3 Mech Anime Shows We Think Inspired PACIFIC RIM

| Monday, June 24, 2013

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3 Mech Anime Shows We Think Inspired PACIFIC RIM

When you watched the trailer for Guillermo del Toro's upcoming PACIFIC RIM (and if you haven't, check it out yo!) you probably thought to yourself, "Man, that looks just like a mecha anime!"

Guess what? You're right! Del Toro has stated that he wants to bring mecha anime to the masses with this project, which features giant robots (Jaegers) squaring off against giant monsters (kaiju) for the fate of the human race. While del Toro also said that he didn't allow his design team to discuss influences during production, you must have noticed some similarities between PACIFIC RIM and some notable mecha series.

Here are three that might have had a hand in shaping the movie in either story or design...

== TEASER ==


No kidding, right? Giant monsters bent on the extermination of the human race? Desperation in the face of absolute annihilation forcing nations to work together on new technology? The fact that pilots must synchronize their brainwaves in order to effectively pilot the massive machines? Oh yeah: EVA's all over this thing.

I also wouldn't be surprised if even more EVA-esque elements appear in the movie, as well. Perhaps there's a shadowy world-government with ulterior motives, or the secret origin of the Jaegers has something nasty in common with the kaiju, hm?

(Plus, China's Crimson Typhoon's head looks a lot like Eva-00. Just sayin').

Sure, things look desperate for the human race in RIM but, damn, if that makes them mopey or depressed! No, if the epic speech actor Idris Elba gives in the trailer is any indication, our heroes are warriors all, with drive and passion to defeat the enemy! Which brings us to our next influence...


If that speech is any indication, there are no cowards among the Jaeger pilots, and they're going to have to work together if they're going to topple the kaiju! They're going to team up, they're going to work together, and they're going to win because they are heroes! They're never going to give up!

Unless, of course, your co-pilot has some sort of mental block that prevents you from fully synchronizing. I'm sure that's not going to happen at all in the movie, though, because self-confidence is clearly the key to piloting these mechs. No one with the slightest shred of existential angst would ever be piloting a 200 ton walking building, right? And then that angst certainly wouldn't rub off on you just because your memories and thought patterns are completely synchronized... right?

Besides, even if you fail, there's an international team of mecha-pilots that are going to help you! They're from all over the world, including Japan, Russia, China, and the USA! And everybody knows that when there's a huge global crisis, countries put aside their hundreds of years of differences to put the welfare of humanity first. Always. Without question. In every series.

Well, maybe except...


Dutch. Windmill. Mecha. Suit. GUNDAM.
Dutch. Windmill. Mecha. Suit. GUNDAM.

In G GUNDAM, countries from across the solar system send robot representatives to duke it out on Earth, and each country has their own quirky (which is a nice way to say "offensively stereotypical") design or power.

While RIM isn't going so far as making the representative of Holland a giant windmill, each of the countries we know are in the film have their own unique designs and skills. Crimson Typhoon, for example, is one of the fastest Jaegers and has three arms with spinning claws. Russia's Cherno Alpha, meanwhile, is the most massive -- built for power above all else. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up suplexing a kaiju into the Mariana Trench or something. Naturally the USA's Gipsy Danger is the "herobot," so while it's basic, human-like design doesn't boast the best stats, their fighting spirit is bound to shine through.

Russian. Nuclear. Reactor. Mecha. Suit.
Russian. Nuclear. Reactor. Mecha. Suit.

And surely, someone's thought about what the world is going to look like after the kaiju menace is dealt with. Everyone's going to go home, sing Kumbaya, and the world will enter a new age of peace and prosperity.

That or all the countries with giant robots are going to start duking it out everywhere.

In fact, if we don't see any mecha-on-mecha action in this movie, I'm going to be pretty disappointed. Sure, fighting monsters is sweet and all, but isn't watching inter-personal conflict expressed through giant robots slugging it out even sweeter?

What shows do you think belong here, too? Toss some titles in the talkback! Continue the conversation.

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd and has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to the place where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves, or by following him on Twitter at @Murphix.


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