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Word Of God / Epithet Erased

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While Epithet Erased may be a silly comedy-centered show, that doesn't stop it from having a metric ton of lore underneath its surface. Thankfully, show creator Brendan Blaber (aka JelloApocalypse) has used both his Twitter and Tumblr accounts to both explain the lore behind the series and answer fan questions about it. He's also created an official FAQ for the series on his Tumblr, as well. It should be noted that Jello has plans to organically explain most of these facts in the show proper in hypothetical future seasons.

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    Christmas Eve 2021 Stream/Q&A 

  • (No question)
    • Indus's tattoos are modelled after a sun and a heart for warmth and turtle shells for defense.

  • (No question)
    • Indus has a sister. She hasn't been fully designed yet.

  • Is Molly’s backstory going to be as dark as in the Anime Campaign?
    • Yes. Probably worse.

  • Which Bonzai Blaster is your favorite?
    • Car Crash.

  • Any plans for Mera in the future?
    • Yes, she’s the protagonist for the book after Prison of Plastic.

  • Was Molly always asexual? How did it come to be?
    • Every time I imagined Molly, I couldn't picture her with a partner, nor imagine her interested in anyone. I don't know if she's Aromantic or just Asexual.

  • Did Mera and Indus actually get hired by the museum?
    • They got jobs.

  • Will Sylvie get any backstory in the future or any reference to any his family?
    • No, probably not.

  • Will Ben ever get a Bonzai nickname?
    • Maybe.

  • How many cars does Car Crash's family own?
    • None, now.

  • What type of soup is Giovanni’s soup made of?
    • Tomato.

  • How much health do each of the characters have?
    • It doesn't matter.

  • Does anyone die on screen in the series?
    • No.

  • What was Giovanni's banzai name?
    • Creampuff.

  • What is Santa's epithet?
    • There is no Christmas in the universe.

  • Is Ramsey's transmutation a flat on/off switch with the only stamina cost being said switch flip, or is it a constant drain for as long as an item is made golden?
    • The former.

  • Are all the Bonzai Blasters adults?
    • No. All of Giovanni's are teenagers, and Giovanni is 19. Most promoted Banzai Blasters beyond Captain are 30+, while the lowest rank is mostly composed of teenagers.

  • Why didn't Percy's stamina recover after a successful combat?
    • Stamina was not actually kept track of. It's just there for drama.

    What words can and can not be an Epithet? 
  • Generally, any word with a widely-understood meaning can become an Epithet. However, a word needs to enter the collective public’s understanding before it can be an epithet, so words that only you and your friends use can't be an Epithet, but a slang term common across a major metropolitan area , like "Yeet," could be one.
  • Epithets can be verbs, swear words, and animal names. Animals themselves, however, cannot have epithets. Proper names are also a no-go.
  • All grammatical derivatives of a word are included in an epithet, so "Talk" and "Talking" would be one epithet.
  • Epithets based words that have completely different meanings depending on how they're used, i.e. words that mean one thing as a noun and something completely different as a verb, would have the powers of both meanings.
  • Someone could have a homophone epithet that gives them the powers of both, but both definitions need to be written and pronounced the exact same way. For example, Tear (rhymes with bear) and Tear (rhymes with fear) would be different epithets.
  • Brand names cannot be Epithets unless the brand name in question is so synonymous with a concept that it eclipses the brand itself and becomes a general term all on its own. “Thermos”, for example, is a household term for a specific object that is technically called a vacuum flask, but since most people are unaware of that, “Thermos” could be an Epithet, while "Wal-Mart" could not be one.
  • Epithets are traditionally one word, but there are exceptions. The term “Ice Cream” means something very specific that can only be expressed in English by putting two words together, while in other languages, like Spanish, it’s just one word, “Helado”. Assume that any “two-word” epithets are represented by one word in the Epithet language.

