Proud Warrior Race Guy: Humanity as a whole has to be this just to survive by the point the story begins proper.
"When you're a pilot, you'll realize that when you're in combat, you make decisions. And you have to live with the consequences. That's all I'm trying to do."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2016
Strike Group: Anchorage Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Gipsy Danger
Played by: Charlie Hunnam
One of the primary viewpoint characters. He piloted Gipsy Danger with his brother until they were defeated by Knifehead, heralding the end of the Jaeger age.
Badass: Is stated to be one of only two people to ever be able to pilot a Jaeger by himself. And when he did this, he killed the Kaiju he was fighting even after Gipsy Danger lost an arm in the fight, then walked the thing back to shore while completely cut off from communication. He may also be the best hand-to-hand combatant in the film; he easily beat every replacement pilot until Mako came along, and Chuck was clearly outmatched when the two fought.
Badass Boast: It's only part of the narration, but man is it a subtly awesome one.
"There are things you can't fight, acts of God. You see a hurricane coming, you have to get out of the way. But when you're in a Jaeger, suddenly, you can fight the hurricane. You can win."
Broken Bird: A rare male example. Prior to Knifehead, Raleigh was an optimistic and carefree young man who believed he could take on the world and every Kaiju in it. By the time of the main storyline, his brother is dead, Gipsy Danger is destroyed, the Ghost-Drifting presence of Yancy is still bouncing around inside his head, the Jaeger Program is about to be shut down, and the Wall of Life has failed in a truly spectacular fashion. Both physically and mentally, all of these occurrences have turned Raleigh into a shell of his former self.
Combat Pragmatist: Has a habit of using improvised weapons in his fights and switching up his fighting styles when his enemy starts to adapt — possibly as a result of the Kaiju adapting to the tactics Jaegers were using. Particularly evident in his fight with Chuck.
Dead Sidekick: Slightly averted in that he seemed to be the sidekick to his older brother, Yancy. But this was the main reason why he stopped being a Jaeger pilot. The neural link during his brother's death didn't help.
Determinator: Seriously injured, his Jaeger heavily damaged, his brother very recently killed, and having just defeated a giant monster, Raleigh still finds the strength to walk Gipsy Danger back to shore on his own.
By calculating the timeline, the Beckets sortied some time after 2 a.m. and engaged Knifehead soon after. By the time Raleigh makes it back to shore, it's already daylight, which means he had been soloing Gipsy for several hours, when most pilots who attempt to even move a Jaeger on their own suffer severe seizures/aneurysms or collapse from the strain.
Genre Savvy: Presumably due to learning from his fight with Knifehead, he becomes this once he comes out of retirement. He typically goes right for the monster's special ability the moment he learns of it (tearing out Leatherback's EMP generator and Otachi's acid sprayer and destroying her tail) and makes sure to quadrupletapLeatherback.
The Hero: Main protagonist and calls most of the shots when partnered with rookie Mako Mori.
Heroic BSOD: Fell into a five-year rut because of having sharing the neural link with Yancy as he died, feeling all the despair and pain of that moment.
Hot-Blooded: Kept fairly down to earth because a live action Domon would definitely look silly, but when he gets into battle, Raleigh certainly gets shouty. This may be justified, as the inside of a Jaeger seems to be pretty loud.
Keet: Just compare him to his brother Yancy in his introductory scene.
The Lancer: To his brother Yancy during the prologue, good-hearted but impulsive and jokey.
Military Maverick: Is prone to disobeying or contesting orders he disagrees with. However, unlike most fictional examples, this behavior cost him and the Jaeger Program big time in the battle against Knifehead, ultimately resulting in Yancy's death and the destruction of Gipsy Danger.
Retired Badass: Was the original co-pilot for Gipsy Danger but quit after his brother's death.
The supplementary notes indicate that he is the perfect match with Mako because of this. He's impulsive and unpredictable, while she's the strategic perfectionist. Both their personalities complement each other's strengths and cover their weaknesses.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Based on film and supplemental data, Raleigh is the only pilot to flat-out quit the Jaegar Program. All other pilots have either been killed or reassigned (like Pentecost). Yes, Raleigh lost his brother, but so did many of the other pilots whose families, friends, and even co-pilots were killed by the Kaiju. It's the main reason why Chuck is so disgusted and hostile towards him.
Shirtless Scene: Mako gets a glimpse of one across the hall when their doors (opposite each other) were simultaneously open.
Small Steps Hero: Refuses to sacrifice a boat of ten people to save a city of one million (along with Yancy). Unfortunately, it also results in them venturing over 10 miles outside of the Miracle Mile, which gave Knifehead an enormous advantage in the deeper waters.
Unlikely Hero: During his narration at the start of the film, he notes that he and his brother weren't the sort of people stereotyped to become Jaeger pilots — an occupation that netted you guaranteed fame and fortune at the time. They weren't at the tops of their classes and they weren't the best of the best when it came to sports. What set them apart was their Drift compatibility.
Awesomeness by Analysis: She studied footage of Raleigh's fighting to be able to match him in combat. However, her analysis found that he is, in fact, unpredictable.
Badass: She easily matched Raleigh despite him taking down several people in succession while sparring.
Badass Adorable: She's a Badass who seems quite deferential to Pentecost and shy around Raleigh. Just check the puppy dog look she gives Pentecost when Raleigh asks to spar with her.
Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her normally reserved demeanor, she's just as capable — and just as confident of how capable she is — as Raleigh. This is first hinted at by her attitude when she enters the ring with him; she puts her boots down neatly at the edge of the mat, then struts out in a manner not unlike Raleigh's swagger.
Broken Bird: The combination of losing her parents and hometown to Onibaba resulted in Mako becoming a stoicperfectionist, which can be seen when she chases the RABIT during her initial Drift with Raleigh.
Brutal Honesty: Despite her polite nature, she's willing to tell Raleigh he's not suitable for the final mission. She also has no problem with critiquing his performance, pointing out that he could have taken out all the other candidates two moves earlier.
According to the official novelization, Raleigh deduces that Mako wasn't looking at him for his looks; she was looking at his scars, specifically the ones he got from his battle with Knifehead. Why she did this, he decides, is because she wants scars of her own.
Genius Bruiser: She's the leader of Gipsy's restoration project, which requires no small amount of engineering and technical wizardry, and she can match Raleigh in a straight up fight despite having a serious reach disadvantage and being 50 pounds lighter. Then there's when she actually pilots Gipsy Danger...
Happily Adopted: Raleigh theorizes this to be her relationship with Pentecost. He's right.
Heroic BSOD: When she starts "chasing the RABIT" during the initial Drift, slipping into the trauma from Onibaba's attack. She recovers, but not before instinctively powering up Gipsy Danger's Arm Cannon and nearly toasting the command centre.
Ms. Fanservice: Defied by del Toro, who wanted a female lead that wasn't a "sex kitten." The closest we got to fanservice with her is the tank top she wore during the sparring scene (which all the sparring participants were wearing). Other than that, she's dressed practically.
Pillars of Moral Character: A plot point. Raleigh, the American, can't understand why she obeys Pentecost's decisions when they are clearly wrong, and she disagrees with them. She replies that it's not about obedience, it's about respect.
The Perfectionist: Del Toro describes Mako as "her own worst enemy" and "adversary" due to her constant need for perfection. Mako dislikes nothing more than to fail herself and those around her, which resulted in her socializing very little with others and having few friends, much like the equally young and short-tempered Chuck Hansen.
