Netflix's Pacific Rim: The Black occurs after the movies, taking the kaiju battle to Australia, which is now an abandoned dead zone. The Pan Pacific Defense Corps wrote it off in an event known as Operation Blackout, not interested in wasting resources there and fighting a losing battle.
With that in mind, let's recap what happened in the films and how that chain of events links to the six episodes of this anime.
The Precursors Create Kaiju
Centuries ago, the Precursor alien species tried to colonize Earth but the atmosphere was uninhabitable. However, they soon realized they could survive on the planet as it evolved and, come 2013, the first breach occurred. This breach was a rift that acted as a bridge between mankind's world to the aliens' world, known as the Anteverse. The link was established in the Mariana Trench.
The Precursors created a race of amphibious creatures, biological weapons humans called kaiju. The first, Trespasser, attacked San Francisco and, in the coming years, monsters would appear all over the globe, on every continent, working so the Precursors could take the planet for themselves.
The world powers came together in 2014 to commission the Corps, building giant robots known as Jaegers. Shatterdomes were used to construct them and train pilots, who operated the machines via neural links known as "Drifting." They were paired and, once they mentally synced up, became a lethal fighting force. Different countries created Jaegers of their own -- like Gipsy Danger (America), Cherno Alpha (Russia), Striker Eureka (Australia) and Crimson Typhoon (China) -- to hit back.
Unfortunately, come 2020, Rangers at the academy became a dying breed as the program was shut down. The program cost too much money and the results weren't enough, which led to anti-kaiju walls being erected globally. The powers-that-be felt they'd stand up to the monsters and they were a much stronger, cheaper line of defense.
Pacific Rim: Gipsy Danger Seals the Breach
These walls kickstarted the first movie as Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) ran his own rogue program using the four aforementioned bots. He planned to launch one final assault, going into the breach in the Pacific Rim, and detonating a bomb there to seal it. He recruited Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) to help with the mission, and it'd end up being a costly one.
The terminally-ill Pentecost, along with Chuck Hansen, would sacrifice their lives, blowing up Striker, but Raleigh would save Mako (Stacker's adopted daughter) as he detonated Gipsy's nuclear reactor. These explosions sealed the breach but, 10 years later in 2035, the world would come under siege in an even bigger way.
Pacific Rim: Uprising - Newt Attacks Humanity With Kaiju-Jaeger Hybrids
In Uprising, Raleigh left the service and Mako tried to fill Stacker's shoes. She roped his son, John Boyega's Jake, in, as well as a young scrapper named Amara. But they soon discovered a mysterious force was creating kaiju-Jaeger hybrids. They had to deal with companies using drone Jaegers to limit the loss of human life, but this was a new challenge, and sadly, Mako died in an attack.
Thankfully, Jake had his father's spirit in him, however, it'd get dark as the scientist Stacker used, Newt, was actually the one controlling the hybrids. In the first film, he drifted with a kaiju brain to understand how to stop them, but since then, the Precursors possessed him. They used Newt as an avatar to set up a scheme where creatures would activate the Ring of Fire by detonating Mt. Fuji.
Thankfully, he was knocked out, and Jake rallied the troops, repelling the kaiju like his dad did. Newt was kept prisoner, and as he reminded them, the Precursors wouldn't stop opening breaches and sending monsters. Jake warned him that humanity would be coming over to the Anteverse soon enough. Thus, while we await that grand incursion by humanity, The Black focuses on what happened years after Uprising.
Co-created by Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson and produced by Legendary Television and Polygon Pictures, Pacific Rim: The Black Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.