Mama McCall and her
"All we really get is one another"
I need you to protect me. Can you do that?
Fine, fandom. You don’t want to gif Mako and Stacker? I’ll fucking gif Mako and Stacker, because if there was ever a relationship that carried the emotional impact of a film, it’s fucking this one. Without a doubt, we saw their relationship from start to finish and it was complete with a role reversal. Stacker protected Mako in Tokyo, and now she’s protecting him on Operation Pitfall. And this scene is just my absolute favorite because Stacker’s a soldier from top to bottom, but here we genuinely see the father that he’s become to Mako and the person she looks up to and the one she gets her strength and drive from. And without words, although the words hurt just as much, they managed to destroy me emotionally with this small gesture, a you-blink-and-you-miss-it moment: Stacker saying to Mako, “Hey. [We’ve got a job to do, let’s go do it.]” A subtle tipping of her chin; a quick, inconsequential shrug of his shoulders, and immediately Mako straightens, squares her shoulders, taking his strength as hers and they’re ready. They’re ready to save the world together. In Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, Stacker comments that young Mako reminded her of himself; “Quiet, serious.” Based on this, I feel like their relationship is significantly based on their body language, and how they conduct themselves around each other. There were just volumes that were spoken about their relationship in this one scene and this one moment that it made seeing it in theaters 8 times in theaters worth it.
and so many feelings about how their relationship from the very beginning has always been in the public spotlight and how they’ve had to navigate the very private and personal aspects through the glamour and propaganda surrounding them, through the intense outside scrutiny. he was already famous as a jaeger pilot when they first met, and she became famous in that first meeting as the Iconic Survivor, Tokyo’s Daughter.
personal experience of having a military officer for a dad and the ways that interacting with him in public is different than behind the scenes. and these two have the option of speaking japanese which not everyone around them will comprehend. it puts up a privacy curtain that thins in some places and is non-existent in others.
so their communication by body language is so long practiced. living in the limelight, living under the effects of heavy trauma, a young girl looking to her mentor, her father, her rescuer and following his example because he’s the bright sun, he’s the fixed point that she can depend on and always return to, he FIGHTS MONSTERS and she wants to as well, he lives in a hostile and invasive world keeping his boundaries intact and his goals sharp and clearly she has learned that lesson well.
but he also has learned so much for her and from her. he chooses to interact with her inter-culturally, giving her a place to root herself in a shared sense of her culture after both the kaiju and the military lifestyle that he has dedicated himself to have torn her from any place that she could plant herself. he has obviously given her every aspect of education that she has wanted or needed, he has let a traumatized girl have the freedom to act and become that many would have been tempted to keep from her, to coddle or hide from the world.
and here he hands back the baton. ‘i need you to protect me.’ he switches their long established roles because needs change, abilities change, the world needs saving. they’re both going back into that hell of tokyo past together and their entire relationship has built to the point where the iconic survivor has become the ultimate warrior, and the one who was forced to endure the fight by himself now can’t and refuses to do it alone.