Rei Ayanami Expy: While having a rather more well-adjusted and sociable personality and there's nothing artificial about her origin, she's the only Japanese character on the show, is stoic and reserved, fiercely loyal to her adoptive father figure, and sports Rei's haircut as said above. It's even colored blue, though only at the tips. Popular fan consensus is that it's supposed to say, "We took -some- inspiration from Evangelion but didn't try to ape it".
Explicitly invoked in the Japanese dub, where, instead of the actual actress playing her, she's voiced by the same person responsible for Rei — Megumi Hayashibara. You can't get to be a bigger expy than that!
"All I need to be to you and everybody else on this 'Dome is a fixed. Point. Your last man standing. I do not need your sympathy or your admiration, all I need is your compliance, and your fighting skills."
Stacker Pentecost is the adoptive father of Mako Mori, a former British Royal Air Force and Jaeger pilot, and a Marshal in the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. He oversaw operations in the Hong Kong Shatterdome during the last days of the Kaiju War and eventually coordinated the final attack to retake the Breach in 2025. He piloted Coyote Tango with Tamsin Sevier until its 2022 decommission and official retirement. Along with Hercules Hansen, Stacker is a veteran of the Jaeger Program and one of the last survivors from the first-generation of PPDC pilots, although he no longer takes part in physical combat.
"Where you rather die? Here? Or in a Jaeger?" He says this to Raleigh early on, but you can glean the impression that he feels the same way. When Pentecost actually does die at the end, it's in a Jaeger and not from the sickness that was going to claim his life anyway.
When Mako is first introduced, she briefly attempts to speak to Pentecost in Japanese, as she believes Raleigh doesn't understand it (but he does). But that means she knew Pentecost was fluent in Japanese. Thus, this scene is also our first signal that there is more going on than we realize.
Him silently taking a pill (once the Jaeger Program is shut down) hints at his Secretly Dying of radiation poisoning.
And after they go to save it anyway, and he realizes everything's about to go wrong, he promptly tells them to take the boat and clear out.
Heroic Sacrifice: Both he and Chuck blow themselves up while in Striker Eureka in order clear a path for Gipsy Danger. This is a nested sacrifice, since he was already dying due to inadequate radiation shielding in the early Jaeger he used to pilot, and going in even the non-nuclear Striker was likely to kill him.
Ill Boy: Piloting a Jaeger solo for three hours put a huge strain to his health and is Secretly Dying because of it.
Large Ham: Stacker's speeches definitely count as this. And they're very justified since he's desperately trying to raise morale and convince his subordinates to make one last stand against the Kaiju and their creators.
The Last Dance: With no other pilots available, he co-pilots Striker Eureka with Chuck Hansen during the final battle even though the radiation poisoning will kill him.
Lonely at the Top: As his opening quote shows, Pentecost is the model of a career soldier taken to its logical conclusion. By deliberately severing emotional ties to his fellow human beings (with the exception of a small few, notably Mako), he makes himself a ruthlessly efficient leader who is able to make heartless yet logical decisions (not saving innocents, not even allowing mourning periods for fallens soldiers) that allows humanity to better survive against the Kaiju invaders. Though it is hinted that this is at least partly a front he puts up for the benefit of all those serving under him, to give them the unwavering leader who is required.
The Needs of the Many: Cites this principle in his argument that the Becket brothers fight Knifehead closer to shore, even if it puts the fishing boat at risk.
Old Soldier: One of the early Mark-1 pilots, and one of the most experienced pilots, bar none.
Overprotective Dad: Anyone who's read the prequel comic realizes quickly that this is why he doesn't want Mako piloting a Jaeger, particularly Gipsy Danger.
Parental Substitute: Became this for Mako after Tokyo. He adopted her and raised and trained her. The prequel comic shows he adored her.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Stern and intimidating, but is also more than willing to back Newt's ploy to sync up with a Kaiju brain after it yields results (and after initial refusal) and praises Mako and Raleigh's unorthodox tactics in handling Otachi and Leatherback.
Also very gentle with Newt after he drifts with the Kaiju, talking him through sorting out what he saw.
Retired Badass: Was once the Jaeger pilot for Coyote Tango. He is also the only other person besides Raleigh to pilot a Jaeger solo. He comes out of retirement when Hercules is too injured to pilot to Striker Eureka.
Scary Black Man: His positional authority and commanding presence is quite intimidating when challenged.
Secretly Dying: He is actually dying from radiation poisoning as evidenced by his nose bleeding. Due to the Mark I Jaegers being hastily designed for combat, they were not fitted with internal radiation shields to protect the pilots from the nuclear cores powering the Jaegers. Thus Pentecost slowly became poisoned every time he fought. He kept this a secret from most in order to keep the morale of his men.
Taking You with Me: He and Chuck blow themselves up to take down two Kaiju so Gipsy Danger can seal the breach.
The Wei triplets are former street fighters who have fought the Kaiju several times and became local heroes in China. In 2015, they joined the Jaeger Academy to become Jaeger pilots. They are the PPDC Rangers assigned to Crimson Typhoon, the last Mark-4 Jaeger in existence.
Bash Brothers: Of the identical male triplet variety. They've been defending the Chinese coastline for seven years, have the third highest Kaiju kill count in the Jaeger Program, and once lived as street fighters in the criminal underbelly of Hong Kong.
Hometown Hero: They are described as being this to the people of China and their personal dragon symbol can be found all over Hong Kong.
Red Is Heroic: Their suits are patterned after their Jaeger, Crimson Typhoon. Even their tech teams and daily outfits appear to consist entirely of red and gold, too.
Reformed Criminal: Before they were Jaeger pilots, the Wei triplets were street fighters in the Chinese underworld.
Lt. Aleksis Kaidonovsky is the husband of fellow Lieutenant, Sasha Kaidonovsky. Together, they defended Vladivostok, Russia from over half a dozen Kaiju attacks and successfully protected the Siberian Wall, which went unbreached by Kaiju for six years. They were both PPDC Rangers and co-pilots of Cherno Alpha, the last of the Mark-1 Jaeger series and the oldest Jaeger still active in combat.
Action Girl: Not only is Sasha renowned for her legendary strike missions and decade-long defense of the Russian line, but she's also the longest serving female pilot in the Jaeger Program. And she's on the right side of their Jaeger, which is generally where the more dominant or experienced pilot is positioned.
del Toro: The dominant pilot is on the right side of the Jaeger.
Arms Dealer: After Pentecost failed to gain additional funding from the UN for the PPDC and Jaeger Program, Sasha and Aleksis used their various connections to procure any weapon that Pentecost needed in his assault against the Breach and the continued defense of Hong Kong.
Badass: The Kaidonovskies defended the Vladivostok Shatterdome from over a half-dozen Kaiju attacks and under their protection, the Siberian Wall went unbreached for at least six years. In a Mark-1 Jaeger, at that.
Beware the Quiet Ones: Neither of them speak much, preferring to observe those around them and then come to their own conclusions. However, Sasha and Aleksis are also the most stable Drift partners that the PPDC has ever produced and they continued to successfully pilot a Mark-1 Jaeger until the final days of the Kaiju War.
Defiant to the End: Cockpit melting, right arm getting munched, but they sock Otachi two more times before Leatherback jumps them.
Determinator: Even when they're being drowned they're still trying to fight Leatherback.
Happily Married: There's a moment in the cafeteria scene where Sasha affectionately greets Aleksis as he sits down next to her. They're also well-known for holding the record of the longest and most stable neural handshake in the Corps, lasting up to eighteen hours.
"Now we have a choice here! We either sit and wait or we take those flare guns and do something really stupid!"
