Also, I was thinking more about why white women saying they’re boycotting ‘Pacific Rim’ and urge others to do so because it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test and is therefore Terrible for Women and Feminism bothers me so much even though that’s their right to do so and I wouldn’t…
A Mako Mori test? Hmm. Well, first, tops to getting linked in a Matt Zoller Seitz review (on the latest GODZILLA remake). But … her character was one of the reasons I really disliked PACIFIC RIM. While Kikuchi-san does backflips to breath life into her, she’s basically the embodiment of an “anime” trope (her father was a sword maker … seriously?), and she spends a lot of time acting like the teenage heroines that populate the genre. No, Raleigh didn’t kiss her at the end; yet several astute observers found that the fight scene between Mako and Raleigh was a stand-in for a more amorously physical encounter, something that the director admitted to in an interview.
They didn’t want Mako to be the girlfriend character, and they wanted her to have her own arc, but it didn’t come off that way.
Part of the reason why it didn’t was the crippling conceit of having pilots having to link mentally to drive the giant monster fighting robots. Raleigh’s arc was corny enough (“I can’t have anyone in my head again.” Yeah, seems like there’s nothing much there to me, lad). Mako’s desire just to be allowed to fly … her own personal vengeance … or for adopted Dad to cut the apron strings … all valid readings and all lame.
I’d be more impressed with naming what is actually not a terrible inquiry after Mori’s character if she’d been less of a dumb caricature of a Japanese woman and if she’d had her own robot to pilot (which would have meant tossing out the mental linking stuff).