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3 Mech Anime Shows We Think Inspired PACIFIC RIM

Some classic series we're thinking had a hand in bringing the movie to life.

When you watched the trailer for Guillermo del Toro's upcoming PACIFIC RIM (and if you haven't, check it out yo!) you probably thought to yourself, "Man, that looks just like a mecha anime!"

Guess what? You're right! Del Toro has stated that he wants to bring mecha anime to the masses with this project, which features giant robots (Jaegers) squaring off against giant monsters (kaiju) for the fate of the human race. While del Toro also said that he didn't allow his design team to discuss influences during production, you must have noticed some similarities between PACIFIC RIM and some notable mecha series.

Here are three that might have had a hand in shaping the movie in either story or design...

#1: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION

No kidding, right? Giant monsters bent on the extermination of the human race? Desperation in the face of absolute annihilation forcing nations to work together on new technology? The fact that pilots must synchronize their brainwaves in order to effectively pilot the massive machines? Oh yeah: EVA's all over this thing.

I also wouldn't be surprised if even more EVA-esque elements appear in the movie, as well. Perhaps there's a shadowy world-government with ulterior motives, or the secret origin of the Jaegers has something nasty in common with the kaiju, hm?

(Plus, China's Crimson Typhoon's head looks a lot like Eva-00. Just sayin').

Sure, things look desperate for the human race in RIM but, damn, if that makes them mopey or depressed! No, if the epic speech actor Idris Elba gives in the trailer is any indication, our heroes are warriors all, with drive and passion to defeat the enemy! Which brings us to our next influence...

#2: TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN

If that speech is any indication, there are no cowards among the Jaeger pilots, and they're going to have to work together if they're going to topple the kaiju! They're going to team up, they're going to work together, and they're going to win because they are heroes! They're never going to give up!

Unless, of course, your co-pilot has some sort of mental block that prevents you from fully synchronizing. I'm sure that's not going to happen at all in the movie, though, because self-confidence is clearly the key to piloting these mechs. No one with the slightest shred of existential angst would ever be piloting a 200 ton walking building, right? And then that angst certainly wouldn't rub off on you just because your memories and thought patterns are completely synchronized... right?

Besides, even if you fail, there's an international team of mecha-pilots that are going to help you! They're from all over the world, including Japan, Russia, China, and the USA! And everybody knows that when there's a huge global crisis, countries put aside their hundreds of years of differences to put the welfare of humanity first. Always. Without question. In every series.

Well, maybe except...

#3: MOBILE FIGHTER G GUNDAM

Dutch. Windmill. Mecha. Suit. GUNDAM.
Dutch. Windmill. Mecha. Suit. GUNDAM.

In G GUNDAM, countries from across the solar system send robot representatives to duke it out on Earth, and each country has their own quirky (which is a nice way to say "offensively stereotypical") design or power.

While RIM isn't going so far as making the representative of Holland a giant windmill, each of the countries we know are in the film have their own unique designs and skills. Crimson Typhoon, for example, is one of the fastest Jaegers and has three arms with spinning claws. Russia's Cherno Alpha, meanwhile, is the most massive -- built for power above all else. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up suplexing a kaiju into the Mariana Trench or something. Naturally the USA's Gipsy Danger is the "herobot," so while it's basic, human-like design doesn't boast the best stats, their fighting spirit is bound to shine through.

Russian. Nuclear. Reactor. Mecha. Suit.
Russian. Nuclear. Reactor. Mecha. Suit.

And surely, someone's thought about what the world is going to look like after the kaiju menace is dealt with. Everyone's going to go home, sing Kumbaya, and the world will enter a new age of peace and prosperity.

That or all the countries with giant robots are going to start duking it out everywhere.

In fact, if we don't see any mecha-on-mecha action in this movie, I'm going to be pretty disappointed. Sure, fighting monsters is sweet and all, but isn't watching inter-personal conflict expressed through giant robots slugging it out even sweeter?

What shows do you think belong here, too? Toss some titles in the talkback! Continue the conversation.

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd and has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to the place where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves, or by following him on Twitter at @Murphix.

NickyCharismaon June 24, 2013 at 4:49 p.m.

I'm surprised you guys didn't mention Eureka 7. The mech from Australia, I think, is called the "Eureka" and looks suspiciously like the Nirvash Type Zero.

VinceAon June 24, 2013 at 4:56 p.m.

Take a look at the Thanks section for the movie at IMDB:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast

N15PCAon June 24, 2013 at 5:09 p.m.

I saw the trailer in the theaters before seeing the man of steel movie. I could of swore I heard somone in the trailer say eva. I dont know for sure.

zaldaron June 24, 2013 at 6:39 p.m.

Yea eva was pretty much my first thought when I saw the trailer...glad you saw the extreme obviousness in that one. Others I hadn't thought of. But a live action show with the plot of Eva but the can do spirit of Gurren might actually be interesting. Might end up being as interesting as a train wreck (as the angst really was an important ingredient of Eva) but it certainly won't be boring.

After rewatching the trailer more that is like eva..the way they go into the units look like eva and WOW does the American unit look like a carbon copy of unit 00...I mean you could almost call it copyright infringement...and lord was the speech hammy but might work in the show. TODAY WE ARE CANCELING THE APOCALYPSE! (And seriously where do they find all the cute Asian children for all these movies?)

AURON570on June 24, 2013 at 7:03 p.m.

@VinceA said:

Take a look at the Thanks section for the movie at IMDB:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast

Great catch!

FoxxFireArt moderator on June 24, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.

Seriously, dude, you made a list such as this and you didn't add BIG O? That one scene from the earlier trailers that shows the charging punch screams the Big O.

A You Tube user edited EVANGELION REBUILD footage with the PACIFIC RIM trailer audio.

GokaiRedon June 25, 2013 at 3:13 a.m.

I was thinking more Power Rangers/Sentai than anime, however i hope this fast tracks a Big O movie because Del Toro is about to prove Hollywood can do mechs

sotyfan16on June 25, 2013 at 9:05 a.m.

I was hoping you would include G Gundam as a possible influence. You pointed out the influence of each country on their mech but you did not connect how in Pacific Rim the characters move their bodies to movie the mech-just like in G. Such similarity goes beyond the neural link of Eva.

ZombiePieon June 25, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.

I disagree with this list as it is clear from the trailers that the music video for Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic," is clearly strongest inspiration of Pacific Rim:

KingOfAshon June 26, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.

Actually, you're wrong. The inspirations for the movie go back beyond Evangelion to the 70s or even 60s, namely Gigantor. Guilermo Del Toro even says this in an interview.

Kuro_Sanon July 2, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.

You should check Daiguard.

A giant Robot owned by a corporation and piloted by its employes faces monsters that come out from the sea and they usually come from another dimension. The titular Dai-Guard Mecha resembles a Super Robot externally but is to the core a Real Robot, with mechanical issues and the need of three pilots each one with a particular task at hand. Did I mention he uses a motherfuckin' Drill instead of a hand...

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