REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim: The Black,’ Season 2 Stumbles but Succeeds

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Pacific Rim The Black Season 2 - But Why Tho

Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 is a Netflix Original anime. Having escaped Shane, Haley, Taylor, Boy, and Mei could use a moment to catch their breaths before continuing their journey to Sydney. But that seems unlikely with the Sisters of the Kaiju bent on kidnapping Boy so they can make him into their Messiah.

When season 1 ended with the reveal of the Sisters of the Kaiju and their belief that Boy is some form of Kaiju Messiah, I suspected that season 2 was going to head into some new waters for the Pacific Rim franchise. And boy does it. Mind control, blood rituals, telepathy, and metahuman physical abilities are all on the docket when the Sisters come for Boy.

While these unexpected plot twists certainly make Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 stand apart from its predecessor, this metaphysical angle doesn’t feel right for the franchise. It also introduces some character conflicts that treat some of its returning cast less than kindly.

For the bulk of this season’s seven episodes, unless your name is Haley you are coming across as a heartless jerk. As the problems and pursuit surrounding Boy grows in intensity, Mei and Taylor seem to take turns playing the indifferent monster to Haley crying pleas for sympathy. While the duo often make fair points about why they think their frequently cold-hearted plans are the right path to follow, the show seems to go out of its way to have them present their argument in the harshest ways possible. There is no shred of sympathy from either character during arguments. Only after the fact does Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 allow either of them to seem human again.

This return of compassion for one-half of the show’s stars makes the final couple of episodes the standouts of this series. With the tension building and the found family back together, the show feels like it is back where it should’ve been all along. Rather than being weighed down by poorly handled drama.

While the main story arc surrounding the Sisters of the Kaiju and Boy often struggled for me, Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 does manage to deliver some solid closure to some of its other dangling plot lines. The biggest one of these is Shane’s part in this season.

I won’t give spoilers, but I will say that I like where the show ultimately leaves the villain/father figure of Mei. The struggle between the two is handled well as it wraps up Mei’s defining conflict in a way that feels genuine and meaningful.

The visual presentation in Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 is fine for the most part. The CGI visuals get both the action and emotion of the story across in a way that is clear to follow but is often too wooden to truly pull the viewer in. The design of the various kinds of Kaiju that appear throughout the season is numerous, with each standing out from the others nicely. The solid kaiju designs coupled with the genuinely creepy way the Sisters are presented help to elevate the show’s visuals to a bit higher level than they would be otherwise.

Augmenting the often wooden animation is the strong voice work. While the dialogue’s writing is generally fairly basic, the full cast feels like they are giving their all to sell their characters’ motives and feelings throughout the season.

Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 delivers a solid conclusion to Atlas Destroyer and its crews’ journey across Australia. Despite some bumps in the road and the odd metaphysical slant the story takes, if you found yourself attached to Haley, Taylor, Mei, and Boy after season 1, this story is certainly good enough to warrant spending seven more episodes with this group of characters.

Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.


Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Pacific Rim: The Black Season 2 delivers a solid conclusion to Atlas Destroyer and its crews’ journey across Australia. Despite some bumps in the road and the odd metaphysical slant the story takes, if you found yourself attached to Haley, Taylor, Mei, and Boy after season 1, this story is certainly good enough to warrant spending seven more episodes with this group of characters.