If you need proof that the Japanese anime genre is now a world-wide art form, here it is. Pacific Rim: The Black is produced by an American company, Legendary Entertainment, and animated by a Japanese company, Polygon Pictures. It is co-directed by a Japanese director, Hiroki Hayashi, and a Korean director, Jae Hong Kim. Among the credits, I saw many other Japanese, Korean, and western names, as well as one or two which looked Vietnamese.

“So what?,” you say. “What about the show itself?” OK, I’m getting to that.

First, let me mention that this series is meant as a sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 film Pacific Rim. I never saw that movie, so there was some concern that I may not know what was going on. That was true at first. The first episodes opens with a mecha called a Yeager fighting a reptilian monster called a kaiju. A Yeager is a two-person craft in which the bodies of the pilots are incorporated into the machine. Sounds like the Evas in Neo-Genesis Evangeleon, doesn’t it? Since I am hardly a big fan of NGE, I felt maybe this series was not for me. Wrong again!

To keep it short, I will skip over the rest of the setup. The focus of the series is on siblings Taylor and Hayley, the sole survivors of a group of children stranded five years ago in an oasis in the mist of what is now the endless wasteland of Australia. Finding a training Yeager, incapable of actual combat, they must travel to civilization, if it still exists, to possibly find their parents. Along the way, they must avoid or fight the kaijus. They rescue a mute child, Boy, find themselves prisoner of a criminal-militia leader named Shane, and are befriended and befriend Shane’s young hench-girl, Mae. Add to that numerous plot twists and turns.

Despite the clichés, Pacific Rim: The Black has a good, exciting story. There is plenty of action, and it is well animated. I mean the entire series, not just the action sequences. Actual effort went into the making of this one. The voice acting in the original English dub is excellent. The character development? Let's say you really identify with and care about the characters. The only problem is that the first season is only seven episodes long, and it has one intriguing cliff hanger. No problem. There is enough action and suspense in these seven episodes for twice that many of a normal series. And I am left very eagerly waiting for season 2.

Pacific Rim: The Black can currently be seen on Netflix Streaming. By all means, watch it.