Crunchyroll Original ‘Onyx Equinox’ Episode 1 Review (Spoiler-Free)

Onyx Equinox

Hello, anime fans! Crunchyroll Original, Onyx Equinox debuted Saturday with a brutal, bloody bang. Crunchyroll has been killing it with their originals lately, so I will be covering Onyx Equinox as it releases. And if you have not heard about this one yet, here is a brief synopsis of the show:

The gods are at war for the future of humanity, and an Aztec boy named Izel finds himself caught in the middle of their dangerous game. In order to save humankind, he must complete an impossible task—closing the five gates to the underworld. Izel reluctantly agrees, but only after learning his quest will also correct a terrible tragedy. His journey to become humanity’s champion will be one of hope and despair, of trust and betrayal, where Izel must confront his own darkness and decide if the human race–with all its flaws and contradictions–is worth saving.

Not your traditional setting, with Onyx Equinox is set in the ancient Aztec times. The wrath of gods and tribal customs abound in just this first episode. I’ll be giving a spoiler-free review of each of these episodes as they premiere. So, let’s dive right in with the synopsis of Episode 1, The Last Day

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As Mictlantecuhtli initiates a blood war, the other Gods consider destroying humanity altogether. Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca make a side bet to see if the “lowest-of-the-low” can serve as humanity’s champion to save the human race. In Uxmal, a tragic decision sets Izel’s destiny in motion. 

In the opening scenes, the power of these gods is put on full display. The visuals are unique and almost overwhelming, in the sense that it was hard to even know what I was looking at. But, the show does a good job of taking a step back and settling us into this world after the jarring introduction. I am not familiar with Aztecian lore or society, but if you are a fan of ancient history, then you will enjoy the detail given in this show.

Setting the Stage

For me, the first episode of any show is often slow and difficult to get hooked on. This often makes it difficult to judge a show, so I always give it at least a few episodes. However, this first episode seems to turn this trope on its head and jump right into the action, never looking back. The show is clearly going to be full of graphic action sequences, perhaps justified by the setting this story takes place in. Personally, the violence was a little over-the-top, but if you enjoy unrelenting violence, then you will enjoy where this show takes us. That being said, I think the show has potential to be very captivating, especially if it embraces its own style. The animation is unique and the creature designs are unlike anything I have ever seen before. The strongest showing of the episode came from the scene with the gods. Their characters were the most captivating and I hope to see more of them. 

Overall, I will be keeping up with this show. Like I said, it is hard to judge based off of one episode. There is definitely potential here, and I am excited to see where they take things from here. 

So, what do you guys think of the first episode of Onyx Equinox? What other anime are you guys watching? Let us know in the comments below!

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