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Wiki states that:

Del Toro envisioned Pacific Rim as an earnest, colorful adventure story, with an "incredibly airy and light feel", in contrast to the "super-brooding, super-dark, cynical summer movie". The director focused on "big, beautiful, sophisticated visuals" and action that would satisfy an adult audience, but has stated his "real hope" is to introduce the kaiju and mecha genres to a generation of children.

While the film draws heavily on these genres, it avoids direct references to previous works. Del Toro intended to create something original but "madly in love" with its influences, instilled with "epic beauty" and "operatic grandeur".

Does that mean that there are indirect references or influences, aside from the whole generic idea of kaiju (giant monsters) attacking humans and mecha (giant robots) used to battle them? If so, what are those references or influences?

I'd prefer the answers to be concentrated either on wide tropes, OR well-known "important to the genre" references, not simple "Pacific Rim had XYZ, and this random monster movie had XYZ as well, so here's an influence"

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BTW, I'd prefer the answers to be concentrated either on wide tropes, OR well-known "important to the genre" references, not simple "Pacific Rim had XYZ, and this random monster movie had XYZ as well, so here's an influence" – DVK-in-exile Jul 15 '13 at 0:23
Keep reading further down on that same part of Wikipedia - it seems to answer your question: Knifehead, the first Kaiju to appear in the film, is a tribute to the plodding kaiju of 1960s Japanese films, and is intended to look almost like a man in a rubber suit – Izkata Jul 15 '13 at 0:37
@Izkata - that's just one example. I was hoping for a more systematic and complete answer. – DVK-in-exile Jul 15 '13 at 15:39
@DVK In all honesty, I think the movie was so rife with genre tropes that, much as I'd like to, I'd never be able to compile a decent list. I felt like I saw specific nods to everything from Godzilla to Evangelion to Guyver, and while I've seen a number of kaiju and mecha titles, I'm by no means an expert. Part of what I liked about the movie was that everything felt like a genre trope nod. Even little things like the guy with the dog, and the eccentric scientists. I'd love to see an answer to this, but I suspect a good one would be massive. – Beofett Jul 17 '13 at 20:21
@Beofett I think I even saw references to Mazinger Z, like calling out the weapon to be used ("plasma cannon!"), and also the scenes with the head of the Gipsy Danger "landing" on its body. Go go, Koji Kabuto! :D – Andres F. Jul 22 '13 at 21:51
up vote 8 down vote accepted

On the mecha side of things, Del Toro has pointed to influences such as Tetsujin 28 and Patlabor, but noted he wanted to avoid directly "quoting" specific robots (or kaiju):

I grew up with Tetsujin 28 and found great inspiration in the mecha genre all the way to Mamoru Oshii's Patlabor. But we wanted to work on the Jaegers basing them on World War 2 technology and reference. (Tanks, submarines, nuclear reactors etc.) In fact, a lot of the wardrobe and set design on PR is WW2 inspired. As to the Kaijus, we wanted to honour the "man in suit" basic proportions and the general species breakdown of the average Daikaiju, so we used a lot of natural references - what I call the National Geographic approach to monster design. I think in designing a robot the last thing you want to quote is another robot. The same for monsters.

Certain aspects of the film may be influenced by other classic mecha shows - for example, the concept of the pilots riding in the head of the robot could be an allusion to Mazinger Z - but it's hard to say if the reference is intentional.

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A-ha! I knew I wasn't crazy! I also spotted a couple of Mazinger Z references :D – Andres F. Jul 22 '13 at 21:55

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