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Pacific Rim: The Black (パシフィック・リム: 暗黒の大陸, Pashifikku Rimu Ankoku no Tairiku[note 1][9]) is an animated series produced and distributed by Legendary Television Studios and Polygon Pictures in association with Netflix.[10] Pacific Rim: The Black follows siblings Hayley and Taylor, who learn to pilot an abandoned Jaeger in a post-apocalyptic Australia overwhelmed by the Kaiju. Originally set for a 2020 release[6], before it was pushed back to 2021.[4][5] The series was greenlit for two seasons.[7][8] The first season debuted March 4, 2021.[3]

Official Description

"There was a time when Kaiju rose from the Pacific Rim only to encounter gigantic robots, Jaegers, built to fight them back. That time has passed. Now, Australia has been overrun by Kaiju, forcing the evacuation of an entire continent. Left behind, teenage siblings Taylor and Hayley embark on a desperate search for their missing parents, teaching themselves to pilot a battered, long-abandoned Jaeger to help in their quest and give them even the slightest hope of surviving."
—Official Description[5]

Story

Season One

Kaiju have taken over the continent of Australia. The Pan Pacific Defense Corps have initiated Operation Blackout: The evacuation of civilians and personnel from Kaiju-compromised areas. All Jaegers and Shatterdomes have been destroyed or buried to avoid compromise. After rescuing civilians from a Kaiju attack, Rangers Brina and Ford Travis leave to find help in nearby evacuation cities. Five years later, their children, Hayley and Taylor, discover the buried PPDC base Shadow Basin, which houses the Mark-3 Jaeger, Atlas Destroyer. Atlas Destroyer is a decommissioned training Jaeger with no weapons, left behind during the PPDC's evacuation.

Activating Atlas Destroyer draws the attention of a Category IV Kaiju, Copperhead, who destroys their safe haven, and kills the survivors they lived with. With no options left, they use Atlas Destroyer to begin the search for their parents. The search is met with multiple setbacks. While searching for for a power cell, Taylor and Hayley meet a boy trapped in the basement of the PPDC Recruitment Center. Following a close call with a Kaiju-Jaeger Hybrid and several canine Kaiju, they meet Shane and Mei in Bogan. The siblings battle the Kaiju Copperhead throughout their journey. A showdown with the Kaiju-Jaeger Hybrid, Apex, reveals remnants of the Hybrids. "The Sisters" that were referenced by Shane, are revealed alongside the revelation of the Kaiju Messiah.

Season Two

To be Added

Episodes

Main article: List of Pacific Rim: The Black Episodes

Jaeger and Kaiju

Jaegers

Kaiju

Cast

Voice (JPN) Voice (ENG) Character
Yui Shimodaya[11] Gideon Adlon[2] Hayley Travis
Yūsuke Kobayashi[11] Calum Worthy[2] Taylor Travis
TBA Camryn Jones Young Hayley Travis
Yuki Urushiyama[12] Cole Keriazakos Young Taylor Travis
Iku Minase[11] Erica Lindbeck[2] Loa
TBA Ben Diskin Kaiju Boy
Jin Yamanoi[13] Andy McPhee Shane
Ayaka Shimoyamada[13] Victoria Grace Mei
TBA Nolan North Marshal Rask
Yuko Kaida[13] Allie MacDonald Brina Travis
Yuya Uchida[13] Jason Spisak Ford Travis
TBA David Errigo Root
Daisuke Hirakawa[12] Leonardo Nam Rickter
Rui Kato[12] Martin Klebba Spyder
Tomoya Yano[12] Vincent Piazza Joel Wyrick
TBA Bryton James Corey
Masato Niwa[12] Ryan Robinson Demarcus
Megumi Ohara[12] TBA Sister

Background

Format

Pacific Rim: The Black is an episodic series, building on the story of the original film and Pacific Rim Uprising. The series will follow a brother and his younger sister piloting an abandoned Jaeger across hostile territory in search of their parents.[14][note 2]

Pre-Production

Following the departure of Guillermo del Toro from the production of the Pacific Rim sequel, affiliated projects planned for release, such as the animated series, and ongoing comic book series, were quietly cancelled or reworked into a miniseries. Legendary Entertainment reworked the sequel into Pacific Rim Uprising, directed and co-written by Steven S. DeKnight.

November 7, 2018, Legendary announced an animated series project was moving forward with Netfix. The series was among a hundred announced or returning original series produced by Netflix as their first "content showing" for Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.[14][15]

Craig Kyle, co-writer of Thor: Ragnarok, and Greg Johnson, head writer of the 2000 series X-Men: Evolution were announced as the series showrunners.[14][15]

July 2019, during the Los Angeles Anime Expo, Legendary Entertainment announced the series would debut in 2020 with an initial plan for two seasons. The Tokyo-based animation company, Polygon Pictures, would co-produce the series. Elie Dekel, vice president of brand development and consumer products for Legendary Entertainment, cited that the production would be one of the most expensive for Netflix's original anime series.[6][note 3]

Production

Production for the series officially begin in 2019.[16][note 4] Polygon Studios art director Yuki Moriyama sought to maintain the unrefined action of the films for the series[17], while acknowledging many elements about the universe's presentation would were necessary to change to better suit the animation format.

