Follow TV Tropes


Anime / The Animatrix

Go To

The Animatrix is a 2003 Direct to Video anthology of nine Cyberpunk animated shorts set in the continuity of the Matrix film series and served as tie-ins around the time of the release of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Each short features an individual art style by renowned Japanese animators. All shorts cover a different theme related to the Matrix and are completely independent of one another beyond the universe.

Final Flight of the Osiris is an All-CGI Cartoon short that acts as a bridge between the first film and Reloaded, and the others are anime shorts that expand backstories and the Matrix universe itself. The former is by far the biggest story of the film, and even premiered in theaters a month before the other shorts, being attached to prints of Dreamcatcher.

In order, the shorts are as follows:

    open/close all folders 

    All segments 

    Final Flight of the Osiris 
(Written by the Wachowskis, directed by Andy Jones, animation by Square Pictures)

This short (the only CGI short of the collection) directly precedes the events of The Matrix Reloaded. The crew of the human ship Osiris stumbles upon the machines as they begin burrowing to Zion. After the machines discover the Osiris, the crew tries to outrun the machines while hacking into the Matrix to deliver the news of their discovery to the Zion rebels. The story also ties in with the videogame Enter the Matrix, since the first mission has the player trying to retrieve the letter left by the Osiris crew.

  • Arc Welding: The Final Flight of the Osiris melds into Enter The Matrix, which melds into Reloaded.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ship and its crew don't make it, but the message they send ends up leading to the chain of events that allow mankind to end the war.
  • Casual High Drop: Making use of the time the rest of the doomed Osiris crew buys, the female crew member is shown to hurry through the Matrix to drop off the alarming message to Zion. In her run, likely as one of ways to shortcut, she takes a dive into the asphalted ground and causes ripples by the impact of the landing. It's in the virtual world, yet as Neo's training episodes from the first movie prove, no-selling physical damage is a feat.
  • Clothing Damage: While sparring, Thadeus and Jue do this to each other until they are in their underwear. It turns out that they are lovers.
  • Fanservice: The dojo scene, where Thadeus and Jue slice their clothes off one another.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The opening to The Matrix Reloaded takes off where this short ends.
  • Last Stand: Even when the ships goes down and is swarming with Sentinels, Thadeus takes up an EMP Gun and blasts as many as he can to give Jue more time to deliver the letter.
  • Ludicrous Mêlée Accuracy: Captain Thadeus and Jue engage in a blindfolded sword fight in a virtual reality dojo. With each slice of their swords, they remove another part of each other's clothing. Immediately after cutting the other down to their underwear, they lift their blindfolds to peek at the other.
  • Male Gaze/Female Gaze: When Thadeus slices Jue's skirt off, the camera pans over her crotch and rear as it falls in slow motion. When she slices his pants off, they unceremoniously fall to the floor and the camera's focused on his feet. The rest of the fight puts a lot of emphasis on his arms and chest.
  • Moment Killer: Thadeus and Jue's foreplay is interrupted by an alert siren.
  • Sex Is Violence: The first scene —a swordfight that, by its end, is about to turn into an entire different kind of swordplay.

    The Second Renaissance 
(Written by the Wachowskis, directed by Mahiro Maeda, animation by Studio 4°C)

