I really love the world of this movie: the claustrophobia of giant walls going up, the success then failure of the jaegers, how so many people were exhausted and tired of fighting, instead of just encountering the threat for the first time. It also gets points for having more than one speaking role for POC. On the other hand, I wish more of the supporting cast were POC as well and that Mako had more to do.
I'm also surprised that I've found little to no comparisons to anime in the write ups I've seen on my network! I know both Guillermo del Toro has said the movie is not based on Evangelion, and Travis Beacham says he wrote the bulk of the script before having seen the show/movies/franchise, but it feels as though the influence of the show is everywhere.
That said, I think Pacific Rim mostly adopts the parts of Evangelion that are a take on other mecha anime, as opposed to the philosophical and religious stuff. This is a plus for me, as I found Evangelion very Deep and Thoughtful in high school and.. not so much as I have gotten much older. I do still have a lot of nostalgic fondness for the series, however, and I love its take on mecha tropes.
Pacific Rim does a lot of similar things with regard to the logistics of having giant battle mecha; as with Evangelion, we see much more of the command center, of the massive amount of people necessary to keep all the jaegers in working condition, the engineering required just to deploy them for battle and etc. Logistics! I like them. One of my favorite bits of the movie was watching the jaegers be lifted out to the battlefield by helicopters, then dropped into the water, the emphasis on how the jaegers weren't entirely self-sufficient, and also the giant sound they make as they hit the water.
I really love how much weight the jaegers and kaiju have in the movie, in a literal sense. With anime and a lot of CG, it's so easy to have the large-scale battles feel effortless in a way, and Pacific Rim has the jaegers and kaiju look and sound heavy enough that when they do clash, it feels massive.
Aside from the logistics, other things that reminded me of Evangelion: the way the kaiju are all individually named and different from each other and how the people never know when an attack will come, and then the entire compatibility/synch rate thing.
Also, I laughed so hard when one of the jaegers' breastplates opened up to reveal a ton of artillery: hello Heavyarms! The jaegers for each country felt very Gundam Wing as well.
I can see why a lot of people love Mako. I think I love the idea of her more than the actual execution; she could so easily be the center around which the movie revolves, but despite the script giving her a good sparring scene, some excellent bits with Stacker Pentecost, and that sword thing (yesssss!), she felt very passive to me for most of the movie. Some of it is her silence and how many shots of her are on her reaction to other things going on. I wanted a lot more of her relationship with Stacker, along with more of her taking initiative inside the jaeger, and I was especially frustrated when Raleigh jettisoned her from the jaeger before the self-destruct sequence. Also, possibly I was expecting less Mako-Raleigh due to reading an interview or two before seeing it. I can see it as platonic, but I think weird moments of romance-ish-ness creep in, and I'm not sure how much of it is me being so used to the male and female leads getting together that I read more into it and how much is actual subtext. Mostly I'm thinking of that moment when she's watching him go around topless from the peephole in her door, as well as that weird bit where he fights the other pilot for insulting her while she just stands back, watching.
While I really love that one of the main relationships of the movie is between two POC, I wish they had had more POC in the secondary speaking roles. Obviously, if Raleigh's character had been POC, that would be awesome, but couldn't they at least have had one of the scientists be POC? Or more of the pilots with actual speaking roles? It's nice that the guy playing Tendo Choi is a man of color, but it would have been nicer if he had actually been mixed-race Asian. Re: Hannibal Chau, part of me is glad that at least the Hong Kong crime lord isn't Chinese, but it'd be nice to skip the Hong Kong gangster thing all together.
Unsurprisingly, I think Stacker Pentecost is BEST. Am glad that he gets a lot of screentime and importance before being the black guy sacrificing himself for people, but I really wish he didn't end up dead.
I really wanted more of the world after watching the movie, so I checked out the Tales from Year One comic. Alas, while it had some good backstory, I found it largely skippable and rather annoying.
Yay more women? On the other hand, it'd be nice if the majority of them weren't love interests or dead. I especially wish that the one about the scientist who developed the neural link thing was from her POV instead of her regretful ex-lover's, and having the narrator be a former jaeger pilot groupie who nearly broke up the Bennet brothers was even more annoying.
Was even more annoyed at the portrayal of Tendo's grandfather, who is dressed in old-style Chinese clothing as a way to make it really clear to the reader that he's Chinese? Also, dear Pacific Rim wiki, his name is NOT Yeye Choi, and saying "his grandfather Yeye" is redundant.
The art is also too comic-y; one of the things I loved about the movie was how dirty and worn and used everything felt, and not in the Christopher Nolan/GRRM grimdark way.
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