Sunni Ago

Sunni Ago

She/They Black Queer writer currently living abroad. Working on games and making art.

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    Latest Articles


    Latest Topics


    Happiness, a exploration of Nihilism.

    Happiness is a vampire manga by Shūzō Oshimi. While on the surface it is a supernatural story it delves quite readily into not just other genre conventions such as science fiction body horror and coming of age romance, but examinations on the very concept of humanity, the nature and purpose of suffering and if meaning can ever truly be garnered from horror.

    The protagonist is spared from death on the whim, his friend and his friend’s lover, not to mention her family, are much less fortunate. The protagonist and his love interest are subjected to grotesque trials for 50 years only for them to escape and resolve to live apart from humans, which begs the question, both textually and metatexually, what was the purpose of this?

    • I think the edits I made didn't process which is unfortunate. To clarify, Nihilism in the common understanding, is the belief that nothing in life matters, that nothing is really real. Within the plot of Happiness the Protagonist is subject to trials and tribulations that don't reveal a greater understand of the world to him within his story, his suffering doesn't better or worsen the world around him. Metatextually, the world of Happiness is similar and dissimilar to the real world, there are horrific science experiments done on people throughout human history that never yielded any medical insight. Suffering for the sake of suffering being all that was produce. What purpose does it serve to feature such a dispiriting element to the story when the ending amounts to, the main character being again isolated from humanity with the one who turned him into a vampire? – Sunni Ago 2 years ago
    • A digestible yet philosophical dissection of Happiness would be an incredible read, especially if one takes the time to draw real world parallels--it is difficult NOT to feel nihilistic in this day and age, and tapping into that very real feeling of listlessness, one that inspired the concept of nihilism in the first place, and connecting it with the narrative of Happiness would underscore the humanity (both conceptually and literally) the series appears to be examining. – alliegardenia 1 year ago

    On the character and continuity of Superman

    Analyze the variation versions of some of the mediums’ most popular characters and the narrative through lines (canon events) that define the character despite the other notable shifts between the character’s developments.

    A good example of this is the contrast between Communist Superman in Red Son vs. Criminal Ultraman in Justice Lords vs. Tyrant Superman in Injustice vs. All-Star Superman va Mainline Superman.

    What makes the character the character when a comic’s multiverse can extend infinitely? What traits define the character in relationship to their world and their readers?
    What makes a Superman a Superman?
    Strictly within DC of course, no pastiches such as Homelander and Omni-Man.
    What is the distilled version of Superman and what does it mean when the character becomes alienated from that "ideal" ?

    • Topics like this are a little too broad. Pick one character, like Superman, and some particular aspect for writers to discuss. Provide some questions for writers to answer. – noahspud 6 months ago
    • I love this topic, Sunni. I might even undertake writing it. – Nyxion 4 months ago
    • You mention specific comics here which give a potential writer somewhere to start, do you have anything you would like to add about how particular writers have portrayed Superman? – Elpis1988 3 months ago

    Alienation and Evil in Supermen

    Superman is a hero routinely derided as one-note. A good boyscout who is always by the books. For this topic the writer should look into the myriad supermen.

    Mainly focused on characters such as Man of Steel Superman, One Punch Man’s Saitama, and Watchman’s Dr. Manhattan.

    Shared between these characters is a distinct sense of alienation. Not just from their friends but from the people they protect as "heroes"

    Understanding the origins of each of their alienations and possibly comparing them to "evil" over powered characters such as Plutonian (Irredeemable), Homelander (The Boys) and Omni-Man (Invincible)

    What elements make for a character’s alienation that wouldn’t lead into their collapse into villainy?

    • See also Ultraman from DC Comics' "alternate universe" stories: he's literally Superman with slight alterations in his backstory that made him a villain instead of a hero. Perhaps compare to mutants in X-men as well. Apocalypse and Magneto have superiority complexes pushing them to try to take over the world, similar to Omni-Man and some of the other evil Supermen. Professor X, on the other hand, is just as powerful but does not share that philosophy. – noahspud 12 months ago
    • Umm i think thats a bit too broadening. Marvel has a bunch of direct Superman analogues such as Blue Marvel, Hyperion, and Sentry. Bringing in Prof X and Magneto and Apocalypse is a bit off topic. – Sunni Ago 12 months ago
    • I enjoy how Lex Luther and Superman understand each other as being two sides of the same coin, in much the same way that Doomsday Superman can't -- being being an identical polar opposite they are literally two side of that coin in strength, etc and so can only annihilate and not triumph over the other. This is ultimately unsatisfying. Lex Luther adds the dimension of an unfortunate childhood, family, daily pressures and a superior mind which Superman can relate to though never condone. – anthonyzed 11 months ago
    • I think this would be particularly interesting if one touchd upon Arthur Miller's essay on Tragedy and the Common Man. This kinf of alienation (being larger than life, greater good, not strictly 'human' but more than human) is exactly what Miller speaks about - and why this kind of heroism might be losing its appeal because it's not relatable to the 'Common Man'. – Janhabi Mukherjee 4 months ago

    Materialist Hell: What is the ending of the Sopranos

    One of the most controversial endings in television is the ending of The Sopranos.

    A jarring cut to blackness and silence.

