These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
The music that plays during Mako's childhood trauma and when Otachi spreads its wings and carries Gipsy Danger into the sky sound very influenced by Akira Ifukube, quite possibly the greatest Godzilla composer ever, and are riveting.
Award Snub: Wasn't nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 86th Academy Awards.
Broken Base: While few will question the entertainment value of the action set pieces, opinion is sharply divided on whether the writing and story are good.
Cliché Storm/Troperiffic: This movie once again shows us that Tropes Are Tools. The film manages to work with an absolute Cliché Storm of a plot that almost anyone who has seen a Kaiju movie can see coming from a mile away... but manages to make it work because Guillermo Del Toro intended it as a Homage.
Designated Protagonist Syndrome: Perhaps the biggest complaint about the film were the main protagonists and how they, as our main narrative thread, were fairly boring compared to the more colorful side characters.
Ear Worm: The theme music will never leave your head.
Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, despite it and its pilots not getting a lot of focus in the film and getting killed off, has become a fan favorite across the fandom. Could be its unique head and that it apparently has Tesla-infused fists. Or because the Russian-designed Jaegers operate under the simple rule that either the Kaiju goes down or they do, preferably whilst taking the Kaiju down with them. As such, they don't come equipped with escape hatches. Cherno's pilots Aleksis and Sasha Husky Russkie have been the subject of much fanart. And it seems like del Toro himself agrees with the Cherno love.
Cherno is an interesting case- almost a reverse Ensemble Darkhorse. People found his design fascinating and cool and his concept as the last Mark-1 exciting back before the film was released and Kaiju and Jaeger profiles were being released as marketing hype. When they learnt his pilots were badass Russkies they got even more excited, and he was among the most popular Jaegers in the lead-up to the film. Then the film was released and Cherno appeared for all of 5 minutes getting his ass kicked. Cherno is certainly still among the most popular Jaegers, but many of his fans are disappointed that he didn't participate in the finale.
Tacit Ronin, despite it being a One-Scene WonderCameo during the "Jaegers killing the Kaiju" sequence, appears to be very popular with fans on the internet. Especially the Japanese ones. It might have something to do with it's design being very memorable.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Mako and Raleigh's relationship may be still be up in the air in terms of whether it's romantic or platonic in the film, but you'd never know that from the fandom. Apparently not writing them as explicit love interests actually made fans more enthusiastic about the pairing.
The Attack on Titan fandom is also friendly with this fandom, mostly for the whole "Jaeger" connection. Plus, it also allowed this amazingvideo to be created.
Fans of Pacific Rim are often friendly with fans of Elementary and Sleepy Hollow, due to all three containing a strong Woman of Color character and her white male companion.
Genius Bonus: To understand all the entries on the web page for the Jaeger blueprints you need to be able to understand English, French, Latin American Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. The last three use their native writing systems.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Though it received good critical reviews, the movie didn't much do well in the US Box Office during its opening week, having been beaten by the Despicable Me and, yeah, Grown Ups sequels. It was met with greater success internationally, most especially in China where it made more money than in the United States. In general, the film did best in countries that had Jaegers to represent them.
Many anime fans tend to call it rip-offs of various mecha anime...even though, as a Homage to the genre, that's kind of the point. It's gotten particularly vocal (and occasionally bloody) with Neon Genesis Evangelion fans. Conversely, some are seeing it becauseit looks like EVA. This is particularly idiotic given that many creators of classic mecha series, including Hideaki Anno himself, have stated that they liked Pacific Rim a lot and thought it was a great installment in the Humongous Mecha genre.
Even worse are the non-anime fans who think it's "ripping off" Transformers or Power Rangers. In general, people unfamiliar with kaiju and mecha productions tend to see it as a brainless and ridiculous sci-fi movie (some even comparing it to Battleship), and view what are meant to be genre homages either as the movie's own stupidities or as evidence that it really is ripping off other monster/robot/alien films.
