The sequel to the legendary Pacific Rim film has been available as an animated series version on Netflix since March 4. If the format is original enough, it’s actually quite faithful to the themes that started in the movies. We express here our take on this sequel that oscillates between science fiction and suspense.
The Black, directed by Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson, is a new Netflix animated series.Left to memory, the first feature film signed by Guillermo Del Toro has a mission to introduce Kaijus, his giant monsters that came straight from the center of the Earth, and Jarger, a giant mecha controlled by humans. In a world on the brink of apocalypse, the two sides battle mercilessly until more offenses are unlocked and the universe sinks into chaos.
Therefore The Black is set right after the events of the second film. This time, the plot takes us to Australia where we follow the adventures of a brother and sister, both left to their own devices after their parents left them to seek help in Sydney. . After successfully hiding for years with other survivors, our heroes will find themselves confronted with the real world in the Black Zone, this lonely and hostile environment.
If the second film directed by Steven S. DeKnight was a commercial failure, due to a disappointing script and production, we can already tell you that The Black series is likely to follow in the footsteps of the first, despite many of it. The power comes from the original plot and is amazing.
Who says continuation always says it’s hard to follow for the uninitiated and The Black is no exception. The series doesn’t bother with introductory scenes and prefers to get straight to the serious stuff, even if that means leaving some on the floor. The post-apocalyptic universe is also at a much more advanced stage than it was in the first Pacific Rim film. Therefore, it is ideally necessary to view or re-watch the film to make sure it captures everything. By borrowing codes by Guillermo Del Toro, The Black managed to find a guide. The series focuses on a mix of genres and doesn’t hesitate to offer cool moments but also a few touches of humor. If the characters are new and the medium is different, there’s still a reasonable continuity.
It’s a small surprise thanks to the anime format. For those unfamiliar, this kind of production can quickly become childish and therefore less serious than its live-action counterparts. But think again, because The Black manages to combine Japanese-inspired design and seriousness of big-budget production. At least there’s no disappointment about the possible failed special effects or unrealistically awkward situations. In animation, anything is possible.
Without taking himself too seriously, The Black managed to push the cursor further. The series offers a much less Manichean conception of the universe than its predecessors. For example, Guillermo del Toro uses only two entities in his film: on the one hand the Kaiju, the monsters, the embodiments of evil, and on the other hand Jaeger, the heroes, those who embody the good. The Black brings another dimension that is more than just interesting by choosing to show that good and evil are ultimately just subjective and malleable notions. In the series, for example, most of the significant twists and turns are actually caused by human actions.
One of Guillermo del Toro’s biggest regrets is that he wasn’t able to explore the drifting process more deeply. This is why it’s great to see this aspect more developed and explained in The Black. The process is even realized through the metaphor of water, memories are represented in bubbles and drift like an ocean where one can drown very easily. The Black explores the dangers, drawbacks and consequences that take the theme deeper.
The Black series brings a much deeper dimension to science fiction. Where the film ends with gigantic robots, neural links, and alien life, The Black brings something new with mysterious science experiments, new creatures, and an all-new dystopian angle. As the episodes progress, the atmosphere is very different from the atmosphere in the movies, but more captivating. Drift is again one of the most rigorous and successful elements of science fiction, even changing the viewer’s perspective on the ethical issues of the practice.
The Black Zone, the title of the series and the main plot, is one of the great mysteries to be solved. But this element is not riceal from the film and completely original, showing the work of writers who took the theme to create a range of different genres with thrilling new plots. This Black Zone is truly the thread of this first season and serves to pay homage to the sci-fi genre. That alone contains aliens, giant robots, futuristic weapons, post-apocalyptic environments, artificial intelligence, and even a bit of fantasy elements.