I didn’t go into Pacific Rim: The Black expecting much.
After all, Netflix’s anime versions of Godzilla (Godzilla: Monster Planet, Godzilla: Singularity Point & Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle), weren’t terrible though they weren’t anything to write home about either and seemed to revolve around other characters more than the giant lizard of the title.
Though Pacific Rim: The Black?
Let’s just say it’s not only not ‘Pacific Rim, Jr.’ – which was my fear based on the fact that in Pacific Rim: Uprising a single young person built a Jaeger, something that should be so difficult to do that it might as well be considered impossible (that she built it from cannibalized Jaeger parts is neither here nor there, it should not have been able to have been done, especially when you take into account how difficult they were to build in the original movie).
The story takes place in Australia, which is not only seemingly infested with kaiju, but has been pretty much abandoned (the event that brought this about is known as ‘The Black.’ And speaking of which, the first seven episode season doesn’t explain how this came about, which I mention because on the face of it it doesn’t make any sense because – at least in Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim: Uprising – there was no way to control where rifts opened, which means that there’s nothing stopping them from opening wherever it is that people were evacuated to).
Though hopefully those questions will be answered in the second season, which I hope there’ll be.
Though prior to ‘The Black’ we meet Hayley and Taylor, who’s parents are Jaeger pilots and have been helping evacuate people and defending against a rising kaiju threat.
Though one day their parents don’t return and Australia has seemingly been turned into a massive ghost town as the people that remain try to survive by remaining hidden from the kaiju.
What surprised me was how violent – relatively speaking – the series is compared to the movies that it’s wholly a part of; though perhaps ‘violence’ is the wrong word. There’s an intensity at times that works really well.
What I also enjoyed was that the series uses the first two movies as starting points, and builds on them, adding details that make sense within the universe of Pacific Rim.
In fact, overall Pacific Rim: The Black is a lot more effective than I would have expected it to be.