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Roleplay / Anime Campaign

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The title image for Episode 4.
"There are those born with powers known as epithets. Epithets are based on a single word that user holds close to their hearts, like fire, hunter... or soup."
The opening narration to Bliss Ocean Curiosities.

Anime Campaign is a roleplaying campaign run in Unforgotten Realms by Jello Apocalypse and other guest Game Masters, hosted on the twitch channel SurpriseRoundRPG (formerly Warped Lamp).

In the world of Anime Campaign a select minority of people are born with mysterious magical powers called 'epithets', a randomly selected word that grants (usually) fabulous powers to its bearer. People who do not possess epithets are called 'mundies'. One in every 30-50 people is an epithet user.

Recently, an anti-epithet terrorist cell known as 'Bliss Ocean' has been stirring up trouble in the wake of the emergence of a supposed epithet-stealing necklace. Sparks fly as they clash with an opposing faction known as the Bushido Blasters who are also seeking the necklace for ambiguous reasons, prompting a crack team of epithet-using police to be sent to the sleepy rural town to investigate starting the main plot.


This act of police investigation triggers a spiraling plot of jailbreaks, unusually apathetic police officers, friendly bees, giant robots, magical girls, animated toys, and a guy with the epithet 'soup'.

Every episode, minus 0 (tournament arc), can be found on the Surprise Round RPG twitch channel. Each episode is based on a different anime genre with a randomly-generated title of three words, and lasts longer than the estimated lifespan of the universe. note 

All episodes so far (minus zero, one, and two) also have 'Part 0' episodes, which are roughly around two and half hours long, done to help the players get into the mindset of their characters. They are also on the twitch channel.


The main campaign ran by Jello completed in January 2018, with him revealing plans to develop it into a web series, starting with Episode 0 as a way to test if the system works. This would develop into the VRV animated series Epithet Erased, which made its premiere in November 2019. Tropes for that should go over there.

    Episode Summaries 
  • Episode Zero: Regional Below Ceremony (tournament)
    • Sadly lost to the ages, but ended with the reveal that the tournament was a farce to facilitate the use of the epithet-stealing necklace and the judges being arrested as a result.
  • Episode One: Bliss Ocean Curiosities (space western)
    • A team of epithet users are sent to investigate a gang war between Bliss Ocean and the Bushido Blasters in a ramshackle rural town surrounded by forest.
  • Episode Two: Monkey Toy Audience (fantasy adventure)
    • A group of ragtag misfits are trapped in a toy store augmented into its own pocket dimension after a man going by Vincent Murder accidentally hooks up with one of the owners.
  • Episode Three: Hot! Crispy! Dazzling! (jail break)
    • After an attempted assassination causes the power to cut out, a team of 4 criminal scumbags (and Ryatt) attempt to escape one of the most high security prisons in the world. It quickly becomes apparent that the world of Anime Campaign has pretty low standards for prisons.
  • Episode Four: Horizontal Pilot Command (card game tournament/mystery)
    • A team of investigative journalists (plus Tripwire and Sylvie) are attending a card game tournament informed them that one of the Bliss Ocean core agents will be there. Things start to go off the rails when rules get broken and demons get summoned.
  • Episode Five: Executive Grin Contest (beach episode/gameshow/mecha battle)
    • Welcome to hour 36 of a continuous stream of Bliss Ocean's hostile takeover of a news station! As a form of entertainment (and way to give the public a winning chance) teams have been fighting continually for a chance to power down a giant mech by playing games for FABULOUS PRIZES!
  • Episode Six-A: Emergency Mirror Battleground (magical girl/haunted house)
    • A team of magical girls (some of whom are neither magical nor girls) are gathered to help Phoenica fulfil her destiny of stopping the resurrection of an ancient evil but run into issues when it turns out the venue of the resurrection is currently host to a wedding and under heavy renovation.
  • Episode Six-B: Wartime Brainwash Beacon (magical girl/nihilism)
    • The magical girls must escape from the Moot realm, a bleak realm full of adorable but morbid shades and in doing so, help Indus to finally defeat his brother, Moot. Things are complicated however, when the girls meet up with a familiar frenemy and Naven decides that Mera apparently hasn't suffered enough.
  • Episode 7: Exquisite Drunken Candymaker (boss rush/dating sim)
    • Percy, Trixie, Rick and Molly, just after the defeat of the songstress head to the Bliss Ocean headquarters, passing the guards. Along the way, Ramsey Murdoch joins the party. They enter the HQ, and are set a challenge - defeat every Bliss Ocean core officer, get to Naven, and beat him in combat.
  • Episode 8: Annihilate Adjustable Flaw (finale)
    • The party face their final challenge on the rooftop of Bliss Ocean HQ, and are forced to fight their way through a labyrinth of their - and others - memories. Yoomtah tries to figure out her past, and Naven gets called a twink. After that, everyone goes to get Chinese food.
  • Filler One: Primitive Harbor Concept(separate filler episode from the main series GM'ed by Majinboo 0111)
    • In a country far away from the main plot three Epithet users are taking the Primitive Harbor Concept Exam to be given special access to things normally outside of the grasp of the average citizen... and one who is just looking for his keys.
  • Filler Two: Amongst Elastic Royal (separate filler episode from the main series GM'ed by Jay and Lamp)
    • Several criminals belonging to the organisation known as Elastic Royal work to hijack an airship for their bosses. Much like Episode Zero, the main body of this one has been lost, though its 'part 0' episode is still available to be watched. The PCs later show up in Brainwash Beacon as shades, referencing their status as lost to the ages.