Another hilarious outtake from the Mexican Spanish dub: Raleigh and Newt's voice actors (Irwin Daayan and Victor Ugarte, respectively) voiced Kensuke Aida and Shinji Ikari respectively, Kensuke being the nerdy fan of the protagonist robots and Shinji the one who pilots them. In this film, Kensuke is the one who pilots them this time, while Shinji is now the nerdy fan.
Raleigh and Chuck. It doesn't help that their relationship is often compared to Maverick/Iceman.
Newt and Hermann. Apparently the novelization even describes them as "bickering like an old married couple."
Herc and Stacker spend most of the movie waging a war on each other's personal space and exchanging meaningful looks. "Team Hot Dads" indeed.
HSQ: To the point where the action scenes from all three of the Transformers films look tame.
Internet Backdraft: Do not mention this movie and Grown Ups 2 in the same conversation with fans in the US. It will bring more hate towards the latter.note Grown Ups 2, despite being critically trashed, managed to gross more than Pacific Rim domestically.
Almost literally; people will watch it just for Giant Robots fighting Kaiju (though there are a surprising number of critics who do think there is value in the between-battle drama scenes, in a twist on this trope).
Other critics have praised the film for its shameless embrace of this trope. It's a movie about Humongous Mecha fighting sea monsters, and it's not even pretending to be anything else.
Legendary Pictures is also heading up the Godzillaremake, which is coming after this film, thus Pacific Rim is almost like a giant appetizer for Kaiju fans eagerly awaiting the Big G's return. Legendary has teased a crossover at some point.
Some Portal fans came just to hear the voice of GLaDOS.
Memetic Badass: The Kaidanovskys seem to be approaching this status. It may be deserved - they apparently held the line in Siberia for six straight years on their own with a heavily outdated Jaeger that (as far as Jaegers go) was essentially a Badass Normal.
Once Ellen McLain's voice appeared as the robots' AI system, plenty of jokes were made about her controlling the robots. And it's not just nerds flexing their voice actor knowledge, the AI sounds almost exactly like GLaDOS. The fact that the Kaiju come from a "portal" didn't exactly stem the tide of jokes either.
Some fans started jokingly calling Cherno Alpha "Cherno Bill" in honor of William Chekhov.
Gipsy Danger's name in countries that give home to large gypsy populaces. Sadly this is ripe with Unfortunate Implications, as the name went memetic mostly because it's in line with the extremely negative stereotype of gypsy people as dangerous thieves and murderers, and partly because the trailers in some of these countries deleted any mention of the name, which many fans saw as an example of Political Correctness Gone Mad.
Team Hot Dad, composed of Stacker Pentecost and Herc Hansen, a wish to see these two single fathers pilot a Jaeger.
After Rinko and Mana both commented on how sweet Guillermo was on set (and how he would tell them to call him Totoro), fan art ensued of GuillermoTotoro
'SIND SIE DAS ESSEN? NEIN, WIR SIND DIE JAEGER!, another one of the many comparisons to Attack on Titan described above. The line comes form the first opening, and translates into "Are they the food? No, we are the hunters!" There's also mountains of crossover fan art featuring Jaegers trouncing many of the more powerful Titans, and characters from Attack on Titan piloting Jaegers.
"Fat Otaku Heaven," a quote from Del Toro. For the Japanese release of the film, he was brought onto a Japanese talk show, where he talked about how much Japanese mecha anime influenced the film and was brought to Gundam World in order to see the life-sized Gundam.
The movie has its own meme-generator. The Pacific Rim website has its own Jaeger Builder, in which fans can design and name their own Jaegers and create posters for them, with amusing results.
A group of fans who had grown dissatisfied with the Bechdel Test's ability to properly gauge a story's use of female characters suggested that we should instead use the Mako Mori Test: A female character has her own narrative arc that is not at all about propping up a male character.
Money Making Shot: Any extended sequence involving the Jaegers, or the Kaiju for that matter.
For Trans-Tasman audiences, the presence of the Australian Hansens and their atrocious accents are enough to set off fits of laughter.
Mako's final words to Pentecost, "Sensei, aishiteimasu" aka "I love you, teacher", can be a little jarring to native Japanese speakers, since "aishiteimasu" is a very unusual thing for a Japanese person to say. It would have been more natural if she left it at "Sensei..."
