…!

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THE MIME

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Real Name:
Fred Haprèle
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chris (Understudy)
Item of Transformation:
Daughter’s Picture
Primary Goal: To ruin performance of his show

One of the few villains to have been shown in the anime rendition of the show, and yes at the time there was no indication of Papillon or his penchant for targeting innocent victims so I can call him this, the Mime is hands down amongst the top three deadliest adversaries our titular heroes have ever faced.

Fred Haprèle, father to Mylène Haprèle formerly known as the Horrificator, is a part-time employee of his daughter’s school but his real passion lies in the performing arts, namely the art of pantomiming. By luck and skill, he attained the lead role in a performance set to be premiere in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower as the lead role.

However, Fred happens to have something of a reputation of being a… not quite a procrastinator in the strictest sense of the word but more often than not he has been told, or yelled at, for being late to rehearsals by his manager Sarah who, rather foolishly, informs Fred’s understudy Chris that he’ll replace Fred should the man be late again.

As you all can likely guess, Chris takes the opportunity to trick Fred into going to the wrong place to meet the performance crew, costing him his job and losing his chance to be a part of a major performance. Cue one little akuma later and voila! We have ourselves a Mime unlike any other.

As the Mime, Fred’s powers and skills are extremely flexible. While he no doubt boasts the same level of physical enhancement as most other akumatized victims due, he can actually go a step further by whole leaps and bounds by miming. The chief example of this is when he is tricked into cutting down the Eiffel Tower and proceeds to catch it before it falls on him. The Eiffel Tower that, according to Google, weighs over 7300 TONS.

True, the Mime was showing he was straining to hold it up but he still managed to do it nonetheless. Another, far more concerning, aspect of his power is that he can mime invisible objects that only he can see and utilize effectively.

The only limitation he has is that he can only mime a single thing at a time but even then that’s not much of a weakness considering the versatility of his miming skills. Though not really demonstrated to the extremes as it had in the show itself, the anime version of him showed that he can mime TNT and other explosives without any apparent limit both in number and explosive force.

It is this power, this degree of versatility, that puts the Mime at the top of akumatized victims. His ability to shape any weapon, from swords of indescribable length to freaking grenade launchers, makes him an extremely difficult foe to combat against effectively. Add in the fact that he looks very much like a regular mime he can easily blend himself in without anyone being the wiser of who he is or what he’s capable of.

Once again, I have to seriously question Papillon and his apparent inability to really utilize his akumas to their full potential. I mean seriously, the Mime caught the Eiffel Tower! With literally nothing to show its full weight other than his arms quivering from the strain! Even the Hulk would have broken the ground beneath his feet!

Thankfully, the Mime’s mindset is still that of a loving father and his overall goal was not destruction on an unprecedented level but rather the ruining of the very show he was set to perform in. Heck, though he was tricked into doing it, the Mime didn’t need to catch the Eiffel Tower to protect himself or those standing behind him.

Still… Mimes…

No.

Just. No.

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By the blade of darkness…

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DARKBLADE

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Real Name:
Armand D’Argencourt
Root Cause of Transformation:
Mayor Bourgeois & Nadja Chamack
Item of Transformation:
Fencing Sword
Primary Goal: To Rule All of Paris

One of the few, few people who do NOT have a certain blonde-haired little brat to blame for their being akumatized, Armand D’Argencourt is something of an interesting case amongst the many victims of Papillon. Armand is the Phys. Ed. teacher at the school that both Marinette and Adrien, otherwise known as Miraculous Ladybug and Chat Noir, attend and also serves as a private tutor to Adrien in the art of fencing. Yet, his real aspirations lie in his supposed family’s ancient history by being the “ruler” over Paris, but he’ll settle on being the mayor instead.

Unfortunately, he lost to Mayor Bourgeois who had won by a landslide of 97% of the votes, making Armand’s amongst, if not the actual, lowest in Paris history. … I know that the timing of this review could not be made more worse considering America’s current affairs but I cannot help but think that there was a few, shall we say, greased palms.

Now, I know you all are thinking, a Phys. Ed. teacher being mayor of a city, never mind one such as Paris? That’s… surprisingly not that farfetched believe it or not. In Paris, there are very few laws or stipulations to how one can become mayor. Namely, one has to be at the minimum age of requirement (that being 18), has to be a French national, and there candidacy is selected by the municipal council whom are also the ones responsible for making the final vote for mayorship as well, not the people of the city. What’s even more startling is that the timeframe for each term is no less than six years and the limit of terms is next to nonexistent.

… Now that we’ve had a fair share of French politics trivia, let’s just move back to the topic at hand. Thoug

Having lost by a “severe” landslide Armand took his defeat… without any grace whatsoever and all but encouraged the vile hordes that is the news media to get up in his face at every available opportunity. I say this because that is precisely what happens to him not once but twice with the second time setting him off to such a degree that he became a prime candidate for one of Papillon’s akumas.

