5 Ways Evangelion and Pacific Rim Are The Same (& 5 Ways They Are Different)
PAcific rim is a striking tribute to two of Japanese pop culture’s greatest creations: the mecha anime movies and the kaiju movies. If there is an anime that has been cited as particularly similar to Pacific Rim, it is that of Studio Gainax Neon Genesis Evangelion. Similarities May Be Unintended – Director Guillermo Del Toro Has Never Seen evangelization and co-writer Travis Beacham only saw it after his work on Pacific Rim.
As fortuitous as they may be, the similarities are there. However, there are also many differences between the two works. There are many similarities and differences between Pacific Rim and evangelization.
ten The same: the premises are undeniably similar
In the near future, humanity is under siege by huge and monstrous beings who wish our extinction. To counter this offensive, humanity is building humanoid weapons the same size as monsters – weapons that require human pilots. In these broad lines, evangelization and Pacific Rim its virtually identical.
There is also the key role the ocean plays in both. In evangelization, the cataclysmic “Second Impact” (caused by the awakening of Adam, the first Angel) turned the oceans red and wiped out marine life. In Pacific Rim, the Kaiju emerge from a dimensional breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
9 Different: the tones are totally different
The biggest difference between the two is their tones. evangelization starts off relatively conventional, but halfway through it changes gears, becoming more psychedelic, introspective, and horrifying. The creator of the series Hideaki Anno was inspired by Freudian psychology, in particular the “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” (how getting close to others increases the risk of hurting them or of hurting ourselves), a thesis on which the themes and character arcs in the series are built.
Pacific Rim, however, is pomp and spectacle through and through. It’s more cheesy and more serious than most modern Michael Bay-style blockbusters coming out of Hollywood these days, but it’s still a lot simpler than evangelization is. This is not a fault, however – what Pacific Rim intends to do, he accomplishes, thanks to the breathtaking action, the dazzling colors and the rock score (composed by Ramin Djawadi with the help of Rage against the machine‘s Tom Morello).
8 The same thing: the pilots “synchronize” with the mechanics.
Robots may be the most eye-catching sight in Mecha stories, but these huge robots wouldn’t do anything without their pilots. At a time evangelization and Pacific Rim, a major point is made of the “synchronization” of the pilots in order to make their respective mechanics work.
The mechanics are a little different though. In Pacific Rim, the Jaegers need two adult pilots, because one mind cannot bear the strain of operating something so huge. To work together as one, pilots must share a mind fusion called “drift.” In evangelization, EVAs also technically need two pilots, but in a more abstract way – EVAs are animated by human souls, and pilots need a connection with that soul to make EVAs work. Shinji and Asuka are chosen as pilots because their mothers’ souls reside in units 01 and 02 respectively.
7 Different: the nature of EVA versus Jaegers
One of evangelizationThe big twists of the anime mech are that the EVAs weren’t “robots” in the strict sense, but rather cyborgs. In fact, EVAs are clones of angels, although lobotomized and fitted with robotic armor / restraints to keep them under human control. Whenever EVAs are damaged, their organic nature tends to be revealed.
Jaegers, on the other hand, are much simpler robots, made entirely of metal and with no organic components other than the pilots themselves.
6 The same: Mechas, need a helping hand?
One of the most famous fights of evangelization happens in episode 19, with the arrival of the 14th angel Zeruel. Unit-01 loses power and its left arm to Zeruel, but wakes up in “berserk” mode, pushes back the unarmoured arm (or, in the Evangelion 2.0 recreation of the scene, generates an energy replacement) and devours Zeruel.
Gipsy Danger, the main Jaeger of Pacific Rim, loses both arms at separate intervals in the story. First, his left arm is ripped off by Knifehead in the opening scene, and then later, he loses his left to Raiju.
5 Different: the nature of angels and kaiju
evangelization takes a “show, don’t tell” approach to explaining its tradition – one thing that is only spelled out in supplemental material is that angels are not aliens. They are just as native to Earth as humans – Angels all descend from Adam (the seed of life), just as humans descend from Lilith (the seed of knowledge). The Kaiju, on the other hand, are from an alternate dimension and are not natural beings like the Angels. Instead, they are biological weapons designed by interdimensional invaders.
Aside from their origins, Angels are also much more extensive and sometimes abstract in appearance – the 5th Angel, Ramiel, was simply a giant, blue, floating octahedron. In contrast, the Kaiju are more uniform in appearance as huge reptilian monsters with individual characteristics inspired by terrestrial fauna.
4 Same: Shinji and Raleigh are both reluctant pilots
Shinji Ikari is summoned to Tokyo-3 to pilot Unit-01 – he only agrees to do so when he learns that an injured Rei Ayanami will take his place if he refuses. Raleigh Beckett, meanwhile, is introduced as a Jaeger pilot, but leaves him behind after his brother Yancy dies in the Knifehead fight.
Raleigh is quick to respond to the call to return, with some encouragement from Pentecost being all he needs. Shinji, on the other hand, constantly struggles with the weight of his duties and why he flies the EVA in the first place – his uncertainty leads him to resign several times over the course of the series.
3 Different: Gendo Ikari and Stacker Pentecost are polar opposites
NERV Commander / Shinji’s father, Gendo Ikari and Marshall Stacker Pentecost fulfill similar roles as supervisor of Eva / Jaeger programs. Personality wise, however, they couldn’t be more different. While Gendo is cold, calculating, and selfish, Pentecost is courageous, inspiring, and heroic.
Pentecost, himself a former Jaeger pilot, even returns to the battle for the film’s third act, after a rousing speech to end all others – “Today we cancel the apocalypse!” Compare that to Gendo, who plans to reduce the world to the ground in the service of his own self-centered machinations and desires.
2 Same: Rei Ayanami and Mako Mori are similar on the surface
In appearance, Rei Ayanami and Mako Mori are the most similar characters between evangelization and Pacific Rim. Both calm and withdrawn, both girls of the garrison commander, both wearing their blue bobbed hair, and, of course, the two Mech pilots.
Japanese dubbers of Pacific Rim must have noticed the similarities, since they chose Megumi Hayashibara, the voice of Rei, to double Rinko Kikuchi’s performance as Mako.
1 Different: the stories of Rei and Mako
However, below these surface-level similarities, Rei and Mako are quite different. On the one hand, their stories – Rei isn’t technically human, but a Yui Ikari clone with Lilith’s soul inside. She is also not an individual, but rather a series of clones, so if she dies, she will be replaced by the next in the series.
Mako, on the other hand, is a perfectly normal human – her family were killed when a Kaiju attacked Tokyo, but her life was saved by Pentecost piloting the Jaeger Coyote Tango. This makes Mako a much more motivated character than Rei. While Rei has no motivation beyond what he is told to do, Mako wants to pilot a Jaeger to avenge his family – Mako’s story and motivation actually shares more with evangelization‘s Misato Katsuragi as Rei.
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