The series' website is located here, and the game rules can be found here.

Anime Campaign contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Charles seems to induce this reaction in others thanks to her epithet, physically repelling people with her aura.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Milly deciding to run away with Giovanni at the end of two. And once again, this results in Molly being left by herself.
    • The entire concept of Yvette. Imagine your daughter leaving on an overseas trip with nobody there who knows her, and her never coming home with no trace of what happened. It doesn't get better when you know what actually happened.
  • Ancient Evil: The antagonist of 6-A, the Songstress, is certainly an example of this. As one of the first epithet users, with the power of acapella, she returns on a regular basis to be sealed away again by the most recent holder of the name Phoenica Felecity.
  • Animated Armor: Alcatraz plays this trope straight as a suit of ghostly armour.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Practically everybody in Episode 3 could count as this, considering, you know, it is a prison break.
    • Naven, who was one of the main characters in Episode 2 becomes this when you find out he's the leader of Bliss Ocean.
  • Anti-Magic:
    • Molly's epithet 'dumb' lets her nullify other epithet users powers among other things. This comes in handy whenever Molly's sister, Millie, user her epithet 'augment' to turn their toy shop into a pocket dimension. Trust me, it happens a lot.
    • Wendy from Primitive Harbour Concept can use her epithet to erase someone's knowledge of their epithet, effectively de-powering them.
    • Moot can also create a reasonable facsimile by using his epithet to erase physical manifestations of epithets.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • Yoomtah. In Episode 3, it's stated that her hands spark with electricity and she performs various other superhuman feats. She's actually a cyborg.
    • Haboo is also definitely this. Seriously, is this guy a demon or something?
  • Arc Words:
    • "No one dies in Anime Campaign!"
    • Naven's saying and variations of "If you feel that way, I do hope you try and stop us, I really do" comes up a lot.
  • Artistic License – Physics: This is the crux of Morin's epithet: Quantum, having a vague mathematics theme and allowing him to warp reality on a whim.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Characters who roll high on epithet generation get very powerful epithets, but level up slower and so are initially more inflexible.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Despite having no epithet, Howie is physically stronger and faster than almost every other character.
    • Xerxes is also a powerhouse, able to go toe to toe with giant mecha bareknuckled.
  • Beware the Cute Ones: Naven is the living embodiment of this trope. Do not be fooled by his friendly smile and pro bono "Interpersonal Communications" classes. This lemon-lime zest cinnamon roll is the mastermind behind Bliss Ocean, and has a terrifyingly powerful Epithet. His villain reveal in the ending of Episode 3 left a lot of fans (and even players) completely floored.
  • Big Brother Instinct: What with him joining Moxie at the end of 5 or him refusing to fight the PCs in 7, Xerxes is a good example of this trope.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Percy's eyebrows are extremely prominent and also oddly shaped - they resemble crowns or lightning bolts, a reference to her name or her wizard towers, respectively.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • While the main objectives of the characters are completed at the end of every episode, Bliss Ocean also manages to complete their goal.
    • Averted with the finale. While the damage done to the characters remains done, the epithet wipe is stopped, and everyone lives relatively happy.
  • Blessed with Suck: Conceivably an epithet user can end up with a completely useless word or a completely useless interpretation of the word. Some users don't even know they have epithets but are still plagued by random uncontrolled manifestations of their powers. California Slim is forced to constantly face what he left behind after the death of his sister in the form of Alcatraz, for example.
  • Boring, but Practical: How epithet generation works. If a character rolls low on their proficiency when generating an epithet, then their epithet is less powerful but the guide recommends they have frequent upgrades, making them more versatile early on.
