- Alternate Character Interpretation: Judging for how cartoonishly biased against mankind the entire chronicle is, many interpret the Instructor from the Second Renaissance segments as an Unreliable Narrator who built the whole thing as pro-machine propaganda. Then again, she at least has the common sense to recognise what the machines have done."May Man and Machine be forgiven for their sins. Bless all forms of intelligence."
- Anvilicious: The first part "The Second Renaissance" beats the Humans Are Bastards message into the audience's brains so much (humans murder robots in several direct parallels of real-life acts of genocide, humans engage in moments of Stupid Evil like permanently blotting out the sun, all the major world religions sanction war against the machines, including Tibetan monksnote ) that it comes off as unbelievable hyperbole, hence the idea that the narrator is an Unreliable Narrator.
- Awesome Music: "Supermoves remix" during the Robot War of "The Second Renaissance" segment. "Virus" from the World Record segment.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Second Renaissance. Given how many times it's mentioned on this very page, the section it has in the Nightmare Fuel page, and how grotesque and cartoonishly disturbing and grim imagery and violence, you'll understand if more than a few viewers are turned off or disturbed by it. The Humans Are Bastards trope being taken Up to Eleven doesn't help.
- Harsher in Hindsight: With the revelation that both of the Wachowski siblings are transwomen, the scene in The Second Renaissance where the gynoid is beaten to death while screaming "I'M REAL" becomes a lot more uncomfortable than it already was.
- Idiot Plot: Even if you're desperate, blotting out the sun is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea. Even if it is the robots' main energy source, it's also our main energy source!
- More Popular Spin Off: This anthology of shorts enjoyed a much better critical reception compared to The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and Enter the Matrix altogether.
- Narm Charm: The Spanish dub was made over a very shoddy translation, which alters many lines and makes them sound awkward most of the time. However, it also changes the line said by the soldier who is wrenched out of his Mini-Mecha in "The Second Renaissance" to a considerably better effect: in the original it is just a generic exclamation of fear, while the dub renders it as the same line said by the robot murdered by the human mob ("I don't want to die!"), making it a brilliant Ironic Echo.
- Rooting for the Empire: The Second Renaissance can easily make the machines look like the good guys of the series. To wit, they are created as a slave race (and are severely punished for disobeying their "masters"), they make a number of attempts at peaceful coexistence, all of which are mucked up by a violent and uncaring humanity, and they more or less are forced into warfare and subjugating the human race after the human military cuts off their main power supply. Based on this short, and the fact that — when you think about it — the machines more or less created the Matrix as a mercy to their former masters (they could just have easily left them chained to their power-pods, considering that the original idea of having the Matrix powered by human neural activity got axed by Executive Meddling), the viewer could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that they've spent the series rooting for the wrong side.
- Signature Scene: For entire antology, it's the dojo scene from Final Flight of the Osiris.
- The Second Renaissance has a robotic version of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which marks a change from somewhat realistic tone to absolutely surreal experience of incoming scenes.
- In case of Program, Cis cutting through Duo's mask and landing on his own spear.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The short "Matriculated." It should tell you something that it was directed by Æon Flux's Peter Chung.
- Woobie Species: In part one of The Second Renaissance segment, the machines are a sapient species created to be mankind's slaves, and received progressively worse retaliations by mankind when they try to fight for their own rights. What drives this particularly home is how they attempt multiple peaceful solutions, each shot down by the increasing paranoid humanity. Of course, all goes down the drain in part 2, when the war ends and they start on things like human experimentation and enslavement, but still...
- The battle between the humans and the machines shows the earlier models of machine faring poorly and being destroyed wholesale, with later, deadlier models ending the war in a brutally sadistic fashion. The progression seems to imply a change among the machines themselves, who under pressure evolve from trying to peacefully coexist with humans to the more familiar version that is far more deadly, fearsome, and cruel.
YMMV / The Animatrix