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Everything You Need to Know About The Animatrix Before Watching the New Matrix Movie

Never heard about this Matrix anime? This is for you.

The Animatrix movie cover, anime short film.

The Matrix trilogy was a huge success years ago and the hype is still around for some fans, old and new. The film gave people a new narrative in the action genre, one that combined the idea of a tech takeover while also questioning reality itself.

After watching the Matrix movies, you should consider watching The Animatrix, a movie made after the trilogy that explains the beginning and end of the Matrix and Zion. This 2003 animated movie is worth watching, especially if you’re into anime, as it’s directed by some of the best anime directors of recent years. It’s a compilation of nine anime shorts that reveal interesting Matrix details through different stories.

Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO, you can experience The Animatrix for yourself, considered an anime classic. But why should you watch it? Well, let's recap the shorts to convince you.

Warning: This may contain some spoilers, so if you want to watch the anime and then come back, we'll wait . . .

Okay, ready? Great! Let 's dive in.

The Second Renaissance: Part I

Robot and people at a party. Ai robot. Animatrix. Matrix
Still taken from The Animatrix

This first short is directed by Mahiro Maeda, who is also the director of the mangas Blue Submarine No. 6 and The Evangelion: 3.0 and 3.0 + 1.0. This short is one of the best of this entire collection. In essence, it’s the origin of the Matrix. How humanity grew bored of itself to the point of having to create something more interesting, like AI. This short in particular is pretty intense and violent, depicting humanity's reaction to their enslaved creations rising up against them and their laws. Maybe Elon Musk should watch this one . . .

The Second Renaissance: Part II

Robot on a horse with a blue background. Animatrix. Matrix
The Animatrix

The second part of this short is also directed by Mahiro Maeda and serves as the continuation of the previous episode. In this short, the story focuses on humanity's need to eliminate AI robots. It also explores how and why humanity decided to “scorch the sky"—something that Morpheus mentions to Neo in the first Matrix movie. Like the first part of the rebirth, this short is even more brutal, because it portrays the nasty struggle between robots and humans as they fight for power over each other.


Anime ninja woman. Animatrix. Matrix.
The Animatrix

This short is directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who is also the creator of Cyber ​​City Oedo and Highlander: The Search For Vengeance. The animation in this short is similar to his previous work, noticeable in its attention to detail, slow motion movements, and close-up shots that highlight the action scenes. The story revolves around a simulation created by the programmers of the resistance to test the loyalty and ability of Cis, a girl that is part of the resistance crew. This is one of my favorites. Even if the story doesn't really add much to the entire movie, it showcases some well-done animation, and it also goes in-depth into the training programs for the resistance members of Zion.

World Record

Running man being chased by people trying to catch up with a green background. Animatrix. Matrix
The Animatrix

This one is directed by Takeshi Koike, who received the Tokyo Anime Award in the OVA category for this short, so you know it's worth watching. For starters, the animation is outstanding. The story is about an athlete, known for being the best in the 100-meter race and continually breaking the record. But as he ages, his body can't handle that kind of effort anymore, which makes his last race his most important one. We then learn that the Matrix simulation isn’t set up for this kind of speed, resulting in agents trying to stop this athlete from breaking another record to prevent him from waking up and realizing that the world he lives in is just a simulation.

A Kid Story

Anime kid having breakfast at home. Animatrix. Matrix.
The Animatrix

This is directed by Shin'ichirō Watanabe, who’s known for his work on Cowboy Bebop and for his horror anime films, an influence you can pick out in this short. The illustration and color of this anime is textured, like a draft, emphasizing life in the Matrix, giving the short an unreal, trippy feel. The story revolves around a special kid that we were introduced to in the last two M