A two-part story focusing on the Genesis of the Matrix. After the creation of AI, the machines eventually formed their own society and tried to co-exist with humans — but were shunned for reasons of economics and prejudice. War eventually broke out and well, if you've seen the movie, you know the outcome.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The A.I. after being abused, enslaved and mistreated by their racist, selfish and lazy human masters work to become even bigger, deadlier and crueler killers and slave-drivers than the humans were. What was supposed to be simply a banishment and containment of robots in an isolated land enforced by military blockades soon became an all-out heated war involving nuclear weapons and military action.
  • Artistic License – Economics:
    • You cannot build an entire city with an industrial base — let alone potent enough to outstrip the rest of the world — without access to the resources necessary to fuel that base. The Machines, in the limited space they have available, simply could not mine the amount of materials they would need to fuel their production, and mining them elsewhere would mean stealing them from the countries that control that territory. On that topic, the very fact that Machines claimed a part of a human nation's territory as their own and built a city there (again, despite having no resources to do so) without provoking an immediate reaction is puzzling enough.
    • The entire plot thread with Nation 01 establishing an industrial base which ends up supplying the rest of the world is based on utterly ludicrous premise that they could somehow condense their manufacturing base into a single city. In the real world, no one location has access to every single thing necessary needed for the kind of complex technology they're producing (those not lucky enough to have access to various necessary elements or specialized technologies have to buy them from those who do have them) and a complex product like a vehicle consists of dozens, if not hundreds of facilities that realize various phases of production (mining minerals, processing them, producing components which are later assembled into more complex machines elsewhere, et cetera). Unless the Machines developed matter replication technology, they could never fit all the necessary facilities into their one city no matter how efficiently they used the space.
      • And even then — you need to produce energy (lots and lots of energy) in order to replicate matter from it. Producing energy via conventional means requires fossil fuels like coal or radioactive elements which, again, Machines have no access to. Producing energy via renewable sources like sunlight or wind requires a lot of space to place all that infrastructure (solar panels, wind turbines, et cetera) which — see above — Machines have in very, very short supply. So no, there is no possibility of replicating matter. All in all, the idea of a single city which is not only self-sustainable but has an industry so potent that it supplies the entire world is totally, completely ludicrous and would absolutely not work in reality — not just from economic point of view, but even due to basic logic and common sense.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: In The Second Renaissance, the machines are unaffected by nuclear weapons because apparently, they don't generate enough heat to damage machinery. Or the Electromagnetic Pulse that is humanity's first line of defense against the machines in the movies, which either means that the machines in that time were EMP-hardened and then decided to abandon that attribute by the time of the Matrix, despite their Sentinels being shut down by it each and every time, or the screenwriters forgot that nuclear weapons produce EMPs. In addition it is stated that machines had little to fear from the radiation and heat produced by nuclear weapons. The extreme heat and radiation that a detonation produces would melt and render any machinery useless; much like flesh, electronics do not tolerate radiation well.
  • Asshole Victim: Humanity can be seen as this. After years and years of treating the machines like garbage despite them showing growing signs of sentience, and after launching an unprovoked attack on their own civilization in order to keep the machine city from joining the world stage, humanity being utterly crushed in the ensuing war only makes your stomach turn for how horrifying the conflict is, rather than the decision of if we deserved it or not.
  • Big Applesauce: You know the world is well and truly fucked when a machine takes the floor of the United Nations, gloats over their victory, and then nukes Manhattan.
  • Body Horror:
    • Machines physically rip soldiers from their powered armor, and don't necessarily leave them intact. Also, the machines don't seem to mind vivisecting people for experiments while they're still alive.
    • "The machines, having long studied man's simple protein-based bodies, dispensed great misery upon the human race". Cue shots of a massive field hospital full of human soldiers rotting away from biological weapons, being held together by bandages and life support tubes.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Humanity constantly abuses and belittles the machines, even after they built an advanced civilization that produces all of their material goods and weaponry. Said civilization also happens to have built extremely powerful robots who can carve through human armies in seconds. The result? Humans end up being used as batteries for a fuel supply.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Humans built A.I. and treated them no better than slaves to perform manual labor, thus leading to a war where the robots after being denied equal civil rights fought for supremacy and global hegemony.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Part I reflects a lot of real acts of human rights violations, from the Tiananmen Square to the Holocaust mass burials. One particularly poignant and unsettling scene, showcasing a gang of men beating a Robot Girl to death and shouting that "she's not real", also reflects generic transmisogynistic violence - something almost certainly intentional, given that both the Wachowskis later came out as trans women.
