Follow TV Tropes


Shout Out / Pacific Rim

Go To

References and shoutouts from the 2013 Summer Blockbuster Pacific Rim and its 2018 sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising.

    open/close all folders 

Kaiju movies



  • Leatherback's ape-like appearance and EMP may be alluding to the Toho King Kong, who had an electric grasp.
  • The Knifehead kaiju looks an awful lot like Guiron from the Gamera films.
    • Some of Zigra's sharky features are also evident.
    • A bit on Gamera vs. Jiger, where a team enter the body of a downed kaiju and encounter a baby monster inside.
  • Raiju looks a lot like Gabora from Ultraman. He also evokes Tristar's Zilla with a Xenomorph mouth.
  • The kaiju being attracted to Earth due to pollution of the environment calls to mind several of the Ultraman series, which had a similar concept in their plots.
  • Kaiju with toxic blood may be a reference to The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
  • Otachi, except for her tail pincer, retractable wings and nose horns, could easily pass for the Cloverfield Monster.
  • Slattern's emergence from the breach is reminiscent to the "RELEASE THE KRAKEN!" moment in 2010's Clash of the Titans.
  • Blink and you'll miss it, but the list of previous Kaiju Hermann consults when trying to decipher Mako's last message includes many classic Japanese movie monsters.



  • The Category scale used for the Kaiju is called "Serizawa".
    • Speaking of the good doctor: Remember what humanity's last-ditch effort to stop Godzilla ended up being? A small party of humans took a superweapon down to the ocean bottom and detonated it in the monster's face. At least one member of the party stayed below as part of a Heroic Sacrifice. Sound familiar?
  • A modified version of Godzilla's roar can be heard during one of the opening montage of past Kaiju attacks.
  • During their introductory sequence, both Godzilla (in the 1998 American film) and the first Kaiju make landfall on bridges in traffic, both under white skies, both of which being giant CG things obscured mostly from view, and both incoming from right of frame from the sea. And then the next Godzilla movie does it again.
  • A subtle one, the Aliens sending the Kaiju live near a star apparently being sucked into a black hole. One alien race in the Godzilla series (and only one to make multiple appearances) are space apes who are trying to take over the earth for the exact same reason.
  • After one of the Kaiju of the Hong Kong battle, Otachi, reveals that holy shit she can fucking fly, she starts making sounds very similar to King Ghidorah and Rodan.
  • A scientist studying the kaiju realizes too late that the kaiju he's studying is pregnant, after it's seemingly dead.
  • All the kaiju have two brains, just like Godzilla.
  • The scene in Tokyo focusing on a horrified child watching the carnage is likely an homage to a particularly heart-wrenching scene in the original 1954 Godzilla of a mother and her children hiding in a Tokyo alleyway and knowing that they're all about to die.
  • Newt's remarks about pollution allowing the Kaiju to survive in Earth's biosphere bring Godzilla vs. Hedorah to mind.
  • When Slattern emerges from the rift, the musical motif is very reminiscent of the motif that plays when Godzilla rises from the ocean.

