Learning about chemistry between characters… from a kids show!
Whoever she is beneath that mask, I love that girl.
Adrien Agreste, Miraculous Ladybug
I grew up watching cartoons and reading comic books, and I always valued the inner messages and the meaning behind the characters and situations in those stories. Even when we come to kids shows, I believe there’s always something we can learn from them. In this case, as an author, I learned a lot about chemistry between two characters by watching Miraculous Ladybug.
Still not convinced? Stick with me for a little while!
A little backstory
Miraculous Ladybug is a superhero story set in Paris and the main characters are two high school students, Marinette and Adrien, who turn into the heros Ladybug and Cat Noir to fight the villain Hawk Moth.
Despite being a children show, this story is absolutely enjoyable also by adults, and personally I find the romantic comedy elements amazingly well-done.
Let’s dig into the romance
Marinette is in love with her classmate Adrien. Cat Noir is in love with Ladybug. The fact that they don’t know about their true identities makes the whole situation between them interesting and hilarious.
The chemistry is palpable. Since the very beginning, Ladybug and Cat Noir are a great team: they respect each other, they trust the other completely and they naturally always find a way to cooperate to defeat their enemies. Cat Noir isn’t shy about his crush on Ladybug and even though she always rejcts him, they naturally end up flirting a lot.
Behind their masks, Ladybug and Cat Noir are the most honest, truest verisons of Marinette and Adrian: Marinette loses her insecurities and Adrien is free from his role of perfect student and perfect son. While Cat Noir is actually in love with the true personality of Ladybug, Marinette is in love with the everyday “perfect” mask Adrien is forced to wear.
Why is it so special?
It feels like Ladybug and Cat Noir are all the other needs to become a better version of themselves but they don’t realize it, and by watching the show you can’t help hoping they would notice.
In every episode, the characters make little steps toward understanding better themselves and the other. It’s a journey that sucks you in and you end up rooting for them.
Final tip: how to describe a relationship like this?
If I had to put this sort of interactions in my writing, I’d try to show it rather than tell it.
“Show vs tell” is at the basics of writing and it means to rely on your writing skills to connect with the reader’s heart (stimulating emotions) rather than their brain (just describing an action).
I suggest using stares, smirks, inside jokes and fights.
And what do you do to describe the chemistry between two characters?