Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 (Review)



After defeating the kaiju known as Copperhead was defeated, Taylor, Hayley, and Mei find themselves at a crossroads after b0y's transformation into a kaiju. In the meantime, women cultists known as the Sisters seek out b0y as their messiah and use him to bring about a kaiju uprising.


Season 2 of Pacific Rim: The Black has finally arrived and sadly this is the show's final season. I say sadly because I really enjoyed the first season and I was hoping that the show would go on for another couple of seasons.


Just to recap, when the first season of Pacific Rim: The Black aired I went in with low expectations and it turned out that I really liked the show. Despite being animated by Polygon, the studio that did the Godzilla anime trilogy, the animation in this show was very fluid and very colorful, I really liked the story and the characters, and it was an all around fun show. My only disappointment with the first season was that it was only 7 episodes long and I wished the season was longer. Could I say the same for season 2? Mostly yes, season 2 was just as fun as the first season, but I felt the story seemed rushed a little bit.


Before I start with what I liked about the second season, I need you to do something for me. If you have not watched the show yet, click out of this page, go on Netflix, watch this show, and then come back afterwards. Because I am going to spoil the show and this is an anime that you do not want to have spoiled by a review. Pacific Rim: The Black is just that good and there are a lot of great moments that I don’t want to ruin for you. So I will be here waiting until you come back.

You’re back? Did you watch all of it? Okay, making sure.


Instead of repeating the same things about the animation, the graphics, and the designs of the monsters, I just want to talk about the story. One of the hardest things to get right recently with movies and TV shows in this genre is telling a really good human story and Pacific Rim: The Black has achieved in telling a really good story in this recent era of the genre.


The dynamic relationships between Taylor and Hayley searching for their parents while also creating this new family with Mei and b0y is a story that I didn’t think would work for a kaiju TV show, at first, until season 1 came out. Once I started watching, I was immediately hooked with the characters and it left me wanting more. Season 2 gave me more and it did a really good job continuing that story.


I really loved how it starts off with Mei and Taylor seeing b0y’s kaiju form they were ready to just leave him while Hayley kept fighting for him. In the position they were in, Taylor and Mei were thinking realistic since b0y is still a kaiju even when he changed back to his human form and he could turn on them at any moment. Meanwhile, Hayley is basing her argument on her emotional attachment to b0y claiming he turned transformed to save her and is still the same kid that they found and traveled with. As the show goes on, they become more divided on what they should do with b0y and how to stay alive. The whole theme around this season was on hope. Hayley was the only one that had hope for b0y when nobody else did while Taylor's hope was to get Hayley to Sydney base safely.


If there is anything that tugs on my heartstrings, it’s stories that are about a child losing their parents. There is a couple of times that had that. The first time was when Shane revealed that Taylor’s and Hayley’s mother was one of the Sisters that was brainwashed from a poison and he tried to bargain with the kids to trade their Jaeger for their mom. Mei told him outright that if he really wanted to do something fatherly for her he would help them with the mother gain back her memories free of charge. He managed to do so by drifting with her in the Jaeger, but at the cost of his own life. Even though Shane was a major asshole and not Mei’s real father, Mei and Shane still had that bond that hit Mei really hard emotionally.


The other scene is one that hit me hard. It starts off with everyone having made it to Sydney base and Taylor, Hayley, and their mother find that their dad is still alive and everyone is happy that the family is together again. Until suddenly there is this beeping the mother hears and the husband was telling her everything is fine and don’t worry about it. It cuts to the next scene inside the robot and find out that the mother died from the poison and the injuries she sustained from protecting her kids from the Sisters.


Between those two scenes, I really liked the death of the mother more than Shane's redemption scene. If you remember Shane from season 1, he was the smuggler that tried to steal Taylor's and Hayley's Jaeger and use it to rule Australia. Shane's sacrifice, while noble and I do like it, his sacrifice felt rushed. If the show had another season or two that allowed to build this character more, then, his sacrifice would feel more earned. The death of the mother was done better because Taylor and Hayley went through years of hell and went through hell in fighting kaiju, smugglers, and cultists only to find out that she had been brainwashed by the cultists and Shane had to sacrifice his own life to get her memories back. After that was done, the poison affecting her mind and the battle wounds she sustained from helping out her kids to help save b0y from the Sisters made her weak and unable to live long enough to see her husband again. So after everything Taylor and Hayley went through just to find their mom was more heartbreaking than Shane's sacrifice.


However, if there was any true "bro" moment it was when the kaiju/Jaeger hybrid, APEX, went to rescue b0y. APEX was the real MVP of the show because without him the whole crew would have had to kill b0y because he was brainwashed by the Sisters. Either that or b0y kills all of the characters in that episode. The thing about APEX is that APEX was one of the Jaeger drones from Pacific Rim: Uprising, but his link to the aliens was severed and he was able to mutate and have a mind of his own. He was a wild card that the Pan Pacific Defense Corps was never able to put down. In season 1, APEX and b0y had a special bond knowing that both of them were a lot alike seeing both of them are hybrids. In that same episode, APEX helped Atlas out by giving him a new arm from a different Jaeger. In this season, APEX heard boy's cry for help and came to rescue him while b0y was stomping and smashing his face in. Of course, it required teamwork between APEX and Atlas, but APEX died saving b0y in the end.


Loa also had a dark past that was revealed. She was the first A.I. that was built with a program that allowed it to express emotion. In that day, Atlas Destroyer was once a Jaeger built for combat and the pilots that Loa was helping were getting too reckless. It tried to save the pilots by prohibiting them from jumping into a fight with a slim chance of survival and they switched the controls to manual. By doing that, Loa had to watch those pilots die since it had no control over the Jaeger in manual and thinks in hindsight Loa could have saved those pilots if it hadn't tried to prevent them from jumping into the fight. This was brought about when Taylor was feeling like he keeps failing to protect his sister and how he feels like he isn't a good leader. So Loa was trying to relate his situation with its past history, but Loa also foreshadowed the show's climax. In the end, Loa got to save Taylor and Hayley by dispensing them through the escape pods.


Another aspect that was intriguing was the idea of co-existence with the kaiju. There is this new character that goes by "Bunyip Man" that had raised kaiju ever since they were pups and he thought he had tamed him. When he found out he ran out of food for the kaiju, his favorite one ate him. Then, there are the Sisters, which have a psychic link to the kaiju, especially one that was a category 6 called Breacher. This is more like mind-control than co-existence since the kaiju don't really have free will. The only ones that were able to achieve a sort of coexistence were Taylor, Hayley, and Mei with b0y and APEX.


Final Thoughts:


Pacific Rim: The Black was one of the most fun anime based on kaiju I have ever watched. I find the story to be really good, animation is smooth, very colorful, I really like the characters, and the designs of the kaiju are awesome. While short, it had a sweet ending to the story. If you have been looking for a really good anime series with kaiju Pacific Rim: The Black delivers what you’re looking for.


What are your thoughts on Pacific Rim: The Black? Did you enjoy it? Do you think it sucks? Let me know of your thoughts on the show in the comments section. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.

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