After a successful five-year run, Zag Entertainment's Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir is being adapted into a manga, which could mean great things for this anime-inspired series. Miraculous, a CG superhero-themed animated series, was originally proposed as an anime targeted for a teen/young adult audience but was instead given a more youthful animated adaptation. Turning it into a manga, in some ways, returns the franchise to its Japanese roots.
Miraculous was initially pitched as a 2D series by co-developers Toei Animation. An anime style-reel titled "Ladybug PV" (which was leaked from Zagtoon's YouTube page in 2012) was made in an effort to pitch an anime art style for the show. However, it was ultimately decided that the production would go for a CG art style instead. Miraculous was first introduced in South Korea in the Fall of 2015 and made its way to the United States by December of that year. It made its U.S debut on the Nickelodeon network and was acquired by Netflix in 2016, approximately one year after being removed from the Nickelodeon lineup. Now, with the show on its fifth season, the 3D animated series has an opportunity to reach a whole new audience in a whole new medium.
On July 3, 2016, during a Miraculous Panel at L.A's Anime Expo, it was officially confirmed that the series would receive a manga adaptation -- and fans have been waiting anxiously ever since. The news was finally followed-up at Tokyo's Comic-Con late last year, revealing that Miraculous would launch its first-ever issue in the March installment of the Monthly Shonen Sirius, a Japanese shonen manga magazine.
Jeremy Zag, the CEO of The Zag company, also teased fans with an image taken from a page of the up and coming manga on his Instagram story, as well as an image in full color later on on the social media platform.
With its CG art-style and non-violent action sequences, Miraculous may not translate to more mature audiences or anime and manga traditionalists. However, with its peppy tone and elaborate transformation sequences, the series would do well in the magical girl genre, a subcategory of Japanese fantasy that features girls equipped with magical powers: Miraculous follows the adventures of Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, two teens in France's capital who, after equipping their majestic accessories, become Ladybug & Cat Noir. It doesn't get more 'magical girl' than that.
Also, considering that Monthly Shonen Sirius is geared toward an audience ranging from 16 to 21 years of age, this gives Zag Entertainment an opportunity to catch the attention of an older fanbase who may not have had an opportunity (or desire) to watch the show on Netflix or Disney+. The jump to manga may also transition the current fanbase into a medium they might not have had a reason to explore yet, and vice versa.
With a manga spinoff now in production, this could inspire a successful anime adaptation in the future, as many of its neighbors in the magazine already have -- including Cells at Work! and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. This could provide yet another chance to further expand the Miraculous fanbase using the style originally intended for it. Whether you view the Miraculous manga as a simple franchise expansion or an enhancement of its Japanese influences, it can only mean great things for the franchise.