    The rules of Epithets 
  • Once a word becomes a viable Epithet, it never loses that status. Even slang words from the 1920s that nobody uses anymore can still be someone’s Epithet.
  • Epithets are inherently tied to a user’s own perception of the word and its association. Molly's "Dumb" Epithet, for example, is tied more to the classical "Cannot Speak" definition than the "Stupidity" definition. This is why "Creativity" is one of the stats on the character Reveal Cards.
  • You can't misinterpret your own epithet. Epithets are only "up to interpretation by the user” so far as the word actually works. For instance, Molly can use the word "Dumb" to stop people from speaking or to "dumb things down" (two definitions of the same word), but she cannot misinterpret her own word as "Drum" because it sounds similar.
  • If a word acquires new meaning over time, that meaning can be used in an epithet’s powerset.
  • Getting an epithet is up to chance and has nothing to do with genetics. Adding to this, people have their epithets at birth, it's just a matter of how fast they can figure out their powers.
  • Everyone’s Epithet starts at Level 1 and is extremely weak. To level up your Epithet, you just have to use it more. Epithets are primarily based on the user’s creativity and self-understanding, so they need to understand and experiment with their powers if they want to strengthen and diversify them. This means that a baby will not come out swinging with the ability to breathe fire, because a baby does not understand what “fire” is, and will have no chance of unlocking their epithet until they can comprehend basic concepts.
  • No two people have the same epithet at the same time, even identical twins. Similar Epithets can exist together, though, and depending on how the users train them they may end up having near-identical power sets. While uncommon, an Epithet becomes obtainable again after it's user dies, meaning someone in the future could have that same Epithet.
  • Epithets may affect or reflect their user's mental or physical state, like Mera, or they may not, like Molly. It’s all in the luck of the draw.
  • Epithet powers are present whether the user is aware of them or not. This means that inscribed can feel the effects of their Epithet or even accidentally use their own powers without knowing they even have them. Similarly, inscribed can "level" their epithet without ever knowing they have one.
  • The stronger your Epithet is, the more it manifests on your body. This usually starts on or around the eyes (Zora’s “tattoos”, the crack in Mera’s irises), but not always.
  • The moment where someone learns what their epithet is is called an Epiphany, and there are multiple ways for an Epiphany to happen. Usually, it happens when somebody hears their word spoken aloud or reads the word written down, causing them to click with the word in their head. False positives can sometimes happen if people just enjoy certain words that have nothing to do with their epithets. Alternatively, someone could discover their epithet in the form of an Epitome. An Epitome is the most powerful use of an epithet one can possibly squeeze out of their word, and, very rarely, in situations of extreme danger, a person who previously thought they were a mundie will unlock their epithet by way of unleashing an Epitome through the sheer need to survive, like the inscribed version of an adrenaline rush.
  • Undiscovered inscribed can stumble upon powers pertaining to their word without knowing what their specific epithet is. For example, an inscribed may have discovered that they can manipulate sand while at the beach, so they assume they have a beach-related word like sandcastle or crab. Little do they know their epithet is "arenology," the study of sand.
  • Those who have intense mastery over their epithet can imbue it into objects. This process is called "transcribing" or "imbuing" an epithet, and this process is what created the Arsene Amulet. This would eventually be demonstrated in the series itself, with Zora being able to transcribe her bullets with her epithet's ability to manipulate time.