Heck, the second time news reporter Nadja Chamack, alongside her nameless cameraman, secretly filmed him during his fencing lessons with Adrien before sneaking up on the man as he was soapboxing about his ancestor’s deeds to his young pupil and interrupting him with personal questions before being chased off by school security for trespassing on school grounds.

It gets even worse when they ambush him again right outside the school doors wherein she tells him, to his face, that he has been labeled as someone who is, quote, “stuck in the Dark Ages like a stubborn rusted old battle axe.”

Wow… Just… Wow…

And people wonder why I don’t like watching the news? True, I’ll give props to those who will stand up for what is right and not what is the “popular” story, like that one reporter whose name unfortunately escapes me due in no small part to the fact that I can’t pronounce it let alone spell it, but for one like Miss Chamack? Man, it is no wonder your child eventually turns into a literal hellion but that’s another story for another time.

Anyway, long, long story short, Armand ends up akumatized and becomes a super-powered enhanced version of his knightly ancestor Darkblade whom, might I add was name as such for his admittedly clever but no less cheap ploy of swordplay involving a “come at me, bro” pose followed by a quick disarm and strike to the chest.

As Darkblade, Armand is garbed in a suit of armor and wields a potently magical blade that allows him to transform anyone within range into his knights, slightly weaker replicas of himself. He does so via a hypnotic beam from the cross guard of his blade that forces people to kneel before him before he “knights” them and transforms them into… well, knights. He is also able to utilize this transformative power on vehicles, turning a pair of cars into functioning catapults.

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Darkblade is also one of the few akumatized victims to actually achieve their end goal by way of placing his family’s crested flag atop city hall and, by extension, becoming ruler over all of Paris. Upon being placed atop the flagpole, Darkblade’s ability to transform citizens into knights goes from direct knighting to instantaneous transformation to everyone in Paris by way of a slowly contracting field of darkness. Whether this process could affect those wielding Miraculous remains to be seen as Papillon appeared unconcerned by the steadily shrinking transformation barrier whereas Chat Noir and Ladybug were absolutely concerned.

Overall, I’d say that Darkblade is among the top of the mid-tier akumatized victim and not specifically a villain even at the height of his power. For all that he wanted to become a ruler, a literal king, of Paris he still acted and behaved much like a knight and that same form of chivalry extended to those he transformed regardless of their inability to act on their own free will. It is because of this transformative ability that I even put Darkblade so high up at all.

Because while the transformation may not affect those wielding a Miraculous, that still leaves… oh, a little over two million people to become Darkblade’s unwitting pawns.

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Use all of your scare tactics…

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HORRIFICATOR

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Real Name:
Mylène Haprèle
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chloé Bourgeois
Item of Transformation:
Crossbones Pin
Primary Goal: Revenge against Chloé Bourgeois/Terrifying People

If at this point you’re starting to wonder whether or not Chloé Bourgeois is one of the major villains of the series then you obviously haven’t been paying too much attention to either the show itself or my reviews. The fact that she alone is directly responsible for… lemme see here… close to nine people being infected by akumas and turned into villains by Papillon makes me wonder how anyone, particularly the cinnamon roll that is Adrien, AKA Chat Noir, defend her from the justified assaults of the various akumatized victims she inadvertently helps create.

In the case of Mylène, it was more or less her own fault for becoming akumatized though Chloé did serve as being the straw that broke the camel’s back. Whilst playing a marvelous role as secondary lead character in a class-made short film, Mylène proved that for all her acting ability she is, quite easily, more of a coward than even the likes of a certain Lion from Oz.

It’d be understandable if the costume for the monster in the short film was something more terrifying than a poorly stitched mask that looks more like a poorly crafted muppet but add in the fact that the monster is played by her own boyfriend?

That’s… kinda sad really.

Humiliated and ashamed, AKA ends up being akumatized into the Horrificator and once again proves the popular theory that Papillon may control his victims through his own willpower, he does not control what they transform into. As the Horrificator, Mylène becomes a more literal version of the monster in the film and is, essentially, a creature of instinct whose sole goal is to terrify her classmates so that she, in turn, can become strong enough to defeat Ladybug and Chat Noir.

That right there is what makes the Horrificator an enemy of dangerous potential. While she does no actual harm to those whom she kidnaps, even going so far as to give her boyfriend an affectionate lick before moving on to chase their peers, the Horrifcator is not above terrifying them by utilizing many a popular horror film trope. For with every person that expresses their fear of her, the Horrificator grows in size and power.

