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Posted by Akyho (2120 posts) -

I have just gotten back from the cinema after watching Pacific Rim. It was a very good film some cheesy moments, yet even in the face of this it came out alot less camp and cliche than if it was in the hands of what most Hollywood summer blockbuster directors seem to do.

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So lets me explain as I watched P.R (as it will be refer to from now on.) I couldn't help but think alot about Evangelion(from now will be known as Eva), which is why as I type this up I am on Episode 1 of the anime that I have already watched over 10 times.

I am not going to dissect the movie in great detail or even spoilers beyond "Giant mechs vs Giant monsters" more so the comparison of the 1995 anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is by no means a slamming of Pacific Rim for lifting ideas and atmosphere from Eva. More so how much of an influence anime was a good influenced on it.

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Eva is about the last fate of mankind resting the shoulders of a secret super weapon to defeat giant monsters that are known to be arriving at any time.

This is the same as a lot of "Monster of the week" Japanese programs such as Ultra man and such.

The biggest similarities come when its the explanation of how the mech's work. P.R has two pilots synched to the mech via a mind meld, using motion and mind to control the mech. They talk alot about synching and staying in synch in order to control the mechs.

The conversations sounded alot like Eva. As they are piloted by a single pilot partly hooked up to controls and partly hooked up by brain waves. Using the two to control the mech.

Another great thing that P.R did was not make the mechs invulnerable. Eva middled up and down on this, it had 26 episodes cant just blow up mechs willy nilly. However battles didnt always go to plan and more so the pilots never came away unharmed. They may have won flawlessly....however they are just 14 year old kids.....did I forget to mention that part?

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P.R did a good job of letting your get to know the pilots in strengths and in flaws. So in both mechs and their pilots were just as beaten up, allowing for some honest peril to occur.

There was also the great sense of scale, allowing you to understand these are giant mechs and not always allowed them to move effortlessly. One way of allowing this all to be understood to us normal humans that has never seen such goliaths. Is the human on the ground view, not like Transformers...were it was always looking at the humans instead of what they were looking at.

The best way it actually allowed you to understand size scale and the situation. Both allowed for on the ground logistic to be seen, you've just killed a giant monsters!....who cleans it up? Someone has too.

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In the actual story not much of the two cross beyond the basis of the idea. Both have stoic commanders in charge of this very desperate effort. The way the mechs are stored and delivered, they way everything looks have a certain similarity to the facilities in Eva. While Eva is more clinical and clean the shapes are much the same.

How many times do we watch films or tv shows and realise we are being shuffled the same stuff with almost no alterations? I am a big anime fan and have watched alot of mecha anime, I simply cannot put my finger on any other anime that bears such a similarity.

If anything can be said....while a lot of it is very similar and the more iconic ideas of Eva are used in P.R. It all was done in a very different way P.R is very much its own thing.

This is what I want, I know that ultimately there are no more new ideas. Everything is a based from something else, this does not mean you can't make it different.

There even has been talk and plans for a live action Eva movie years ago, which has been dead in the water for years. I could only imagine the visuals being done the same as P.R just not story.

I just want to see more of this, more of something new and less of this corporate money grabbing and actors egos fighting for awards.

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#1 Edited by notdavid (873 posts) -

I keep seeing this comparison, but I have no idea where it's coming from. Pacific Rim clearly takes more inspiration from the kaiju movies of the 60's. Ultraman, Gamera, etc.

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#2 Edited by Akyho (2120 posts) -

@notdavid said:

I keep seeing this comparison, but I have no idea where it's coming from. Pacific Rim clearly takes more inspiration from the kaiju movies of the 60's. Ultraman, Gamera, etc.

That is the basics. The details are more like Evangelion. The basics are Giant monster attacks and Giant man/robot/monster defeats it.

.I said this, I never said it was exclusive.

How the mechs work, the look, the characters and how the sense of scale is depicted and further details.

60s Kaiju monster movies and shows were guys in rubber suits flopping at each other with the same acting as Kirk versus the Gorgan...with the same props.

Saying that its was only 60s monster movies that inspired the film, is like saying only Castle Wolfenstein inspired Halo 4.

