Codependent relationships - Loki vs Arcane
I love Arcane. Prolly the best piece of fiction I have ever sat through and watched (repeatedly- there are so many details and pieces I myself missed on my watch throughs but regardless, it is one of those good binging shows that I recommend), and the best show I had watched last year.
There were two shows I had watched last year, Loki (a show I was personally looking forward to) and Arcane (a show that I wasn't made aware of til Jason Spisak shared an image of his character). One is a fucking dumpster fire with horrible messaging and themes about if you are queer, othered and/or abused in your life- it's all your fault and you must conform to fit the standard while we praise the abusers that made your life a living Hell; the other has messages and themes that are, in a way, to caution the viewer of things that can and are hurtful as well as being a masterful tragedy to where I cannot describe the themes of the show as my words would be a massive disservice to the people behind the series.
And, if you cannot tell which had the positive and which had the negative - me expressing my love for Arcane above should give you an answer.
There is a shared theme between both series but one perfectly executes it, and the other tries to romanticize it as something "good" and "healthy". And that theme is codependency.
I am no professional, I am an animation student and I do not plan on getting a degree in psychology, however, I am expressing my own views based on what I have read from professionals and from what I have seen in media (and I am writing this before I head to work so I'll edit this at a later time). Codependent relationships tend to lead into emotional, verbal, and, at times, physically abusive relationships. These relationships are toxic and, more often than not, somewhat wanted by audience members who can't/don't see the bigger issue. Fiction has mirrored reality, yes, but fiction too has affected reality.
In Loki, we see the (supposed) main character, Loki (a queer man) in two codependent relationships that are quite toxic but are romanticized by the audience - one with Sylvie, the other with Mobius. While Loki both shows them care and concern for their well beings, both Sylvie and Mobius don't do the same (it is implied Mobius cared by episode four - I am using implied quite liberally here; Sylvie has not shown that care or concern - and please do not use "she has a different way of expressing it" bs, that is something that teachers I had in elementary school say when boys were treating me terribly til 7th grade when I had moved). The fawner, Loki, repeatedly tries to appease to his abusers and clings to whatever crumbs of "affection" they decide to throw his way after repeatedly abusing them (see episode 1 & 4 for Mobius, and episode 4 & 6 for Sylvie [for the crumbs of "affection" both characters throw at Loki]). And, throughout the series as well as interviews made to damage control the show's reputation, all this treatment is justified and even romanticized by many audience members. All because of the narrative that Loki's a narc of a villain (when prior movies had shown this isn't the case - and no, these movies had established Loki's character, and the series made him OOC, not the other way around).
Both Loki and Jinx/Powder both had very similar upbringings - both were neglected of love and affection and were never told once in their childhood that they were enough. And once they felt as if they were doing something to help, they end up making more of a mess, being jinxs respectively (Loki trying to murder his own race for child kidnapper and colonial racist Odin's approval; Powder accidentally killing Mylo, Claggor and Vander even though trying to save them).
The difference with Loki and Arcane is that, while sharing the theme of Codependency (and audiences romanticizing the codependent relationship, calling it "relationship goals" - yeah, J*lcos and S*lkis, I am looking at you) is present, Arcane shows it for what it is - toxic and unhealthy. Silco and Jinx both are codependent on one another and Silco has a power imbalance over Jinx (keeping her isolated which made her condition worse, keeping an eye on her during the time skip, and so much more), but both care about each other. Silco saw Jinx as his daughter, and Jinx saw him as her father - but Silco has a huge bag of worms that are labeled issues that he ended up giving to Jinx, via gaslighting and manipulation (another thing Loki also does). However, the creators behind Arcane knew that and showed this relationship as toxic, whereas the people behind Loki are standing behind it and encouraging it, and people are parroting it to an unhealthy degree.
The video I shared above goes into more depth with Arcane but there are sentiments I share with this video and I recommend you take a moment and give it a watch and follow the advice shared - with both shows:
rewatch it again, pay attention to the body language, what is actually being said, and the context. And, most importantly, love yourself.
I'd love to see how you would draw a Jotun Loki :O congrats on 1k!
There once was a frost giant who loved the summer wind...
edit: tumblr quality nuked this lol...if you can zoom in it fixes itself