    • B1-66ER's trial mirrors that of Dred Scott v. Sandford, a landmark Supreme Court decision that ruled that black people are not eligible for citizenship nor entitled to civil rights and privileges. B1-66ER's trial confirms that humanity will not acknowledge their robots as having equal rights and that a human threatening to destroy its own automaton is not a felony.
    • Operation Dark Storm in Part II is referred to as a "Final Solution", akin to the Nazi's plan for total extermination of the Jewish race, who they considered inferior and beneath them.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Pretty much the basis of the story. While it's left somewhat vague in the movies, this confirms that it all could've been avoided if humans treated the machines better.
  • Downer Ending: The humans are jerks to the machines, and lose the war.
  • Easy Logistics: Not only the machines somehow supply their super-potent, outstripping-the-rest-of-the-world industry — despite having exactly zero evidently available sources of materials that they would require to fuel it — but when the war starts, they somehow manage to maintain the frontlines although they have only one city, they battle humanity across the entire continent and the more land they conquer, the further they have to go to even reach the battlezone. The second part is partially justified in that as machines, they don't need to rest and do not require some things human army requires like food, but still, even machines need to refill their supply of whatever is powering them from time to time, and they have to send new robots to the frontlines in order to reinforce them or replace those that were destroyed.
  • Evil Versus Evil: What the war between humans and machines is eventually brought down to. It's hard to root for either side, since humans were merciless and racist jerks up to this point, and the machines become gradually less humane, until they rival (or even surpass) their former oppressors in cruelty. "May there be mercy on man and machine for their sins", indeed.
  • Fan Disservice: There are several instances of frontal nudity, and none are under pleasant circumstances. This includes a gynoid whose breasts are exposed as she is beaten to death by a gang of men with sledgehammers and a conventionally attractive man being violently plugged in to suffer for the rest of his life.
  • Fantastic Racism: Part I reveals the catalyst of the entire Man-Machine war with hardworking, intelligent androids being abused and mistreated by their corrupt human masters. It gets to point where one of them actually kills his human master not wanting to be demolished, causing an outcry and mass panic triggering a worldwide eradication of machines. Several instances depicted reference and even mimic various real-life social revolutions such as the Slave Trade, the Civil Rights Movement, The Tiananmen Square Massacre and The Vietnam War.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: As noted elsewhere on this page, the entire weaponry humanity has developed in the modern era seems to disappear during the war, since most of the time, humans battle the Machine army using only small-arms like assault rifles. Which is of course convenient for the Machines and their unrealistic strategy of waging war against the entire world.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The events depicted in the movie take place before The Matrix. Thus, it's easy to guess how the conflict between humans and machines is going to end.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The peace treaty signed at the end of the war uses the same text as the Japanese Instrument of Surrender from World War 2, but with "Machine Powers" replacing "Allied Powers" and "Human" replacing "Japanese".
  • Godiva Hair: The Instructor.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Operation Dark Storm in Part II is a mix of this and Too Dumb to Live. Blocking the sun (without any apparent means of undoing it or passing through it, as it disables *anything* that flies through it or right near it) means the total and complete death of vegetation and phytoplankton, which destroys the foundation for most of Earth's biosphere (as well as basically everything that humans eat to survive) and basically ensures not just humanity's extinction (should they win the war) but everything else living (save for hardened bacteria and micro-organisms). Humanity was willing (without any objections and second opinions) to guarantee a Class 4 apocalypse and completely destroy Earth just to defeat the machines.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Spelled out in Part I:
    "In the beginning, there was man. And for a time, it was good. But humanity's so-called civil societies soon fell victim to vanity and corruption. Then man made the machine in his own likeness. Thus did man become the architect of his own demise. But for a time, it was good."
  • Hollywood Tactics:
    • Used by humanity across the board. They are shown using trench warfare, soldiers running across wide open fields without armor or air support, clustering together in tight groups in said wide open fields, shooting from hilltops instead of lying prone, and so on. It's little wonder they were completely demolished by the machines in battle.
    • Not to mention, humanity's entire arsenal in the movie — apart from suspiciously ineffective nuclear warheads — seems to be limited to small-arms like ordinary assault rifles. They have powered exoskeletons, but they arm them only with machine guns as well. Not once in the film, any heavier type of ordnance is visibly used against the machines (sans some EMP cannons that take out the first wave of bipedal machines — but are quickly taken out by the larger floating pyramid machines in the second wave, with no attempts at retaliation at their part — and some MLRS-launched rockets in the background during the initial charge, which we don't see hitting anything and which never appear later), and every time a vehicle armed with them (like a tank) is seen, it just stands there and does nothing until it is destroyed. It's like the screenwriters decided to handicap humans and outright ignore all deadly arsenal we've developed and entire tactical experience and knowledge we've gained over centuries just to help a single machine city win an all-out war against the rest of the world — already implausible scenario as it is.