However, as proven by a surprisingly chill Juleka, the Horrificator also displays an incredibly potent weakness to this strength. Namely, should anyone not be afraid of her, she shrinks down in size and if a large enough crowd is gathered that display a severe lack of fear she can shrink down to the size of a housecat.

Aside from this double-edged sword, the Horrificator can also spew out a slime-like residue that is hardy enough to be impossible to penetrate whilst still allow airflow if the fact that her prisoners are not only alive but also conscious is anything to go by. The Horrificator doesn’t appear to have any limit to how much slime she can produce or how much pressure is behind a blast of the stuff. Frankly, it’s a wee bit too gross for me to really strive and found out so let’s just say “enough.”

Despite being a literal monster, the Horrificator stands at the bottom tier of akumatized victims for a multitude of reasons with her exploitable weakness, and strength, being chief among them. Sure, she could easily grow to a kaiju sized stature if she managed to terrify a large enough crowd of people but, likewise, should she meet a crowd that does not stand down in fear, say a troop of police officers or even the military, she’d shrink down to feline size in seconds.

Aside from this though is her inherent good nature shining through even as a monster. Contrary to Alix, who almost gleefully set out to murder her peers, Mylène does not want to hurt anyone and only seeks to frighten people in order to attain more power. In point of fact, she goes so out of her way to make people afraid that when Juleka showed absolutely no fear of her, she became obviously frustrated and sought easier targets.

Just goes to show, that even the most terrifying of monsters can have more humanity in them than most humans.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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DARK CUPID

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French Villainous Name:
Dislocœur (Heart Breaker)
Real Name:
Kim Chiến Lê
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chloé Bourgeois
Item of Transformation:
Valentine’s Brooch
Primary Goal: Revenge against Chloé Bourgeois/Break Everyone’s Hearts

If you all haven’t realized by now there is something of a trend with a majority of Papillon’s targets. Namely that a good chunk of them all have a certain blonde-haired brat to blame for their emotional turmoil that drew Papillon’s eyes, and akuma, to them. In the case of Kim Chiến Lê’, he allowed his heart to sway his better judgment and thus failed to see that the object of his affections would sooner spit in his eye than bestow even a hint of gratitude towards him.

Then again, when one happens to fall in love with Chloé of all people, that’s to be expected.

Seeking to make her his Valentine, Kim had spent all the money he had on a brooch worthy of Chloé’s tastes, which is technically unaffordable to most but give the lad some credit for the attempt, and tried to present it to her as best as he could.

I say this because either he had unwittingly crossed a long series of bad luck inducing items or Fate was blatantly trying to tell him get out of dodge. Seeing how much of a fool he had made of himself trying to present his Valentine’s gift to her, Chloé did the only thing she thought worth doing in that instant.

She took a picture of him in his humiliating position and texted it to everyone in school and more besides.

Frankly, the fact that Kim turned into a literal Dark Cupid was to be expected. With wings to fly through the air like a hawk on the hunt and a bow armed with arrows capable of tearing asunder any affections felt in the heart, Dark Cupid set out to break Chloé’s heart just as she had broken his. Of course, in the process of chasing her down and fending off Chat Noir and Ladybug, Dark Cupid finds himself with a sudden epiphany that no other akumatized victim has had before.

She wasn’t worth it.

Hovering above her with arrow notched, Dark Cupid stared down at Chloé as she ranted selfishly about the state of her clothes, her hair, and her appearance overall before stating that Dark Cupid might as well change her as her day could not possibly get any worse. He tells her, verbatim, “I don’t need to waste this arrow on you. Your heart is so dark and shriveled there’s no room for love.”

Not going to lie, that was a solid win on Dark Cupid’s part.

On the power and mindset scale, Dark Cupid ranks down at the bottom tier. While he has a distinct aerial advantage over his opponents, it pales in comparison to the likes of similarly empowered victims of Papillon like Stormy Weather or even Pharoah. More to the point, literally, Dark Cupid’s arrows do not do any kind of physical damage whatsoever as they exploded into black smoke upon impact. Of course, if a sentient being capable of feeling love is hit by one these arrows, their feelings are twisted into reverse to a varying degree.

While only a few victims of Dark Cupid’s anti-love arrows were shown in his episode, they each displayed varying degrees of animosity towards those whom they felt affections towards. In Alya’s case, she insulted Marinette before trying to destroy a picture that featured the two of them. For Sabrina, she did to Chloé what Chloé had done to Kim before wrecking the poster the two of them had tricked Adrien into signing, and Adrien or rather Chat Noir…

He tried to use Cataclysm on Ladybug.

Let me reiterate that.

Chat Noir tried to destroy Ladybug. His love for her was so strong that when it was turned into hatred, he was willing to actually attempt to use his Power of Destruction upon her.

