Pacific Rim: The Black Anime Review Works As A Great Original Series
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Review: Pacific Rim: The Black Works As A Great Original Series Set In The Kaiju-Jaeger Movie-Verse. 

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BY April 4, 2021

There are a lot of upcoming anime which are a spin-offs of other live-action franchises. While some haven’t been the best, like Altered Carbon: Resleeved, a new anime really surprised me with how they expanded on the live-action mythos. In this Pacific Rim: The Black anime review, I’ll discuss just how the new series takes the premise from the movies and makes something very original. The show is much more than just a spin-off in a different medium. Pacific Rim: The Black anime is actually a great standalone anime that tells a very engaging and riveting original story. 

The Pacific Rim Universe Gets Bigger. Pun Intended.

Pacific Rim: The Black anime review Jaeger Featured image via Netflix.

The world of the live-action movies created by Guillermo Del Toro was pretty great. Not amazing, mind you, as reflected by the critical and commercial reception of the movies, but very watchable. The world was fun and it was a great sight to see giant robots fighting giant monsters. At a time before the relaunch of the Godzilla vs. Kong franchise, the first Pacific Rim was a great novelty. 

Pacific Rim: The Black anime takes the concepts set forth by those movies, and extrapolates them into the future, in a different country. When the resurgence of giant creatures from underground happened in Australia, one family got caught up in the attack, getting separated. The series opens with the mom and dad, who are also Jaeger pilots, the giant robots designed to protect the world from these monsters, saving their own and other kids. Leaving them in an isolated oasis, the parents promise to return. The show begins 5 years later as their kids, Taylor and Hayley, are still waiting for their return. 

Pacific Rim: The Black Anime Review Presents a New Take on This Universe

Pacific Rim: The Black anime review Hayley. Featured image via Netflix.

This series is pretty incredible. I initially thought about how The Black was going to be just a frivolous and superficial story set in a recognizable movie franchise. But it’s so much more. The story really takes other characters set in the same world, to tell a unique story that is deeply moving and personal. While also effectively utilizing the concepts set forth from the movies to connect this story to the larger mythos. There’s also plenty of brand-new things in this story to set it apart from the movies. It’s not all just callbacks, but deeper connections from both movies’ premise, that definitely made me sit up and take notice.

The Personal Story of Pacific Rim: The Black

Pacific Rim: The Black anime review humans. Featured image via Netflix.

While the movies always try to anchor the big monster fight movie with a human story, it often doesn’t work. As mentioned in our Godzilla Vs. Kong review, a movie doesn’t always need to do that, but The Black makes it work. The story is about the now teenagers Taylor and Hayley, who have gone five years without their parents being around. Assuming they’re dead, the two teens are trying to live their lives in their own community with others. 

An accidental discovery leads a Kaiju right to them. After disaster strikes, the two have to venture out into the unknown world to try to find their place. But more importantly, survive. The brother-sister dynamics, along with the baggage left by their parents, is very interesting. The audience is never beaten over the head with that back story. And they never drag it out either, to the point of exasperation by fans. Which is refreshing, because it makes the moments between kaiju battles very rewarding.

How Pacific Rim: The Black Used Anime to Give New Life to the Franchise

Pacific Rim: The Black anime review Team. Featured image via Netflix.

Their adventure takes them to familiar places with close calls and a lot of new threats. They  stumble onto another orphaned young boy, who they hilariously name, ‘Boy’, by the way. A boy who is a strange addition to their team, with a unique significance to the world that the siblings don’t yet realize. The story also takes them through a world that is very much in survival mode, since the Kaiju attacks. It’s a world we didn’t see in the movies. Lawless, post-apocalyptic and desparate. 

My biggest takeaway, as I touched upon earlier in this Pacific Rim: The Black anime review is how the series does new things to move the franchise forward. There’s a backstory to this world, where the movies ended, that has storytelling potential. There are references to the Uprising Wars, directly connecting the series to the second Pacific Rim movie. Elements from that movie are also expanded upon with variants of the Drone Jaegers as well and a new kind of Kaiju. The mythos is expanded on with potentially nice Kaiju? Not to mention a mysterious cliffhanger ending to the first part that is extremely exciting and has be very much anticipated the next part. 

The series has enough emotional investment in the new characters, as well as crazy outrageous monster battle action, and cool new ideas in its story to be worth a watch. All in all, Pacific Rim: The Black is an interesting and enjoyable addition to the movie universe and a pretty good anime all on its own. 

Pacific Rim: The Black is now streaming on Netflix. 

Featured image via Netflix. 

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at or on Twitter @theshahshahid.


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