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#3 Edited by gaminghooligan (1821 posts) -

That last line. Couldn't agree more. It was so refreshing to see an original idea that didn't involve ghosts, a dysfunctional family, or a comic book character. Pacific Rim was so much fun, sure it wasn't a perfect movie, but it was easily my favorite film this summer (so far).

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#4 Posted by Reisz (1622 posts) -

My greatest hope for how this all plays out is that Pacific Rim does gangbusters and a live action EVA movie is back on the table. Not necessarily because I think that they could do the scope and gravitas of the series justice in a Hollywood film but because it's now been proven how exciting this stuff can be to watch!

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#5 Posted by Justin258 (14374 posts) -

It also reminded me of Evangelion but with a lighter tone, and with G Gundam and Godzilla thrown into the mix.

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#6 Posted by Akyho (2120 posts) -

@reisz: To be honest. Evangelion is one of the more complicated Mecha animes to do. Since the Mecha part is not the main draw, its not what made it a bust out success and still is. It was the psychological drama and the dark characters all with wounds.

The best way to cover an EVA film is like the current "remakes" the 1.1 and the other two.

Since so much important story beats are put into three to four episode that if you skip some of these, the characters are not the characters you know. Condensing Eva would be hard, hell.the ending is still a conflicted position. What actually is the ending? It would need to be several movies...it would need to be Lord of the rings several movies.

Code Geass would be another mecha anime that so much happens in just one episode that to cover it in a film would be insane.

These are the reasons I am content with the Ideas being adapted to a western film. Just as long as it comes out being its own thing and not a straight rip off, which Pacific Rim does a great job doing that.

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#7 Posted by DuhQbnSiLo (2241 posts) -

I was thinking Power Rangers.... but I guess Eva makes sense but I thought of Power Rangers. I'ma huge EVA fan but I didn't see it. EVA's fight angels which rarely look like monsters. Power Rangers are the ones always fighting so strange monster boss.

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#8 Edited by themangalist (1869 posts) -

It does keep on reminding me of Eva but I can't nail exactly what. When I really think about it everything is really quite different. I thought Mako reminded me of Rei Ayanami and her relationship with the general guy was quite like Rei's with Gendo... but then not really. What I will say however is that Evangellion is levels above Pacific Rim in terms of being a fucking awesome mech... thing (except for the nonsensical and pretentious plot). Pacific Rim is barebones, and all it focuses on is fucking robots vs monsters and it does excel at that. (But I do like Eva's super tense battle setpieces a bit more where either the main characters beat the crap out of the enemies in a few minutes or shit goes bad real fast, it's when the anime truly shines as a science fiction. It has a crazy internal logic, sticks with it and plays around with it. Pacific Rim was rather safe.) Pacific Rim would actually be better as an anime or anything that is not a movie. The screentime really limited the world/logic building and focused on two rather simple characters to tell a simple story.

By the way, the only mech that did actually look like a crazy Japanese mech was the Chinese one. Gypsy Danger looks like Will Smith's Hancock to me :P

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#9 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

It looks like Eva because Guillermo del Toro does like anime , also like he like comic books etc. Yeah a lot of the tech is Eva inspired , and that is fine. I do wish tho that the film had less hollywood cliches and more of that psycological drama of the Eva characters .... alas it was not so :/

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#10 Edited by Reisz (1622 posts) -

@akyho: You're right, Pacific Rim is very much it's own thing, that's part of what I love about it. The way I look at it though, adaptations have no effect on the source material so if the adpated work can stand on it's own merits I can appreciate it in a completely detached way from the original work.

Visually, Pacific Rim has taught me I want a live action EVA film. Even if the story beats and the overall themes have a lessened impact, I now know that the spectacle would be worthwhile just to see the designs and visual style that I so love brought to life in a way that anime alone can't accomplish.

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#11 Posted by Whitestripes09 (767 posts) -

I think when you take the basics of both EVA and P.R. you can see the similarities. EVA takes off at a tangent later in the series while P.R. sticks to it's formula for the most part.

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#12 Edited by Akyho (2120 posts) -

@duhqbnsilo: @whitestripes09: @reisz: @believer258: I can reply to all of you with yes I agree.

