Pacific Rim: The Black, Season 2 premiered last week on April 19 on Netflix. This review will contain both non-spoiler and spoiler reviews.
I’m in the minority regarding how long I like a series to last. While I’m not going to complain about a show with multiple seasons, I’m much more fond of the mini-series type. Pacific Rim: The Black is pretty much a mini-series because each season is only seven episodes long at half an hour each. As such, it’s a fast-paced, engaging, and visually stunning show that manages to be both entertaining and tug on your heartstrings.
Along with the art style, intricate battles, and likable characters, the show feels complete because Netflix only signed the show for two seasons, so unlike most Netflix shows that get cancelled right as they get going, The Black is a self-contained show that ties up all loose ends. Yes, you read correctly: there is no cliffhanger ending, there is a definitive resolution, and all the characters’ fates are revealed.
The show follows where season 1 left off. Check out my wrap-up/review from last year if you want a refresh, but season 2 follows the same characters (Taylor, Hayley, and Mei) attempting to escape the Black. I like all three of them – the plucky and rash Hayley, the stoic and determined Taylor, and badass Mei who follows a typical tough-guy character arc (but it’s one that I never get sick of). They have a dynamic that’s engaging and realistic, especially for a show that’s mainly action.
Speaking of action, the part-anime part-CGI style makes for some spectacular fight scenes. The Kaiju are just as cool in the show as they are in the movies, and the minimalist nature of the backdrops and character design helps to put them at the forefront when they are on the screen.
Season 2 continues the main storyline, wraps up a few loose ends, and is overall a fun and fast watch even if you aren’t as obsessed with Mecha vs Kaiju as I am. I loved the show. It’s an absolute blast, and I highly recommend it.
Season 2 – Spoilers
There are a few things I wanted to review in detail, so turn your Jaeger around if you don’t want to wander into spoiler territory!
The Kaiju Whisperer
Episode 2 was a lot of fun, mainly because of the Kaiju Whisperer, who, if you recall, believes he has tamed the Kaiju using Pavlovian conditioning. Despite the horrific nature of his death, it made me laugh quite hard. Oh, and the Kaiju testicle scene was pretty funny too. A nice break from the seriousness of the rest of the show.
The only aspect of Season 2 that didn’t really work for me was Shane’s sacrifice. Had it been positioned that he was cocky enough to believe he could navigate Brina’s twisted mind, it would make sense, but given Spyder tells Mei that Shane gave him her data stick because Shane didn’t think he’d survive felt out of character to me. If this was supposed to be a big turnaround for season 1’s main villain, that in that he truly did love Mei like a daughter, it wasn’t set up enough beforehand and left me a bit confused.
Two Mothers Gone
I’m not sure whose death I was sadder about: Brina’s or LOAs. And that fake-out at the start of episode six actually tricked me! How dare they!
I love that we got to see the lead Sister’s face behind the mask! They did a great job making her both creepy and still human-like, and her quick death at the hands of Boy was a nice pairing with the gigantic battle going on behind them. I like when a villain gets dispatched in such a way.
How many times can that car flip over and still drive?
And how does Mei keep surviving those rollovers without even a scratch?
Mei and Taylor
Is something going on between them? I guess we’ll never know.
Rippers have almost overtaken velociraptors as my preferred fictional pet. While the big Kaiju are awesome, the Rippers are fun in a different way. I liked their inclusion in the series quite a bit! And those scenes when Boy and Britta fight them? So much fun!
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