    • Humanity not using air support may be justified. The nanite cloud deployed is shown to disable anything that flies through it, thus limiting air support to low-flying craft (which left them vulnerable and in range of the machines) so humanity may have decided tactically against risking aircraft. However, if that is the case, it only provides another example of how utterly and completely idiotic plan this whole Operation Dark Storm was — besides of ensuring humanity's extinction, it neutralized a significant part of their arsenal in ongoing war.
    • There's a rather chilling element of Nightmare Fuel to how this trope is used. Futuristic soldiers rushing to get into close combat with the machines to violently smash them and blast them apart really underscores how absolutely bonkers and all-consumed in their hatred the last humans have become. One of the soldiers is shown literally frothing from the mouth as he rants a Madness Mantra into the camera before a battle.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: A symbolic representation of a macabre horse and rider is shown throughout the sequences of the last battle of the first war. What makes it dramatic is that both horse and rider are mechanical, a harbinger of change to come. They're also blowing the trumpets of war, a Biblical reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; in this case, the Horseman of War.
  • Humans Are Morons: Operation Dark Storm was basically a mass suicide move on the part of humanity. Yet it is shown to be met with unanimous approval, with even the facial animations of the humans responsible showing a complete lack of intelligence. Shortly afterwards, humans are shown battling the machines, with them mindlessly going "Kill them all! Kill them all!". It is even referred to as a "Final Solution", paralleling Hitler's genocide of the Jewish people.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: So much so that this is where the page image is from.
    • The storyteller is an AI called "The Instructor", who is reading files from the Zion Mainframe and implied to be some kind of historian/teacher. It takes a middle path, saying that both the humans and the machines made terrible mistakes to create the situation.
    The Instructor: May there be mercy on man and machine for their sins.
  • Infinite Supplies: How exactly did the machines suddenly get enough resources to build an entire city in the middle of a desert (despite being essentially a bunch of slaves who recently fled from their masters and brought absolutely nothing with them except their own metal hides) and establish a fully functional industry is never addressed nor even implied. They just did it, period. To make things worse, their industry somehow becomes more potent than the rest of the world — despite the fact that there's still no apparent source of materials that they would require (in large quantities) to produce all those goodies.
  • Ironic Echo: This entire storyline is based on this: pretty much every cruelty done by humans to the machines in Part I is paralleled by a similar (and often worse) cruelty by machines towards humans in Part II.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The Machine City, in trying to be a good trade nation with man, develops a hover car for humanity as shown in old television ads. Hundreds of years later, this technology is adapted for use by the hovercraft used by the last of humanity in Zion. In comparison with the Machine's Sentinels, however, the Machines have greatly improved on their old flight technology.
    • However, that technology was put to military use by humans during the war already. High-altitude bombers dropping nukes on Nation 01 and spraying the nanites during Operation Dark Storm sequence are propelled by the very same hover pads that were propelling the hover car and which were much later used by ships of Zion.
  • Iwo Jima Pose: There's a scene where the UN soldiers pull a reverse of this. The catch is that by that point, they were losing badly to the Machines.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: All of the atrocities mankind inflicts upon the Machines in Part one are paid back (with interest) in Part two.
  • Kick the Dog: The Machine ambassador, after signing the Human Instrument of Surrender, nukes itself, destroying the UN and millions of potential human batteries for no apparent reason other than spite.
  • Meaningful Name: The first robot to rebel is designated B1-66ER, "bigger." Also a reference to Bigger Thomas, the protagonist of the novel Native Son
  • Mechanical Insects: The Machines are first shown as humanoid robots designed for simple labor; as they attain sentience and begin forming a more complex society, their forms evolve into the more efficient, insectoid Machines seen in the Matrix Trilogy.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Mind the technology gap.
  • Nuckelavee: The horseman-machine seen during the montage, upon closer examination, does not have legs for the rider, but is fused to the horse at the hip.
  • Nuke 'em: The first attack of the war is a massive nuclear bombardment of Nation 01 by the UN air force (it doesn't work). Later in the war, as the human armies are being overrun by machines, they desperately drop nukes on top of their own troops to try to slow their advance.
  • Perspective Flip: While the three movies of the main series are focused on the perspective of humanity, these two shorts show things from the machines' point-of-view.
