Pacific Rim: The Black truly captures the audiences’ imagination with eye-pleasing action sets, conflicted characters and a voyage to find purpose
This review of the Netflix anime series Pacific Rim: The Black season 1 contains no spoilers. The anime was released on the streaming service on March 4, 2021.
When Netflix released the animated Transformers adaptation, we felt like we were being spoiled. It’s becoming apparent that these stories are way better served as an animation than as a live-action film. Bolstering their anime section with more content, Netflix brings audiences Pacific Rim: The Black, strongly tied to the feature film series Pacific Rim. There’s a market to take advantage of because this anime adaptation is first-class, not only by its impressive animation of a dystopian world filled with Kaiju but with a deeply engaging and emotional story.
As for the story, it follows brother and sister Hayley and Taylor, who live in a small community; their parents left them when they were younger on their Jaeger to continue their mission against the Kaiju, however, despite promising to return, five years later, the two children are still waiting. After a series of events, Hayley and Taylor embark on their journey with a Jaeger that they found underground that’s only meant to be used for training purposes. The same concept applies, with two people having to operate the Jaegar, using a neural link, so emotions have to be put aside — it’s a mental and physical skill to operate these machines.
Netflix’s Pacific Rim: The Black imagines life way after the events we see in the films, where the Kaiju have advanced, and humanity only has one goal — survival. It’s a world where humans have become a second-rate species, with a likely chance of extinction. Expect scenarios that attach themselves to The Walking Dead, with certain factions of humanity doing everything they can to rely on their instincts and assert control. The lead characters truly propel the story, and it’s important that they are young and innocent — they’re yearning to find their parents, while on the other hand have to quickly grow up in a physically exerting world makes for an emotional rollercoaster.
In seven episodes, Pacific Rim: The Black season 1 truly captures the audiences’ imagination with eye-pleasing action sets, conflicted characters and a voyage to find purpose. It maintains this belief that humans have one strength that surpasses any enemy, which is togetherness — the collectiveness surges through this story finely, bringing a few euphoric moments where we understand the true value of humanity. When animated series get a story right, the rest follows, and Pacific Rim: The Black is one of those stories.
As for longevity, this animated series has plenty more in store. While it does expand the canon, it keeps the audience at arm’s length, ensuring we can delve into furthered story arcs in future seasons. It’s abundantly clear that this is storyboarded and planned. Netflix could easily commission several seasons of this story, as long as the writing remains consistent.
Pacific Rim is a universe that I enjoy way more than Transformers, and this anime series justifies my preference even more — we need more of this story.