Overall, Dark Cupid makes for a good Valentine’s Day villain but beyond that is rather forgettable. Sure, he’s dangerous to partners like Ladybug and Chat Noir but even hatred cannot stand strong against the likes of love. Especially not true love’s first kiss.

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Every citizen is innocent until proven guilty…

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ROGERCOP

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Korean Villainous Name:
Robocop
Real Name:
Lt. Roger Raincomprix
Root Cause of Transformation:
Mayor Bourgeois
Item of Transformation:
Police Whistle
Primary Goal: To arrest Mayor Bourgeois

Out of the many akumatized victims, Rogercop is one of the few whom can be sympathized with from beginning to end and is also one of the few whose endgame was actually something that I personally wanted to see fulfilled. As stated above, his root cause of transformation was due in no small part to Mayor Bourgeois though the mayor’s daughter, Chloé, also played a significant role. During a parents’ career day at the school, Chloé lost her new, and like ungodly expensive, bracelet (though it was inadvertently taken by Plagg) and immediately laid the blame on Marinette and demand that Roger, her “best friend” Sabrina’s father, arrest her.

When the man protests, she whines to her father who tells Roger to do as his daughter says or lose his badge. When Roger once more protests that doing so would be against the law, as he cannot arrest someone without evidence of a crime, Mayor Bourgeois follows through on his threat, even calling Roger an incompetent officer in the process, before ordering the man to leave the premises.

One transformation via Papillon’s akuma later and we have Rogercop whose primary goal is to arrest Mayor Bourgeois for attempting to enforce an officer of the law to break said laws. As Rogercop, Roger’s personality becomes almost entirely like that of a machine whose sole purpose is to uphold the law as he perceives it. This means that any crime, no matter how small, is worthy of punishment.

Case in point, he catches a teacher littering he arrests her and orders her to pick up every bit of trash that she sees and dispose of it in the proper manner. He does this via a specialized pair of handcuffs that he can fire from his forearm-mounted laser-guns and sharp blow from his whistle.

Whether because of his implied robotic nature or due to his robotic-like armor, Rogercop is above the average physical prowess found in most akuma, easily holding his own against Ladybug and Chat Noir several times. Honestly, despite the personality change, I’d want to say that it is doubtful that Roger had been turned into a literal machine, or even a cyborg, but given what one particular akumatized victim had become… That’s not that much of a stretch…

As I stated earlier, I was all for Rogercop, or even ordinary Roger, to arrest Mayor Bourgeois and for plenty of good reasons in this episode alone. First and foremost is the fact that the man can, has, and will gladly bend and break any laws that get in the way of his daughter’s happiness.

Whereas before we had presumed that Chloé threatening the principal with her father’s name was something of an exaggeration on her part, and a whole lot of spinelessness on the principal, it turns out that the man’s fears were justified. Not even minutes after dismissing Roger, Mayor Bourgeois is in the principal’s office and threatening to withhold funding to the school if Chloé’s bracelet isn’t found.

A rather distinctive trait amongst akumatized victims is the fact that Roger was not alone in his transformation. As he was sitting in his squad car when the akuma infected him, it too was transformed into a futuristic vehicle capable of flight as seen below.

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Rogercop is also one of the few akumatized victims to achieve his original endgame as he does manage to successfully arrest Mayor Bourgeois and force the man to declare to all of Paris that Rogercop is now mayor.

Whether because of the threat of the two hostages he now has, both the ex-mayor and his daughter, or because a possible, slightly subtle mind alteration to those who wear the badge and uniform, every and all police officers in the city obey Rogercop’s orders to try and arrest Chat Noir and Ladybug.

… While I do not doubt that it was a ruse on the police officers’ part in acting like Rogercop’s word was literal law, I also cannot help but dread the idea that yes, they are all in fact that bloody inept at their jobs and would not consider aiding our titular heroes in same fashion.

Still, despite being one of the few to achieve their goals, though also being one of many to fail Papillon, Rogercop is, at best, a mid-tier both in power and mindset. Though he goes to extreme lengths in doing so, he is, by his very existence, an emotionless, logical enforcer of the law. To a slightly insane degree on the logical part as he does not, nor would he ever, focus on hurting innocent lives. Punish them severely for their crimes, no matter how great or small most certainly but never any more than that.

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You’re perfect and I could never hurt you…!

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EVILLUSTRATOR

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French Villainous Name:
Le Dessinateur
Real Name:
Nathaniel Kurtzberg
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chloé Bourgeois
Item of Transformation:
Tablet Pen
Primary Goal:
Revenge Against Chloé/Have a date with Marinette

Of the akumatized victims of Papillon, the Evillustrator is perhaps one of the select few who are, from beginning to end of being possessed by Papillon’s power, not truly a villain. Of course, his wanting to take revenge on Chloé might come off as villainous to those who have had the great fortune of not having met the arrogant little brat.