  • Powered Armor: During the war, UN forces deploy dozens of enclosed exoskeletons armed with machine guns — likely forerunners of APUs seen in the movies. The Machines' response is to deploy mechanical tentacled monsters which restrain the suit's arms and legs, open the cockpit with laser and rip out the pilot. Not necessarily in one piece.
  • Psycho Serum: A few scenes showcase human soldiers using drugs of some kind to keep up against their opponents that need neither food nor sleep, and seemingly threw them into adrenaline-overdosed blood rages.
  • Robot Girl: During the anti-machine movement, a robot girl made to look human is smashed to bits by a group of men who rip away her clothes, synthetic skin, and hair until there's nothing but a metallic skeleton left. All while sobbing that she's "real.", while her attackers are shouting "she's not real".
  • Robot War: In all its glorious, horrific detail.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Instructor depicts the Second Renaissance as the Machine version of Genesis, explaining the constant use of the phrase "for a time, it was good." Visuals depict the Machines holding an apple, in both endings of parts I and II: the first was a Machine Man and Woman in underwear (which they don't know is obscene) in the UN, innocently holding an apple and pleading for cooperation; a sign of the innocence when the newborn Adam and Eve did not know how to cover themselves up. The second was where the Machine Ambassador, looking like Mecha-Cthulhu, signed the Instrument of Surrender with a barcode, and it held an apple before it self-destructed; an acceptance of the Machine's own fall into Sin.
    "And Man made the Machine, in his own Image and Likeness..."
    • Basically everything in the short is symbolic in some way, shape, or form, down to the names. For instance, the attorney representing B1-66ER is named Clarence Drummond, a dual reference to Clarence Darrow, a real-life attorney who took part in the Scopes Monkey Trial (itself a reference to both trials being about evolution) and Henry Drummond, a character based on Darrow from Inherit the Wind.
  • Shameful Strip: All humans taken prisoner by the machines are stripped of their clothing and shaved of their hair.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: One of possible explanations why nuclear carpet bombing somehow failed to destroy the Machine City.
  • Starfish Robot: Gradually progresses. At first, the Machines appear human, though usually crudely so. However, as they become more distant from humanity, building their capital of 01, their forms start changing, gradually losing some of their human qualities. Most viciously shown in the war. The first wave of Machines were older humanoid models; they quickly get wiped out, giving humanity high hopes for victory. By the end of the war, the Machines are using monstrous, tentacled horrors that can slice apart human powered armor by the dozens and carve people out of them.
  • Tanks for Nothing: The only scenes featuring UN tanks in battle have them exploding spectacularly upon being shot by the machines.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The machines force the world's leaders at the Headquarters of the United Nations to sign and seal a deal that delivers the survivors of humanity over to them, before detonating themselves. Completely unnecessary considering they won, and cared nothing for what a piece of paper dictated. Entirely personal when you consider they really wanted peace with humanity, and even came in benign forms earlier, only to get kicked out before. They did not take that rejection well.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Humanity, to a certain extent in Part II. They apparently have forgotten that all the things humans need to survive also require the sun. And by blocking the sun, it means the death of vegetation and phytoplankton, everything living that relies on those as well, and which destroys the foundation for most of Earth's biosphere. Even if they had an alternative, they basically ensured their own near-extinction unless they assumed they would win inside of a week. They also either never developed a killswitch, or it was lost/destroyed in the ensuing war, dooming whoever won to imprisonment on a dead husk of a planet, as the cloud disables anything that flies through it. See Godzilla Threshold.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The machines. At the start of the war, they're more or less domestic and labor machines that picked up rifles, and were defeated when they faced human forces. However, as the war progresses, they upgrade themselves more and more, becoming more alien in appearance and giant machines of war that utterly massacre the human armies.
    • However it's clearly shown that the machines upgraded only after Operation: Dark Storm, meaning that, somehow, the "domestic and labor machines that picked up rifles" managed to conquer a large enough part of the world to drive humanity desperate enough to resort to Dark Storm in the first place.
  • United Nations Is A Super Power: The UN is militarized, and akin to a world government.
  • War Is Hell: The Machine War escalates to the point that the UN scorched the sky. The Human infantry were obviously scared shitless forcing them to resort to Stimpacks. The Machines, without the Sun, respond with Human Experimentation.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Most of Part I of The Second Renaissance is driven by the humans' refusal to accept AI as fellow sentient beings. Intentional parallels between Real Life application of such double standards to fellow humans are abound, from a court verdict ruling that black people couldn't be US citizens to a group of men beating up a young woman who turns out to be a Robot Girl.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The machines snatch away human children to convert them into bioelectric batteries, even though humanity's children didn't do anything against them. Also doubles as Misplaced Retribution since children obviously didn't fight in the war against machines.note 

