Tom Hanks and Spielberg hit it out of the park again with another fantastic homage to the heroes and experiences of WW2. It's worth noting that even though it's a WW2 drama, it's different from Band of Brothers in almost every way possible. Band of Brothers, in my mind, is a celebration of the brotherhood and courage of Easy Company 101st Airborne. It gives a glimpse into the heroism and resolve of the soldiers who endured some of the worst that the American forces faced in the war in Europe from DDay, Carentan, Market Garden, Bastogne, and a few other key engagements.
The Pacific continues the trend of a character driven narrative with high production value but tells a much darker and more abysmal story of the horrors that the 1st Marines faced at Guadalcanal, Peleleiu, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima. The supporting cast is rather large, though the main focus of this series is on 3 particular individuals; Bob Leckie, John Basalone, and Eugene Sledge - the material for most of the series was taken from Bob Leckie's autobiography "Helmet for my Pillow" and Eugene Sledge's autobiography "With the Old Breed: at Peleliu and Okinawa". While there are some scenes which visually romanticize the American vision of the rugged bare-chested marine fighting the "Japs" in the pacific - the charm is quickly overshadowed by the horrors of the non-conventional warfare our marines faced in the Pacific theatre. The Japanese warriors who engaged in night attacks, banzai bayonet charges, and suicide attacks are portrayed in a very dark and terrifying manner that definitely does justice to the brutality of the combat which took place. While Hollywood typically demonizes America's enemies in these sorts of features - the writers did a good job of respecting the Japanese as people and giving an accurate portrayal of the motivations of combatants on both sides of the conflict.
What this series does that Band of Brothers didn't is show the difficulties of the soldiers who returned from the war and the mental toll that the war in the Pacific took on them. There are some scenes that are real tear-jerkers, having felt especially bonded to the characters and their experiences.
While I think I prefer Band of Brothers if I had to pick a favorite, I still greatly admire The Pacific as a spectacle that stands on its own. It shares a very different story than Band of Brothers and I would highly recommend.
Note: This series is especially violent and gratuitous in its portrayal of many of the themes of the war in the pacific. Everything from the violence, the language, and the secksual content is quite R-rated so this might not be the most appropriate for younger audiences.