Yet despite all of his justifiable rage against her, Nathaniel never allowed his vengeance to go beyond mere pettiness. Considering that she made it a point to embarrass him in front of a classroom of his peers, friends, and budding crush by revealing, and mocking, his illustrations that featured him and Marinette on a few, rather romantic, moments.

What makes Nathaniel a particular akumatized victim of note is that his transformation into Evillustrator was entirely of his own creation, so to speak. Rather, the form that he took and the powers that he had gained were those of his own self-created heroic self. His… hero-sona for lack of a better term and whether because of this form being that of a hero or Nathaniel’s own goodness of heart shining through the akuma’s darkness, he is one of the few to outright standup against Papillon.

He is also one of the few to show the consequences as Papillon makes no qualm of displaying that though the Evillustrator can act as he wishes, it is Papillon himself who holds the strings and can pull on them whenever, and however, he wants.

Also, lest I forget again, the Evillustrator is another example of the Miraculous wielders uncanny ability to identify akumatized victims with the littlest and oftentimes obscurest of details. For the Evillustrator, it was the signature that he placed upon an invitation he gave to Marinette to entice her to accompany him on a birthday date. A signature that, I kid you not, consisted of an exclamation mark in a square.

A signature that Marinette saw once.

There’s lucky, there’s magic, and then there’s Marinette.

Back to the evils of the Evillustrator, the first acts of villainy that he set out to do was to… well, frankly, make Chloé as miserable as he could. From bad hair days to erasing all of her worldly possessions, his reign of terror was curbed only upon being distracted by Marinette and her promise to enjoy an evening of romance with him for his birthday.

His powers are what put him at the top of the middle tier in overall capability but his mindset sticks him down to the bottom tier of actual evil. With pen in hand and tablet on wrist, anything and everything that the Evillustrator draws upon the tablet is made into reality and can even act on its own based on his intent.

Case in point, he created an oversized hairdryer that flew through the air in a relentless pursuit after Chloé. Likewise, the Evillustrator can use his tablet to erase objects within his line of sight, objects that can only be restored by Ladybug’s Miraculous.

The exact limits of the Evillustrator’s illustrations and erasing are never really demonstrated but from what little we do see, it would appear that he is at least limited to creating, and erasing, objects only and the more complex the object is, the more time he needs to illustrate it. The most glaring weakness of his however, and one that earns him the top of the middle tier, is that he cannot utilize his tablet without enough light. If the area he is in is too dark, his powers are useless though anything he has created will still remain.

As I’ve stated above, Nathaniel is not a bad person and even when he was turned into one by Papillon, he showed a remarkable level of self-restraint in concerns to his vengeance on Chloé Bourgeois, which, believe me, is a miracle unto itself. Because if any one of you believes even for a moment that Nathaniel was one of the few to be consumed by the darkness because of a certain blonde-haired witch… You best prepare yourselves to be disappointed again and again.

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The award-winning news story you’ve all been waiting for…!

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LADY WIFI

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Real Name:
Alya Césaire
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chloé Bourgeois
Item of Transformation:
Smartphone
Primary Goal:
To Reveal Ladybug’s Identity to the World

I’ll admit, there had been something of a small suspicion lingering in the back of my mind when it came to akumatized victims of Papillon and it wasn’t until Lady Wifi’s appearance that they were confirmed in full. That suspicion is course the existence, or lack thereof, of a… for lack of a better term, “disguise field.” In the simplest of terms…

It is what prevents most people from recognizing magical heroes despite the fact that said hero wear little to no means of hiding their identities. Case in point, Sailor Moon for example is not only one of the few natural blondes in Japan but one with a very distinctive hairstyle that few, if anyone, actually wears and despite this no one can connect that Usagi “Serena” Tsukino is in fact Sailor Moon.

This is made a bit more obviously later but it plays a crucial plot point in the overall episode as it is the root cause of transformation for Alya, BFF of Marinette, aspiring news journalist, and blogger of the increasingly popular Ladyblog. By pure chance, she happens to notice that Chloé has a yo-yo that looks a lot like Ladybug’s and purposefully breaks into her locker to find it and a matching costume thus leading her to conclude that Chloe and Ladybug are one and the same.

Of course, she’s caught in the act and while the initial punishment was to be detention at the end of the day, both Chloe and her toady, ahem, “best friend” Sabrina use Chloé’s father, mayor of Paris, to push the principal into suspending her for a week.

Severe misuse of educational power aside, Alya… was not entirely innocent here and is made worse upon being transformed into Lady Wifi whom, immediately following a very public but somewhat well deserved dressing down of the school principal, proceeds to Chloé’s home and “unmasks” her as Ladybug seeing as the brat in question was dressed up, and playing make believe, as Ladybug herself.