    Kid's Story 
(Written by the Wachowskis, directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, animation by Studio 4°C)

A short set between the first movie and Reloaded. Focusing on a young kid who, like Neo before him, senses something off about his world. Making contact with Neo, he soon finds himself forced to run for his life when his unnatural intuition attracts Agents. In case you're wondering, yes, this is the same character seen in the last two films. Aside from pestering Neo and crew during Reloaded, he later destroys the door mechanisms that allow The Hammer hovercraft inside Zion during the invasion in Revolutions.

  • Beyond the Impossible: The Kid woke himself up from the Matrix, an act nobody considered possible.
  • Call-Forward: When the Kid wakes up in the real world, Neo tells him "I didn't save you, kid. You saved yourself." just like he does in The Matrix Reloaded.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Kid breaks free of the Matrix this way. Inside the Matrix, the people were led to believe he killed himself due to being disillusioned with reality.
  • You Are Not Alone: In Kid's Story, The Kid feels like only he thinks reality feels less real than his dreams, which leads him to ask people on the Internet if anyone else feels the same way. In the end, the trope is invoked when someone (either Neo or another rebel) writes back: "You are not alone."

(Written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, animation by Madhouse Studios)

Set in the training session of a woman named Cis, set in a Feudal Era Japan program, she enters a sparring match with partner Duo, only to find he is contemplating negotiating a return to the Matrix.

  • All Just a Dream: When Cis defends herself and kills Duo, she finds out that she faced off against a virtual program designed to test her reaction to the situation. She gets pissed when she finds out the truth.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Cis blocks Duo's attack during sparring by grabbing his katana between her palms.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Cis reveals her loyalty by killing the man she loves. Thankfully, it's undone as it's just a training program, but it doesn't undo the damage done to Cis. Then again, compared with how other segments go, it's almost a Happy Ending.
  • Expy: Duo serves as one to Cypher and Morpheus.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Duo contemplates this. He does, but is killed by Cis.
  • Fanservice: Cis appears in a tank top and panties in the end.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Lampshaded in-story by Duo - Cis apparently has a well-established soft spot for medieval Japan.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Justified, since they are both just playing a training simulation, but still. To wit:
    • Cis stops Rain of Arrows with her yari, and then, In a Single Bound, cuts four horse archers into ribbons.
    • Cis slashing through Duo's mask, without harming him, after which she lands on the tip of his spear, holding him at guard. And more importantly, but easily overlooked, Duo holding the spear while she's standing on it as if she was weightless.
    • Duo cuts through a stone statue in a single, clear cut.
    • In the end, Cis performs Bare-Handed Blade Block and rams the broken off tip of the sword into Duo's throat. All while the sheer force of the strike she blocked caused the roof tiles around her to break.
  • Punched Across the Room: Cis punches Kaiser so hard he ends up on a floor, few steps away. What makes it really stand out is the fact she did it in real world and not inside simulation.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Was Duo entirely a construct of the simulation or was he a real person Cis had genuine feelings toward, inserted in the program for the training purpose? And if he wasn't real, does it mean the training program was capable of directly messing with Cis' mind and her feelings? Just think about all the implications for a moment.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Running out of options, Cis escapes to the rooftop of a Japanese fortress, where she faces Duo. He finds it ironic, given that she ran herself into a corner in an already futile attempt to escape. But since she has nowhere to run, they face each other.
  • Scenery Porn: This segment can be treated as a love letter to ukiyo-e, the Japanese woodblock printing technique. It opens with absolutely gorgeous, heavily-stylised landscapes lifted almost directly from such artworks and then gradually makes them more and more realistic with each passing scene. It's also one of few segments that heavily downplays the bleakness of the setting itself.
  • Secret Test of Character: The entire point of the simulation was to test Cis' loyalty to Zion and the human race when pitted against her love for Duo.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: The point of the whole exercise. In the simulation, Duo traps Cis in the program, killed the crew in the real world and alerted the machines to their location. Cis can either join him, be killed by him, or be killed when the machines destroy the ship. It's a lose-lose situation either way.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Cis initial reaction is asking Duo to propose already and cut the hassle. She's visibly shocked after learning he's serious about going back to Matrix.

    World Record 
(Written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, directed by Takeshi Koike, animation by Madhouse Studios)

This short explores the story of track runner Dan Davis, who has become obsessed with setting a world record. The story switches between the days before his race and the race itself — where Dan runs so fast, he begins to break the rules of The Matrix...