The tone of the series would be darker than the films. Supervising director Hiroyuki Hayashi was interested in focusing on a future wherein humanity has been exhausted by the war against the Kaiju. “We came up with the idea that the social gap between different groups would widen under these circumstances. Especially in the frontline areas left behind, people would only see advanced technology when it is necessary."[17]

Atlas Destroyer illustrated by Jūki Izumo.

The Kaiju designs were created by concept artist Yuuki Morita, who worked with the animators to make the concept art's realistic designs meld with vibrant color tones that work in anime. The goal was to render the Kaiju without losing the detail present in Morita's work. Collaboration between Polygon Studios and Legendary Entertainment, according to Hayashi, gave the Kaiju designs an "international flavor" as a result of diverse artists bringing their own ideas to the concept of the Kaiju.[17]

Jaegers Atlas Destroyer, and Hunter Vertigo were designed by Jūki Izumo, who consulted Pacific Rim concept artists Keith Thompson, Hugo Martin, Oscar Cicconi, Guy Davis, and Francisco Ruiz Velasco.[18] Sculptor Yuji Katagiri designed the maquettes for the Jaegers, which were then rendered by Industrial Light and Magic. According to Izumo, they tried to follow the design philosophy of the first film, as well as Japanese plastic model designs. They also considered the setting and timeline of the universe, working with the animation directors and showrunners who had final say on the Jaeger designs.[18]

Critical Reception

As of March 2021, developing critical consensus of Pacific Rim: The Black is mixed to positive on review aggregate sites. The series earned a 73% (based on eleven critical reviews) fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes[19], and Metacritic currently counts three positive critical reviews.[20]

Trivia

Notes

  1. "PACIFIC RIM: THE DARK CONTINENT"
  2. Hollywood Reporter: "Pacific Rim. Returning to the epic battle of Kaiju and Jeagers, this original anime series will expand upon the story of the first two live action movies and follow two siblings — an idealistic teenage boy and his naïve younger sister — who are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaeger across a hostile landscape in a desperate attempt to find their missing parents. Co-showrunners: Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok) and Greg Johnson (X-Men: Evolution). Production Company: Legendary Entertainment (Kong: Skull Island; Pokemon: Detective Pikachu)."
  3. Dkel: "The series will be produced by Legendary in partnership with Tokyo’s Polygon Pictures. “[This is] one of the biggest budget anime series I’ve had the pleasure of working on, and I think that speaks to the commitment of Netflix and Legendary [to anime]” said Dekel."
  4. Craig Kyle: "After two years of baking, this cake almost ready to serve."

External Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Pacific Rim: The Black opening anime sequence
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 @PacificRim - February 25, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pacific Rim- The Black - Date Announce - Netflix
  4. 4.0 4.1 NX on Twitter - October 26, 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Pacific Rim: The Black - Trailer, Plot, Release Date & News to Know
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Netflix's Pacific Rim Anime Is Coming in 2020, Confirmed for Two Seasons
  7. 7.0 7.1 Netflix's Pacific Rim Anime Will Have 2 Seasons, Premiere In 2020
  8. 8.0 8.1 Pacific Rim @PacificRim - March 31, 2021
  9. Nextflix Japan Anime @NetflixJP_Anime - October 26, 2020
  10. Netflix Announces Anime series based Pacific Rim and Altered Carbon
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Pacific Rim: The Black Anime's 1st Full Trailer Shows New Jaeger, Kaiju
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 - Pacific Rim: The Black - Wikizilla, the Kaiju Encylpedia
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Pacific Rim: The Black (ONA)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 'Pacific Rim' and 'Altered Carbon' Anime Projects Among Netflix's New Slate of Asian Originals
  15. 15.0 15.1 Pacific Rim and Altered Carbon anime shows are coming to Netflix
  16. Craig Kyle @MrCraigKyle - February 10, 2021
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 How Pacific Rim’s sci-fi world was transformed into a Netflix anime
  18. 18.0 18.1 IZMOJUKI Blog: Pacific Rim: The Black
  19. Pacific Rim: The Black - Season 1
  20. Pacific Rim: The Black - Season 1 Reviews - Metacritic
  21. Polygon Pictures Goes Digital with Toon Boom
  22. PACIFIC RIM: THE BLACK — American and Japanese Publicity Art For New Netflix Anime Series

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