Otaku USA Magazine
Pacific Rim: The Black and More Anime Takes on Hollywood Hits

Pacific Rim: The Black isn't the only anime retool of a Hollywood hit

Usually when we talk about anime and movie adaptations, it’s going in one direction. That is, we’re excited for (or fretting about) what will happen to our favorite animated series under the Hollywood knife. But for a few projects — like Pacific Rim: The Black — the relationship goes the other way as well.

That’s just one of a few projects reimagining Hollywood hits in anime format. Today we’re taking a look at three anime (including the upcoming mecha title) that pull from existing Hollywood films. And for these particular films, the anime connection makes complete sense.


Pacific Rim: The Black

Pacific Rim: The Black

Let’s kick off with the hot topic. Pacific Rim: The Black hopes to expand upon the universe of the high-octane feature films. It won’t be the first offshoot of the title, of course. Video games, graphic novels, and the “official fan film” Training Day are also out there. But this one takes the fight to the wildest battlefield of all: Netflix. And also Australia.

Our heroes are Taylor and Hayley, twins abandoned on the evacuated island continent which is now flooded with kaiju. The duo teach themselves to pilot an abandoned Jaeger as they search for their parents and try to survive.


The Animatrix

The Animatrix

Years before Pacific Rim (much less The Blackwas even a glimmer in del Toro’s eye, the Wachowskis expanded their digital world into anime. 2003’s The Animatrix invited some of anime’s biggest hitters to help construct the story behind the mechanized world of the film.

Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe, Wicked City creator Yoshiaki Kawajiri, and Redline director Takeshi Koike all left their mark on the anthology piece. You’ll also see major studios like Madhouse and Studio 4°C throwing in. The stories range from seemingly normal stories accented by “glitches,” to a piece in which humans attempt to trap machines in a reverse Matrix.


Blade Runner: Black Out 2022

Blade Runner: Black Out 2022

The world of anime loves Blade Runner, and Blade Runner loves it right back. After years of series like Bubblegum Crisis and Solty Rei paying tribute to the sci-fi classic, things came full circle with Black Out 2022. One of three short prequels to the film Blade Runner 2049, Black Out 2022 chronicles a global blackout caused by an EMP detonation. This would kick off the events leading up to the feature film.

Once again, Shinichiro Watanabe was in the director’s chair. And later this year, we’ll be revisiting the blackout in Blade Runner: Black Lotus, set in 2032.

Will you be watching Pacific Rim: The Black when it lands next month?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.