What makes it particularly telling of the existence of a disguise field is that immediately following this unmasking, Ladybug and Chat Noir arrive on the scene, which causes Lady Wifi to ask, “Who are you?!”

That right there is the biggest piece of evidence yet as despite Chloé and Ladybug being in the same place together, Ladybug’s hair being shorter and far darker than Chloé’s, and even with Chloé right next to her for comparison Lady Wifi didn’t initially believe it.

What makes it all the more obvious of the existence of a disguise field is how much it doesn’t exist for akumatized victims. In point of fact, I’d go so far as to say that it is a polar opposite of the one that protects Ladybug and Chat Noir, making small and less than obvious details stand out like neon signs to the duo both in and out of costume. After all, how else would you explain Ladybug, or Marinette at the time, figuring out Lady Wifi’s identity by the ladybug decoration on her smartphone.

Lady Wifi’s powers make her both extremely powerful and exceedingly weak, putting her in the lower middle class of akumatized victims. With her smartphone in hand, Lady Wifi can whip out various phone icons to differing effects.

The pause icon causes time to freeze upon, or whomever, it is placed upon. The padlock icon can lock doors shut and act as manacles to whatever limb they’re placed on. The fast forward icon can be used as a hover-board though Lady Wifi can utilize cellphones and wifi antennas to teleport, which leads to her glaring weakness.

Without a strong enough wifi signal in her immediate area, Lady Wifi only has access to her typical physical augmentation that most akumatized victims gain and thus can be easily put down by the titular duo. With this obvious, and extremely exploitable, weakness alongside her mindset enhancing her already April O’Neil sense of journalism-versus-safety ratio to the maximum, Lady Wifi is not nor will she ever be, a deadly foe to face.

Especially not when Alya is to become…

Ah, my apologies.

No spoilers.

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Nobody has ever fully deciphered the hieroglyphics…!

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PHAROAH

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Real Name:
Jalil Kubdel
Root Cause of Transformation:
Mr. Kubdel (His Father)
Item of Transformation:
Scarab Amulet
Primary Goal:
To Prove His Theory/To Resurrect His Wife

Now I’ll be fair here and warn the lot of you here and now that this particular villain has earned more than a few bits of soapboxing from me and, for the most part, they are all justifiable. That having been said, let’s get the root cause of Jalil Kubdel’s transformation out of the way.

He’s an idiot.

No. I am not being mean, nor am I trying to simplify his character. He is well and truly an idiot though how much of one depends on whether you subscribe to the original French version or the English one. Either way, as an employee at the Louvre Museum, Jalil’s main passion/specialization is anything and everything to do with Ancient Egypt and is particularly good at translating hieroglyphics.

So good in fact that his common sense goes flying out the window when he translates a scroll that, supposedly, is a means of resurrecting the dead and tries to prove to his father, his boss no less, by trying to grab an ancient scepter and trying to do the spell right then and there.

I… I just… Where do I even start? Alright, let’s go with the plainly obvious almost-crime here. He nearly touched an Ancient Egyptian artifact and, had he succeeded in grabbing it, would have treated it like it was some sort of magical wand. Admittedly, and rather stupidly, said scepter was merely sitting on a display podium with absolutely no other means of stopping anyone from grabbing it but the point still stands! As his father proclaims, at best the two of them would lose their jobs at the museum and at worst… Well, can you say international incident?

To the fantastical side of things… I’ll admit, and I’m sure a great many of you already know or can surmise, I am an avid fan of modern fantasy, ancient myth, and all manners of lore across the ages particularly those focusing on dragons.

Were I in a position to prove their existence to be actual fact instead of myth I would do my absolute best to do so but not without finding out all possible risks because something so utterly earth shattering can very well make such a phrase a reality. In Jalil’s case, I cannot count the number of times I have seen the resurrection of the dead proving to be too high a cost to fulfill.

Admittedly, there may be some hidden motive on the lad’s part, but his reasoning is never stated even when he is ultimately akumatized by Papillon. In point of fact, depending on whether you subscribe to the English or French variation of the show, Jalil’s degree of stupidity is either increased by a significant margin… or Papillon’s degree of power is raised even further.

In the English version, Pharoah, as Papillon so names the transformed Jalil, believes himself to be Tutankhamen and he wants to utilize the papyrus’ spell of resurrection to bring his dead wife, Nefertiti, to life as she had died shortly before he did.

Alright, let me just put this soapbox into place and… Point of order, Tutankhamen’s wife was not Nefertiti, it was Ankhesenamun. Nefertiti was the first wife of his father, Akhenaten. Secondly, Tutankhamen died at the age of eighteen whereas his wife, and half-sister might I add, died at the tender age of twenty-six.

