Knifehead is a Category III Kaiju.
Large and bulky, Knifehead is a heavily built Kaiju. Its most notable feature is the long and broad, sharp-ended nose that could easily cut through the armor of a Jaeger. Atop the center of its head resides a blowhole that forcefully expels air whenever it resurfaces from the water. It has large, shell-like armor on its back while the rest of its body is similar to that of a goblin shark in appearance.
Knifehead possesses two large, dominant arms and two smaller, secondary arms protruding from its belly. Its large arms each have three-clawed digits, the middle digit being significantly larger. It also has a tail. Bright yellow lines run across its body, with the rest of its body being a dark grey. Its eyes and the interior of its mouth, however, glow blue.
Like Slattern, Trespasser, and Scunner, Knifehead's primary forearm bones have a fleshless gap between them, looking like two fused arms ending in three-digited claws. Knifehead is the largest Category III Kaiju recorded so far, topping fellow Category III Kaiju Yamarashi's record.
Knifehead emerges from the Breach and heads for Anchorage, Alaska. In a move to head the creature off, Romeo Blue is deployed to defend the ten-mile mark. However, Knifehead evades the Mark-1 Jaeger.
Gipsy Danger, piloted by brothers Raleigh and Yancy Becket, is deployed from the Anchorage Shatterdome Jaeger base to defend the Miracle Mile. As it approaches the city, swimming on the surface at night during a violent storm, it encounters the fishing boat Saltchuck. Knifehead's mass is such that the crew initially mistake it for an island before they realize the "island" rapidly approaching them. Knifehead rises from the water and advances on the Saltchuck to attack it. It's intercepted by Gipsy Danger, who rises from the water aft of the Saltchuck. The Jaeger picks up the boat and sets it out of harm’s way as Knifehead attacks it.
Knifehead receives a right and a left uppercut from Gipsy Danger, followed by a two-handed smash to the top of its head from the Jaeger’s fists. It lunges as Gipsy Danger raises its left arm defensively, catching the arm in its teeth. Gipsy Danger pushes forward and fends Knifehead off, and fires three blasts from its right Plasmacaster. Knifehead falls backward into the water and sinks out of sight, apparently dead. At the Anchorage Shatterdome’s LOCCENT, its signature vanishes.
Moments later, Knifehead’s signature reappears on radar and Knifehead attacks the distracted Gipsy Danger, aiming for its Conn-Pod. When Gipsy Danger attempts to fire the left arm Plasmacaster, Knifehead reacts, pulling the arm aside. It drives the sharp end of its nose into Gipsy Danger’s left shoulder and tears the arm off.
Knifehead sinks its claws into Gipsy Danger's Conn-Pod and tears off a large section of the cockpit’s right side, killing Yancy. Knifehead continues to attack Gipsy Danger, using its nose and teeth to tear through Gipsy Danger’s armor. As Knifehead grapples with the Jaeger, Raleigh, straining with the effort of operating Gipsy Danger by himself, charges and fires the right arm's Plasmacaster point-blank at the Kaiju's face. Knifehead is killed by the shot.
Tales From Year Zero
Following Knifehead's attack in Alaska, Knifehead's remains are dissected and studied by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps K-Science Division.[note 1] Four years later, its skull is put on display in the Anchorage Shatterdome.[note 2]
The engagement between Knifehead and Gipsy Danger marks a turning point in the Kaiju War. In all previous battles, the Kaiju had been unthinking brutes, easily defeated by the intelligence, weaponry and tactics of the Rangers and their Jaegers.
Knifehead is the first Kaiju to display overt intelligence and cunning. Subsequent engagements over the next five years demonstrate the beasts' increasing power, intelligence, and their ability to adapt to the Jaegers' weapons and their pilots’ tactics.
During a subsequent battle between the repaired Gipsy Danger and the Category IV Kaiju Leatherback in 2025, Raleigh Becket insists on "checking his pulse" after taking Leatherback down, apparently remembering how Knifehead had faked its death and attacked once Gipsy Danger's guard was down. To prevent this, Raleigh fires several more shots into Leatherback from Gipsy Danger's Plasmacaster to avoid the same mistake.
- According to Man, Machines & Monsters, Knifehead weighs 2,700 tons. In Pacific Rim and its novelization, Knifehead weighs 8,700 metric tons (9,590 tons).
- Knifehead was the first Kaiju created by Industrial Light and Magic.
- Scunner and Knifehead use the same basic CG body as Trespasser in Pacific Rim.
- Knifehead bears a strong resemblance to 1969 film . , a kaiju from the
- A 7" Knifehead figure is part of "Series One" of NECA's Pacific Rim collectible figures.
- Several identical copies of Knifehead can be seen in the Precursors processing facility.
- Knifehead appears in Pacific Rim: The Video Game, Pacific Rim: The Mobile Game, and Pacific Rim: Kaiju Battle.
- A child can be seen playing with a Knifehead toy in the first issue of Pacific Rim: Aftermath.