An Odd Appreciation (Why Odd is my favorite character and my analysis of Oddlita)
Warning: Brace yourself.
I hate that the writers played up Odd’s stupidity as the series progressed because I eventually couldn’t see past the annoying meathead that he’d become by the end. By the time the finale rolled around, I had completely forgotten why I’d even liked Odd, even considered him my favorite character in the show, in the first place. Alas, after rewatching the series for the millionth time, I was finally able to see bits and pieces of the character I had once loved, from the beginning to the end, and I fell in love with him all over again.
It wasn’t the fun, carefree, creative, artistic, sarcastic, comedic personality that drew me to this character. No, what did me in was seeing how caring and supportive a person he could be despite the
exaggerated attempts made by the writers to portray him as a insensitive, selfish jerk.
Do you remember how Odd had tried to comfort Milly in “Teddygodzilla” when she was upset over losing her teddy bear?
Or how he had encouraged Milly and Tamiya to stay positive when they were trapped inside their collapsing dormitory in “D'un cheveu”?
How could someone not flip for a boy who was so darn nice?
The relationship Odd had with Milly in season one brought out his protective, mature side, which was a nice contrast to the reckless, immature side he showed with his friends. I think it’s a real shame that the writers dropped this older brother/younger sister dynamic between Odd and Milly in the following seasons but abandoning this budding relationship allowed them to focus on Odd’s relationships with other characters in the show.
Of all the relationships Odd had, none grew stronger than the one he had with Aelita.
To be honest, I was never really sure what direction the writers were taking with Odd and Aelita’s relationship. Undoubtedly, they were great friends, but there were times when I’d scratch my head, confused, and wonder if there were romantic undertones to their relationship.
The first indication of any romantic interest from either party was introduced in “Saint Valentin”. As you may recall, Aelita assumed that a necklace that had been dropped off outside of her dorm room door was Jeremie’s Valentine’s Day gift to her. You may also recall, the necklace wasn’t actually from Jeremie, but he pretended it was from so as not to disappoint Aelita, who at that point had feelings for the blonde genius.
But Jeremie knew he didn’t give her the necklace and thus suspected he had a rival for Aelita’s affections.
Jeremie quickly suspected either Ulrich or Odd to be Aelita’s mystery valentine, which caused some friction between him and the other two boys. He questioned Ulrich first, but Ulrich quickly brushed off the accusations, leading Jeremie to suspect Odd.
Jeremie: Odd! Le collier… c’est pas toi quand même ?
Odd: Je te rappelle qu’Aélita est censée être ma cousine…
Jeremie: Oui… sauf qu’en vrai, c’est PAS ta cousine!
Odd: Et même si c’était moi…? Aélita n’est pas ta propriété que je sache…
Jeremie: AH… TU VOIS, T’AVOUES!
Odd: J’avoue rien du tout…
Jeremie: TU VIENS DE DIRE QUE C’ÉTAIT TOI!
Odd: TU DELIRES ? T’ES COMME JEANNE D’ARC, T’ENTENDS DES VOIX!
Jeremie: Odd! The necklace… it wasn’t you, was it?
Odd: I’ll remind you that Aelita is supposed to be my cousin…
Jeremie: Yes, except that is not true, she isn’t your cousin!
Odd: And if it was me? Aelita isn’t your property, as far as I know…
Jeremie: AH… YOU SEE, YOU ADMIT IT!
Odd: I admit nothing…
Jeremie: YOU JUST ADMITTED IT THAT WAS YOU!
Odd: ARE YOU CRAZY? YOU’RE LIKE JOAN OF ARC, HEARING VOICES!
Unlike Ulrich, Odd did not to flat out deny that he’d given Aelita the necklace, which only further proved Jeremie’s suspicions. An argument between the two boys ensued and escalated to the point where they were screaming at each other in the middle of class. Their teacher was none too pleased with the disruption they had caused and sent the two of them to the principal’s office.
Although Odd suggested they forget that the argument they had in class had even happened by offering a truce, Jeremie goaded him for a straight answer to his earlier question.
Odd: Bon… on fait la paix ou quoi?
Jeremie: C’est toi qui lui as offert ce collier, oui ou non?
Odd: OK. On fait pas la paix.
Odd: Well, truce or what?
Jeremie: It was you who gave her the necklace, yes or no?
Odd: OK. No truce.
Once again, Odd avoided answering the question.
Had Odd responded truthfully with a “no”, his answer would have dissolved the tension between him and Jeremie; Aelita would have continued to happily believe that Jeremie had given her the gift, and if Odd did harbor feelings for the pinkette, he would have had to think of some other way to show his interest in her.
Had he responded falsely with a “yes”, Jeremie would have been furious with his friend making a move on the girl he liked; Aelita would have continued to happily believe that Jeremie had given the gift unless someone asked Jeremie again if he had given the gift to Aelita, in which case he couldn’t get away with lying about the identity of the gifter in Odd’s presence knowing that he himself hadn’t actually given the necklace to Aelita and Odd having confirmed to him he had given the necklace to his supposed cousin (even if it wasn’t true).
Odd’s refusal to deny Jeremie’s allegations was almost as effective as his answering “yes” since Jeremie more or less believed it was Odd who had given the necklace to Aelita. As a result, Odd became a romantic rival to Jeremie without having to lie to either Jeremie or Aelita.