Jaeger Academy Class: 2015
Strike Group: Sydney Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Lucky Seven, Striker Eureka
Played By: Max Martini
Hercules Hansen is the father of Chuck Hansen, a former Royal Australian Air Force pilot, and a veteran of the Jaeger Program. He was a PPDC Ranger and the pilot of both Lucky Seven (with Scott) and Striker Eureka (with Chuck). In the aftermath of Stacker Pentecost's death, he is promoted to the rank of Marshal.
Action Dad: He pilots Striker Eureka alongside his son and has been killing Kaiju since the very beginning of the program.
Defiant to the End / Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Even after his Jaeger is disabled, Herc convinces his son to come with him, exit their Jaeger, and fire flares in Leatherback's eyes to buy time for Hong Kong. They succeed in REALLY pissing it off. And he survives that stunt!
Hands-Off Parenting: After Angela's death in Sydney and the rapid rise of the Kaiju, this essentially summed up Herc's parenting-style. And it has come back to bite him in the ass. Big time. When Herc claims that he doesn't know who Chuck is anymore, his son says that Herc never knew who he was in the first place since Herc never spent any time with him.
Chuck: After Mum died, I spent more time with these machines than I ever did with you. Now, the only reason you and I speak, old man, is because we're Drift-compatible.
Heartbroken Badass: By the end of the film, Herc has outlived his son, his best friend, and his entire family. The last twenty minutes are obviously pure torture for Herc as he watches his only child make a Heroic Sacrifice that had originally been planned for him, not the 21-year-old Chuck.
Heroes Love Dogs: Herc dotes on Max almost as much as his son does, and the bulldog is all he has left after Chuck's death.
Number Two: Always present with Pentecost during briefings and scientific meetings. By the end of the film and with Pentecost's death by nuclear explosion, Herc is promoted to Number One as Marshal of the PPDC.
Old Soldier: A contemporary of Pentecost. He is one of the last first-generation Jaeger still in service. Or alive. And he served in the Royal Australian Air Force before K-Day as well.
Outliving One's Offspring: Due to Herc's right arm being broken during the battle with Leatherback, Chuck has to pilot Striker Eureka in his father's place, pulling a Heroic Sacrifice via nuclear explosion with Pentecost to seal the Breach.
Sadistic Choice: In the novelization, Herc only had enough time to find either his son or his wife before Sydney was nuked. He chose his son. They both hate themselves/each other for it.
Sergeant Rock: His rank is uncertain (it may either be sergeant or lieutenant), but he's definitely got the attitude.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Compared to the heroic and law-abiding Herc, Travis Beacham described younger brother Scott as a consummate n’er-do-well, problem gambler, and aggressive Lothario. And while Herc was always able to keep his eye on the Kaijus and their threat to humanity, the fame and attention lavished on Jaeger pilots only further complicated Scott's worst qualities.
Strike Group: Sydney Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Striker Eureka
Played By: Robert Kazinsky
Charles Hansen is the only son of Hercules and Angela Hansen. Chuck was ten-years-old when Sydney was attacked by Scissure, which resulted in the death of his mother. Following the authorization of the Jaeger Program, his father and uncle both enlisted in the Jaeger Academy in 2015. Chuck himself was “raised in a cockpit” by his father and on the principles of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. He later went on to become a PPDC Ranger and the pilot of Striker Eureka.
Anti-Hero: Specifically of the Pragmatic Hero variety. Chuck's first and foremost goal is always to protect humanity and the PPDC, and he doesn't take kindly to anything or anyone that might endanger them.
Badass: Chuck was piloting a Jeager before the age when most kids are allowed to apply for their driver's licenses. And he's managed to stay alive and in fighting-shape while almost every other PPDC pilot has either been killed in battle or died a slow death of radiation poisoning. Too bad it doesn't stick.
Broken Ace: One of the youngest pilots with the highest kill count, also bad at communicating and dealing with a double dose of Daddy Issues and Survivors Guilt with regards to his father choosing to save him over his mother. He's almost a textbook example of an emotionally stunted Child Soldier who believes his only purpose in life is to live and die fighting the Kaiju. Not the healthiest mindset for a young, stressed out pilot.
Chuck: After Mum died, I spent more time with these machines than I ever did with you.
Celibate Hero: According to production notes, he has never had a girlfriend. Instead, he focuses on being the best Jaeger pilot there is. Averted recently on Travis Beacham's tumblr by saying that Chuck wasn't a virgin.
Child Soldier: When most teenagers were in middle or high school, Chuck was training at the Jaeger Academy and piloting Striker Eureka before he could even apply for a driver's license. This probably explains a lot of his emotional issues as well.
To Mako. Both of them are young and exceptionally talented perfectionists with war veteran fathers and suitably varying amounts of Daddy Issues, but Chuck is emotional where Mako is stoic. This plays into their interactions with Raleigh as well — Mako openly admires Raleigh's unpredictability while Chuck expresses disdain for him.
To Raleigh. Pre-Knifehead Raleigh is quite similar to Chuck, showing the same cockiness and eagerness to fight Kaiju. Had the fight with Knifehead gone better, we might be looking at two extremely similar people.
Chuck: You slow me down, I’m gonna drop you like a sack of Kaiju shit.
Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets angry at the drop of a hat. Growing up as a prodigy in an extremely isolated environment probably didn't help his anger issues.
Heroic Sacrifice: Both he and Marshall Pentecost blow themselves up while in Striker Eureka in order clear a path for Gipsy Danger.
Heroes Love Dogs: He has an English bulldog named Max. His jacket, Striker Eureka, and the tech crew's uniforms have custom decals modeled after his beloved pet.
Hot-Blooded: Definitely applies outside the cockpit, where he's short-tempered, arrogant, and quick to take offense. Interestingly, the opposite seems to take place inside a Jaeger, possibly due to his life-long ranger training.
Hypocritical Heartwarming: For all his animosity with Raleigh and Mako, he cheered them on when Gipsy Danger came to fight Leatherback.
Improbable Age: Chuck was barely 16 when he was first deployed in Striker Eureka in 2019, and (according to the artbook) was enlisted in the Jaeger Academy in 2015 at the tender age of 12.
Jerkass Has a Point: Despite his egotism, he criticizes Raleigh and Mako not out of jealousy, but because he's actually concerned about their ability to do their jobs. And though Chuck's accusation that pilots like Raleigh are what got the Jaeger Program cancelled are harsh, he's not completely wrong. Raleigh lost his brother and got Gipsy Danger nearly destroyed by refusing orders and engaging Knifehead 10 miles at sea rather than within the golden mile of the coast as ordered — it's easy to see how Chuck can hold Raleigh's rockstar-esque, above the rules attitude in contempt. On top of that, by the time Raleigh rejoined the PPDC, almost every other Jaeger and their pilots, except the promoted Stacker Pentecost, has died in combat. From Chuck's point of view, Raleigh never learned from his mistakes, and top of that, abandoned Humanity's only line of defense.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He isn't a pleasing person to say the least. Raleigh openly stated that the only thing that holds him back for wanting to beat him up is due to his respect for his (Chuck's) father. He is willing to insult Raleigh, Mako, and even his own father, but nonetheless cares about humanity's survival and doesn't hesitate to come to his fellow pilots' defense. Chuck's also extremely fond and affectionate with his bulldog, Max.
Knight in Sour Armor: Chuck's heroic actions and genuine desire to save humankind would have qualified him as a straight hero if it were not for his bad attitude that pisses off nearly everyone around him.
The Perfectionist: Chuck does not tolerate failure from anyone, including himself. And due to him being raised in a Shatterdome and around the Jaeger pilot lifestyle, Chuck has little to no social life or experience outside of the Defense Corps. He even expresses open disdain for pilots whom he feels could be a liability to the program.
Pet the Dog: Done literally and figuratively with his dog Max.
