Z or Unboxed Tags


“Z” or as Eva Weinmayr calls it, Unboxing. This is where the team acknowledges the limits of classification, and the breakdown of any non-infinite way of expressing the human condition.

In practice, this is used to mark the transhuman in genres such as animation or superhero that include more than one type of species in the narrative.

Every character needs at least one supertag. Tag Z for both the character and the actor.

Tag Values


  • human

  • metahuman (e.g. Hulk, Dr. Manhattan)

  • ai

  • alien

  • animal (real animals that are living or extinct)

  • fantasy (beings that are part of established fantasy traditions, e.g. vampire, werewolf, dragon, unicorn)

  • spectral (disembodied beings, e.g. ghosts)

  • mythic (gods or monsters from established mythologies and religions, e.g., Greek, Roman, Egyptian)

  • agential thing (non-living entities that seem capable of thought, action, and/or speech, e.g. toys in Toy Story)

  • multi

  • unknown

Secondary tags:

  • specific animals or beings that are subsets of supertags (e.g. “horse” or “unicorn”)

  • specific home planets/systems (e.g. “Vulcan”)

  • hybrid

  • transformation


A character is deemed to be a metahuman if they have an ability or additional power compared to real-world humans. This is true even in the case of media universes where the average human is more powerful than real-world humans. For example, in the anime My Hero Academia, nearly all humans have superpowers, to the point where it is considered standard. However, when tagging characters from My Hero Academia, even if they would be considered “human” in the narrative world, they would be considered “metahuman” in ours. Therefore, they would receive the “metahuman” tag.

“Multi” supertag refers to characters who belong to more than one category. This may indicate hybridity (e.g., Bojack Horseman is both a horse and a human at the same time) or transformation (e.g., Bella Swan in Breaking Dawn transforms from human to vampire). Use the “hybrid” and “transformation” secondary tags to denote which type of “multi” the character is.

Humans from non-earth planets are tagged as “human” only, not “alien.” However, if the name of their planet of origin is known, then include that as a tag in the nationality field.

“Unknown” supertag refers to characters whose category is unclear, either to the viewer or within the universe of the text. It also serves as a catch-all tag for other non-humans that are unaccounted for by the other supertags. “Unknown” may be used in fantasy texts that include beings that are not part of the standard fantasy or mythic arsenal.