Introducing ‘Entre2Mundos’: History-making Anime and Manga Series

Catherine A. Jones
 | April 11, 2024

Latino anime fans have been waiting, and it’s finally here. Ad Astra Media and Nuestro Stories have joined forces to produce “Entre2Mundos,” the first ever anime and manga series set in the indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica. And the Latin American communities and folklore that came afterwards.

“This is the first anime made by latinos focused on all of Mesoamerican cultures and the diaspora,” Ad Astra Media’s CEO Jose Morey, M.D. tells us. “We are combining folklore from all of our indigenous backgrounds as well as those that developed over the modern era. We want to bring these stories to a new generation and to audiences that have never heard them before.”

“Entre2Mundos,” the anime and manga series, is a first and it’s finally here.

“Entre2Mundos”: the History-making Anime and Manga Series

According to the series’ creators, the theme of “in between” (entre dos) permeates the narrative amidst code-switching that will take place in the series between English, Spanish, Nahuatl, and other languages that fill the Latino diaspora.

“We live in a unique time in which we can tell our genuine stories for our community in a way of our choosing,” Morey explains. “The artform of anime is also having a renaissance and we want to add our unique Latino voice to the conversation.”

The series is the first anime to ever weave stories with rich influences from Mayan, Aztec, Incan, and Taino folklore, as well as South American, Afro Caribbean, and Central American culture.

“We are finally getting a TV show that combines Latin folklore with Mesoamerican mythology,” Writer, Author, and Pop Culture Influencer Matthew Torres tells his 106k followers on Instagram.

In response, mcbravo96 comments, “This will be the first time to have something Latino based to learn what we have forgotten … ”

Matthew Torres on Instagram.

Meeting the Creator

The series is the brainchild of Director, Writer, Illustrator, and Executive Producer Marc Andrew Sanchez, who previously produced, directed and animated Sombras for Latino Public Broadcasting with Ad Astra Media.

With “Entre2Mundos,” Sanchez says the dream isn’t just to entertain, but to inspire and guide, much like the anime and manga that shaped his own journey.

Here, Nuestro Stories caught up with Sanchez for an inside look at the groundbreaking project.

NS: Tell us about your role with Entre2Mundos.

MS: My role is truly amazing because I have the privilege of leading an incredibly talented group of artists, alongside my creative partner, Carisse Zepeda. Essentially, I’m the one who takes all the ideas swirling in my head for the world of “E2M” and brings them to life through visual drawings and on paper, guiding this incredible team every step of the way.

Whether it’s shaping character storylines, designing their appearance and backgrounds, or crafting the look and feel of the world itself, it all falls under my purview.

And it’s not just about me—it’s about how my fantastic writing team uses those visuals to enrich their storytelling. When you have a team with such a deep understanding of folklore and myth, or who are eager to learn, it’s a recipe for brilliance. Plus, our world builder adds another layer of depth, asking all the right questions to make our world truly dynamic, drawing from the inspirations and examples I share to flesh out something truly captivating.

Mark Sanchez

To put it simply, it’s incredibly exciting to be able to draw, write, and read, all in service of creating a world that’s entirely original. Especially since, growing up, I longed for stories that celebrated Latino history, folklore, and myth—now, I get to bring those stories to life.

NS: Why is the project important? Why now?

MS: Oh my gosh, it’s incredibly important! I truly believe that we’re in a moment where anime and manga have made a significant impact on our culture. The characters and themes from these mediums have permeated various Western shows and comics, thanks to the influence of “Dragon Ball Z,” “Naruto,” “Cowboy Bebop,” and others.

This influence extends to a sizable Latino audience, myself included. Back in the 2000s, I was one of those Latinos sketching Naruto in my makeshift notebook with lined paper. Anime and manga played a huge role in my life.

Despite my involvement in sports, I always found time to indulge in drawing characters and watching these shows. Today, there’s no hiding it — the “Otaku” (“Anime Nerd,” weeb) community is huge.

A couple of years ago, I used to coach Varsity Football back in my hometown of Yuma, Arizona. To my surprise, my football players shared a deep interest in anime. They admired seeing a coach who, despite being active and athletic, also enjoyed the same shows as them. This experience was particularly noteworthy considering the demographic of the school I taught in, which was predominantly Latino.

Why does this matter now? Because young adults and children are craving stories that resonate with their struggles and experiences in a universal manner. Simultaneously, they crave narratives that delve into the fantastical realms of our history, folklore, and mythos. I find this intersection incredibly beautiful and profound.

NS: What makes “Entre2Mundos” different than other projects you’ve worked on, like “Terra  Warriors”?

MS: “Terra Warriors” is such an awesome story, and Alyssa Hardman did such a great job! I think the main difference between them is the collaboration aspect.

While Alyssa wrote the book entirely, I engage in collective writing with my teammates, drawing from our collective creativity to enhance the storyline and deepen the interactions between characters and the world they inhabit. This approach also involves thorough research. Together, we immerse ourselves in various mangas and animes to gain a comprehensive understanding of the world we aim to create for our audience. I believe the teamwork aspect is pivotal, as I rely on individuals who share my vision and passion for the artwork and narrative of “Entre2Mundos.” 

NS: What are you hoping to accomplish with Entre2Mundos?

MS: Oh, you know, the big dream would be for it to reach the level of influence and cultural resonance that “Naruto,” “One Piece,” and even “Avatar: The Last Airbender” have achieved. It would just be so cool to see people who find themselves in the characters or even get inspired to keep going through tough times! That’s what I find most beautiful about anime and manga. They tackle tough topics that us younger adults often struggle with alone. These characters show us how to persevere and maintain an indomitable human spirit even through the darkest of times.

I hope to achieve exactly that – where someone tells me that because of this story, they were able to get through a rough patch. Because that’s what happened to me.

Coming from a family torn by divorce when I was just 7 years old, these shows were my guiding light through my own hero’s journey. So, I hope they serve as the same beacon for the next generation of anime and manga enthusiasts.

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