    Much can be speculated about the life that Tony has leading to a sudden and violent end vs. the contrasting position of a secularized hell. The core premise is, that Tony is in a constant state of death and undeath as he awaits the ending. The unending pain before it ends is as much of a torture as any demon could imagine putting him through.

    The writer should probably include a synopsis of the plot of The Sopranos along with other interpretations of the ending.

    • Okay, you're on the right track. But from the topic title and setup, I was expecting something about how and why The Sopranos and other series choose endings like this. Consider using Tony Soprano as a character who was "left in the lurch" because of this sort of ending, as well as the positive and negative results of such. (E.g., fans get to speculate about what really happened, but then again, they'll never know, so cue the Internet trolls, the arguing, the potential for awful remakes...) Add a couple more example characters. I think you could have a really deep article here. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago

    Uncut Gems: A happy ending?

    Uncut Gems is a Netflix original film about a jeweler Howard Ratner played by Adam Sandler who makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime but simultaneously could end up in his death.

    We see throughout the film, Howard takes numerous unnecessary risks as a gambling addict. In the end, even as he wins, he is murdered in cold blood. In a traditional story, this would be a sad ending, a tragedy.

    But, viewing the film in the modern era, as a tale not about flying too close to the sun and instead about the greatest catharsis, an ultimate victory, and the immediate cessation of future suffering.

    Howard if he continued living would have inevitably found himself in trouble, his addiction had led him to his death after all, but in the film during his greatest high, he is quickly and painlessly removed from any potential of that feeling to be lost by. He dies with his victory.

    Is that not a happy ending?


      Whiplash, Black Swan and Tar: the triumvirate of obsession

      Black Swan, the obsession with being the best at the cost of all else.

      Tar and the abusive teacher

      Whiplash, the synthesis of obsession and abuse leading to a sort of harmony.

      The films concern the performing arts in their various forms, each taking a distinct POV. But all of them run a similar line of thought which is "But at what cost"

      At what cost do we sacrifice our essential being to become, "a great" in Whiplash?

      Consequently what price is too high for "perfection" in Tar, and who pays when the tab is due?

      If we aren’t our accomplishments, who are we in Black Swan?

      In a society driven by a consumptive need to be the best, how much is too much to attain it?

      • It may be interesting to have The Perfection and I, Tonya as part of this discussion - especially in regards to the kind of personal motivations that drive the need to be best - even apart from individual ambition. – Janhabi Mukherjee 4 months ago
      • You could make mention of Phantom Thread; this film includes a lot of references to psychoanalysis and the central character is a great example of the toxicity of a narcissistic perfectionist who projects his pedantry onto those closest to him. – Tahlia 2 months ago

      Batman, Realism and systemic problems of Gotham

      Batman as a character is one of numerous contradictions. He’s a normal human but a superhero. He’s a vigilante who fights crime. He’s a hero who fights in cruel often dark and unethical ways. Batman is often criticized for not taking more systemic solutions to the problems of crime within Gotham. This is not without merit as a billionaire with virtually limitless wealth when it comes to supplying his crusade of crime and punishment. But, at the same time, what actually can be done within the continuity of DC comics to counteract the criminal element in Gotham? He’s just as likely to fight a woman with the power to control every nearby plant as he is to fight a carjacker. Even if he was able to use his liquid funds to curb homelessness and food insecurity, he’d still have a killer clown shooting poison gas. How does one reform that?

      At what point does the reality of comics diverge from the goal of realism many fans and writers desire?

      • I would suggest the article's author expand to more than just Batman. Consider other comics' takes on "realism." In The Boys, it's almost like crimes are planned and staged by the corporation that owns the heroes, and the public perception of these crimes is carefully curated. In alternate versions of the DC universe, such as Injustice, the only way to reform crime is conquering the world, dystopia-style. – noahspud 5 months ago

      Are audiences losing media literacy?

      Media literacy is the ability to understand and analyze works such as movies, television, books, and even video games. That said in recent years there’s been a notable lack of nuance in media discussions and even worse a rise in pushback against anything that challenges the audience’s comfort,
      claims such as "All sex scenes are useless", "protagonists shouldn’t be bad/do immoral things" and "There should be a clear lesson in a story"

      46% of American adults in a survey say that they didn’t learn media literacy in schools, which begs the question of why not? What consequences have arisen due to low media literacy and how can they be corrected going forward?

      • A good place to look at whether or not audiences are losing media literary is on Booktok. Creators who critically review books are often slammed and shamed for taking the pleasure out of reading. When in all reality, readers do not want to be made to feel uncomfortable with the authors and reading themes they choose to support. – morgantracy 3 months ago

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      Latest Comments

      Sunni Ago

      Ooh I like that. Oil as the antagonist is something I haven’t seen before.

      Alienation in "There will be Blood"
      Alienation in "There will be Blood"
      Sunni Ago

      Whence cometh evil?

      Alienation in "There will be Blood"
      Sunni Ago

      Yes, and?

      Alienation in "There will be Blood"
      Alienation in "There will be Blood"
      Sunni Ago

      As a big Poe fan, this was a great read.

      Poe's Horror: Reading "The Fall of The House of Usher"
      Sunni Ago

      Yep, but at a certain point, I envy the ignorant. Just living life based on vibes. No research.

      "Darkest Dungeon": The weight of legacy
      Sunni Ago

      These nightmarish creatures can be felled! They can be beaten!

      "Darkest Dungeon": The weight of legacy