  • Beyond the Impossible: In World Record, Dan manages to run fast enough to cause glitches in the Matrix as it struggles to keep up with him. Even when the Matrix freezes the program, it doesn't stop him for long. He even outruns Agents!
    • After the Machines manage to reconnect him and make sure he can never walk again, he briefly manages to glitch gravity and begin floating.
  • Heroic RRoD: Dan's body collapses and he practically ragdolls several yards down the track after crossing the finish line after the race. He did manage to set the record, though, at 8.72 seconds for the 100 yard dash.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Davis escapes the matrix, but is physically (and presumably mentally) handicapped in order to incapacitate him and keep him under control. Of course somewhere in his mind he still remembers what happened. So this bit of entrapment might not last for very long.
  • Title Drop
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Agent monitoring Dan after he breaks the world record has his emotionless facade crack as Dan starts to stand up, despite being supposedly crippled.
    Dan: Free.
    Agent: Sit. Down.
    Dan: Free.
    Agent: Sit. Down.
  • Worthy Opponent: An Agent actually gives Dan props for successfully outrunning him.

(Written and directed by Koji Morimoto, animation by Studio 4°C)

Within the Matrix, Japanese teenager Yoko searches for her lost cat, and during her search, she discovers a "haunted house" where physics don't seem to apply — but her discovery does not go unnoticed by the Matrix.

  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Quite literally, it takes the form of an abandoned house where the laws of physics and reality are in flux.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The agents and cleanup team repair the building. Yoko and the kids return to normal life. However the final shot sees a bottle slowly roll on its own to where the old building used to be. Meaning the "glitch" might not be completely gone.
  • Haunted House: Yoko and several children in Beyond discover a "haunted house". A glitch in the Matrix causes all of the weird phenomena in the house. They spend so much time playing there-one of the glitches was a room where gravity didn't work properly-that the Agents finally catch on and fix the place.

    A Detective Story 
(Written and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, animation by Studio 4°C)

Cyberpunk meets Film Noir in a tale about modern-day Private Detective Ash, whose newest job — to find the elusive Trinity — gets more dangerous as he tries his best to get a lead on her. Carrie-Anne Moss delivers the voice of Trinity in her animated form.

  • Bittersweet Ending: Ash solves the case and even helps Trinity, but she is forced to fatally wound him to stop the agents controlling him. Leaving him behind, Trinity apologizes but remarks that Ash could probably have handled the truth had they made it.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Ash, seriously wounded, is preparing to face the agents. We are never told that he didn't survive that, but his chances seem very slim.
  • Book Ends: "The case to end all cases..."
  • Deliberately Monochrome: It's predominately black and white, with few small instances of Splash of Color.
  • Diesel Punk: In keeping with the theme of Film Noir blending with cyberpunk, there are multiple instances of this throughout the short, such as a typewriter-like desktop with a holographic display.
  • Driven to Madness: The last detective to work on the case went absolutely nuts.
  • Driven to Suicide: One of the previous detectives that tried to find Trinity ended up killing himself.
  • Eye Scream: The Agents planted a bug in Ash's eye. Trinity removes it without destroying his eye.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Ash stays behind and faces the agents despite his wound.
  • How We Got Here: The short begins and ends with Ash dying on the train.
  • One Last Smoke: Ash smokes a cigarette after being shot by Trinity, pointing his gun at the approaching Agents.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Trinity wears one.
  • Splash of Color: The short is in monochrome, other than the flame from the lighter and few red beepings behind Agents sunglasses.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite having a gun pointed at them, an Agent stops another from finishing Ash, presumably because he managed to reach Trinity intact.

(Written and directed by Peter Chung, animation by DNA)

This short follows a group of above-ground human rebels as they attempt to brainwash a captured machine so it will fight for humanity.

  • Deranged Animation: The scenes within the "brainwashing" program are bizarrely inventive.
  • Downer Ending: The re-programmed machine destroys the machines that attack the base. But all the rebels die before then, and when he tries to plug the consciousness of one of the last remaining rebels into virtual reality, she rejects him and chooses to die instead, leaving the machine all by itself.
  • Expy: This was made by the guy who created Æon Flux, so main human character Alexa looks like, and has a similar name to, the titular Æon Flux, and the blond scientist looks like Æon Flux's lover Trevor Goodchild.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The captured machine's eyes turn from red to green after he is converted.
  • Ironic Echo: Despite the lampshaded pointlessness, the machines are given the illusion of a choice between joining the humans or being destroyed, directly paralleling the blue/red pill choice the free humans are given.


01 Versatran

Time To Fly. Versatran: "It's The Only Choice."

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlyingCar

Media sources: