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The Gritty Sci-Fi Anime That's Taking Off On Netflix

The last time we were in the Pacific Rim universe with 2018's Uprising, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) made it clear that if they were going to rid Earth of kaiju, they were going to have to take the battle to the monsters' dimension. Sadly, like so many films before it that teased a sequel only for it never to come to fruition (looking at you Green Lantern), it looks like a true-blue Pacific Rim 3 may be out of the question at this point due to low box office returns. Granted, it did pretty well in China, so never say never to a third installment; however, if you want more robot-on-monster action for the time being, you're going to have to go over to Netflix.

Even before Pacific Rim: The Black came out, it was confirmed to last for at least two seasons, meaning there are still plenty of epic battles to take place (via IGN). The new series mixes things up from the original two films. For starters, it's an anime as opposed to a live-action adaptation, and it focuses on an entirely new crop of characters. Instead of hardened pilots strapping into the giant Jaegers, it's just a couple of kids who are trying to find their parents, but along the way, they run into their fair share of trouble, and we're not just talking about kaiju, either. 

Clearly, plenty of viewers were itching for more larger-than-life fights, helping Pacific Rim: The Black break into Netflix's Top 10 TV Shows shortly after its recent release. Even if you haven't seen the prior two films, which you definitely should, the series draws you in with captivating characters and breathtaking visuals to keep you hooked throughout all seven episodes of its first season. 

Pacific Rim: The Black broadens the world created by Guillermo del Toro in the original film

With Pacific Rim: The Black, we see a corner of the franchise's world that's previously gone unexplored. The first episode opens with two kids, Taylor (Calum Worthy) and Hayley (Gideon Adlon), saying goodbye to their parents, who are experienced pilots with their own Jaeger designed to battle kaiju. While they promise to return soon, five years pass without any word from them, and when Taylor and Hayley come across another mech they can pilot, they set out to find them. 

The first episode creates relatable stakes while focusing heavily on the central relationship between the two siblings. There's also a moment where a Jaeger grabs hold of a nuke and shoves it down a kaiju's throat, if that's more your style. From there, the show takes a more down-to-earth approach to fleshing out the mythology of this world. It's not long until the kids stumble upon a compound of mercenaries who are more interested in establishing supremacy in this new wasteland than taking out every monster they can find, and without giving anything away, the first season ends with a nice tease of what's to come. It's safe to say creators Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson have plenty of ideas to keep the anime going for a while. 

The fight scenes may hold your interest, but the characters keep you coming back. Pacific Rim: The Black does a surprisingly admirable job of getting you to connect with characters trying to survive in a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction. As Daniel Hart writes in his review for Ready Steady Cut, "The lead characters truly propel the story, and it's important that they are young and innocent — they're yearning to find their parents, while on the other hand [having] to quickly grow up in a physically exerting world makes for an emotional rollercoaster."

This franchise is as close as we'll likely get to watching Godzilla fight Optimus Prime, so check out Pacific Rim: The Black on Netflix now.