  • Born Unlucky: Dan Gansley. Seriously, the guy rolls 1s as often as Ryatt rolls 20s.
  • Briefcase Fullof Money: Dan Gansley can use one of these full of Gansley Bucks to try and bribe people and inanimate objects to do what he wants.
  • Broken Pedestal: Played straight in the lost episode, in which Mera - whom Sylvie looked up to as a mentor - turned out to just be a criminal who planned to kill Sylvie and the rest of his team.
  • Calling Your Attacks: All over the place, but best observed with Warden Grapethroat in his mecha, yelling out what attack he's about to use the turn before he uses it. This actually made them do more damage, according to Jello.
  • The Cameo: Whichaway, a fan-made character by Nikodraws, who fantastically eats shit during the first game of episode 5.
  • Cast from Hit Points: All abilities use stamina, which is also the player's health and they'll collapse from exhaustion at 0 stamina.
    • A prime example of this is Mera's epithet, which saps a great deal of her stamina from her every turn it's active.
    • While this fits any abilities, it's particularly evident in Overclasses and Outclasses, which take a great deal of stamina (ranging from 10-25) to use. A prime example is Mera's outclass, which, while completely removes an enemy from combat and takes away a great deal of their health, actively saps 10 health from her every round it's active.
  • Child Prodigy: Sylvie could definitely be seen as this, holding a Doctorate and having apparently written multiple papers. He graduated when he was twelve and, according to Majin, scored a 100% on every test.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Guile Manning's Epithet is based around gaining someone's trust to eventually betray them.
  • Classical Antihero: Alcatraz is a cowardly, easily flustered wreck of a person, but ultimately wants to do good and isn't afraid to put himself in danger to do so. Also serves as Foil to Slim's Nineties Antihero origin story and attitude.
  • Closet Geek: Percy's a big fan of Spooker Seekers, a campy, low-budget ghost hunting show. She even edits the wiki.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: In spite of her serious demeanor, Percy's out loud musings often reveal some bizarre thoughts.
  • Cool Shades:
    • Rick Shades from Episode 4 is sporting a pair of these.
    • So does Moot, one of the Bliss Ocean officers.
  • Counterfeit Cash: Played for laughs with Dan and his "Gansley Bucks". How, you say? Well, they're "worth" negative money. I.E. the more you have, the more you're in debt.
  • Creator In-Joke: Lunt and Mr. Nezzer in Horizontal Pilot Command are gjinkas of VeggieTales characters of the same respective names because of one of these.
  • Cultural Translation: [SUE] is quite literally cursed with this trope, with anything pertaining to [AMERICANA] getting translated ala 4Kids Dubbing.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Despite some of the less pleasant aspects, even if your epithet physically warps your body or has a debilitating aspect it will almost always come with some powerful and useful abilities... unless the GM is making a bit out of you.
  • Disney Death: Ryatt holds off Yoomtah so the prisoners can escape and the last the party hears of him is a massive burst of fireworks in the distance. At least, until Episode 5, where Ramsey sees him again while he's hosting the game show.
  • Doom Magnet: Wherever Dan Gansley goes, misfortune is soon to follow.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Naven is definitely a pretty boy, and his voice and demeanor don't help much. He even takes advantage of this to avoid Charles attempting to pursue him.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Percy's buildings let her enhance allies' attacks with elements that are strong against the enemy.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Ramsey Murdoch's power set revolves around turning things into gold and then manipulating them via 'gilding'.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Naven. We see them in Episode 4 though, and damn, does he have a reason. Jello said that he sometimes opens them around Yoomtah and Xerxes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Sylvie gradually performs one of these over the course of episodes 4, 5, and 6, becoming increasingly violent and unhinged, to the point where in 6-B, he is a boss fight, eventually losing a semblance of remaining sanity and causing his 'drowsy' epithet to warp him into a nightmare. However, he does come back around to the heroic side after he's defeated, but Mera apologises and tries to atone, however little it may be, restoring his mental faculties and causing him to reach class 2, gaining his outclass. Not quite enough turns for it to be a Heel–Face Revolving Door situation, but it's not far off.