Fridge Brilliance: She was raised through most of her childhood by Pentecost, and probably not as familiar with Japanese mores as someone immersed in them all their life would be.
"TODAY WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE!" One of the most cliche-ridden, trope-tastic movies in recent history, but the giant-robots-fighting-giant-monsters parts are just so awesome you can't help but love it.
Raleigh's 'c'mon let's do this together!' just because leaping and punching Leatherback in the head should be typical forced aesop on teamwork. But, after the kaiju calling almost all the shots during the Hong Kong battle it's rather inspiring.
"Stacker Pentecost" is absolutely nonsensical as a person's name, but at the same time it sounds so incredibly bombastically manly that you can't help but want to bellow it in the hammiest, most dramatic fashion possible.
Older Than They Think: Many fans think Pacific Rim is based off Neon Genesis Evangelion, while Del Toro has explicitly stated that he had never seen the series and was basing the film off older super robot shows he had seen in his youth. His co-writer Travis Beacham might have been familiar with EVA and included some references, but the point that it's a more general genre homage still stands.
Humanity building giant robots to combat an alien threat. While this may be a common plot in the mecha genre of anime, one show probably comes to mind for many, at least younger, anime fans, especially considering the following parallels: Twenty Minutes into the Future (as opposed to the more common "far into the future"- and "another world entirely" settings) aliens, that are specifically interested in human extinction, comes, not from space, but from the depths of the earth itself. These aliens are giant monsters who fight humanity directly, instead of using robots themselves. To combat these humanity creates equally gigantic robots that requires the pilot to mentally synch not only with the robot, but also with a co-pilot (while this is only done literally in Evangelion 3.0, in the original series the "robots" had to have a human soul implanted in them to function and both this soul and the actual pilot had to synch with each-other and the "robot"). The monsters also appear one-by-one instead of organizing in an army. Oh, and let's not forget the yellow fluid and the journeys into characters' minds.
Alternatively, it's a better American Godzilla film than the actual American Godzilla film (not counting the forthcoming 2014 reboot).
Alternatively alternatively, it's the best Getter Robo movie we're ever gonna get.
Go back a bit more, to the beginning. Rocket Punch. Breast Fire. Pilots in the head docking with the body. Hell, the whole drivable robot concept. It's Mazinger Z, all the way. By extension to almost all the spiritual licensee above makes this the closest to a Super Robot Wars film ever.
The movie has several (coincidental) similarities to the X-Com franchise as well. Alien threat that forces the nations of the world to band together and form an organisation dedicated to fighting them? Check. Council of nations that threatens to pull their funding because they're not getting results? Check. The alien-fighting organization forced to sell alien components on the black market to make ends meet? Check. Researchers vivisecting alien corpses in order to better understand what they're fighting against? Check. A final assault on the aliens' homeworld? Check. Extra amusingly, the Enemy Within expansion for XCOM will include cybernetic Mini Mecha pilots complete with rocket fists.
There's some minor resemblance to Godannar, which also features giant robots piloted by pairs of pilots from various nations who have strong romantic or familial bonds. And they fight a series of Mix-and-Match Critters that come from the sea.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Even fans of the movie tend to agree that the pilots of Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha should've, at the very least, had more time to shine before being killed off early into their first action scene.
There's enough room to do a film or two on those first four attacks and on the Golden Age of Jaeger combat.
Early in the film, there was some hinting at a behind-the-scenes political conspiracy relating to the Jaeger Program shutdown and the wall construction, but it's completely dropped by the time Raleigh gets to Hong Kong.
Who else wanted to see Otachi Jr. imprint on Newt and become the Team Pet?
The cult of Kaiju worshippers, who could have made very good secondary villains. Imagine an entire subplot following a different division of the Jaeger program dedicated to stopping terrorist members of the Kaiju cult from attacking Shatterdomes from the inside. It's tangentially addressed, at least - there seem to be a lot of troops around inside the Hong Kong Shatterdome carrying small arms that don't seem to do much on-screen, but considering that there is a definite Kaiju cult around, it's possible that's what they're there for.