    Facts about Epithet Erased's world 
  • While this isn't known In-Universe, the reason Epithets exist is because everyone in Epithet Erased's world speaks the exact same language. Since everyone speaks the same language, the words of that language can manifest physically as everybody understands them. It should be noted, this universal language isn't English, it's a sort of “fantasy Esperanto” language formed by combining all the world’s languages together. This means that words in any language can be an Epithet.
  • Epithets have been around for around 250-300 years. They used to be very uncommon, but have since grown to be more prevalent and grow more common every year.
  • Most inscribed figure out their epithet sometime between ages 8-18. A fair number of inscribed figure out their power in their 20s or 30s. A few figure it out late in life, and many never figure it out at all.
  • Epithet-based discrimination is called "Lexism", and it mainly inhibits Mundies.
  • There are only a small number of countries in the Epithet Erased world:
    • Taiga Country is where all of S1 takes place here. Sweet Jazz City is it's capital, it has heavily forested areas between its large cities, it has very cold winters, and this is the only country where it snows. Taiga Race people, like Percy and Phoenica, are light-skinned with light hair.
    • Deepwood Country is north of Taiga country, a thick jungle full of glowing flora. This is where the second half of S2 will take place. Deepwood Race people, like Arnold and Howie, have dark skin and hair. Molly is a Deepwood-Taiga mix.
    • Desert Country is west of Taiga country. It's a vast desert with two main practices: the solitary monks who live isolated in the sand, and the party-going new-age culture obsessed with neon lights and city life. Its capital city is similar to Las Vegas. Desert Race people, like Indus, have tanned skin and grey hair from birth.
    • Island Country is an archipelago of islands and isthmuses that make up a seafaring community based around trade and travel. Due to their international nature, Island Race people can be found everywhere and have a variety of appearances, but many of them have plain, dark hair. Mera is an Island-Taiga mix.
    • Ocean Country is a mysterious country of wizards currently sunk at the bottom of the ocean. After years of discrimination for practicing dark magic, the magicians of the world formed a new colony at the bottom of the sea where they could practice their craft undisturbed. There are almost no pure-blooded Ocean Race people on the surface, but their descendants live in diaspora. Ocean Race people have dark skin and bright hair colored like poisonous sea creatures. Anyone with naturally pink, green, or purple hair likely has a little Ocean Race in their blood.
    • Australia is a strange land that lies on the far side of the ocean. There's little known about its strange inhabitants and their strange ways, and some say that these “Australian” people have whiskers and rodent-like appearances. Few have seen an Australian and lived to tell the tale...
    • While these countries are currently at peace, there was at least one major war in the past, and it involved Phoenica's dad.

    Assorted facts from Jello's Social Media 

    Facts from the February 2020 Q&A stream 
  • Plans for future seasons:
    • While season 2 hasn't started production yet (at the time of the stream at least), Jello still has a skeleton plot structure of what it'll be like. It will ideally be 9 episodes, though the length of each hasn't been determined. The first episode will formally introduce Phoenica, Trixie, and Rick Shades to the audience, the next 2-3 episodes will focus on Molly and Giovanni spending time in Molly's family toy store, and the rest of the season will focus on a party split, with one group being Molly and Giovanni and the other being Phoenica and Trixie. The villains of the season will be Yoomtah and the hooded Bliss Ocean member with glasses.
    • Jello plans for all of Giovanni's boys to reappear at least once in their casual clothing. That being said, he's also trying to come up with an excuse as to why Giovanni can't recruit his boys in future seasons, as having six extra characters in any given scene would be too much.
    • Speaking of Giovanni's boys, Jello would like there to be a minor plotline in the second season where Giovanni hides out at Crusher's backyard treehouse. The main source of comedy would be Crusher giving his boss gifts and baking him things in an obvious attempt to express his massive crush on Giovanni, with Giovanni himself being completely oblivious to Crusher's advances.
    • There are no plans for any of Trixie's extended family to be in Epithet Erased, at least not formally. He does, however, want there to be a Running Gag where Trixie will tell "3 second insane anecdotes" about her delinquent siblings, so that by the end of the series. she's name-dropped all of them.
    • Giovanni will not be joining Bliss Ocean as he did in Anime Campaign.
    • Jello wants Season 2 to have multiple outro songs. One will involve pirates singing, one will be the Neo Trio (Molly, Trixie, and Phoenica) singing together, and one will be sung by Yoomtah singing with a deep lounge singer voice.
    • Jello hopes to incorporate a body swap plot in the future because he loves that trope when it's used well (when the voices don't switch with the person).