Survivor Guilt: In the novelization, Chuck is very aware of his father's choice to save him instead of his mother. After all, he Drifts with him. And his father is very aware that his son would rather he had saved his mother.
Taking You with Me: He and Pentecost blow themselves up to take down two Kaiju so Gipsy Danger can seal the breach.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Although he tries to act tough and uncaring, it's pretty obvious to viewers that Chuck desperately seeks the approval and love of his father. Unfortunately, he seems to think that killing Kaiju and being the best Jaeger pilot ever is the only way to accomplish this.
"Don't get cocky, kid."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2016
Strike Group: Anchorage Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Gipsy Danger
Played by: Diego Klattenhoff
Raleigh's brother, who is killed by Knifehead in the prologue.
Cynicism Catalyst: His death threw Raleigh into a five-year rut. Justified as they were drifting at the time, meaning Raleigh was in Yancy's head as he was dying.
A scientist and a "Kaiju groupie," known for being a little disturbingly interested in the monsters trying to kill them all. He also has a crazy idea to try and drift with one of the few intact Kaiju brains they have.
Adorkable: He becomes extremely giddy about anything that deals with Kaiju.
Admiring the Abomination: He is a Kaiju fanboy. His entire torso is covered in tattoos referencing them, even down to his wrists!
Ascended Fanboy: He is specifically called a "Kaiju groupie" and him being able to study Kaiju for a living is practically heaven. He nerdgasms when he gets to Hannibal Chau's Kaiju organ shop.
Eye Scream/Psychic Nosebleed: When he tries to initially drift with a Kaiju brain, the neural load is too much for him and thus his left eye started bleeding.
Handicapped Badass: Strongly implied to be borderline manic or bipolar, which would disqualify him from a career in piloting due to issues with Drift compatibility. Not that this stops him and Hermann from mind-melding with a Kaiju and discovering information that saves the entire human race from extinction.
Innocently Insensitive: He talks about how much he would love to see a Kaiju up close...right in front of Kaiju trauma survivor Raleigh. Everyone else's looks of contempt or resignation in that scene really drive it home.
Insufferable Genius: In the novelization, it is explicitly stated that he hates talking to people because they're not as intellectually gifted as he is to understand him.
Meaningful Name/Genius Bonus: Together with Gottlieb; their names are a Shout-Out to Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, who were at one point rivals over the discovery of calculus. (Initially the two scientists were planned to be one character with a mixture of their traits, named Newton Gottlieb.)
Motor Mouth: Often talks very quickly and very excitedly.
While his efforts to drift into a Kaiju brain were ultimately helpful, it's also what provokes the attack on Hong Kong by the Kaiju's masters. It may also have provided the information needed to tailor-make the Kaiju to counter the three "on-deck" Jaegers.
Additionally, when he realizes out loud that Otachi is coming for him, it results in the entire crowd in the bunker abandoning him in hopes of his death placating the Kaiju.
Too Dumb to Live: Announcing to a crowded shelter full of superstitious, frightened people that the Kaiju is specifically hunting him. Cue everyone backing away from him, making it very clear that they are fully prepared to sacrifice him to it to save their own skins.
Took a Level in Badass: After very nearly getting eaten by Otachi, he's suddenly much less intimidated by Hannibal Chau.
Newt: Hey! Okay, guess who's back, you one-eyed bitch?! You owe me a Kaiju brain!
The Xenophile: Harbors a deep and abiding appreciation for Kaiju, seeing them as monstrous masterpieces.
Vitriolic Best Buds: More vitriolic than most examples because Newt considers Gottlieb to be a stuffy rival for most of the film.
Dr. Hermann Gottlieb
"Numbers do not lie. Politics and poetry, promises, these are lies. Numbers are as close as we get to the handwriting of god."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2015
Strike Group: Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: None
Played By: Burn Gorman
Newt's mathematician partner, working on determining the exact limits of the Breach, and by extension the size and frequency of Kaiju attacks.
All There in the Manual: According to the artbook, he was at least born in Germany if not raised there, and is an expectant father. He is married to a model named Vanessa, according to writer Travis Beacham.
He also studied engineering and applied sciences in Berlin, so it seems fairly safe to assume he's spent many years, if not his entire life, in his mother country.
Big "Shut Up!": Gets on the receiving end from Pentecost when he keeps interrupting Newt's exposition of his neural bridge experience with the Kaiju brain.
Genius Cripple: Uses a cane due to a bad leg and tends to shake heavily when excited. He's also distinctly hunched, though whether or not this is an aspect of his disability or just body language to telegraph his characterization is unclear.
Germanic Depressives: Doesn't quite seem to know what to do with Newt's 'bro-handshake' at first, among other examples.
Handicapped Badass: Has a limp, a hunch, twitches, and walks with a cane. Refuses to take absolutely anyone's shit and helps save the day.
The Smart Guy: Part of the team researching the Kaiju. His speciality is mathematics. Newton thinks it's just a bunch of intelligent-sounding guesses, but his math-backed predictions prove to be consistently right.
This Is My Side: He'd like Newt to keep his Kaiju entrails on his own side of the room, thank you very much.
Vitriolic Best Buds: More vitriolic than most examples because Gottlieb hates Newt for most of the film, and the two only reconcile when Gottlieb offers to share the Drift with a Kaiju brain to take the neural strain off of Newt.
"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, brother."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2016
Strike Group: Anchorage Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
The black market Kaiju parts supplier, who harvests the corpses of the monsters and sells the parts. Stacker made a deal with him in order to gain some extra funding the Jaeger Program desperately needed.
Eye Scream: His left eye was injured when he was in a public Kaiju shelter.
Feet-First Introduction: The first time he properly appears, the shot starts on his gold-plated shoes and pans up to his face.
Friend in the Black Market: Stacker gave him exclusive rights for scavenging Kaiju remains in some desperation, and he deals in their body parts. Apparently their bone powder is used for male enhancement.
Genre Savvy: The moment Newt tells him about the drift, Hannibal realizes how screwed Newt is. He also runs away the moment he hears a Kaiju scream. He does make the fatal mistake of Tempting Fate in front of a "dead" Kaiju.
Knife Nut: He has a gold-plated Butterfly Knife, and one of the first things he does is shove the blade up Newt's nostril.
Large Ham: According to del Toro, he was originally going to be an actual Chinese guy — but Ron Perlman was brought in precisely to make the character so over-the-top ridiculous that viewers would take the Kaiju more seriously by comparison.
Man of Wealth and Taste: Despite how much of a jerk he might be, he certainly dresses the part of a successful crime lord.
The "Suits" decide to scrap the Jaeger Program in favor of building "Kaiju proof walls". 5 minutes later, a Kaiju crashes through the wall in less than an hour. The Kaiju is only stopped by, surprise, surprise, a Jaeger.
And with that incident, you'd think that the "Suits" would go back to thinking that Jaegers are a better option. NOPE. They say that the walls STILL show promise. Which leads to riots along the areas of the coastal walls.
And when another Kaiju is shown to have a very corrosive acid, and WINGS, it's essentially proven that the walls are not only useless, but a complete waste of time to build. Consider how many Jaegers could have been built with the resources and labour taken to wall the entire coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Then consider that even if they couldn't go through it, they could go around, being shown to be entirely capable of moving on land even early on. And the complete lack of any [[BFG active defences]] which allowed Mutavore nearly an hour of whaling on the Sydney wall to get through.
Panic Mode: Plan A, the Jaeger Program, became a losing battle of attrition as stronger Kaiju appeared faster than the construction of a Jaegar even with full funding. They just found out that Plan B (the wall) was useless. They had no Plan C other than run and hide.
