NETFLIX Pacific Rim Season 2: Downfalling

If Uprising was a blackout, then The Black was a downfall.

Netflix kicked off 2022 with LOADS of sequel. We got Ultraman season 2, Ghost in the Shell season SAC_2045 season 2, and of course: Pacific Rim The Black season 2. All three sequels have been in the works for a very long time and all of them are heavily anticipated by fans of their respective series. And when Covid hit, progress of all three seems to hit a stagnation when we didn’t get any news for months on end. But finally, it is time to unleash the Kaijuus on the land down-under again! Unfortunately, following the disastrous fall of ULTRAMAN season 2, The Black gace us a colossal disappointment as huge as the Atlas Destroyer.

Where to start from, maybe from the characters since they are the most apparent fault of the series. Mostly Hayley due to her never shutting up about the boy (maybe she is genderbent Kratos?). It is understandable that she feels very attached to the kid and wanted to protect him, but literally sacrificing the lives of her brother, herself, the Atlas Destroyer, Mei (which is probably her closest comrade at the time) as well as any chance of finding her biological parents for a half-kaiju boy is just incomprehensible. She is childish, selfish, loudmouthed and never seems to think before she act nor speak. Taylor got my respect for the series because he seems to be one of the more sensible person in the series alongside Mei. Mei and Taylor are the only reason their party hasn’t got torn to shredded.

That’s not to say Taylor hasn’t got any fault of his own. But his fault is more because the director chose to make him stupid. He sometimes make rookie mistake and decision that makes no sense because “the plot needs to happen”. Like when he was fixing the Atlas Destroyer and dropped the one part that he needed to fix it from the TOP of the Atlas’ head to the BOTTOM of its feet JUST so the Sisterhood can jump-scare him. And then he made the decision to hand over their only leverage for an empty promise. And the list goes on.

Mei is, surprisingly, a great character that makes sensible decision, decisively quick-witted and contributed significantly to the plot. It’s just that her plot armor is almost Kira Yamato-tier. But that’s not her fault. Mei is certainly the best one out of the miserable main cast.

On to the supporting cast, where do we even begin? The Kaiju Boy is literally a plot device and do nothing except being a reason for Hayley to flip off and fight mindlessly most of the time. Shane suddenly become a doting father and a noble gentleman, which is a complete 180 from his personality in season 1. We were later told that “oh he’s actually not that bad.” No shit when you just literally turned his characteristic around with zero logic at all just to round out Mei’s character arc. Sorry Shane you drew the short end of the stick. We also got Kaijuu Steve Irwin and that arc was soooo cringe-worthy, I don’t even know what to say.

The worst part has to be Brina Travis – Hayley and Taylor’s mother. Not mentioning the fact that she’s alive (I guess we can let that slide), her subsequent development was great, until they pulled that plot twist. I understand they wanted to make a depressing event and twist the knife a bit, but they did it in the worst possible way and with the worst possible cause. The whole infiltration operation was a screen-writing disaster that somehow got through to animation, I guess they just wanted the viewers to feel pain.

The villain? Well they are literally just your typical cult that do stupid thing because they are stupid and was led by the nose by a person claiming to be “God’s Apostle”. Not like we haven’t seen it for the 100000th time.

The story progression is also very inconsistent. At no point in the story do we get an accurate understanding of where the gang actually are. One moment they are in the Kaijuu trenches, the next they are in the Sister’s territory, and the next they are just in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly they are 10 minutes away from the PPDC headquarters. This along with the weird pacing kinda throw the audience off on where our characters are at. It feels like everyone knows where everyone is. The Sister of Kaijus obviously know where literally everyone is and they come and go as they please. Shane had no trouble catching up to the gang in a dirt racer. The only ones that don’t know jack are the people at the PPDC headquarters it seems like.
The amount of plot contrivances is so high that it’s sorta funny how we arrive at the conclusion. The story progression is just so…absurd and silly. Some prevalent examples are the fact that they left the Atlas Destroyer in the valley with the Kaijuus, the fact that Shane just happened to be the only person that can dive into a person’s psyche and just happened to catch up, and Mei infiltrated the ceremony and snatched Boy right in front of the big bad’s eyes and they didn’t even realize, or that Apex is an 80-meter Chekhov’s gun. I’m not sure if they were high when writing the story but this is almost as bad as ULTRAMAN season 2.

Production value wise, it’s still the same old same old. Same quality as season 1. Nothing more, nothing less. Thankfully, season 1’s animation wasn’t bad when it comes to Jaeger and Kaijuu action.And thankfully, season 2’s giant robot battle is quite nice too. However, we have much more human doing superhuman stuff and they look a bit forced. Facial expression are still the same, stiff and weird. But it’s still as consistent as season 1, so it’s not a minus for the season, but rather the whole series in general.

The Black season 2 is basically what ULTRAMAN season 2 is to the series – completely demolish any rapport and good things that the first season setup: an intriguing story full of potential. season 2 of The Black is just a confusing mess filled with cringe moments and bad decision galore. Sometimes, one character can ruin an entire series, and Hayley managed to do that for PR. But it’s not just her fault, but also every weird screenplay decision in the series as well, making plot holes as big as the Atlas Destroyer in what is only a 6-ep series. It really is a shame when a series with so much potential after the debacle that is Uprising got held down by bad writing.

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