  • Other random facts:
    • If Bugsy and Arnold had succeeded in delivering the Amulet to Banzai upper management and gotten promoted, only Arnold would have moved up a rank.
    • The Bartender's Cat is a boy.
    • Stink came to be during a game of Tee K.O. between Jello and some of his friends, when someone drew a picture of a farting cow that was captioned with the word "Stink". Jello's boyfriend thought the shirt would look perfect for a "crappy background extra kid" to which Jello agreed.
    • Giovanni's X-shaped hairpin is a reference to the fact that Giovanni is Trixie's cousin, and every member of Trixie's family had an X in their name and X-shaped hair clips in their hair.
    • Giovanni has two mothers. The one voiced in episode 5 is a big smoker and the head of the house, while the other is a new age "super into crystals" type.
    • Zora is named after Jello's friend from High School, "Theodora Zora Salazar".
    • Ramsay hates birds for two reasons: 1, because Will, his voice actor and creator, thought it was funny, and 2. because Ramsay appreciates art and hates how birds cover statues in poop.
    • If Molly were to meet Gorou, Ramsay, and Zora, she'd dislike Gorou due to his incompetence, be scared of Zora, and get along fine with Ramsay.
    • "Real-ass goddamn" is a class of weapon, and they are the only weapons that can actually kill people.
    • Pokémon 3 was a big inspiration for the series. It's where Molly's name originates and Mera's crystal/glass-like spikes were inspired by it.
    • If Howie had an Epithet, it would be either Job or Work. Also, he and his worker bees could build a skyscraper in just a week.
    • Favorite foods: Molly's would be Granola and Oats (but only because those are all she has time to eat), Dawn says Zora's would be "shitty circus peanuts", Zach claims Sylvie's would be fries and chicken nuggets (though he would lie and claim it's "refined food"), and Will says Ramsay's would be Chinese Food.
    • Zora's Epithet was changed from "Crepuscule" to "Sundial" because he liked the visual idea of sundials ticking when she used her Epithet.
    • If Mera used "Dream Big" when she stole Sylvie's Epithet, she wouldn't summon Beefton, rather, she would summon what she sees when she dreams. Jello believes Sylvie had to train to specifically summon Beefton.
    • Zora could technically live forever if she used her Epithet on herself. Jello likes the theory that she's really one hundred-years-old or something like that and she uses her Epithet to stay young.
    • Howie is the only character that has been introduced thus far that would reasonably have a chance at beating Zora.
    • Sylvie is not an orphan, but he doesn't like his family.
    • Jello believes his Epithet would be "Nitpick" and "Persnickety". Dawn's (Zora) and Marissa's (Casting director & Stink) would be "Tittynope".
    • Sylvie could technically use his Epithet to dream up a different Epithet, though it would take a lot of training
    • Molly's hair stars are based off another character Jello created for a game that will likely never be made. She had a star and alien theme, and Jello liked the stars in her hair and gave them to Molly when he redesigned her.
    • Super Smash Bros. Mains: Sylvie and Giovanni would both main Ness, Sylvie because he has a yo-yo, and Giovanni because he has a bat. Both would hate the fact that they share a main. Zora would main Joker and a Mii Gunner of herself, Yoomtah would play Hero but badly, and Mera would main Lucario.
    • Zora smells like "dirt and woods and seat and bad".
    • Fennie and Trixie are both Mundies.
    • Yoomtah is the strongest Bliss Ocean member. Zora is the second weakest.
    • Zora has sun-based heat powers in addition to her time abilities.
    • Giovanni's favorite Sailor Moon character would be Venus or Jupiter
    • If Molly had a lightsaber, it'd be green because green is her favorite color. Giovanni would have a black lightsaber "like [his] soul, and it could cut through anything, like [his] soul!"
    • Howie and Giovanni would both be in Gryffindor, but Giovanni would probably try and form his own house.
  • The eye catches in each episode were specifically inspired by Fullmetal Alchemist

    Character info cards from the show's Twitter