  • Fair Cop: Exaggerated. Eros is a sergeant whose entire powerset involves undressing and flirting with enemies.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: This is Dan Gansley's entire rap sheet. One notable example is Dan attempting to fill out his state of residence as 'Gansleystan' out of the belief that just committing the act of tax fraud would save him money somehow.
  • Fusion Dance: Slim and (an unwilling) Al can perform this with 'Get ovah here, Al!', boosting Slim's offensive powers and removing Al's morality for the duration of the fusion.
  • A Friend in Need: Mera is prepared to give her life to give Indus a chance against Moot in Episode 6-B. In fact, it was entirely possible that she would die - the players got an achievement for managing to save her.
  • Geo Effects: In earlier adventures, Percy's buildings work like this, applying their effects in a radius around them. Starting in Adventure 6, they simply affect all combatants.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Anime Campaign's firearms are decidedly non-lethal and have poor accuracy compared to melee weapons unless they are the focus of a character's power-set or need to be deadly as part of a cutscene.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Rook turns coat after the party extends him tokens of genuine affection and friendship after taking pity on him due to being the most ineffectual member of the SHITENO they encounter.
  • The Hero Dies: Not enforced due to the lighthearted silly nature of the campaign, but the game bible includes rules for character death.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: This is [SUE'S] shtick, constantly futzing around the battlefield and being the designated caster of the highly flashy and attention-getting wild mag- I mean, [REPLICAS OF HISTORIC AMERICAN DOCUMENTS].
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Milly becomes infatuated with Giovanni at first sight. While he was attempting to rob her store, no less. Repeated attempts to make Giovanni her boyfriend include giving Giovanni a giant dick as he acquires a boner dreaming about Babe Ruth. She then promptly gives herself X-ray vision.
  • Humble Goal: Rover and his search for the keys to his van.
  • Hypocrite: Zora Salzar is supposed to be working with Bliss Ocean to remove the worlds epithets because she wants everyone to be on an even playing field without randomly assigned epithets raising people above others. This is undermined when she immediately starts using her powers on the police squad after promising not to in BOC. She also doesn't hesitate to employ underhanded tactics like shooting a bounty in knee when they open the door, burying their comatose form for laughs and stealing their Chinese takeaway.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Encouraged in the game bible to make things more interesting. For example: Ramsey Murdoch attacks by throwing crayons at people that he turns into gold midair.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Percy and Molly, starting when they share a moment of mutual nerding out over a cult classic television show.
  • Irony: California Slim, a serial killer with his gimmick being the killing of epithet-users, has an epithet. Said epithet is heroic. What are the odds? It comes back to bite him in the ass in the form of Alcatraz, the manifestation of his discarded desire to do good.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Naven with his epithet 'Flashback' can induce this in others. While only used a couple of times thus far, it has been made clear that unless Naven himself chooses to restore the memory, no amount of exposure to what was forgotten will cause the memories to return.
  • Love at First Punch: That one Bushido Blaster (James) that Eros turned gay after shooting him across Redwood Run.
  • Mad Scientist: Morin, one of the exam proctors in the Harbour Concept exams who is responsible for creating the stamina increasing lollipops and numerous other dangerous, poisonous, toxic and volatile creations according to banter between him and the other proctors.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Eros. Come on, his epithet is literally nude!
