The new Crunchyroll Original anime Onyx Equinox is set to debut on November 21, 2020. The series follows a young Aztec boy named Izel who is saved from death by the gods and is chosen to act as ‘humanity’s champion,’ forced to discard his apathy toward his fellow man and prove humanity’s potential. During the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo this summer, the company gave fans a first look at Izel’s epic journey, which will take him across ancient Mesoamerica to save humanity from a war between the gods. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we got the chance to speak with the series’ creator Sofia Alexander about how her childhood in Mexico inspired the creation of the series, its shonen elements, and how she aimed to dispel harmful stereotypes associated with indigenous culture, specifically Mesoamerican.
Alexander explained how she grew up walking in the place where once great civilizations once stood and how she aimed to not just recreate their myth in Onyx Equinox, but their daily life. Additionally, she explains how it was important to present a story not dictated by the colonial gaze and instead showcase the culture that she is connected to. In speaking with Alexander, we got a chance to talk about indigenous identity and how many of us can not to connect to our ancestors due to colonization and where her series stands in reteaching Mersoamerican culture and storytelling to viewers, or in many cases, teaching them for the first time. Plus, Alexander dives into the research that went into Onyx Equinox, how she created the places of her childhood, and how it connected her to her family.
Finally, we dig into the traditional anime influences from shonen series like Saint Saiya on Onyx Equinox, the ways that Izel exemplifies the shonen hero, and how he breaks the mold. But perhaps my favorite part of the interview, which is appropriate for the fast-approaching Dia de Muertos is our discussion on death, and how our Mesoamerican past influences how Mexicans deal with death.
To hear the full interview with Sofia Alexander, hit play on the audio above.
This podcast series is a celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Latinx History for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is from September 15th to October 15th. Geekspanic Heritage Month is presented in partnership between us and the Nerdtino Expo, the 1st East Coast Latinx Comic Book Convention.