I came across Max Scoville of Rev3 games talking about Pacific Rim and other anime titles you should check up on if you want more Robot Action.

I am not here ripping P.R apart and telling you. "NO Dont like P.R it rips off anime!!!" instead I am here with my torch going "Hey....you liked this? You're not into anime? well why don't you check this out too and if your are...did you know about this?"

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Which reminded me of another anime that I can see alot of in Pacific Rim.

Aim for the top! Gunbuster!

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Directed by Hideki Anno in 1988...which in 1995 he would direct Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Why this P.R reminds me of Gunbuster as well is slightly the designs of the mech and aliens but more so the mortality and darkness of the whole thing as well as one story beat.

In Gunbuster there are giant space aliens threatening to destroy earth. Mankind creates giant robots to fight them. The basics...which I can remember why its mostly females being taught....I would need to watch it again.

Now Gunbusters had a very similar sense of dread which the anime openly exploits with how easily humans are killed by these humongous aliens.

The one story beat that mirrors P.R is it is a dual commanded mech. This is not something new to Mecha or Kaiju media. As alot are 2 manned or 6 manned machines. Since it is a dual commanded mech the two pilots need to work together.

So there is this relationship that depends on each other, which can be the main conflict far more than any "enemy" and more so...the main danger. This of course is Top gun as well on top of any buddy cop movie.

However Topgun is one of the more significant executions of this.....I just realized something.

Aim for the Top! GunBuster

Top Gun.

Top gun came out before Gunbuster, and the timeline could coincide with being able to write and create Gunbuster following some lines of Top gun. Interesting to muse over.

However. I can actually fly straight into the face of "if you liked Top gun? well I have the perfect anime for you!"

Macross plus from 1994. The story about a test pilot who is given an experimental aircraft/mech that will replace the current in service models. However there is another company with their own new experimental craft.

Each are to run trials and prove to the Military/space navy. They should win the contract.

This story mirrors the more recent trials for the YF22 and YF23 aircraft contract which gave us the F22 Raptor in American service today.

This video is a mashup of Macross plus, Top gun audio and of course Kenny Loggins Highway to the dangerzone. The anime is just like P.R it may be similarly based off something that came before it, Topgun was 89, this was 94. However it does its own thing and comes out as something vastly different.

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If the above video does not work as it dosnt for me. Copyright block in my country. Here is another link tot he video.


This blog is starting to seem badly titled for the purpose I am using it now.

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#13 Posted by BBAlpert (2542 posts) -

I feel like Pacific Rim wasn't as much Evangelion as it was G Gundam. I do wish they'd gone all the way and had soldiers from Holland show up in Hong Kong with a windmill-shaped Jaeger, though.

God, G Gundam was awesome/stupid...

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#14 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

Personally I am not sure why people make this association beyond "giant robots and giant monsters beating each other up". In fact Pacific Rim is kind of the opposite of Eva where instead characters saying "Shinji, get in the damn robot!" it is "Mako, get out of the damn robot!"

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#15 Edited by BBAlpert (2542 posts) -

@extomar said:

Personally I am not sure why people make this association beyond "giant robots and giant monsters beating each other up". In fact Pacific Rim is kind of the opposite of Eva where instead characters saying "Shinji, get in the damn robot!" it is "Mako, get out of the damn robot!"

I thought Mako was Rei, more than anyone else (even down to the blue hair highlights). I did keep half-expecting the Marshall to get fed up with Raleigh's constant sass at some point and say "fuck it, just turn on the Yancy dummy plug." That or Gipsy Danger either eating the EMP organ thing it ripped out of Leatherback or tearing off one of Raiju's arms to replace its own missing one.

Although, Mako's first attempt at piloting Gipsy Danger did remind me a good bit of this scene.

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#16 Posted by zagzagovich (824 posts) -

I really don't see trhe comparison and find it misleading for people who are looking for something like Eva. This is way more classic super robot mecha show than Eva's deconstructive approach to the genre. From the design of robots to the style of action to just the general tone of the movie it has nothing to do with Eva. Perhaps it comes from the popularity of Evangelion in the west and lack of popularity of more traditional super robot shows but I would even say that Robot Jox is a way more direct influence than Eva. I love the movie and really hope we get more live action giant robots in the future but for the love of God let the Eva stuff go.

