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"Onyx Equinox" and Mythological Fiction

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  • "Onyx Equinox" and Mythological Fiction

    Hey folks,

    after we've recently had a thread discussing Netflix's "Blood of Zeus," I'd thought I'd make one to point you all to and discuss a similarly mythology-inspired show that may have garnered less attention: "Onyx Equinox," a Crunchyroll original production which weaves an epic tale set in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica in which gods like Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, and Mictlantecuhtli play dangerous games with the fate of humanity. Anyone interested can watch the first episode here for free: https://www.crunchyroll.com/de/onyx-...55?ssid=385346

    I think the show is a great example of mythology-inspired fiction done right in a way "Blood of Zeus," Disney's "Hercules," or Scion 1e were decidedly not. While the show takes artistic liberties especially with the extravagant, sometimes borderline Lovecraftian designs of the deities, its backgrounds, character designs etc. are lovingly modeled after actual Mesoamerican art. Different cultures are not mashed into one and they are judged by their own values, not ours. An original plot is woven out of that which the cultural peculiarities, mythology, and theology of the region already provide, not relying on stereotypes or Eurocentric models of storytelling.

    All of that, I think, makes the show amazing inspiration for both Scion players who specifically want to do historically set campaigns (I can't be the only one), showing them what amazing worlds can be built from careful research, and those who generally just need another reason to love the Teotl and the hopefully upcoming K'uhob. And I hope I can encourage a lot of you to watch the show as well and to come here to discuss it with me.

  • #2
    I guess I should get back to watching shows then lol, definitely will make sure to check it out!

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    • #3
      Sometimes when looking at historical cultures, it can be easy to forget "Oh right, people still traveled", thus things like Izel and his sister coming from Tenochtitlan but settling in a Maya town.


      Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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      • #4
        I just finished the first episode, and I loved it. Mesoamerican myth and culture is so ridiculously underused in media, and this was awesome to see. I've always been fascinated by these stories, (particularly the Maya myths) but my knowledge of them has never extended that far, and so I'm very much looking forward to seeing this series carry on (and steal mercilessly from it for my Scion games).

        Also, that scene at the end was perfect.
        "This is Humanity's champion. Sigh. You're all fucked."
        Last edited by a2a3a2a3; 11-22-2020, 07:17 PM.

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        • #5
          I intend to watch it, but I am curious, how have they presented the human sacrifice?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by omenseer View Post
            I intend to watch it, but I am curious, how have they presented the human sacrifice?
            Mild spoilers, but given you want to know:

            They present it in much the same way, so far as I know, as it was actually seen by the people at the time. Blood provides the gods with power, so sacrifices can provide them with the strength needed to help humanity. In the times human sacrifice has appeared (I think twice so far?), the sacrifices have gone to it willingly, if sadly, knowing their deaths are the best way to provide the gods with strength and worship in order to help them. However, the people around them are not as willing to let them go.


            Edit: If you meant in terms of gore content rather than how it's perceived, there is quite a lot of blood and somewhat gory death scenes, so if you're not great with that kind of thing, probably avoid.
            Last edited by a2a3a2a3; 11-29-2020, 03:26 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by a2a3a2a3 View Post

              Mild spoilers, but given you want to know:

              They present it in much the same way, so far as I know, as it was actually seen by the people at the time. Blood provides the gods with power, so sacrifices can provide them with the strength needed to help humanity. In the times human sacrifice has appeared (I think twice so far?), the sacrifices have gone to it willingly, if sadly, knowing their deaths are the best way to provide the gods with strength and worship in order to help them. However, the people around them are not as willing to let them go.


              Edit: If you meant in terms of gore content rather than how it's perceived, there is quite a lot of blood and somewhat gory death scenes, so if you're not great with that kind of thing, probably avoid.
              I indeed meant the first one. Thank you.

              Also, what language is its first language? I ask because I generally prefer to watch something in its original language with subtitles.
              Last edited by omenseer; 11-29-2020, 04:28 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by omenseer View Post

                I indeed meant the first one. Thank you.

                Also, what language is its first language? I ask because I generally prefer to watch something in its original language with subtitles.

                I'm pretty sure it's English.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by a2a3a2a3 View Post


                  I'm pretty sure it's English.
                  My brain went immediately to Spanish.

                  *Watches episodes*

                  Good stuff. Interesting set up.

                  Life is tough for orphan slave boy, but will the Guide turn into a big soft kitty by the end?

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                  • #10
                    So, something fun to note. In the trailers we see that Izel gets a magic little dagger.




                    Shown here from the trailer. Now (this is something I was told about by Sacerdos, so thanks for this!) at first this design may look a little goofy with its big eyes and giant teeth. BUT!

                    BEHOLD! An actual ritual dagger!


                    I do so love when an art team does their homework.


                    Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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                    • #11
                      Wow! This is a great show.


                      “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
                      Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

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                      • #12
                        We have twins!!! I love them and the way the model themselves after the Maya Hero Twins. I also think the show does logical conjecture from myth rather than outright invention really well. Did the Hero Twins have a special ball? No. Would a ball passed down from the Hero Twins be special? Sure! Is the gods taking possession of human bodies an attested belief? No. Does it make sense in the context of the gods needing human life and blood to do just about anything? Absolutely! Take note, storytellers out there, this is how it's done!
                        It also continues to be obvious how much research went into this show. The cities we've seen so far are based on real-life places and include recognisable architectural features. This makes the show a great way to familiarise oneself with the world view and aesthetic of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. My recommendation of this for Scion inspiration remains strong.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sacerdos View Post
                          We have twins!!! I love them and the way the model themselves after the Maya Hero Twins. I also think the show does logical conjecture from myth rather than outright invention really well. Did the Hero Twins have a special ball? No. Would a ball passed down from the Hero Twins be special? Sure! Is the gods taking possession of human bodies an attested belief? No. Does it make sense in the context of the gods needing human life and blood to do just about anything? Absolutely! Take note, storytellers out there, this is how it's done!
                          Are the weird, many-eyed monsters from the recent episode a thing in Mesoamerican myths? Or are they just a thing created for the show in the style of the myths, like the ball?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by a2a3a2a3 View Post
                            Are the weird, many-eyed monsters from the recent episode a thing in Mesoamerican myths? Or are they just a thing created for the show in the style of the myths, like the ball?
                            I'd actually been wondering about that myself. I listened to their podcast a bit, and it seems the monsters are, by and large, invented, mostly by taking native fauna (in this case, apparently, a coati of all things) and twisting it into something evil.

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