Seis Manos: A Horror Kung Fu MexicAnime Inspired By Grindhouse

by Gary Catig

During New York Comic Con, Viz Media briefly talked about the anime series, Seis Manos at their panel. Those interested in knowing more could attend a panel solely dedicated to the Netflix series. In attendance were writer and co-creator, Alvaro Rodriguez, and voice talent, Jonny Cruz and Angelica Vale.

The story revolves around a trio of orphans who are part of a found family headed by an old Chinese Kung Fu master. They live in a small Mexican village where they train in martial arts. Supernatural events begin to occur in their town and a tragic loss forces them to confront these threats.

The show signaled some firsts for the guests. It was Vale’s first English speaking role while it was also Rodriguez’s first time in animation. He described the show as Machete meets Kill Bill on the set of Coco. Vale enjoyed the show’s mixing of Mexican and Chinese cultures.

Cruz described his character, Jesus, as a party guy with attitude who wears his heart on his sleeve. He just wants everyone to get along. Since the anime is horror based, Cruz provided some levity in between the gore and scares. He enjoyed finding the right moments to improvise comedy.

They screened the first episode and it doesn’t shy away from violence. At times, it could be too brutal for my sensibilities, however the series was partly inspired by old grindhouse movies. They’re not afraid to kill off anyone. Visually, it follows in the footsteps of other animated programs like The Boondocks, Black Dynamite and Afro Samurai. For the action sequences, they hired a martial artist choreographer to provide some authenticity and the animators really pulled it off well.

Because of the setting, Seis Manos draws largely upon Mexican folklore. The antagonist of the premiere episode had ties to the Chupacabra and Danny Trejo’s character, El Balde, worships Lucifera, a Santa Muerte equivalent. Expect other ties to Mexican legends in further episodes.

Overall, the program has an interesting premise and it’s nice to see more representation on the television screen. The first season of Seis Manos can be currently streamed on Netflix.

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.

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