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#17 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

Rei is for a lack of a better description a soulless vessel that did what she was told. Mako on the other hand was driven by her own demons. They seem like completely different characters where much like comparing Eva and Pacific Rim there is almost nothing in common beyond the largest generalities. The only thing they have in common is they females who climbed into giant robots and did some very violent things.

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#18 Posted by Prestige (140 posts) -

Yeah, I've got to echo the sentiment that I was reminded of G Gundam, from the nation-themed robots to the idea that the pilots have to know martial arts because the mechs are controlled by 1:1 punching. It's the most over-the-top fun Gundam series and matches Pacific Rim's tone much more closely than Eva does.

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#19 Edited by Akyho (2120 posts) -

@prestige: @zagzagovich: @extomar: @bbalpert:

You folks seem to not have read my post at all and why I compare. Simply sounds like you read the title and posted.
I have been re watching Evangelion and while I was not analysing the story or why EVA is the one and pretty much only one mech anime to be compared too. I have also been finding alot more things in common with P.R and eva.

I watch Mecha anime. There are two genres of mecha anime.

One is Super mecha. This is your Mazinger Z/Getta Robo/Giant Robo/Big O. Hell Id argue G Gundam fits this role as well...which really explains why I honestly do not like it.

I don't like Super Mecha, since the mecha are super huge and all the abilities are basically condensed into magic and shouting.

Real Mecha is based on it being real, so they explain things as if its real using real terms or inventing stuff based on real things, based on real physics. Can still break them.

Such as Macross/Gundam/Nadesico. These mechs are usually the size of planes and used much in the same way as Infantry, mobile armour and air force.

Evangelion is that bridge. They have big giant super robots except everything around them is based on the real stuff.

So you have EVA one hooked up to an umbilical bridge to secure it, you have it bolted into a frame to help rapidly launch it to the surface. Talks about power and how to power something so large isnt easy and not just fobbed off with magic to explain.

There is the on the ground logistic that is constantly shown. You have a giant dead monster/alien....ok get the cranes out we are going to have deconstruct it!

The explanation on how the human user interface with the mech is similar.

P.R is the same, it bridges the worlds of Super Mecha and Real mecha which there are hardly any anime that does. Eva being one of the first and well known cases for this.

It shows the engineers, the organization of people that are operating this base. Instead of 99% of Super Mecha shows were its one old man that has made these super robots all by himself...and maintains them.

P.R is not a super mecha, it is the weird marriage that EVA did with Real Mecha and Super Mecha.

There is a lot more to my comparison than "OH BIG ROBOTS ITS EVA!"

I am not shouting "ITS THE SAME THING!" I am pointing out the similarities. Similarities that is just the same for other classes of films.

Action films have their staples, Drama has their staples. So does Mecha have its staples.

Eva would have refined what it has from both worlds of Super Mecha and Real Mecha to this point that P.R takes a leap from.

Which is a good thing to do it is something many people do.

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#20 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

I never said I wrote anything as a response to the original post. :)

Basically I'm dismayed at the suggestion that when they see "giant robots" the only thing they thought of "this looks like Eva!" which came through on follow-on posts. I don't even like the genre (I could never get past the quirky part that machines that large would be easy to spot and hit from orbit) but I know there is a rather large and rich history of "giant machines battling evil".

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#21 Posted by Akyho (2120 posts) -
@extomar said:

I never said I wrote anything as a response to the original post. :)

Basically I'm dismayed at the suggestion that when they see "giant robots" the only thing they thought of "this looks like Eva!" which came through on follow-on posts. I don't even like the genre (I could never get past the quirky part that machines that large would be easy to spot and hit from orbit) but I know there is a rather large and rich history of "giant machines".

A sad part of all this was Wild Wild West's confederate steam powered spider mech.

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America does not have a good track record in aiding it.

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#22 Posted by gokaired (581 posts) -

I was thinking Power Rangers.

Same here.