By Brandon Scott on February 2nd, 2022
(I’ve rewatched the second arc of this series so many times, especially the big battle during the season finale. It’s become media comfort food. If you like anime, you need to see this show.)
Originally Published: December 18th, 2019
JelloApocalypse is a gifted comedic voice actor, and a maker of quite a few videos that have reduced me to a giggling mess, so, you can imagine my excitement when Epithet Erased came out—his newest, story-driven comedy series.
And, since I’ve reviewed things like Hazbin Hotel, I may as well go over the first two episodes of this fun internet series.
Because there’s a lot to say about it. It’s wholly unique and yet wears its influences on its sleeve. My Hero Academia is a clear one, with the “most people have some type of power” aspect to it. And the other big inspiration is, of all things, Pokémon. Jello’s shown he’s a fan, so I’m not surprised that a parody of Team Rocket is given a pyramid scheme bent in the series.
But the thing you’ll likely notice the most, as a new viewer, is the rather different art style, and the way the whole series is handled generally.
The characters are floating 2D puppets who flow between a few dynamic poses as needed. It’s kind of weird, though, to see a still figure be sort of tilted sideways to touch objects. And the problem is further exasperated by the characters’ propensity for verbally explaining their actions. Leading to continuously awkward moments of a character saying something they are doing, and then it being animated. It feels redundant and repetitive—but it also lessens a lot by the second episode, so…perhaps it won’t be a problem going forward.
Regardless, it’s certainly a different viewing experience. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
But if you don’t like that, the animation is second fiddle anyway.
Characters are their designs and their voices, and Epithet Erased proves that more than any show I’ve ever seen. The actors give it their all and get across so much personality in the way they speak and their word choices. Epithet Erased is so successful with these limitations, in fact, that it could be used as a lesson for starting creators as to what the true fundamentals of storytelling through animation really are.
And skills like that equal a fun show, a good show, an interesting show. I’m a little sick of superpowers, in any context, and the fight scenes are RPG turn-based combat—which is not my favorite style—but Epithet Erased is not an action series. It’s a comedy and an excellent bit of character work. The powers are just to make things more interesting. And I can look past any issues I have personally; It’s got such good characters I could very easily see myself watching every single new episode on the day it releases.
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