Jaeger Academy Class: 2015
Strike Group: Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Coyote Tango
Tamsin Sevier was a British Royal Air Force pilot and friend of Luna and Stacker Pentecost. During the beginning of the Jaeger Program, she and Stacker were the pilots of the Mark-1 Jaeger Coyote Tango.
Action Survivor: She was among the pilots that fought Trespasser, the original Kaiju in San Francisco.
All There in the Manual: She's vaguely mentioned in the film, but isn't name-dropped and doesn't make an appearance. What we know of her is from the prequel comic.
Heroic RROD: Blacked out prior to the battle with Onibaba, causing Stacker to pilot Coyote Tango solo. They both got radiation poisoning from the poorly shielded reactor, and Tamsin ultimately died from cancer.
Significant Haircut: Cuts her hair much shorter after picking up some of her co-pilot's confidence from Drifting. It also signifies her getting better from her mental illness.
Student Teacher Romance: Subverted. Despite being a grad student in a sexual relationship with the man who invented the Jaegers, it was loveless and the two break up after she starts drifting with Sergio D'onofrio.
General Jaeger Tropes
Armored Coffins: Averted: most Jaegers have ejections systems. This is played straight with Cherno Alpha.
Awesome McCoolname: All of them! Even the designation 'Jaeger,' which is the German word for "hunter".
Dwindling Party: By the time the movie takes place proper, there are only four remaining Jaegers left due to the Kaiju becoming more powerful, and time between Kaiju attacks becoming too short for additional Jaegers to be built. Their numbers drop even further during the film so that by the end, none are left.
Eureka Moment: They were conceived by Dr. Jasper Schoenfeld after seeing his son playing with toy monsters and robots, realizing the potential of robotic countermeasures against the Kaiju in the process.
Good Counterpart: To the Kaiju. Further following this theme is the fact that both the Jaegers and the Kaiju are given classification schemes, and the fact that they require two brains to function. Both are more or less the avatars of their respective species.
"To fight monsters, we created monsters."
Good Old Fisticuffs: More often than not, Jaegers end up brawling with Kaiju, as most of their other weapons are either too cumbersome to be constantly used in close quarters combat or lack the same level of effectiveness. Some Jaegers are designed with this function in mind while others tend to improvise.
Real Robot: One of the main reasons why Jaegers are not particularly practical against anything but Kaiju is because they cost ten times as much as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and are very demanding machines to operate, requiring huge specialized facilities, thousands of support personnel, and an entire squadron of transport helicopters to carry them around.
Red Baron: Each Jaeger had a title in the promotional material, and the released NECA figures each have a tagline name.
Required Secondary Powers: Some of them are accounted for. Jaegers move quite slowly when compared to most other portrayals of Humongous Mecha and are extremely maintenance intensive, with actions no more than a few hours long requiring several weeks of downtime. Nevertheless, some of the more insurmountable obstacles have to be excused by Rule of Cool.
Simply lifting the arm of a 2,000 ton humanoid robot from its shoulder requires a level of torque equivalent to the output of several thousand Bugatti Veyrons. Combat maneuvers would not only require a greater amount of power, but also materials that are capable of withstanding G-forces equivalent to ten times their actual weight.
To operate in the ocean, Jaegers would not only have to be heavily waterproofed (difficult, considering the sheer number of moving parts involved) but also receive regular treatment of all components against saltwater corrosion (also difficult). Moreover, they would also have to be capable of remaining stable while buffeted by strong underwater currents (very difficult), all the while moving in an environment that is three times denser than the Earth's atmosphere at around 16 fathoms, and up to one thousand times as dense around the Marianas Trench (downright impossible).
Nationality: United States
Date of Launch: July 10th, 2017
Pilots: Raleigh and Yancy Beckett/Mako Mori
Gipsy Danger is an American Mark-3 Jaeger. It was stationed at the Anchorage Shatterdome along with Brawler Yukon and Chrome Brutus until its closure in 2024. Despite being decommissioned and transported to Oblivion Bay in 2021, Gipsy Danger was later returned to the Anchorage Shatterdome to undergo major reconstruction and refurbishment under the supervision of Mako Mori and Tendo Choi in 2023. It is one of the oldest Jaegers still in active combat-duty service after Cherno Alpha and had a kill count of nine Kaiju prior to its destruction.
Action Girl: Feminine pronouns, plus a feminine shape to the other Jaegers. Striker Eureka being a male brawler, Crimson Typhoon an artful dodging basketball player and Cherno Alpha a Mighty Glacier.
America Saves the Day: It becomes the only surviving Jaeger left during its fight with Slattern, and gets sacrificed in order to destroy the Kaiju homeworld.
American Robot: The art book describes how Gipsy Danger was intended to be an all-American design but in a more subtle way than a red-white-and blue colossus in an Abe Lincoln Hat. Her riveted skin and pinup Nose Art are reminiscent of the heavy bombers from World War II, she has the slim hips and armored shoulders of a linebacker, and when she charges up her plasma caster her posture — shoulders back, gun hand outstretched — is intentionally similar to an old-west gunfighter.
Chest Blaster: The Nuclear Vortex Turbine located in the center of the chest is primarily designed vent excess heat. However, it can also output enough thrust to slow a fall from several thousand feet in the air. It is powerful enough to kill Slattern, the only Category 5 Kaiju ever fought.
Combat Pragmatist: The reason why despite being older and less powerful than other Jaegers, she has a lot of success in fighting Kaiju.
Dual Wielding: Hypothetically possible, but ultimately averted; Gipsy Danger has a sword and a plasma caster housed in each forearm, but she only ever uses one of them at a time in the film.
I Love Nuclear Power: Powered by a nuclear reactor, which vents excess heat through a turbine mounted on its chest. This proved to be an important plot point twice: it renders Gipsy Danger resistant to Leatherback's EMP ability and was later detonated (along with the rest of the Jaeger) to seal the rift.
Also uses a pair of storage containers as knuckle dusters, vents coolant to freeze its tail, and uses the exhaust from its chest-mounted turbine to blast a Kaiju to death. Seems this specific Jaeger has a knack for this.
Pride Before a Fall: At the height of the Jaeger program's success, one of Gipsy Danger's original pilots dies in the fight against Knifehead. After that, things started going downhill, with Kaiju attacks becoming more frequent and Jaegers being destroyed faster than they could be replaced.
Shout-Out: Most likely based on Mazinger Z. Though the concept of Jaegers in general takes a lot from the series, Gipsy Danger especially resembles the namesake robot, incorporating a Chest Blaster and even a Rocket Punch.
Pilots: Chuck and Hercules Hansen / Stacker Pentecost
Striker Eureka is an Australian Mark-V Jaeger designed to defend the coastline of Australia from the Kaiju during the Kaiju War. It was stationed at the Sydney Shatterdome along with Vulcan Specter until its closure in 2024, and had a kill count of eleven Kaiju prior to its destruction. Striker Eureka held the best overall stats of any Jaeger ever created by the PPDC.
A Kind of One: The first and the last of the Mark-5 Jaegers ever built.
The Ace: The newest of the active Jaegers, with the highest kill count at 11.
Badass: The strongest (and newest) jaeger ever built.
Fatal Flaw: Unlike the other surviving Jaegers, Striker Eureka relies almost entirely on digital systems for operationnote Gipsy Danger and Cherno Alpha run on nuclear reactors whereas Crimson Typhoon is actuated by diesel engines; there is no explicit mention of what Striker Eureka utilizes for motive power except that it's "digital", which makes it disproportionately vulnerable to Leatherback's EMP ability.
Vertical Mecha Fins: The fins on its back help with balance by reducing aerodynamic turbulence while moving.
