An Anime Adaptation Done Right
I'll preface this whole thing with the fact that I am not a fan of the movie franchise. The "Made for IMAX turn your brain off and watch giant CG destruction" series has never lifted above the schlock that kept me from appreciating it as anything more than a feast for the eyes and a groan for... well everything else. When I saw this series on Netflix though I realized that this source material was made to be animated. Something about the over the top reactions and corny dialog works when I'm not looking at people trying to keep from laughing while delivering the lines.
Polygon Pictures has done a wonderful job animating this world in what has become their signature CG anime style. I've been a big fan of theirs since their stylized depictions in Tron: Uprising and their presence can be felt when they assisted with the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. The kaiju and facial expressions definitely pull from their history with Tron, and can be seen in a slightly more organic way here, and as always their action just works, especially between the jaegers and kaiju.
Lore Deep Dive
The story itself opens up right into the action, Kaiju are hopping out of Rifts all over Australia and, austensibly, the world over and the humans are losing. The first episode sets up the primary goal and protagonists but does little to expand on the series as a whole. By the end of episode 2 though we already start seeing the impact this series could have on future installments of the movie franchise and we see multiple expansions into spoiler territory by the end of the series that could change future installments dramatically. We've got secret government experiments, AI that might have PTSD, multiple interesting uses of drift technology that hadn't been shown in prior material all in this short 7 episode season.
I specify that it's a short season, because by the end of it we have a bunch of questions and the only answers we've gotten so far all have additional questions behind them. You can tell Marvel alumni are serving as showrunners, because if the announced season 2 doesn't start closing some of these story beats we'll be left with a lot of blank space in these stories. The main story follows Taylor and Hayley, a brother/sister duo are children of two jaeger pilots and find themselves fleeing their safe haven after a kaiju finds it. They eventually find the mysterious "Boy", anti-hero Mei, and the main human antagonist Shane, at least for season 1. These threads and more start to wind up but we don't get to see any of them end save a couple tertiary storylines that really only feed into more major character arcs as opposed to being a means to an end themselves.
All that being said, I'm excited to see what's coming in season 2, and if they can start putting together some satisfying endings for some of these stories and character arcs I'll be a happily entertained consumer.