There’s a very nice bit of “less is more” storytelling in Pacific Rim. Mako’s fixation on a specific memory is called “chasing the rabbit” by multiple characters. It’s an idiom used by multiple characters in different contexts. “Chasing the rabbit” is something that happens often enough to pilots that it has a name, and Tendo uses it to start a set of initially standard procedures (which fail because Mako, like Raleigh and Pentecost, is apparently capable of solo operation). All of the exposition about it comes via Raleigh trying to talk Mako down, while another director would have used Tendo as the unnecessary narrator.
Of course, “chasing the rabbit” is an allusion (not the only one in the film) to Alice in Wonderland, which works on multiple levels by associating young Mako with blue.
One of the earlier scenes between Raleigh and Mako is underrated because it’s a rare scene in which male and female protagonists respectfully disagree with each other. But it also subverts the action-movie cliche where a protagonist unpacks a set of weapons. Raleigh brings a stack of photographs and other mementos instead.