100 sci fi women #77: Mako Mori

[yes these are out of order. But life isn’t always a straight line!]

Mako Mori Pacific Rim

Mako_Mori_3Mako is Japanese. She is intelligent and respectful, but not blindly obedient or arrogant. She has exceptional physical skills in addition to her formidable intelligence, and knows how to pilot a giant jaegar as well as anyone else. She is haunted by the traumas of the past, but can overcome these to ultimately use her abilities to serve the greater good. She is also unstintingly brave, whether it is standing up to giant alien monsters or to a man she deeply respects. While she is beautiful, her beauty is irrelevant to her strengths. When she makes a mistake, she does not flinch from its consequences, but does not let it stand in her way of successfully smashing some kaiju later. Mako is the type of pilot you ultimately do want to take into the drift with you.

It is not obedience, it is respect.



Six sentence review: Pacific Rim

pac rimYes, it is noisy, yes the Australian accents are (predictably) terrible and yes it massively fails the Bechdel test with only one woman character who even really talks. But it is such fun, as well as being intelligent and that one woman character is an excellent one – non-white, smart, strong and capable. It knows its audience and it caters to them extremely effective with well staged giant scale fights and clever touches (and a Star Wars reference in the first ten minutes will always guarantee my attention). It actually had some quite strong performances from quality actors like Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam, even if I couldn’t help giggling at Stacker Pentecost’s inspirational speech (and you have to love the name). I also thought that it had moments of great beauty – in particular Mako’s memories are beautifully shot and composed with really effective use of colour and constrast. Hard to beat though for its giant machine on giant alien monster action though.