The Anime and Tokusatsu Film Influences of PACIFIC RIM UPRISING

Editor’s note: Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Entertainment.

While comic books manage to seamlessly translate from the printed page to the big screen, anime and manga haven’t had the same luck. There’s something about the aesthetic of anime that feels difficult to replicate outside of the worlds of animation and illustration. However, there exists an exception to every rule, and such is the case of the Pacific Rim franchise. This wild, pre-apocalyptic world in which a multinational paramilitary force must pilot giant mechs against massive, horrifying monsters that emerge from inter-dimensional rifts on the ocean floor feels as though it’s the plot line of an anime you watched on a thrice-dubbed VHS tape that you borrowed from a friend of a friend who “knows a guy” on the convention circuit. There’s a comfortable familiarity to Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim Uprising because anime and classic tokusatsu TV series/movies are infused into the films’ DNA.

[brightcove video_id=”5751617500001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=“rJs2ZD8x”]Even more-so than its predecessor, Pacific Rim Uprising feels like the live action anime movie you’ve been waiting your entire life to see, and that’s because it was made by people who have a distinct passion for the genre fare and tropes that this film celebrates. To give you an inside peek at how anime and tokusatsu influence Pacific Rim Uprising, as well as which TV series and films that inspired the filmmakers, our reporter Erika Ishii sat down with producer/star John Boyega and writer-director Steven S. DeKnight to dive off the deep end into full-on nerdery. Case in point: we asked John Boyega who he would be Drift Compatible with IRL and the answer was entirely unexpected.

via Giphy

Now I don’t know about you folks, but I definitely need to see a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-style sequel where John Boyega’s Jake Pentecost teams up with Sasuke to defeat an army of kaiju ASAP.

Pacific Rim Uprising opens on March 23, 2018.

Images: Legendary/Universal

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