Anime and manga



  • The Jaegers posters were designed to resemble giant robot model kit box art.
  • Gipsy Danger seems to be one to classic Super Robot, specially to Go Nagai's Mazinger Z given it has not just Rocket Punch but also Breast Fire.
    • It even got a nod in Shin Mazinger Zero showing up to help defeat the titular Mazinger Zero alongside a veritable pantheon of legendary mecha.
    • The detachable head and blasting hole in its torso have an even closer resemblance to another Go Nagai super robot, Steel Jeeg and its Spin Storm.
    • Tendo Choi's dress and mannerism make him seem like a Nagai character.
    • The importance of Mount Fuji's alleged rare mineral content seems to be a shout out to Mazinger Z (and Code Geass).
    • The fight against Otachi, particularly in the novelization, has elements from the fight against Sileene in Devilman.
  • In addition to functional nods to classic Super Robot, and despite Del Toro's claims that he avoided visual references to established mecha, Gipsy Danger has clear influences from Gigantor, the 1980 anime version specifically. Del Toro explicitly says Tetsujin 28-Go was an influence in one of the pre-release featurettes.
    • Also, it has a Pilder, though we never see it operate on its own. Although it does have the classic "Pilder, on!"
    • In the original, the Rocket Punch was simply called "Elbow Rocket". But in the Japanese dub? How could they not resist changing the name to the obvious one?
  • Brawler Yukon, who appears in the comic, looks like a more humanoid version of the Beetle T-23 scout robot from Getter Robo Go.
    • In the same vein there's Horizon Brave, with two large shoulder mounted pods that appears during the prologue showing its construction, toy version and post-destruction. It looks a lot like Getter Poisedon albeit more like the tweaked design from Getter Robo Armeggedon.
  • The helmets worn by Cherno Alpha's pilots bring to mind any number of sci-fi designs, but particularly seem to invoke VOTOMS and Gasaraki, or perhaps more pertinently the HRL pilot suits from Gundam 00, the HRL being the superbloc that contains Former Russia.
    • Cherno Alpha's piston punch also works exactly like a Scopedog's.
  • The nuclear mission is a reference to Gunbuster, particularly the descent into Buster Machine 3.
  • Gipsy Danger's head screws into the rest of the body.
    • And its visor? Kamina's glasses.
    • Hell, Stacker Pentecost IS Kamina. He tells Raleigh "you have no idea who the Hell I am" and his Rousing Speech at the end includes the words "we have chosen to believe not only in ourselves but each other". He channels Gendo Ikari, but deep down he's as hot-blooded as any blue-haired stunner-shades-wearing mecha pilot.
  • The film is essentially an adaptation of Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! , which also features a twin-pilot robot controlled by an older man who lost his partner in battle and young Japanese woman who was saved from a giant terraforming beast that rose from the ocean by a giant robot and then dedicated her life to becoming a pilot despite her guardian's disapproval. Said robot is also powered by a giant spinning turbine in the middle of its chest and uses detachable air transport to reach its deployment zone. Finally, the fact that there is an international team of robot pilots, with two of the teams being of the same origin as the ones from Godannar (One from Russia and another from China, Gipsy Danger's pilots are a composite of the Japanese and American teams, and the Australian pilots can be construed as expies of the UK Team).
  • The initial treatment of the Kaiju as simply natural disasters from a dimensional rift is similar in nature to the Heterodyne entities in the anime Dai-Guard.
    • There is also a running gag in the series involving the main robot losing an arm in nearly every battle against the monsters. You can only guess what happens TWICE to Gipsy Danger before she's finally obliterated for good.
  • The entire premise that Jaegers require two or more pilots who are in harmony with one another and share emotions/memories when linked? Can you say Genesis of Aquarion, anybody?
  • Mori's haircut looks like a cross between R. Dorothy Wainright's and Ayanami Rei's. In the beginning of the film, she has blue highlights, which seem to call to Rei's blue hair.
