Hollywood is finally getting hip to the giant robot craze. Next year’s Pacific Rim will join last year’s Real Steel – and I suppose the Transformer series – in the budding giant robot genre. Of course, fans of Japanese anime have been long familiar with giant robots. And Pacific Rim seems to pack in all the classic themes of the best giant robot anime series. You have cocky pilots, an alien threat, and, of course, bad ass robot suits that can only be piloted by elite crews.
Thankfully the one classic anime theme we’re missing is angsty teenagers.
I appreciate that Pacific Rim is not shying away from it’s Japanese predecessors and instead embracing that connection. At least so far as we can see from the trailer. The scene of the little girl on the wrecked Japanese city street could have come from any number of anime. And the Asian female pilot harkens back to any number of heroines from classic anime series and for some reason reminds me slightly of Reika Mishima from RahXephon. But maybe that’s just me.
Right now, though, I’m most interested in learning more about these giant monsters come in from a different dimension. Guillermo del Toro is pretty good at designing fantastical worlds so I’m really looking forward to it. Particularly because they seem to borrow a bit of the monster designs from Cloverfield and I am perfectly happy thinking of this as a conceptual sequel to that film. Which I loved. Haters gonna hate.
Pacific Rim is not the only giant robot on the horizon either. An adaptation of Gaiking has also gotten the greenlight.
With any luck, films like Pacific Rim will encourage more anime-esque adaptations and perhaps full Hollywood-backed productions of live action films based on other series. I’m not going to lie, I would love to see a live action Fullmetal Alchemist. I can dream, right?