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Odd's family!

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Odd's family!

Post by lemonsdarling on Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:30 am

I originally posted this whole post up on my tumblr, here, but I figured people might be interested/want to discuss things, here? The forum's set up much better for discussion, anyway! I'm sorry this ended up seriously being like a mini essay.

Ulrich: At holiday time my dad gets more stressed out than ever, which makes my mom hysterical. I think I’d rather stay here.
Odd: Yeah, me too. My sisters drive me nuts. Last year, they locked me in the bathroom all night just because they thought it was funny.
Yumi: They did? But… that’s even worse than my kid brother. I thought they were older than you, Odd.
Odd: They are. And they’re a lot bigger than me, too. That’s my problem.

Odd (later, calling home): Hello, Adele? It’s Odd. Uh-huh. Oh, sorry Pauline. Hey, listen. You think you could ask Elisabeth to tell Marie to say to Louise that she should let Mom and Dad know I missed my flight? (pause) Huh? What do you mean tell them myself? Hello? (hangs up) Okay. Change of plan. Nothing like sibling loyalty!
4.17 Distant Memory

Jeremie: What’s wrong with you, Odd? Is it because of your film?
Odd: Yes. I mean, no. It’s not the first time a film of mine will be screened for an audience of ignoramuses.
Aelita: Well then, what’s wrong?
Odd: (morosely) My parents are in town, and they’re coming to see my film.
Yumi: That’s really nice of them!
Odd: No, it stinks.
Ulrich (sits down next to Odd and clears throat): You didn’t have a fight with them?
Odd: No, just the opposite.
Ulrich: What is it, then?
Odd: A weird relationship problem. (quotes) ‘Teenagers are always having lots of conflicts with their parents.’ A generation gap. Except for one, me. My mother and father are always cool, supportive, understanding. In fact, they’re just perfect.
Ulrich: Bummer. I’ll trade yours for mine anytime.
Odd: If there was only something that we could fight over, so I could finally be a normal adolescent!
Jeremie (sarcastic): What a major drag, I really feel sorry for you, Odd.
Yumi: We can really feel your pain.
Aelita: That’s right, I wouldn’t wanna be in your shoes.
Odd: Hmmm. I knew I couldn’t expect you to understand.
4.26 Bad Connection

Here’s a couple of quote pulls about Odd’s family, due to a conversation I had earlier. I’m actually really fascinated by what he’s said about his family (and the little bit we see of his parents, pre-XANA attack) because there’s a bit of subtext that can be taken as essentially saying that his parents are cheerfully neglectful (I believe it’s been coined ‘permissive parenting’? Like so.) They love their children, and are very enthusiastic about them and their good traits, but they don’t seem to actually take on a realistic parenting role with boundaries and repercussions (ex: Odd’s sisters can lock him in a bathroom all night without any repercussions/it’s possible his parents don’t even notice; at the same time they also handwave and excuse away anything problematic Odd does (like his trouble-making in school)/refuse to acknowledge any of these things — meaning there was probably no kind of structure set up in his life throughout his childhood before he came to a boarding school.)

But because this complete lack of boundaries and rules is not the most commonly identified type of unhealthy family dynamic (while people acknowledge that extremely strict boundaries and expectations/anger dynamics — like Ulrich’s family — more often) I don’t think Odd quite realizes how problematic things are, or has the right words to explain why it bothers him, especially when everyone around him is saying they wish they had “perfect” parents like that. (The fact that he says he wants to ‘finally be a normal adolescent’ — and is this distressed about his parents coming to visit/by the thoughts their visit has brought up for him is kind of a red flag.) Obviously, the Della Robbias can be interpreted other ways as well, and this is just my personal take on it — but I think it makes an interesting contrast (as with Odd’s personality as a whole) to Ulrich’s family dynamics. And, while their families are very different, I think there’s possibly some parallels in their experiences & frustrations that may have added to Ulrich and Odd bonding. (plus, I think their friendship gives Odd the structure he needs — during the ep where his parents come to visit, Ulrich is the one who comes and tells him to pull himself together and stick to his responsibility when he's hiding out from his film showing — and simeltaneously gives Ulrich a chance to have fun without judgement or unattainable expectations. I have thoughts about this as well!)
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Re: Odd's family!

