When Does Netflix's 'Pacific Rim: The Black' Anime Take Place?

The series builds on the first two films' mecha-vs-kaiju mythology.


Guillermo del Toro’s neon rain-drenched mecha anime homage Pacific Rim is by no means the director’s most beloved movie, though its overseas take made it his most commercially successful, enough to merit a sequel, and Hollywood continues to try to replicate its success by expanding its world. In the future, humans will be engaged in a war with giant monsters from another dimension, erupting out of a crack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. To do so, humans created Jaegers, skyscraper-tall mechas piloted by a pair of humans, their brains linked via neural bridge. 2018’s Pacific Rim: Uprising pitted Star Wars‘ John Boyega against a sinister plot to create kaiju-mech hybrids, enormous mass-produced battle robots piloted by a kaiju’s synthetically grown secondary brain. Del Toro’s movie was an homage to many things he loves, including mecha anime and kaiju movies, so it stands to reason that the worlds would collide in Netflix’s new anime series Pacific Rim: The Black.

At a cursory glance, you may be wondering two things: Is Pacific Rim: The Back technically canon? If so, when does it take place in the Pacific Rim timeline? The answer to the first question is yes, it was produced by Legendary Television, an offshoot of Legendary Entertainment, the studio that produced the Pacific Rim movies.

As for the second question, the short answer is it’s set after both movies. The first Pacific Rim, which came out in 2013, was set in the year 2020, seven years after the first kaiju emerged from the Breach. (If it were up to us, watching giant robots battle giant monsters every few months would be preferable to… what actually happened in 2020.) Pacific Rim: Uprising was set in 2035, 15 years after the first movie, when humanity is once again beset by the monsters.

There’s no handy timestamp present in Pacific Rim: The Black, except for a “5 Years Later” jump after the first episode’s prologue, so we have no idea how recently after Uprising it falls, just that it’s set sometime after that. It could be a few years, it could be decades. The kaiju menace has overrun the entire continent of Australia, and the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps has initiated Operation Blackout, evacuating as many from the country as they can, Jaegers included, before regrouping somewhere else. The show picks up with those who were left behind.

A few episodes include some references to the movies, including one huge Uprising one later on that I won’t spoil here. A Jaeger must be piloted by two people, since one human brain simply can’t take the strain of moving a machine of that size, but The Black introduces the concept of “ghost drifting.” When one of the characters in the show “ghost drifts” with the digital memory of another pilot, he drifts with Herc Hansen, one of the secondary characters in Pacific Rim, pilot of Australian Jaeger Striker Eureka. (The name of Raleigh Becket, the main character of Pacific Rim, is also mentioned during this.) The main monster antagonist is a new one called “Copperhead,” but Leatherback, Mutavore, and Slattern, monsters from the first movie, have cameos. (The Black, interestingly, refers to these not as names of specific monsters, but as species designations.) A few of the Jaegers from Uprising also pop up in montage sequences. As for the show’s actual quality, nothing beats the original Pacific Rim for style and aesthetic, but when The Black finally does pit kaiju against mecha, you can’t really go wrong.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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