I have trouble writing and characterizing Plagg. Any tips and insight on his role ?
hehehe. I love this character dearly. Mainly because he seems so simple to write, but he’s got just a bit more than meets the eye.
At first glance, we see him the way Adrien does, a mysterious magical being who is really, really, really hungry and seemingly a little silly.
Seems sleepy (though he just woke up from a several hundred year nap, so we can’t judge here)
Seems a bit sarcastic
And hungry. XD As he zooms around the room, deciding what to eat, he seems to be equally carefree, only noting his own needs and agenda. (and I honestly think he’s having fun with Adrien here because of how often the boy has to try to catch him, but I digress. X’D)
(look at how confused this child is. X’D You can’t tell me Plagg wouldn’t find this at least a little funny)
Now Adrien’s just scurried up a wall, aimed, and caught this guy from midair and demanded answers. Plagg’s answer? Look as unimpressed as possible and give short and succinct answers which really only serve him, as Adrien is immediately confused after Plagg’s ‘explanation’. As soon as Adrien asks for clarification, this god of destruction asks for, as you’ve guessed it, something to eat.
So far, we see a self-serving, curious, sarcastic snot of a kwami who does things at his own pace for his own reasons. He’s already teasing Adrien (and barely knows the guy) and pushing him to see what exactly he can do. This is the main characterization of Plagg and it’s what most of us know at first sight. But this is his ‘light’ side, as I’d call it. Plagg’s more three dimensional than that, as shown a few moments later.
Upon thinking that Adrien would tell anyone, Plagg effortlessly escapes from the boy’s grasp (showing he was just too lazy to get out of there when it didn’t suit him) and raises to eye level to set the kid straight. While Plagg doesn’t do anything that he deems an inconvenience of a bother, he is willing to expend the energy on things that need doing.
Also, personal space? What is that? X’D
Here, we see Adrien being dramatic (we love him for it) and Plagg being… well, Plagg. (I honestly love Origins because it shows us so much of who Plagg is as a character. XD) Here, we see him entertaining himself with whatever he can find (in this case the toilet paper) and also subtly pushing Adrien towards a choice. He doesn’t sugar coat things or say “you can do it if you believe in yourself!” He says “Well, you aren’t going to do anyone any good if you just sit there and monologue like a shojou anime girl” (sorry, had to. X’D)
Plagg never goes into the ring willingly. He always finds some reason to not want to do it. Whether it be that he wanted popcorn (Puppeteer), was eating his cheese (I think this was Pharaoh), or wants a nap (Stormy Weather), he generally doesn’t go into the ring happily. Now, we can either see this as a form of comedic relief (and you can totally take it this way), but my headcannon is actually cemented in another episode.
Everyone knows this moment from Jacakdy, right after Adrien has a touching moment with his father, then has to break it due to keeping his secret. Even before then, Plagg stays on Adrien’s shoulder while he reminisces about his missing mother.
Additionally, in the Christmas episode:
He stays there and listens when Adrien really needs someone he can vent to. He’s not in the background, scavenging for cheese as his initial flippant nature might suggest, he’s not entertaining himself with something cute, he’s by Adrien’s side, allowing his kid to express himself in a world that seems to only repress him.
Plagg: still and respectful and, while it seems Adrien isn’t noticing, empathetic. At this point, it’s so painfully obvious that this kwami cares for his charge, and I’d venture to say that he’s cared for every one of his charges.
But Plagg isn’t just ‘silly and cryptic’ and ‘serious and quiet’. We can generalize those as two sides of him, but that’s not all he is.
For example, from Volpina we’ve got Plagg doing things his own way again. We as the audience know that the book is important, and that it’s important to get it from the house, but Adrien doesn’t know that. The thing is that Plagg does. He chooses the book specifically to throw at Adrien and get out of the house over the peacock brooch (I have a theory on that, but I digress). He looks silly, but he’s doing his own thing with his own reasons.
In the Christmas special, we go from Plagg complaining about hunger (which he always does, but this time makes Adrien worry a crud ton) to
Wishing him a merry Christmas. It may be nothing, but I think Plagg was being an overdramatic cat in order to get Adrien the rest of the way out of his anger and depression over the holiday. Adrien feels better afterwards and Plagg kinda hides out after that.
In short, I think Plagg does his own thing at his own pace when it suits him best. His goals seem to be to protect the miraculous and its holder, and his sub goals are to have fun, be a little snot in life, and eat as much good food as he can. He seems to genuinely like his gullible and kindhearted charge and loves to mess with him, but is also a mentor of sorts that guides him in his own way.
Basically, if a stereotypical cat could talk, it would be Plagg.
I hope you enjoyed this and I hope it helped! *^_^*