12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (PDT) | Friday 4 September 2020 – 2 pm to 3 pm central
Panel Description: Join the creative staff behind the Crunchyroll Original series Onyx Equinox for a deep dive into the making of the show. Learn more about the production, mythology, and more as you journey through Mesoamerica in preparation for the premiere. Featuring: Sofia Alexander – Executive Producer & Show Creator, “Onyx Equinox,” Kuni Tomita – Supervising Director, “Onyx Equinox,” Marisa Balkus – Producer “Onyx Equinox” Hosted by Kyle Cardine, Editor at Crunchyroll | Room: CRUNCHYROLL STAGE
Credit: Casea Mhtar | @madamekrow
What was the challenge of telling the story across cultures?
• It wasn’t much of a challenge as they let the characters carry them through their own culture and experience it with them.
What specific cultures will be included in this show and what should we look out for?
• Developing and producing this show was interesting because they go beyond Aztec and Mayan cultures within Mesoamerica. Lots of the places they explore have been lost to history. A goal of theirs was to explore historical sites to encourage viewers to want to visit those places or learn about them in books. They are well aware of some tropes that they lovingly added when it comes to actions or relationships.
What are the themes tackled in the show?
• They had to deal with the death of people and animals, and in animation it isn’t something readily dealt with. Because of people’s misconceptions of these cultures, when you mention “Aztec” they imagine people tearing out hearts and violence. Though that did occur, it wasn’t born out of violence and bloodlust. There was so much more to the culture especially in regards to sacrifice. So there is nuance in these serious themes that is explored in this show.
What was the general thought behind creating a show for a global audience?
• The challenge was creating characters the audience could see themselves in without having to over explain that character’s world and culture. They decided not to explain everything in order to make it all feel more natural. They want their audience to be curious and look into these cultures for themselves instead. They hope that this show inspires people to continue telling stories about Mesoamerican culture.
Is there anything fans should know going into the first episode?
• The attention to detail that the entire crew put into it has purpose. Everything means something, it may even be a pictogram or glyph, something to be translated. Mexican culture is very colorful and vibrant, all of the colors are very symbolic with each one having a completely different meaning.
Why do you think anime fans will like this show in particular?
• Most of the crew grew up watching anime or working on anime for their careers. It has challenged them in life and this show is allowing them to take inspiration from it and give back to it. They use the structure of shonen anime but subvert it and give it a fresh take to make the hero feel more modern and new.