Date of Launch: December 25th, 2015
Pilots: Aleksis and Sasha Kaidanovsky
Cherno Alpha is a Mark-1 Russian Jaeger. Piloted by Sasha Kaidonovsky and her husband Aleksis, Cherno Alpha is the last of the Mark-1 Jaeger series and the oldest Jaeger still active. It was assigned to the Vladivostok Shatterdome alongside Eden Assassin and Nova Hyperion, and had a kill count of six Kaiju prior to its destruction.
Badass Normal: Armed with no more than its fists, it held the line in Siberia for nearly seven years
The Big Guy: The largest and heaviest of the remaining active Jaegers, with a bulky appearance to match.
Cranial Processing Unit: One of the only Jaegers to avert this. According to the Jaeger Designer program and blueprints◊ on the official website, Cherno Alpha's connpod is chest-mounted. The giant cylindrical "head" actually contains a nuclear reactor and fuel storage tanks, in essence acting as a decoy for any Kaiju trying to disable the Jaeger by destroying its head.
Defiant to the End: Even after being double teamed by two Category 4 Kaijus and having its armour breached, Cherno Alpha kept on fighting until the very end.
Fatal Flaw: Though heavily armoured, Cherno Alpha's reactor is still very much a vital system and presents a highly noticeable target. Any damage to the reactor will severely incapacitate the Jaeger.
Honor Before Reason: Word of God states that this is the main reason why it has no escape pods. However, given the location of the conn pod deep inside the Jaeger's chest, it is possible that the escape pods were sacrificed in order to provide better protection to the pilots, potentially subverting this trope.
Guillermo Del Toro: "We agreed that Cherno would have no escape pods. They win or die."
Power Fist: Cherno Alpha's signature "Tesla Fists" are disproportionately large when compared to the rest of the Jaeger. Much like Gipsy Danger's "Elbow Rockets", they're equipped with hydraulic mechanisms that extend to add extra impetus to punches.
Red Baron: NECA's tagline for Cherno Alpha is "Hammer Slammer".
The Worf Effect: Is brought down by Leatherback after its armor is melted by Otachi's acid.
Wrestler in All of Us: What little we see of it includes an elbow drop and a headlock on one of the Kaiju. Its status as the heaviest Jaeger certainly helps.
Date of Launch: August 8th, 2018
Pilots: Cheung, Jin, and Hu Wei
Crimson Typhoon is a Mark-4 Chinese Jaeger piloted by the Wei triplets. Constructed in Hong Kong Shatterdome, Crimson Typhoon is unique among the Jaegers due to it being piloted by three Rangers as opposed to the traditional two. It successfully defeated eight Kaiju.
Jet Pack: Equipped with thrusters in the back that assist with movement, and can be used for short jumps. This ability was used in Crimson Typhoon's battle with Otachi to perform a half-reversed aerial flip.
Pilots: Stacker Pentecost and Tamsin Sevier/Gunnar and Vic Tunari
Coyote Tango is the second Mark-1 Japanese Jaeger after Tacit Ronin. It was one of the oldest Jaegers in active duty before its retirement from combat due to the massive damage caused by its confrontation with Onibaba and the Jaeger's own insufficient radiation shielding. It spent over a year in repairs, and had its radiation shielding improved. It was reintroduced to the war with a new set of pilots, who piloted it until Coyote Tango's destruction in 2022. Coyote Tango has a record of two Kaiju kills at the time of its destruction.
All There in the Manual: Stacker's copilot, Tamsim Sevier, is shown in Tales from Year Zero but not the film proper.
Big Damn Heroes: Swoops in to stop Onibaba's rampage, saving Mako in the process.
Curbstomp Battle: The offscreen fight with Onibaba doesn't last long. Though the entire scene is a reflection of how Mako remembers the events, and thus it may not be entirely correct. The fact that Coyote Tango sustained massive damage from the fight suggests that it wasn't ended quite that fast.
Heroic RROD: Tamsim Sevier blacked out prior to the fight with Onibaba, leaving Stacker to handle things solo. It turns out that both Rangers were suffering from radiation poisoning from Coyote Tango's inadequately-shielded reactor. Both the Jaeger and its pilots were soon retired, but not before they contracted cancer. Coyote Tango's reactor shielding was improved and it received a new set of pilots later on.
Laser Blade: The game of the movie shows that Coyote Tango has these equipped in both arms, under the name of the Anti-Matter Blade. Whether or not this is actually canon is unclear.
Red Baron: NECA's tagline for Coyote Tango is "The Towering Tyrant".
Shout-Out: To the Guncannon from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, which also had retractable shoulder cannons. Moreover, the top-heavy appearance and portrayal as a protector of children is strongly reminiscent of The Iron Giant.
Date of Launch: 2016
Pilots: Scott and Hercules Hansen
Lucky Seven is the first Jaeger assignment given to former RAAF pilot, Hercules Hansen and younger brother, Scott, during the Jaeger Program's earliest tenure. In 2019, Lucky Seven teamed up with Gipsy Danger and Horizon Brave to fight a Category IV Kaiju in Manila. It successfully defeated at least two Kaiju. After Scott's ejection from the PPDC, Herc was reassigned to Striker Eureka with his son, Chuck. Lucky Seven was destroyed some time during the Kaiju War.
Bash Brothers: Piloted by the original Australian brother-team, Scott and Herc Hansen.
Date of Launch: December 22, 2015
Pilots: Lo Hin Shen and Xichi Po
Horizon Brave is a Mark-1 Jaeger and the first launched by the Chinese. It was among the first Jaegers constructed on Kodiak Island, Alaska when the Jaeger Program was greenlit by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. In 2019, Horizon Brave teamed up with Gipsy Danger and Lucky Seven to fight a Category 4 Kaiju in Manila. It was saved from destruction by the other two Jaegers. Sometime prior to 2025, Horizon Brave was destroyed while trying to defend Lima from a Kaiju attack. Horizon Brave had a record of two Kaiju kills before its destruction in battle.
Kill It with Ice: The known specs indicate that its primary weapon systems rely on freezing the Kaiju.
Mecha-Mook: There are some indications that more than one Jaeger of this type has actually been produced.
Nationality: United States
Classification: Mark-1 (Prototype)
Date of Launch: April 23rd, 2015
Pilots: Adam Casey/Sergio D'onofrio and Caitlin Lightcap
Brawler Yukon is a Mark-1 prototype Jaeger. It fought against the Kaiju Karloff in Vancouver and is notable for being the first Jaeger deployed into actual combat against the Kaiju. It was destroyed by an unknown Kaiju later in the war. Karloff was not Brawler Yukon's only kill.
Romeo Blue is the second Mark-1 American Jaeger launched against the Kaiju threat after Brawler Yukon. It fought and killed the Kaiju Hardship in an unknown location early on in the war. Sometime prior to 2025, it was deployed in Seattle to prevent a Kaiju from destroying the city and the Jaeger was destroyed when the Kaiju tore off its arm and smashed through the Conn-Pod, killing the pilots in the process. Romeo Blue has a record of two Kaiju kills.
The Cameo: Its remains can be seen when Vladivostok is shown during the UN meeting at the beginning of the movie.
Fragile Speedster: Lightly armoured. Unlike Coyote Tango, Tacit Ronin has enough agility to evade attacks while being strong enough to engage Kaiju at close range.
Date of Launch: September 14th, 2017
Matador Fury is a Mark-3 Mexican Jaeger. It was assigned to the Lima Shatterdome alongside Solar Prophet and Diablo Intercept. Sometime during the Kaiju War, Matador Fury was destroyed in combat and taken to Oblivion Bay.