  • Crimson Typhoon's head looks very similar to a VF-1A Valkyrie's
  • Gipsy dumping its coolant to attack faster. Unlike Mechwarrior, however, the coolant itself is weaponized.
  • It's a bit of a stretch, but there's one crowd scene where there are two helmeted UN troopers standing to the right of Stacker Pentecost's shoulder while he delivers Important Plot. These are the only two helmeted guys clearly visible in the scene - one white guy and one black guy - and they look suspiciously like the two UN troopers guarding the base in the opening scenes of Muv-Luv Alternative. There are several other distinct parallels:
    • The Kaiju are bioweapons created by a race of silicon-based life forms.
    • The "blue and glowy scanning-microscope image" aesthetic of the aliens.
    • The leading couple pilot a twin-seat weapon.
    • Like Sumika, Mako has gone through extreme trauma which causes a berserker outburst at an inopportune moment.
    • a character gets Eaten Alive from behind in a completely unexpected manner while having a conversation with another character. Up until this point there has been little indication, apart from a throwaway comedy line, that the Kaiju find people tasty.
    • The good guys are part of a project which is going to be cancelled by the suits in favour of a different, and less salutary, alternative.
    • The leader of the good guys is a dark-skinned guy (Indian in Alternative, Black Brtish in Rim) who gives a rousing speech while the robots are launching on the final mission.
    • All the talk about MLA and still no mention of one of the most important plot points? : in MLA, Unit 00 (Sumika) connects to the BETA network every time the fluids in her body are filtered, giving her access to the BETA's plans and hive layouts. It works both ways, though: she also unconsciously sends information to the BETA, which spells grave news for the humanity. Sounds similar to Newt's Kaiju drifting and its consequences, doesn't it?
    • The main theme has many similarities to this
  • Gipsy Danger's atomic generator allowing it to work in an EMP Field mirrors Giant Robo's ability to function within the Anti-Shizuma field. That the world's last hope lies with an outdated atomic robot also mirrors Giant Robo.
  • The film explains that the invaders had once tried surveying Earth... with the dinosaurs. Perhaps an allusion to the Dinosaur Empire?
  • Aside from the name, Striker Eureka bears some reference to the Nirvash LFO from Eureka Seven.
  • A interdimensional portal on the floor of the sea remind the Dimensional Jump from Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu.
  • Gipsy's Danger Blade Below the Shoulder have a function as a Cool Sword and Whip Sword, identical to Galient Sword.
  • Hannibal Chau would fit right in one of Ken Ishikawa's mangas.
  • Bracer Phoenix is a green, bulky heavy-hitter that eventually gets refitted with a giant wrecking ball-flail. Is that you, Bulkhead?
  • The explosion really comes from all over Gipsy but the camera focuses on her chest reactor. What other series has not just a chest blaster but a chest blaster that is way bigger than the person that fired it and is a wall of pure instant death?
  • The scene where Raiju bites off Gipsy's arm is somewhat similar to what Moro did to Eboshi.
  • Two references to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind:
    • Otachi's tongue kinda looks like the Ohmu tentacles
    • The Skin Mites bear more than a passing resemblance to the Ohmu themselves.
  • So obscure it might be a coincidence: Newton has a lot in common with Dorohedoro's Dr. Kasukabe: both are smaller-than-average over-enthusiastic scientists with short hair, glasses, elaborate tattoos and a really hands-on approach to studying beings that can easily kill them, to the point of mind-melding with / marrying the enemy, respectively and their research does a lot of good seeing into the mind of the kaiju / knowing how evil magic-users work but also causes a lot of damage the kaiju can read his mind / unwittingly helping the Big Bad become powerful. There's also this parody of kaiju anatomy for Kasukabe's wife, a magic-user who became a devil and can get of her "skin" for a little while.



