Overview (Spoilers Below):
The gods have entered a blood war as an entire city is swallowed up. Now with the underworld gates being open the land has become hell on earth with monsters erupting from the ground. A group of gods assign Quetzalcoatl to close the gates of the underworld that were opened by Mictlantecuhtli, and then Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca make a bet on their blood sacrifices with Quetzalcoatl choosing the “lowest of the low” humans to take on the quest as Tezcatlipoca chooses an emissary to guide humanity’s hero.
Meanwhile, Izel and his sister, Nelli are under a master working as artisans. After a trip to the market Izel gets bullied by the local kids as his sister attends a meeting with their master on the need for sacrifices. Izel returns beaten by the bullies as Nelli comforts him and they have one last night together before it’s revealed that she’s the sacrifice. Izel begs her not to go, and tries to sacrifice blood to a god only to be unable to do it. The sun rises and he rushes to where Nelli is only to see her sacrificed as she falls into the hole. Izel after hours decides to go in after her and is saved by Tezcatlipoca’s emissary, Yaotl.
First episode is important to a show’s reputation, and this first episode of Onyx Equinox is a bumpy ride from the animations to the main character. However the story about closing the gates of the underworld with a reluctant hero is a good idea. The voice acting was alright, it wasn’t the best but not the worst either. I wasn’t sure if Yaotl was cursing or just growling at the end.
For starters, Izel is introduced midway through the episode after the gods bet on their blood sacrifices. He’s portrayed as the wimpiest character I’ve ever watched from the lack of confidence to the bullying by the other kids. He does have a kind heart and attempts to be courageous, but it’s not enough when his sister gets sacrificed in his place. On a minor note, the scene at the sacrificial hole made me cringe like I understand it’s for dramatic effect, but the scene failed with the crowd of people not even stopping Izel until the guards did that at the very last moment. Then there’s the aftermath of her death as Izel stays there for hours showing how much her death has impacted him.
If there’s one thing the show has going for it, it’s the animation on the blood and the gods. That scene where the priest sacrificed himself to summon the gods was good as the blood started dripping down the stairs. The lightning flashes that accompanied the blood on the stairs was a cool effect. Then the gods as their power literally turned their hosts into dust as their power started to transform their host’s flesh. That was nice since it shows that they can’t remain in them for long.
Overall the episode shows that Onyx Equinox has a good premise. However, it also has moments that make it feel like it was rushed. Admittedly the first scene threw me off because I didn’t see Izel there, only the warrior girl who fled because of her parents. At any rate, Onyx Equinox is going to be a wild ride with this story.