Pacific Rim AU

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Drift Compatible AU, JaegerPilots!AU
Related: Soulmates, Soulbond (trope)
See Also: Pacific Rim
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Pacific Rim AU is a fusion-type AU, most common in fanfic, where characters are put into the world of Pacific Rim (most often as Jaeger pilots. This AU gained popularity due to the concept of Drift Compatibility that made for excellent shipping and BrOTP interactions.

Unlike some fusion AUs, Pacific Rim AUs often use Pacific Rim characters (Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori especially) as side characters, interacting with the main characters of the story.


The Drift (also known as Drifting or Bridged[2]) is a process that two Jaeger pilots undergo prior to synchronizing with the Jaeger itself.[1]

Drift Compatibility

Fan explanation of the Drift Compatibility trope, proposed on TV Tropes:

When two people come together and need to kill something very, very badly, they will combine their strengths into a decisive, and usually awesome, final attack.This is where Combination Attacks and the Fusion Dance come from.

Sometimes, however, this melding of skills needs more than a routine that anyone could practice. These times, the users need to resonate on some level. They might need be best best friends, soul mates, or (near)telepathically understanding of each other. They are compatible enough to use the technique. They are Drift Compatible.

Drift Compatibility is when a cooperative technique benefits from, or outright requires, the users fitting together on a personal level. Things like fusion may only be possible because the two are already one person in two bodies.

The term comes from Pacific Rim, where giant robots pilots come in pairs and fight all the better when they go through 'the Drift', where they meld minds to withstand the neural strain of controlling a Humungous Mecha.[2]


Not all Pacific Rim fans were okay with the sudden flood of AUs set in "their" universe, though.

is anyone else bothered by the many Pacific Rim AUs where two characters who hate/mistrust each other are apparently drift compatible, romance ensues?

how about NOPE?

did we watch different movies or something, because in the Pacific Rim I’ve seen, all the Ranger teams have a strong, positive relationship with each other.[3]

The appeal of Pacific Rim or Jaeger Pilot AUs is the thematic crossover it has with soulmate and soulbond AUs, in that the unique connection between two be has tangible power and can be a major plot point, as well as the exciting action-film setting of the Pacific Rim universe, in which humanity is battling enormous monsters in with giant robots.

As of January 2019, the Alternate Universe - Pacific Rim Fusion tag on AO3 has over 900 works.


i was surprised by the sudden surge in popularity symbrock got (and how quickly even I fell head over heels for it) and it made me wonder what’s so appealing about the (extremely codependent) relationship between a man and his alien symbiote?

I’s the idea of having someone who understands you so completely, loves you unconditionally (the good and bad), the lack of..judgement or rather..the complete and utter acceptance.

Why wouldn’t someone find that appealing?

Venom and Eddie just get each other. They fit together. It’s just such a beautiful mess. They’re both absolute disasters and they love each other so much.

It almost reminds me of pacific rim and the concept of being drift compatible. There’s something so alluring about these concepts and I suppose it is in the same way soulmate au’s are? [...][4]

Examples of Fanworks



Fannish Resources


  1. ^ Drift on Pacific Rim Wiki
  2. ^ Drift Compatibility Discussion
  3. ^ [1], accessed November 22, 2014
  4. ^ 2018-10-28 by sigurdjarlson