  • Mako being rescued by Stacker in the flashback is reminiscent of Setsuna's first scene in Mobile Suit Gundam 00. "I must become Jaeger!", anyone?
  • When Knifehead tore off Gipsy Danger's arm, the pain was felt by the pilot, similar to the Mobile Trace System in Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
  • Drifting may-or-may-not-be an acceptable version of New Type bonding, as shown in Mobile Suit Gundam and Zeta Gundam or not.
  • Many of the Cadets regroup in front of the Anaheim Electronics Gundam Museum.
  • Del Toro himself admitted, in a Japanese TV program, that Coyote Tango and Cherno Alpha are inspired, respectively, by the Guncannon and a Zaku-II from Mobile Suit Gundam, especially the former one. Specifically, it appears to be based on the RX-77-01 version from Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, with its 3-clawed hands, larger cannons and blue visor.
  • Striker Eureka has "GN 000" printed on its left chestplate. This is the model number of the 0 Gundam, which becomes more appropriate once Stacker is in the driver's seat.
  • A statue of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam from the titular Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn can be seen in Tokyo in Uprising. For an added shout-out, a piece of debris strikes the right shoulder, the only place where the Mobile Suit had even been damaged in the series.


Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A fan made trailer with Evangelion scenes can be watched here.
  • Coincidental or not, the Japanese release dubs Mako's voice with that of Rei Ayanami's, lampshading the similarities.
  • Humans assaulted by giant monsters that were created by a precursor race, so they created their own mecha-monsters to battle them. Said mechas are controlled by a neural interface whose workings are related to the pilot's emotional experiences. Are we talking about Pacific Rim, or Evangelion?
  • Humanity's mecha program is directed by a stern man who is the father figure of a young Japanese woman with (at least some) blue hair who becomes one of the pilots and develops an emotional bond with a male protagonist. Said male carries a traumatic past and has a difficult relationship with the program's director, with heat and mistrust in both ways. Gendo, Rei and Shinji or Pentecost, Mako and Raleigh?
  • The aforementioned characters are joined by a cocky, egotistical brown-haired pilot with a chip on their shoulder, family issues, and a dead mother. This character pilots a more advanced mecha than both other protagonist, is constantly trying to show off to their parents, and clashes with the male protagonist, sometimes even physically. Chuck Hansen, or Asuka Langley Soryuu?note 
  • The mecha program director has a estranged son who lived in his and the blue-haired pilot's shadow. He's called to pilot in desperate times, though he has his own emotional struggle. He also has to necessarily team up with a proud, overzealous female pilot who makes a contrast to his own worn worldview. Shinji or Jake?
  • Before the first drift we see the helmets of the suits fill with an orange/yellow fluid, a reference to LCL.
  • A mech going berserk, thanks to its pilot's memories, and attacking (or, in Gipsy's case, nearly attacking) the control room. Absolutely nothing can stop it, not even getting unplugged. This is a reference to EVA-00 going berserk when Rei___ was inside it.
  • The Kaiju blood had poisonous effects, just like Adam's blood contaminated seas and turned them red in Eva.
  • The weaponized coolant is very much straight out of "Magma Diver".
  • The escape pod scene is pretty much Misato's experience of Second Impact. The first pod is even shot the same.
  • The image of an aircraft carrier bearing Kaiju remains recalls a similar scene in Asuka's debut episode. The scene is also quite similar to that shown in the 3rd Rebuild film where the badly damaged Unit 02 and Unit 08, salvaged by the Wunder, are strapped to its landing pad in a similar fashion. Bonus points for being badly wounded.
  • Uprising reveals Tokyo has been remodeled as "Neo-Tokyo"—not Neo Tokyo-3, though.
  • The Uprising arc of new, unmanned mechas built by a corporation that threaten to leave obsolete the current program (and that eventually go rogue due to sabotage by a member of the good guys's group who is secretly working for the faction that seeks the end of humanity as we know it) comes directly from the Jet Alone.
  • Jake and Amara's teaming up in the cabin of a single mecha against a gigantic antagonist bears similarities to Shinji and Asuka vs. Gaghiel. In both, the female character is piloting while the male character, who was basically dragged along by circumstances, resorts to clamp himself around and eventually overrides her for a particularly dangerous gameplan.
  • A rogue mecha with stunning agility and aggression, with a black armor and controlled by a malicious biological construct that belongs to the setting's enemy monsters, who causes the death of a character and brings trauma to the main characters. Obsidian Fury or the Bardiel-controlled EVA-03?
  • Whoever designed the Shao Drone Jaegers must've taken some cues from the Mass Produced Eva Units, as they have rounded features and a shiny white finish, and are mass produced and identical machines compared to the unique mainline piloted models. Their remote pilots even wear white suits with hoods and black lines that make them resemble even more the mechas. They're also turned into Organic Technology Eldritch Abominations due to the remote control technology used in their design and are explicitly meant to cause an extinction level Apocalypse How, but thankfully they are stopped before it could be fully implemented.
  • The Drone Jaegers take a lot from Bardiel as well, specifically his portrayal in Rebuild of Evangelion, as they are overriden by an organic substance that makes them glow in an intense blue light and act in a more animal-like manner.
  • Saber Athena, an acrobatic, slender, red-colored mecha with a female pilot (two in this case) and armed with two short swords stored in its armor, bears more than a passing resemblance to Evangelion Unit 02 from Rebuild.
  • November Ajax, a blue mecha with a single eye, looks like Unit 00 (and is about as effective).
  • The revelation that the Kaijus have the goal to reach a point in the center of Japan and make contact with it to cause the end of mankind makes them even more similar to the Angels, who seek to invade the Geofront located in Tokyo with the same goals.

