Is ‘Pacific Rim’ a retelling of Japanese anime ‘Evangelion’?

"Pacific Rim" has some of the coolest giant robots ever seen onscreen.

(Credit: Legendary Pictures)

The scene: Tokyo lies in ruins. A child is alone in the wreckage and terrified as a colossal monster approaches. The creature’s on an unstoppable rampage and the kid’s fate looks sealed. Until a savior steps in at the last moment.

Fast forward: The kid is introduced to an international military program that builds giant robotic machines to fight marauding alien monsters. But the machines must be piloted by people with special neurological abilities. Naturally the kid has this power, and is chosen to mount humanity’s last defense against the invasion.

If you saw “Pacific Rim” over the weekend, you know this story. But it feels very familiar if you’ve also seen “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” the blockbuster 1995-1996 anime series that redefined the giant robot sci-fi genre in Japan. What does Guillermo del Toro’s big budget sci-fi slugfest owe to that franchise?


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