In the French version however, Pharoah actually believes himself to be Akhenaten and is trying to resurrect Nefertiti whom died before him. This is actually true though the exact dates are unfortunately lost to time. This then leads to a rather disturbing possibility that Papillon can, inadvertently, call forth spirits of the departed to empower his victims as Pharoah, either version, recognizes Ladybug as the one whom stopped his first attempt at the spell several millennia ago.

A spell that requires a living sacrifice and exactly one hundred mummies no less, though the mummies themselves seem to act more as channels/servants for the spell, it’s still undeniably creepy.

As Pharaoh, Jalil is able to call upon the gods of Ancient Egypt and (steps back onto soapbox) here is where Jalil proves wholly that he is an incredibly stupid historian of Ancient Egyptian myths.

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By calling upon Thoth, his mask transforms into the face of a baboon and he can create bubbles of altered time, specifically slowed down. Problem is that Thoth, whilst known for having baboon traits on occasion, is more commonly associated with an ibis but, more specifically, is known as the God of Knowledge, Measurements, and Magic. The only, and I do mean only, connection he has to the manipulation of time in any way is the bet he had won with the moon god Khonsu that resulted in an additional five days being added to the calendar.

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Calling upon Sekhmet turns his mask into the visage of a lioness and Pharoah’s already formidable strength increases. This… is somewhat plausible as Sekhmet is a goddess of war and fire, both incredibly powerful forces, but the real nugget comes from her name, which means “the (one who is) powerful.”

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Calling upon Anubis turns his mask into a jackal’s whose gaze shoots forth golden beams of light that instantly turn anyone they hit into a mummy. Anubis is the god of funerary rituals and is one of the chief judges of the dead so it’s not that much of a stretch but for pity’s sake why is it always mummies with anything and everything to do with ancient Egypt? There are more worrying things than a type of undead who, for the most part, can be dealt with by way of fire you know.

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Lastly, by calling for Horus’ wings, Pharoah’s mask becomes that of a falcon and he gains the power of flight. Problem is while Horus is a god of the sky and of kingship, he has never, not once, been depicted with wings save for when he has been depicted fully as a falcon. Still, I’ll give him credit for calling on the god whose dominion includes the entirety of the sky…

Overall, Pharoah is an incredibly dangerous akumatized victim of Papillon and easily resides amongst the top tier. Never mind the possibility that he is either delusional to the point of insanity or is in fact inhabited by the spirit of a long departed ancient king, it is the wide and incredibly diverse abilities that Pharaoh possesses that makes him a deadly force to be reckoned with. After all, we see him only call upon four of the countless gods of Ancient Egypt and believe you me, there are several more whose invocation could very well have done in Ladybug and Chat Noir with ease.

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How much we have in common…

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COPYCAT

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French Villainous Name:
L ‘imposter
Real Name:
Théo Barbot
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chat Noir
Item of Transformation:
Picture of Ladybug
Primary Goal:
To Have Ladybug’s Affections

Through Théo Barbot, we at last get a slight glean to the powers behind the Miraculous users Chat Noir and Ladybug in that he is quite clearly in love with our titular heroine. A titular heroine who is likely half his age though, to be fair to the man of many talents, as his later background roles would attest, he is likely seeing the same illusion that others do of Ladybug and Chat Noir. However, that is an example for a later, more prudent, akumatized victim.

During the events of an unveiling of a statue dedicated to Paris’ heroes, Chat Noir is the only one in attendance and takes quick notice of the sculptor’s obvious affections towards his feminine partner. Feeling foolishly jealous, Chat Noir makes it a point to hint that he and Ladybug are in a romantic relationship, something that Ladybug herself would no doubt have stated otherwise were she there. Unfortunately, she wasn’t and Chat Noir’s words hit straight through Théo’s heart, leading him a ripe and easy target for Papillon’s akuma, turning him into an exact replica of Chat Noir, a… sigh… a literal Copycat.

Copycat is equal parts undeniably weak and incredibly powerful insomuch that, as his name and appearance might imply, he is a picture-perfect duplicate of Chat Noir with all of his powers on the side. This of course leads me to once again question Papillon’s motives considering he literally recreated the flipping Black Cat Miraculous of Destruction.

I mean it was one thing to recreate Chat Noir’s staff and his Miraculous enhanced prowess, which is in turn catlike abilities conformed into a human form (agility, balance, strength, etc.) but Copycat goes a step further in proving that he, like Chat Noir, can access the power of destruction through the aptly named attack, Cataclysm.

