Anime tends to pull from a lot of classic stories and legends from all over the world, but not since 1998’s Nazca have we seen one that touches on ancient Mesoamerica folklore. Thanks to series creator Sofia Alexander who came to the famed anime streaming service Crunchyroll with an idea for such a series, we now have the Onyx Equinox: Complete Collection released by Sentai for those who don’t have the service to enjoy some Mesoamerica mayhem.
Taking place in ancient Mesoamerica, the old gods are at war with each other thanks to the god of the underworld, Mictlantecuhtli, stealing blood and sacrifices meant for the other gods who aren’t too happy about this. The serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, has had enough and vows to close the doors to the underworld so Mictlantecuhtli will have nothing while the other gods have their fill of blood once Tezcatlipoca destroys all of mankind.
There’s just one problem, the doors to the underworld are made of obsidian which is deadly to the gods. So Quetzalcoatl decides to take a lowly, humble person and choose them to be his champion and close the gates to unknowingly begin the end of the world. Enter a young boy named Izel, a slave that lost his beloved sister as a sacrifice to the gods. After being chosen by Quetzalcoatl, it falls on him and a slew of other characters he meets along the way, to close the gates and hopefully figure out what the gods are really up to and save humanity instead of unwillingly wiping us out.
I can honestly say that I had no clue what I was getting into with these twelve episodes, but I’m so glad I stuck around for the wild ride as I haven’t seen anything like it. The closest thing that comes to mind is what if Avatar: The Last Airbender series had blood and violence featured in it and took place using Mesoamerican culture as its backdrop. I didn’t think the series would get as dark and violent as it did, but that’s just one of the many surprises you’ll get upon checking this series out.
Since streaming on Crunchyroll almost two years ago, the series looks very crisp and clean in high-definition while also having great Dolby HD audio to boot. Sadly there’s a lack of special features, but chances are you’ll be too busy enjoying the series to notice or care really.
If you’re looking for some anime-like action to keep you busy and entertained for a while, you’ll want to pick up the Onyx Equinox: Complete Collection. Thanks to a good story, cool characters, and it’s rare Mesoamerican setting, this is one original series that lives up to that term and more.