s gotten better since season 3, but Chat Noir’s dependence on Ladybug ranges from cute to alarming. His desperation for her to trust him as much as he trusts her puts Ladybug in a tough spot and is putting a strain on their relationship. Their friendship is great and they make a kick-ass team, but the mutual faith isn’t there.
Marichat– Aside from not liking each other, I think fans romanticize a friendship that doesn’t actually exist yet. Most scenarios I see of this ship is that they’ve decided to let go of their crushes and date each other instead, falling in love with the “real” sides of each other. Again, I refuse to give any credence to people who say any side of their personalities are more or less fake. It’s true their relationship in Marichat could potentially allow them to discover their full personalities, but few fans think: maybe Marichat barely has content because Adrien doesn’t feel close enough with Marinette to tell her his secrets. The mask helps, but anonymity does not guarantee friendship. I see Marichat as friends with therapists benefits, which just isn’t fair for either of them.
And for the “Chat Noir calls her ‘princess'” enthusiasts, that was once and based heavily in context.
So in conclusion, Ladrien is the superior ship and you’re entitled to your own preferences. But any Ladrien hate is unnecessary.