How Onyx Equinox draws characters, gods and settings from Mesoamerican mythology

Onyx EquinoxThe third original work by anime distributor Crunchyroll is a bloody animated fantasy series infused with Mesoamerican history and mythological temples, gods and rituals.

Formerly a storyboard artist, creator Sophia Alexander Infinity Train“I hope my love for Mexico and our culture and heritage is translated correctly,” Polygon told Polygon. Alexander grew up in Quintana Roo, southern Mexico, home to the Mayan ruins, and spent his childhood surrounded by Mesoamerican iconography.

She was initially nervous about pitching Onyx EquinoxStarted as a comic due to lack of Mesoamerican related animations, Victor & Valentino This is one of the few exceptions. “You haven’t talked about Mesoamerica for a reason, right?” Alexander remembers thinking. “No one cares. Why?” Fortunately, Crunchyroll executive Marisa Balkus loved Alexander’s pitch, making the show the first fully original series produced entirely from Crunchyroll Studios.

Onyx EquinoxWill premiere on Saturday, November 21st at 1:00 pm Pacific Standard Time, following the Aztec boy Izel, a training hero who hates humanity. When one of the gods devours humanity, the other gods close the five gates of the underworld and turn to Izel to stop extinction. Izel needs to set aside his suspicions of his companions to save his world.

The series is a high fantasy indulging in violent sights, but Alexander’s legacy is woven into storytelling. In anticipation of the premiere, here are just a few places, names, and basic facts to know.

Occupy Mesoamerica

Image: Crunchyroll Studios

Mesoamerica generally refers to the pre-Columbian “Central American” society in North America. For thousands of years, beginning with a hunter-gatherer society, the civilization prospered with innovations and inventions in mathematics, art, architecture, astrology, calendars, and codes before the Spanish conquest and the colonization of the world around the 1500s. did. To this day, Mesoamerica is a rich historical subject. Many living offspring, such as the Maya, seek to overcome cultural oppression and maintain their culture, language, and medicine.

To build a plausible living world, Alexander and her team sought resources from the National Institute of Anthropological History to recreate the vibrancy of these cultures. She had to say, “They are not ruins, they are colorful and inhabited by millions of people.”

Interestingly, Isel and his sister Neri are Aztecs from Tenochtitlan who have early mentioned that they now live in the city of Maya as servants of Maya’s master. Studies on the skulls of Maya victims suggest that they come from “all over Mexico and far away.” That is, they may not have come from the place of sacrifice. The fact that the brothers are portrayed as outsiders who live in fear makes the world feel even more alive.

Onyx Equinox Gods

Onyx Equinox Quetzalcoatl Design Concept Art

Image: Crunchyroll Studios

As the god of “feathered snakes,” the first to appear in the human shell are full of feathers and scales. He bet on Tezcatlipoca and found a human champion who closed the gates of the five underworlds.

Tezcatlipoca, or “obsidian smoking mirror,” emits sculptural smoke. He is tasked with monitoring the human champion of Quetzalcoatl to the trusted Jaguar messenger Yaotl. Interesting fact: His bony left foot in the human shell hints at a creation mythical battle.

Mictlante Coutry
The “Lord of Mictlan” is the god of the underworld. He greedily devoured the city of Daniburn, exacerbating the blood drought and the gradual disappearance of civilization among the gods.

Location of Onyx Equinox

The city of Sapoteco, today known as Monte Alban. It is the city where Giagna fled when Mictlan Tekutri, the lord of the underworld, swallowed her people.

The city of Maya and the house of Isel. It features a five-story sorcerer’s pyramid with an oval bottom and rounded sides, which was considered rare in Maya architecture. Legend has it that the pyramid was named because it was built in one day.

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