Other references

    Films - Animated 
  • Coyote Tango's top-heavy appearance and portrayal as a protector of children is strongly reminiscent of The Iron Giant.
  • Newton being found by the kaiju in the underground bunker is similar to a scene in A Bug's Life; incidentally, both Newton and Flick the ant are inventors with good ideas that have bad consequences (see Flick's "tunnel-within-a-tunnel project" and Newton drifting into the kaiju's mind and accidentally tipping off the rest of the kaiju "fleet").
  • The Mega-Kaiju in the sequel bears a noticable resemblance to the Bewilderbeast from How to Train Your Dragon 2 especially viewed from the front.

    Films - Live Action 
  • The Jaegers are piloted in the same manner as the cult classic Robot Jox, except they require two pilots.
    • More explicitly, the shot of Gypsy Danger slamming his fist into his palm is taken almost shot for shot from Robot Jox.
  • Leatherback is essentially Hellboy (2004)'s Sammael with a flatter face and bigger arms. He's even got a tentacle mane.
  • Mutavore's crescent-blade head, forked tail, and single crest-wing resemble the Bio-raptors from Pitch Black.
  • The newborn kaiju looks like one of the aliens in Evolution.
  • Hannibal pushing his knife into Newt's nose seems a reference to Roman Polanski's Chinatown. Notably, the scene is set in Hong Kong - a Chinese town.
  • Call Dr. Newton Geiszler "Newt". Nobody calls him "Doctor", except for his mother.
    • And in the film, he is hiding from a female alien trying to eat him, when suddenly a piloted mecha appears to fight the alien off. The only thing missing is for Gipsy's pilots to say, "Get away from him, you BITCH!"
  • The glimpse of the level-5 kaiju being "assembled" when the two scientists drift into the baby kaiju's brain is reminiscent of Leeloo's resurrection.
  • "Hey kid... don't get cocky"
  • Some of the kaiju roars, especially near the beginning, sound like modified versions of roars from Jurassic Park.
    • The scene where Otachi is coming to eat Dr. Geiszler in the shelter is also reminiscent of the scene where the T-Rex knocks down the restroom and eats the lawyer in Jurassic Park.
  • Little Mako's splash of blue in the midst of a grayscale city brings Schindler's List to mind.
  • Crimson Typhoon's eye looks similar to HAL's.
  • Cherno Alpha's reactor resembles Doc Brown's reactor found on his DeLorean.
  • One of the first scenes is a black commanding officer communicating with world leaders on computer screens. Sounds familiar.
  • To Independence Day: the aliens in both films are Planet Looters who have wiped out the inhabitants of countless other planets in order to harvest their resources, and now have their sights set on Earth. Only here, instead of using city-sized destroyer ships, they attack from beneath the ocean via manufactured monsters. Hell, they even look similar to the Independence Day aliens.
    • The Big Good's Rousing Speech near the end. "Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!" / "Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!"
    • In both films, a Cloudcuckoolander scientist telepathically communicates with the aliens and discovers their plan.
    • In both films, the good guys use a Trojan horse strategy to bypass the alien defenses and nuke them from within their base.

