Friday, February 10, 2017

A Fangirl's Explanation of Love Types

When it comes to complex concepts, language fails us. It especially fails us when we look at the concept of love. English just doesn't do it justice. After all, the Ancient Greeks had many different words for such an important emotion. The main four are Eros, Philia, Storge, and Agape, and I'll be using all types of fandom to describe the distinctions.

1) Eros

Eros is often defined as physical desire. I couldn't think of a better representation of this than Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist, an anime that's premise is all about the Japanese government censoring inappropriate material and repressing sexual desire. A group of erotica-terrorists rise up in order to stop them. As one might expect, there are quite a few examples of Eros.

However, Eros isn't always about physical attraction. It is also a desire to appreciate beauty and is the initial draw one might feel for another. If you’ve watched Yuri!!! on Ice, you can't help but be captivated by the various ice skating routines, especially Yuri's performance entitled (you got it) Eros. His movements and the background music captures Eros perfectly.

Eros is also that trembling, fluttering, almost manic feeling a person first gets when he/she falls in love. It’s the love that makes someone lose their appetite and see that other person in an idealistic way. In D.N.Angel, the main character, Daisuke, changes into his alter-ego, Dark, if he so much as gets too close to his crush and feels even a stirring of Eros. 

2) Philia 

Philia is all about the bromance/womance. It’s the feeling you have for a “brother in arms." Philia is at the heart and soul of Final Fantasy XV. I mean, the game is about four bros on one grand adventure. By the end of the game, the player sees how much the guys appreciate each other and that they're stronger together because they've been through so much.

Philia is also a love that you can choose. In Voltron: Legendary Defender, the Paladins are far, far away from home, so they don’t have their relatives close by. Over the course of the show, they become a team and a family.

Lastly, Philia is all about making a connection through shared experiences. The perfect example of Philia is shown in Kingdom Hearts, which is about Sora's connection with everyone he meets. Philia, and Kingdom Hearts' main message, means that no matter the distance, you hold your friends in your heart. It means that friendship is a power that cannot be rivaled.

3) Storge 

Storge is the love of community or family. It’s usually seen as a type of love between a parent and a child. A good example of Storge love is in Saga, an adult graphic novel. Saga’s story centers on the bond of family and the undying love one feels for his/her child. Two parents must risk it all to find a better place for their daughter to live and thrive.

Storge isn’t always about a parent and child. It can also include the love between siblings, just like in Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This novel is about a girl named Scarlett who will doing anything in her power to save her sister. The reader sees just how far Scarlett will go to save her family.

Storge can also be a dutiful kind of affection. An example of this can be seen in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Time and again, we are reminded that demigods must complete the tasks of their parents. But this sense of duty to the gods is questioned throughout the series. As the reader continues, he/she realizes that the gods' “lack of affection” isn’t always what it seems.

4) Agape

Agape is the purest form of love because it is unconditional. If a person experiences Agape, they will go to great lengths in order to protect the one they love. I can’t help but think about Joyce Byers in Stranger Things. Once she realizes that her son is missing, she never once gives up the search to find him.

Agape is also a mature love, in that a person loves no matter the circumstances and sees beyond another person's flaws and appearance. This is definitely true of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She grows to love the Beast for who he is, not for what he looks like.

Finally, Agape is when one is willing to sacrifice his/her own values and desires, even his/her own life, all for the other person or for other people. Final Fantasy X has a few instances of this. (Highlight for spoilers.) Yuna is a summoner tasked with defeating Sin, but in order to do so she must make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good and give her life to perform the Final Summoning so that she can defeat Sin and restore a temporary peace to Spira. Yuna considers others before herself and will do anything to stop Sin's spiral of death and destruction.

From Eros to Agape, Fandoms are complex and include all versions of love. They deal with a range of emotion and complicated concepts, making it easier for us to understand ourselves and our world. 

What other fandoms illustrated the different kinds of love?

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post. (Pun definitely intended.) It was so fun to read and educational! :)