Post by Atlas on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:50 pm

I agree that the dynamics between the two families are pretty interesting, but only that.

I'm not really sure that's what they were going for though since that idea has not really been developed since. Still, it's an interesting thought.

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Re: Odd's family!

Post by .Lexi. on Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:24 pm

What an excellent post. I think the insight you gave into Odd's familial situation really hit the mark-- something I've always enjoyed about Code Lyoko is that, for a kid's show, it often manages to incorporate some pretty "mature" elements and ideas (especially regarding parenting; read:Yumi's home life), albeit subtly. It's never really made clear in Bad Connection why Odd felt such a sense of distress over having his ultra-relaxed parents around, and I think it might take an older viewer's perspective to understand how they're walking a fine line between being supportive and being neglectful. The episode itself seems to position them as the lesser of two evils when compared with rigid authoritarians like Ulrich's dad. It's kind of a shame, actually: most of Odd's concerns are treated with a certain level of callousness by the other characters (another interesting factor in the show is how realistically horrid the Lyoko kids are to one another, but that's a different discussion), and by the end of the episode he's lamenting that he won't ever complain about his parents being too supportive again. Personally, I like your perspective; I think it clarifies the rationale behind his attitude in a number of ways. :]
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Re: Odd's family!

Post by Stella Luce 333 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:18 am

I had never really understood Od’s problem in Bad Connection, but this makes sense. I don’t know anything about parenting, but I can understand how there has to be some limits…

As for him being locked in the bath room, maybe his parents were away for a few days, & if at least one of his sisters was old enough, they might have asked her to baby sit…which didn’t seem to end well for Od…
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Re: Odd's family!

Post by QuinSeparable on Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:41 pm

Definitely an interesting thought behind his family and it's something I kind of just assumed after these episodes. Cheerfully neglectful...didn't have a term for it but I think I'll use that. It's actually quite sad that this family dynamic is often overlooked because it does create problems for the children in the home (what can I say, I'm an early childhood major who was formally a psychology major). Without boundaries and structure, children are often unsure of what's okay for them to do and this can create stress much like the stress Odd was feeling when his parents were coming over to see his film.

And this can and often does lead up to the problem that you might see in Odd when it comes to his lack of enthusiasm\lack of trying in his schoolwork. I don't think any of us would argue that Odd's dumb but rather that he just doesn't try. By the little glimpses we've had into his background it's probably safe to assume that his parents have waved away his antics in the classroom or simply just ignored it (or worse, excused it as just his personality) throughout most (if not all) of his schooling.

Of course, coming from a family with, what, 6 children it's possible that Odd just gets overlooked when it comes to him and his sisters (maybe his parents just didn't KNOW that he had gotten locked in the bathroom?). I mean, it sounds like most of the girls are still home (which makes me wonder why Odd was sent to boarding school in the first place?) and so I assume that his parents have quite the handful with raising them. Perhaps acting like a goofball is a way for Odd to have gotten attention before he came to Kadic (not that I mind the goof-ballness of Odd...it's normally funny but, I'll be honest, once in a while I find it very annoying!)

I never did think about Ulrich and Odd's different (yet similar if you think about it) family structures being a big factor in their bonding. I mean one could argue that being roommates could have caused that but I've had roommates I've never bonded with on the level that Odd and Ulrich have (in fact, NONE of my roommates and I have bonded like that unless we were best friends first). One could also argue that risking their lives could cause that but we don't see that level of bonding in all of the other Lyoko Warriors. I think that you might be on to something with that.

Of course, with as little information as we've gotten on Odd's family this is really mainly a lot of assumption and speculation, but I think we can all agree that Odd's family is indeed odd and perhaps not the best family dynamic for Odd to be in.
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