Boxed Crook: The pilots, whose stipulation behind their cooperation was if they piloted the Matador Fury "one more time", they could earn their freedom.
Date of Launch: 2017
Pilots: Ilisapie Flint and Zeke Amarok
Chrome Brutus is a Canadian Mark-3 Jaeger. It was stationed at the Anchorage Shatterdome along with Brawler Yukon and Gipsy Danger until its closure in 2024. Sometime during the Kaiju War, it was destroyed in combat and taken to Oblivion Bay.
Eden Assassin is a Mark-2 Russian Jaeger that was stationed at the Vladivostok Shatterdome along with Cherno Alpha and Nova Hyperion until its closure in 2024. At some point during the Kaiju War, Eden Assassin was destroyed in combat.
Nationality: South Korea
Date of Launch: 2018
Pilots: Pang So-Yi and An Yuna
Nova Hyperion is a Mark-4 South Korean Jaeger that was stationed at the Vladivostok Shatterdome along with Cherno Alpha and Eden Assassin until its closure in 2024. At some point during the Kaiju War, Nova Hyperion was destroyed in combat.
Master Swordsman: Both of Nova's pilots competed in fencing at the Olympic level, so it's likely that they later employed those skills while piloting Nova Hyperion against the Kaiju.
The Rival: Its pilots were this prior to the Jaeger Academy. So-Yi and Yuna were both competitive fencers who dreamed of participating in the Olympics. Their hatred for each other drove their rivalry and desire to win a spot on the team. However, in the middle of a match, the Kaiju Emergency Alert System sounded inside the arena, urging its occupants to escape before the Kaiju made landfall. During the escape, So-Yi slipped and hit her head on the floor, knocking herself out. As the Kaiju rose from the water and headed for the arena, Yuna turned back and saved So-Yi just in time from the Kaiju's attack. Their experience during the Kaiju attack presumably brought the two closer together and allowed them to put aside their differences to help one another and the world as Nova Hyperion's pilots.
Date of Launch: 2018
Echo Saber is a Mark-4 Japanese Jaeger. It was stationed at the Tokyo Shatterdome along with Coyote Tango and Tacit Ronin until its closure in 2024.
You Shall Not Pass: Destroyed in the novelization by Mutavore while trying to prevent her attack on the Sydney wall.
Date of Launch: 2017
Vulcan Specter is a Mark-3 Australian Jaeger. It was stationed at the Sydney Shatterdome along with Striker Eureka until its closure in 2024.
You Shall Not Pass: Destroyed in the novelization by Mutavore while trying to prevent her attack on the Sydney wall.
Date of Launch: 2017
Shaolin Rogue is a Mark-3 Chinese Jaeger. It was stationed at the Hong Kong Shatterdome along with Crimson Typhoon and Horizon Brave. At some point during the Kaiju War, Shaolin Rogue was destroyed in combat.
All There in the Manual: According to the novelization, some of its parts (specifically the parts needed for drifting) were salvaged by Newt to use for his first drift with a Kaiju.
Nationality: United States
Date of Launch: 2018
Pilots: Kennedy LaRue and Stephanie Lanphier
Hydra Corinthian is a Mark-4 American Jaeger. It was stationed at the Panama City Shatterdome along with Puma Real until its closure in 2024. At some point during the Kaiju War, Hydra Corinthian was destroyed in combat.
They and their creators clearly weren't expecting humanity to fight back to any useful effect, something humans theorize on. This is best shown when the first Jaeger utterly demolished its Kaiju opponent.
On the other side, humanity didn't expect that the Kaiju and their creators could think beyond animalistic behaviors and evolve to deal with the Jaegers.
Humans certainly couldn't have been expecting Kaiju Blue when they decided to Nuke 'em in early attacks...
The Dragon: There are beings on the other side of the portal responsible for creating and sending the Kaiju through the breach.
Eldritch Abomination: So ludicrously large and powerful they are more forces-of-nature that cut swathes of destruction than creatures.
Extra Eyes: Most, if not all, of the Kaiju have more than two eyes.
Hive Mind: They are all mentally connected to one another. Even the still living but damaged brain of a dead Kaiju is connected to the hive.
It Can Think: It had been assumed that the Kaiju were acting on instinct, but nobody expected them to adapt to counter the Jaegers.
Kill All Humans: This is why the Precursors sent the Kaiju through the Breach this time.
Leitmotif: "2500 Tons Of Awesome", which is shared by the Kaiju as a whole. The one exception is Slattern, as detailed in his entry.
Living Weapon: They turn out to be genetically engineered attack dogs of a human-sized race from another universe. The humans don't realize that the emergence of bigger and tougher examples that can better fight the Jaegers is an arms race until the aliens have added projectile acid and EMP attacks and it's too late.
Mix-and-Match Critters: A number of the Kaiju look like a combination of different animal traits. Considering the way they are assembled by their masters, this is not entirely surprising.
People in Rubber Suits: A featurette revealed that Guillermo and the character designers wanted to invoke this when designing the Kaiju as a homage. Basically, the Kaiju are all designed as if an actor would be able to fit into them like a rubber suit, hence why most of them are bipedal.
Taking You with Me: Prior to the creation of the Jaegers, the only reliable way to take down a Kaiju was to hit it with a nuclear weapon. Aside from the resulting collateral damage and fallout that would occur if deployed in a populated area, the issues with this are further compounded by the fact that Kaiju blood is toxic, and that the resultant overkill ends up spreading a large amount of that blood over a wide area.
The Kaiju that killed Yancy and crippled Gipsy Danger in the prologue. Though Raleigh managed to kill him, this attack heralded the apparent end of the Jaeger age, as the Kaiju were beginning to counter the robots.
Evil Is Petty: It took a detour from its main mission of attacking Anchorage to slaughter the crew of a passing fishing boat. Good thing Gipsy Danger was there.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Knifehead had just swum to Anchorage like planned, it could have slowed Gipsy Danger down for quite a while by causing their deviation to help the fishing boat turn into a dead end.
Small Role, Big Impact: Appears onscreen for less than ten minutes, and manages to turn the tide of the war back in favor of the Kaiju.
Threatening Shark: The featurette on Kaiju suggests he's meant to resemble a goblin shark. He swims like a shark would as well.
Turtle Power: It has a shell-like body structure on its back.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Its fight with Gipsy Danger was the moment that asserted "Jaegers aren't invincible."
Breach Date: January 2, 2025
Target: Sydney, Australia
The Kaiju that tears through the Life Wall in under an hour, proving the entire fortification worthless. Killed by Striker Eureka.
Adaptational Badass: It's dodgy as to which came first, the novelization, based on an older script most likely or the movie release and so one. The film has her as a Category 4, but serves more as a mook, while the novelization has her tear through two Jaegers (Vulcan Specter and Echo Saber) before encountering Striker Eureka. Either way, she is there to show how powerful Striker Eureka is, and that the wall is useless against Kaiju.
Super-Persistent Predator: Chases a ten-year-old girl down the street and then tries multiple times to grab her out of the alley she's hiding in, despite being so big that just reaching down and grabbing her should outweigh the energy gained from eating her. This is presumably a trait of all the other Kaiju as well.
Armor-Piercing Attack: The corrosive substance she sprays from her mouth easily dissolved Cherno Alpha's heavy armor.
Badass: Earns it for not only having fought all four main Jaegers but for also having many story breaking powers and despite being cunning still has enough strength to fight in melee. Oh and she does all that while being pregnant too.
Genius Bruiser: Otachi is a cunning and resourceful ambush predator, much like Leatherback (if not moreso).