  • Naked People Are Funny: Warden Grapethroat ends up butt naked in his mecha after getting hit by some wild magic.
  • Never Found the Body: Ryatt did not die at the end of Episode Three, which is revealed at the beginning of Executive Grin Contest, where he is a co-host.
  • Noodle Incident: Nearly every mention of Dan Gansley's past amounts to this.
  • No Social Skills: Percy doesn't understand many jokes or hidden meanings, and rarely speaks to any characters outside of the party unless needed - well, except for Howie.
  • Older Than They Look: Word of God says Naven is 30, despite looking almost like a child.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Giovanni Potage? Why, clearly this is the esteemed Vincent Murder, and not at all someone whose epithet is soup!
    • Dixon Roughhouse did plenty of these during Episode 3, including a lunchlady, and a giant robotic arm.
    • Guile Manning's entire career path revolves around this trope. His aliases of "Email Gunning" and "Leg Aiming Nun" are excellent evidence of this, as they're both just anagrams of his name.
  • Playing with Fire: A Downplayed Trope as Giovanni seems to have twisted his soup powers towards this, throwing 'lava grenades' and manifesting blasts of scalding steam.
  • The Power of Friendship: A more literal case with Rick Shades, whose dark wizardry is powered by friendship, He even gets a proficiency point upon making a new friend.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Rover Gadabout before punching the absolute shit out of a defeated Vicky Rix remarks "I'm NOT homeless...I HAVE A VAN!!"
  • Pro Bono Barter: Naven often spreads this kindness to others in the form of "Interpersonal Communications" classes.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Giovanni, who despite appearing to at the very least be out of high school, is incredibly self-centered, immature, rude, crude and has aspirations of becoming a supervillain just for attention. He seems to have been growing up a little since shacking up with Millie, but they both seem woefully unprepared for adult life.
  • Punny Name:
    • Calvin Hill's sister, Beverly Hills, definitely fits the bill for this one.
    • We also can't forget Noah Finway, either.
  • Quest Giver: Re's epithet allows him to do this. Don't think he's gonna make this easy on you though, he's got a fucked up sense of humour about it.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad:
    • The four SHITENO of episode six who all rise with the songstress to serve her when she resurrects. They are all suitably wacky and incompetent as the trope implies.
    • The criminal PCs in Amongst Elastic Royal would technically qualify, what with being ground shoulders for their criminal organisation sent off to accomplish specific tasks.
    • The Bliss Ocean Apple Core Officers: Yoomtah, Zora, Charles, Xerxes and Moot. They all play off each other and have quirky personalities and power-sets... doesn't stop them from taking on the PCs single-handedly and often coming out ahead if not for some gimmick or restriction though.
  • Red Herring: Delta Caproni, having a history of gang activity, a short temper, and aggressive disinterest in speaking to the reporters makes him appear as a likely candidate for the final Apple Corps Officer.
  • Red String of Fate: Portrayed very literally as an item in Horizontal Pilot Command that let players make a crack pairing out of two characters.
  • Retcon: In Jello's perpetual battle with balancing mundies, Howie lost his outclass ability.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Zora wields two revolvers called 'Sun-Up' and 'Sun-Down' that she uses as focuses for her epithet powers.
  • Running Gag: In Episode 1, many, many people ended up jumping into the wishing well.
  • Sanity Slippage: Sylvie starts off as a friendly and brilliant 12 year old kid, ends up jaded, bitter and hostile with a fixation on hunting down his former mentor and murdering her. Gets to the point where he goes through a Heel–Face Turn before being talked down by the party. He seems to be doing better in the epilogue.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: From Charles' end of things: She gets turned down again, verbally insulted multiple times while people try to guess an epithet she doesn't know she has, her HPC partner just straight up dies and she fails a mission for Bliss Ocean for the first time. Jello confirmed on his Tumblr that Charles considers it the worst day of her life.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ramsey Murdoch. Come on, he even drew Alcatraz and Slim spooning.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Villy and Nelle. They're so similar that they share an epithet - twofold. They are the only example of this thus far, and likely only because they're twins.