  • There's a creature from Wayne Barlowe's Expedition called a Keeled Slider that has an uncanny resemblance with a Kaiju.
  • "Chasing The Rabit" brings Alice in Wonderland to mind.

    Live Action TV 

  • The helmets worn by the Australian and American teams have a clearly French design to them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The shoulder pauldrons on the drift suits are reminiscent of Warhammer 40,000 space marine pauldrons.
    • The kaiju jumping suicidally into volcanoes once their job is done also echoes the Tyranids dissolving themselves at the end of each invasion.
    • There are also the kaiju-merging drones called Rippers, which is similar one caste of Tyranid that shares their name.
  • Striker Eureka's six-pack of anti-Kaiju missiles is reminiscent of the SRM-6 of BattleTech. Uprising shows several other Jaegers armed with similar missile systems in multiple, making them resemble BattleMechs a bit more.
    • In Uprising, Gipsy Avenger is shown to have blue jets on her feet, presumably to aid in jumping, which she uses to maneuver against Obsidian Fury under the Siberian ice. Similar to BattleTech Jump Jets, except 'Mech Jump Jet explicitly don't work underwater.

    Video Games 
  • The Jaeger AI is voiced by Ellen McLain, with Valve's blessing; The trailers also feature her rendition of GLaDOS from Portal and Portal 2.
    • Gipsy's Gravity Sling is basically Gordon Freeman's Gravity Gun writ large.
  • Scrapper looks a lot like Samus Aran's armor, and can ball-up and roll around too.
  • The pilot's suits both follow a similar design and are even suited up in similar fashion to the suits used by the characters of the Dead Space series.
  • The suits bear an even greater resemblance to the armor found in Mass Effect.
    • Crimson Typhoon's eye looks similar to the geth.
    • When Raleigh activates Gipsy Danger's nuclear reactor to overload and destroy the Anteverse, the switch he uses to do so looks a lot like the power switches shown in Mass Effect 3.
    • Also, Gipsy Danger's arrival is heralded by a very loud horn, much like the Reapers, though less terrifying. Apparently, Raleigh plays it to intimidate the Kaiju, much like how the Reapers do the exact same thing. It's noted that supposedly all the Jaegers have a foghorn to intimidate the kaiju or warn nearby civilians, such as the boat.
    • In fact, Gipsy Danger's design can evoke the image of an armoured Human Reaper (or a Human Reaper donning N7 armour—think about it), what with the red reactor core resembling a Reaper "eye". It would roughly be around the same size as well.
  • In Mako's flashback, Pentecost's suit looks a lot like either UNSC MJOLNIR armour, or a helmetless Nanosuit.
    • Gipsy Danger's golden visor also resembles that of Master Chief. Note that Del Toro was considered to direct the canceled Halo movie.
  • One of the Jaegers mentioned in the supplementary material is called Eden Assassin.
  • Striker Eureka's guns are somewhat reminiscent of the Odin/Thor's barrage.
  • The Mega-Kaiju in Uprising bears some resemblance to Dehaka from Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm.
  • Saber Athena's colour and facial design are quite reminiscent of HK-47.
  • The Kaiju-Jeager drones look to be a mix of Elites and Hunters from Halo.

  • Newton and Gottlieb's names are an obvious reference to another very famous pair of occasionally-feuding scientists, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz.
  • In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot during the opening montage, two Jaeger pilots are shown as guest stars on a talk show called "The Cullen Show." Possible reference to Peter Cullen, perhaps?
  • The pilots might be (or at least look a lot like) the Bryant twins, a doubles tennis team who are practically mind-melded (they became slightly less single-minded when one got married).
  • A street sign in the Hong Kong Bone Slums reads "Tull Street", the name taken from producer Thomas Tull.
  • Striker Eureka's name is a reference to Australia's Eureka Rebellion.

Alternative Title(s): Pacific Rim Uprising


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: