Pacific Rim : The Black
Table of Contents
Pacific Rim : The Black is an adult American animation series produced by Netflix based on the Pacific Rim franchise. The first season was released on the 4th March 2021 and the second and final on 19th April 2022 for a total of 14 episodes. The series has been animated by the Japanese studio Polygon Pictures, famous for its 3D CGI animation style.
The series is set in an alternate version on the Uprising movie that was the sequel of the first one. In The Black, the Australia has been completely invaded by the Kaiju and the continent is now a no mans land where a few survivors try to live or escape. Taylor and Hayley Travis are the children of two famous Jaeger pilots who served during the Kaiju invasion of the continent. Their parents left them behind in a safe zone while going to fight at Sydney to try to repeal the monsters. Five years later, they never made back and their children are now living with a few other survivors in a colony hidden from the Kaijus. One day, Hayley stumbles across an abandoned Jaeger facility and discovers Atlas Destroyer, a training unit. However, while activating the Jaeger, the alarms started to draw the Kaijus attention around who attacks their colony. The colony destroyed, Taylor and Hayley left with Atlas Destroyer and start a journey in The Black with the hope to find their parents at Sydney’s base.
I was very enthusiast when Netflix announced an anime based on the Pacific Rim franchise in 2018. As a mecha anime fan, I liked a lot the first movie which contained various references and inspirations from the most notorious Japanese animation franchises (like Gundam, Mazinger, or Evangelion). But after viewing the first season, it was a cold shower.
The first issue I have with this series is the animation. I must say I don’t like the Polygon Pictures style. Despite having a beautiful visual rendering, the animation is always artificially reducing its frame rate just to be, I suppose, closer to the traditional animation way. I deeply hate this effect because it’s inconsistent with the rest of the animation which is pretty fluid. The mechas fights are animated at a very good frame rate, and the characters drop at 4 images per seconds. I really don’t like these choices. Every series I’ve seen made by them had this style and every time I felt uncomfortable with it.
Then, the other problem is the characters. The two siblings are just annoying and boring. It’s the over used cliché of the over protecting brother versus the capricious princess sister. So every episode will be them fighting each other because he his pessimistic and she is over idealistic and optimistic. The other characters met during the show are also very basic and forgettable, they’re just the random archetypes you will found in every animation series.
Also the plot itself is weak and … Actually, empty and undeveloped. Pacific Rim has never been a deep written franchise, but its lore is pretty rich despite being a big budget niche movie regarding the standards of the time. The story is almost non existent in this series. Basically, the two seasons can be summarized as : the siblings are looking for their parents in The Black and during the way they find a strange young boy (judiciously named … Boy) and encounters marauders. The second season : Boy is kidnapped by a deadly cult named “the Sisters of Kaijus” who find in him their prophesied messiah. The plot is basic and takes absolutely no risks. Because of that, the series is basically boring and has no goal.
So yes, I’m a kind of disappointed by this show that is just an industrial random product on which they glued the “Pacific Rim” name. You can change the title and some details, and you won’t see any differences. A big disappointment as I’ve loved the first movie and liked the second despite being not as awesome as the first one.