However, much like Chat Noir, the use of Cataclysm is not without its own cost. For the real Chat Noir, he would eventually revert back to ordinary Adrien and the same would likely occur to Théo. I say likely because it is never proven outright and it is also highly likely that the use of Cataclysm, and by extension the Power of Destruction, would have ultimately destroyed the akuma possessing Théo.

Yet, despite his clear potential for absolute villainy, Théo’s root cause of transformation is his affection for Ladybug and his ire with Chat Noir. He makes it a point to try and tarnish Chat Noir’s name by stealing the Mona Lisa, which seems to me to be the only painting worth stealing in France given the sheer number of times people keep trying to make off with it. … Back on point though, Théo tries to tarnish Chat Noir’s name in an elaborate scheme to trick Ladybug into thinking he’s the real Chat Noir whilst also capturing Chat and making off with his Miraculous.

Given how easily Ladybug sees through the ploy, and the fact that said ploy was rather tame comparatively, it is because of this that I put Copycat down amongst the bottom tier though he’d be up at the top had he hated Chat Noir a lot more. Being labeled a thief can tarnish one’s name but one that can be easily wiped away but the blackened stain of murder or other horrific crimes… No matter whether one’s innocence is proven without a shadow of a doubt, that is a stigma that will never vanish with time.

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Looks like your out of time…!

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TIMEBREAKER

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French Villainous Name:
Chronogirl
Real Name:
Alix Kubdel
Root Cause of Transformation:
Chloé Bourgeois
Item of Transformation:
Rollerblades
Primary Goal:
To Save Her Family’s Ancestral Watch

Make no mistake, though Alix Kubdel is the shortest person in her class, she has proven to be the deadliest of all akumatized victims, but I’m getting ahead of myself here. Alix’s initial cause of her transformation lies in the accidental destruction of a watch that she received from her father for her birthday.

A watch that, he claims, has been passed down their family for generations but ultimately leaves us with many, many questions. First and foremost, why did he give the watch to Alix in the first place as she is not only his second child but his daughter to boot? True, his relationship with his son is later shown to be a bit… strained, but it just seems rather odd that he would skip over his eldest child in favor of the younger.

Second, and most importantly, what the heck is up with this watch?!

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Do you see that? That, right there, is a holographic image of a woman holding up a clock! In the words of Abridged Cell, where, why, how, I have so many questions! Alix’s dad is so blasé about it too, claiming that their ancestor was “ahead of his time,” which makes me want to rip my hair out in frustration because seriously, what the actual heck?! That’s straight up Doctor Who level of absurdity with time!

… Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… Alix, not wanting to see her watch damaged in her latest competition/race with her (not her boy)friend Kim, passes the watch to Alya to hold onto but the watch ends up playing a game of musical hands before it ultimately winds up in the hands of the worst of the worst, one Chloé Bourgeois who accidentally activates the watch and… rightfully… freaks out dropping it and watching, with the rest of the class, as Alix inadvertently destroys it by rollerblading over it.

Sensing her rage, Papillon sends an akuma to possess Alix’s rollerblades, transforming her into the super villain Timebreaker whose power is to travel back in time but only when she has the necessary amount of energy.

A moment while I step onto the soapbox again… Papillon. Buddy. Listen. I get that your kwami told you that the Miraculous of Ladybug and Chat Noir represent creation and destruction and that, together, they can make you a veritable god to which I respond with the eloquent question… Aren’t you one already!? For pity’s sake, you created a literal time runner. Admittedly, a majority of Papillon’s victims transform based firstly upon their object of transformation, their root cause of emotional turmoil, and lastly whatever means to enact their desire based on said emotional turmoil but seriously…

Stepping down from the soapbox, I had mentioned that Timebreaker needs fuel in order to traverse back in time. That fuel is, quite literally, the life force of other people whom she absorbs by “tagging” them and wiping them completely out of existence and she does so with a gusto to her entire class, even taking advantage of the kindness of the sweetest, most innocent, girl in her class without any regrets.

It is only when she manages to tag Chat Noir, and thus reigns as the only akumatized victim to successfully kill one of our two titular heroes, that she gains enough power to traverse back in time but only by several minutes.

As I stated earlier, Timebreaker is the deadliest of the akumatized victims of Papillon because she, and she alone, has no qualms with killing people and especially those whom are close to her. Within moments of being transformed, she immediately targeted her classmates to fuel her temporal rollerblades in order to go back in time and stop the destruction of her family’s watch, which, I’m pretty sure, would have led to some sort of temporal paradox but that’s neither here nor there.

Make no mistake, while Timebreaker’s rage had been aimed at her friends and classmates, I do not doubt that she would have utilized anyone to power her rollerblades and given the fact that the average human life force was but a small spark compared to that of Miraculous wielders like Chat Noir… I’ve no doubt that the majority of Paris would have found itself with the fading forms of countless people.

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