Giant Flyer: Vaguely resembles a giant bat capable of lifting a giant robot of equivalent size.
Hollywood Acid: Sprays a very corrosive substance from its mouth. It's enough to cripple Cherno Alpha and immediately liquify a small section of a building.
It Can Think: One of the most intelligent and thus, among the most dangerous ever encountered. Otachi was directly responsible for the destruction of two Jaegers, specifically negating their strengths and taking full advantage of their weaknesses. She also very nearly manages to destroy Gipsy Danger, who only manages to survive through quick thinking.
Kung-Fu Proof Mook: No Sells Crimson Typhoon's Thundercloud Formation attack by catching all three of its arms. She also severely weakened Cherno Alpha by managing to damage its heavily-armoured reactor.
Prehensile Tail: The claw on the tip allows it to act more like an extra arm than a tail.
Story Breaker Power: The only entity (Jaeger or Kaiju) with a demonstrated ability to fly. It's obvious that Jaegers were never built for aerial combat. This revelation also should have revealed the wall defense, which had already been proven ineffective, to be a complete waste of time, but it's never brought up. Likewise with its corrosive acid.
Tongue Trauma: After missing its spray of acid at Gipsy, the Jaeger rips out Otachi's tongue (and acid-producing gland) to keep it from trying that again.
Breach Date: January 8, 2025
Target: Hong Kong, China
One of the Kaiju that attacks Hong Kong. Big, muscular, with approximately the shape of a gorilla.
Acrofatic: Not only is he burly, but he's noticeably pudgy as well. Doesn't make him much slower (or any less menacing) than any other Kaiju.
The Brute: He has a few tricks up his sleeve, but mostly relies on raw brute force.
Didn't See That Coming: Winds up on both ends of this. Nobody anticipated that there would be a Kaiju with an in-built EMP shockwave generator designed specifically to deal with Striker Eureka. Of course, the aliens didn't plan for Gipsy Danger's presence.
Fat Bastard: He's rather heavyset for a Kaiju, and is just as vicious as the others.
For the Evulz: One of the few Kaiju who shows signs of open sadism, taking his time with Cherno Alpha and Striker Eureka's crews.
Genius Bruiser: Performs well-coordinated teamwork with Otachi using his partner as bait to set up an ambush, shuts down Striker Eureka just when it's putting itself in a position of vulnerability to use a genuinely dangerous weapon, and is the only Kaiju in the film to use tools.
It Can Think: A cunning and resourceful Kaiju like its partner Otachi, Leatherback is intelligent enough to use tools, such as a crane for a club. He also lumbers cautiously around the disabled Striker Eureka, making sure it is not using the same Kaiju tactic of faking death.
Kevlard: Gipsy Danger has to shoot him nearly a dozen times to make him go down. Unlike more armored Kaijus, the individual shots do damage him, just not enough to get through his bulk until the damage builds up.
Killer Gorilla: Has a gorilla-like body, although it's named after the leatherback turtle. The name still evokes a silverback gorilla, however.
Lightning Bruiser: Can move incredibly fast and agile for his size, making a difference with the slow, cadenced Kaijus introduced until that point in the film.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Even after Gipsy Danger shoots off his arm and blasts him in the gut several times, Raleigh tells Mako that they need to "check for a pulse." Cue Gipsy Danger blasting Leatherback's body several more times.
Story Breaker Power: His EMP enables him to take out just about any Jaeger, as well as the Shatterdome, in a single move. This allows Leatherback to be the only Kaiju capable of defeating Striker Eureka.
Stone Wall: Took several point-blank Plasma Caster shots into the chest before going down, and that's not counting all the punishment it received beforehand.
Breach Date: January 12, 2025
One of the Kaiju fought at the Breach. Looks like a flower jawed pangolin. Much faster than other Kaiju.
Fragile Speedster: Not very durable at all, but the fastest Kaiju on record and easily sneaks behind Gipsy Danger and bites its right arm off.
One of the Kaiju fought at the Breach. The only Cat 5 ever encountered, it is the largest and most dangerous monster anyone has ever seen.
Badass: Basically the devil, the first and only Category 5 and the first to actually hurt Striker Eureka without resorting to underhand tactics. And of course there's that little surviving a point-blank super nuke matter.
Beware My Stinger Tail: Not only can they club but are strong enough to stab into Gipsy Danger's back during their tumble.
Cats Are Mean: When he's on all fours his body looks very feline influenced as well as the shape of his front two hands/claws look like a lion's.
Dance Battler: His tail-end, anyway. He twirls them disorientingly before lashing out with all three to devastating effect.
Dragon-in-Chief: While all Kaiju serve as The Dragon to their other-dimensional masters, Slattern is the worst of them all and serves as the final obstacle of the story.
Final Boss: Sent out at the very end to deal with Gipsy Danger and Striker Eureka.
Large and in Charge: He is a Category 5, the most feared among the Kaiju that attacked Earth, although Newt suggested that he may have merely been the first member of a second wave of more powerful Kaiju.
Leitmotif: "Category 5", a darker, faster-paced, highly varied and even more ominous variation on the main Kaiju leitmotif (complete with choral backing!) which emphasizes the power and dread that Slattern possesses.
Made of Iron: Even compared to the other Kaiju. To the point of surviving the equivalent of 1.2 million tons of TNT blowing up in his face.
Non-Indicative Name: The word "slattern" basically means "promiscuous woman" (or, in more vulgar terms, "slut"). It's revealed in the novelization that when this Kaiju first appeared, all the Rangers were struck by its utterly massive size:
Tendo Choi: Bitch is big. Pentecost: Don't use that word. Call it "Slattern", if you must.
Rasputinian Death: Cut open numerous times by Striker Eureka (including having his throat slit and his arms nearly sliced off), has a nuclear bomb explode in his face, stabbed repeatedly by Gipsy Danger, and then he only dies when he's cooked alive by Gipsy Danger's nuclear turbine at point blank until the blast starts coming out his back.
Alien Invasion: The Kaiju are their means of clearing out Earth so they can colonize it.
Big Bad: The force that is sending the Kaiju through the Rift.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Fully aware that humans might try to turn the tables on them by invading through the rift, they programmed it to scan for Kaiju DNA first so only Kaiju could pass through. Eventually a loophole is found around that, though.
Hoist by His Own Petard/Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If sending the pregnant Otachi was a backup measure to kill the interloper Newt via her child, it backfired spectacularly and only provided an easily accessible brain that provided crucial information for the final assault on the Breach.
Del Toro himself points out in the director's commentary that at the end they find out what its like for a giant monster to invade their world and wreak havoc.
Laser-Guided Karma: They've completely wiped out countless civilizations in order to drain their planets of their resources, of which Earth and humanity were their latest targets. Humanity, however, fought back and created monsters to fight their monsters. One of these weapons would then make it through the portal they used in order to access our world and nuke them (or at least a base of theirs) into oblivion.
The Man Behind The Monsters: More like Aliens Behind The Monsters, but it still counts given they're responsible for all of the havoc in the film's universe.
Nested Mouths: Their actual faces pop out of what appears to be a mouth, similar to Raiju. It might be a suit, but who knows?
No Biochemical Barriers: Averted. The Precursors first attempted to conquer Earth during the time of the dinosaurs, but the atmosphere was too hostile for them to move in. Millions of years later, humanity has polluted the environment to their standards, allowing them to move in again.
Oh Crap: Their reaction to seeing Gipsy Danger about to self destruct directly in front of them. Downplayed due to their lack of facial expressions, but you know it is there.
Organic Technology: They apparently wrote the book on this. They have an assembly line of Kaiju.
Planet Looters: They apparently move from planet to planet, and will move on when done with Earth.