  • Squishy Wizard: Compared to her teammates in Adventure 1, Percy has barely any stamina.
  • The Stoic: Not once does Eros show other emotion than being calm.
  • Super Smoke: Thanks to being used as an ashtray by Slim, Al can produce thick choking clouds of cigarette ash that Slim can use to get the drop on enemies.
  • Take That!:
    • "Not to say that Indus isn't a huge idiot, though."
    • A lot of the SHITENO in 6-A intentionally poke fun at the characters they're referencing, serving as Flanderized caricatures.
  • Teleportersand Transporters: Rover, whose power-set is mainly based around teleporting himself and others around.
  • Time Master: Zora Salzar has an obscure epithet that lets her control the flow of time, leaving objects suspended in thin air and ageing things to dust or returning them to infancy.
  • Timed Mission: The Boss Fight at the end of 4 against Charles is this. If the players don't defeat him quickly then he'll destroy all the cameras around the boss arena letting Naven erase everyone's memory without complication.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Agitha Fuckwhistle, a spiteful and sour school teacher who's trying to gather materials for the 'Ultimate Classroom Punishment'.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Giovanni, surprisingly. He puts out a great showing for episode 5 during his competing in the various trails and seems to grow up a little when he becomes responsible for his robot son Giorno. He does this trope once more in Episode 7.
  • Trigger Happy: Due to her paranoid attitude, Meryl has the occasional moment where she pulls out her gun a tad too fast.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:
    • Despite being only 11, during HPC, Sylvie displays increasingly psychotic and murderous behaviour after meeting the subject of his Broken Pedestal.
    • Delta Caproni has extremely violent tendencies for a 14 year old boy, as is noted by his history of gang related violence and onscreen beat down of Giovanni Potage.
  • Unmanly Secret: Whether it's just that he appreciates how hard they work, or that they're cute, it's clear that Howie loves bees. Of course, being the strong adult man he is, he'll never admit to it. (No matter how obvious it is to everyone.)
  • We Can Rebuild Him:
    • It's been hinted at through the course of several episodes that Yoomtah, who is now a cyborg, was rebuilt from what remained of Naven's girlfriend after some sort of tragic accident. She seems to be aware of at least some of this, as she herself reveals a significant portion of this information via a conversation with Xerxes in episode 5, but is entirely unfazed by it.
    • Given Naven's goal of stopping epithet users from destroying the world by removing their knowledge of their epithets, it's quite likely that what spurred him to this was also what lead to the creation of Yoomtah.
    • As of Episode 8, this trope is actually averted. Yoomtah's death was a completely different cause altogether, and while parts of her were remade after her death, this was not at all Luft's intention, nor was it to Naven what started Bliss Ocean.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Naven, as the leader of Bliss Ocean, is orchestrating various acts of terrorism and murder, but is ultimately trying to prevent irresponsible and dangerous epithet users from ruining the world.
  • White Mage: Ryatt's firework rave abilities work like this; he even gets the powers to resurrect fallen allies.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: All over the place in 6-B when Percy starts getting inventive with her epithet and Rick starts using his powers to augment them. In the climatic fight between Moot and Indus after the PCs start to get involved, Indus ends up punching with the combined power of Light, Dark, Shattering and Barriers among other things.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In the case of the Roughhouse/Potage family, who all have pink hair.


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