From an alternative perspective, in which Odd had no interest in Aelita, Odd’s refusal to deny Jeremie’s allegations was his way of teaching Jeremie to not treat people as objects. In addition to showing us how awesome a friend he was to Jeremie for serving the young genius a valuable lesson, Odd also showed us how awesome a friend he was to Aelita by protecting her from Jeremie’s objectification of her person.
Fortunately, Odd and Jeremie later agreed to bury the hatchet when Aelita needed the former’s help on Lyoko.
Odd: Alors… on ne peut pas se passer de moi! Tu vas pas m’en vouloir si je sauve Aélita?
Jeremie: Non, laisse Ulrich. Il a raison. J’ai été ridicule…
Odd: Je t’en veux pas, Jérémie… Je comprends…et puis, je suis tellement charmant… c’est normal qu’on soit jaloux de moi!
Odd: So… you can’t do without me? You’re not going to be mad at me if I save Aelita?
Jeremie: No, let him Ulrich. He is right. I was being ridiculous.
Odd: It’s okay, Jeremie… I understand… and plus, I am so charming… it’s only natural to be jealous of me!
Jeremie realized that Aelita’s necklace wasn’t a present from Odd but was, in fact, a brainwashing device given to her by XANA. Instead of giving Jeremie a hard time for throwing a hissy fit and acting like such an ass, Odd playfully jested with Jeremie in good humor.
Odd and Aelita’s relationship continued to evolve in season 3, as evident in “Aelita”. During lunch, Odd and Ulrich had bear witness to an argument between Jeremie and Aelita, in which Jeremie unintentionally suggested that searching for Franz Hopper (Aelita’s father) in Sector 5 was a waste of time, causing Aelita to storm off upset over Jeremie’s insensitivity. Believing Aelita needed to be comforted, Odd went looking for her.
While Jeremie had no idea where Aelita could have possibly disappeared to and Ulrich incorrectly guessed that she was probably looking for him to make up, Odd knew exactly where to find her.
Although he wanted to offer her his shoulder to cry on and assure her that she had a right to be upset at Jeremie with his comment that the other boy could sometimes be inconsiderate of other’s feelings, he also tried to defend Jeremie by reminding Aelita that Jeremie liked her and cared about her, to which Aelita replied that she knew about Jeremie’s feelings for her and that she reciprocated his feelings.
Odd would do anything to cheer Aelita up, which was why he complied with her request that he to go with her to Sector 5 to look for Franz Hopper, despite knowing Jeremie would be upset with them for challenging his earlier objection of going to Sector 5 for that purpose.
Even after Jeremie caught them red handed and demanded that they leave Sector 5 to help Ulrich and Yumi on Lyoko, Odd didn’t follow Jeremie’s instructions. Instead, he asked Aelita what they should do (whether they should stay in Sector 5 or go to Lyoko), when he knew in his heart what the right thing to do was. He needed to hear her say she was okay with abandoning their mission.
Thus far, the writers established Odd a great friend to Aelita with the possibility of him having feelings for her, however it seemed completely impossible for Aelita to return those feelings (if they existed) because Aelita had canon feelings for no one but Jeremie, that was until “Replika”.
I would have included a screenshot from “Replika” here, but I don’t feel like editing any more images. Hell, I wasn’t even going to mention “Replika”, but whatever.
“Replika”, in which Aelita shared her first onscreen mouth-on-mouth kiss with none other than Odd, was, perhaps, the only episode that yielded any indication that Aelita might have liked Odd.
The kiss was done purely out of necessity to get Nicholas and Herve, who followed Odd and Aelita to the factory, to leave them
and Jeremie, Yumi, and Ulrich alone. While the kiss was not a declaration of love brought on by the desire to take their relationship to the next level or the possibility of never having another opportunity to confess their feelings for one another, we are left to wonder whether it was Odd or Aelita who suggested the idea of kissing each other; Odd had brainstormed a plan to get their classmates off their tails, a plan that Aelita refused to go along with as she had come up with a better plan. Was it originally in Odd’s plan for them to kiss or did Aelita improve his plan by including the kiss? Either way, one of them had come up with the idea to kiss, and I found this incredibly scandalous.
In the aftermath of the final battle in “Contre-attaque”, the warriors returned to the real world victorious but not without casualty; Aelita’s father had sacrificed himself to give them a fighting chance.
Upon her return to Earth, Aelita emerged from her scanner to find both Jeremie and Odd at her side. Clutching her head in what appeared to be disbelief, of either her father’s death, Xana’s defeat, or both, she tearfully collapsed into Jeremie’s arms, but notice that Odd, too, held out his arms as if to catch her.
Was Aelita’s falling into Jeremie’s arms rather than Odd’s meant to symbolize her choosing the former over the other?
At the sight of Aelita’s tears, Odd shedded a few tears himself.
It was obvious to me that his tearful reaction was due to seeing his friend in pain more so than it was to seeing his friend’s father die, although yes, the death of someone close to a friend but a stranger to you is always a sad situation if you’re a sympathic soul like Odd.
Given their strong friendship, I don’t think it would have been a stretch for them to end up together if Jerlita didn’t pan out. If Odd had, in fact, had feelings for Aelita, it makes me love him even more knowing that his jealousy didn’t prevent him from being a caring and supportive friend to both Aelita and Jeremie.
What a lovely, young man.