Posted by psgels on 17 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



I’ve been taking a look at the shows which are to air during the Fall-Season, and I doubt that that will be an overall good season. Seriously, eight bishoujo-anime. Isn’t that getting a bit too much!? Apart from that, another majority of the shows seem to be either boring, or tasteless shounen stuff. That probably only leaves a few gems, which will probably be blogged. I’ll probably do a full preview of the fall-season at the August-Summary. In any case, most of the shows I’m blogging will be ending as the fall-season begins, which means more time to blog about some interesting anime which aired in the past. Not only Ayatsuri Sakon and Popolocrois, but also the interesting-sounding shows which I have yet to see and some more unknown gems. I’m also going to check out some of Studio 4°C. They’ve already proved that they can do awesome stuff by producing Mahou Shoujotai, and I’ve also noticed that they’ve got a certain unique art and animation style.

So I ran into the Animatrix. It’s a collection of nine short movies, regarding the Matrix. They’re all playing in the world of the Matrix. The interesting part is that it’s partially been written by american directors. Studio 4°C handled the animation, along with Madhouse and apart from that, several big names in the japanese anime-industry wrote/directed parts of it. I’ve only seen the first one of the Matrix-movies, but then again, it never stopped me from watching before. I also have no idea whether there’s any order at which you have to see the stories, so I decided to just randomly pick ones. The first is “Kid’s Story”.

The story’s like this: it follows the teenager named Michael Popper. He’s been having dreams, in which he fell from a height. Strangely enough, the dream feels more real that the life he’s currently living. Neo also seems to be sending messages to him. He then goes to school, and then it shows that he wants Neo to take him to the Matrix, as he keeps writing suggestive lines in his notebook (eg. “get me out of here”).

Then, his mobile phone goes off, in the middle of class. Needless to say that his teacher doesn’t like this, especially when Michael seems to be doing rather bad in his classes. When the phone goes off for the second time, even though Michael’s sure he turned it off, the teacher has had enough of it, and attempts to take away the phone. Michael picks up, and hears Neo. Apparently, dangerous men in black suits have come to get him, as he knows about the Matrix. Neo urges him to run away.

Michael then loses it, and runs away like crazy, making use of his skateboard, inside school, hurting countless of people and objects in the process. He eventually flees in the girl’s bathroom, and climbs outside a window. He then makes it to the top of the school building, though the men in black suits have already been waiting for him. He then drops himself from the same roof, with the message to Neo that he believes in the things he said. He then relives the dream he had, and hits the floor.

Everyone around him thinks he died, and he’s buried. People blame the fact that he was mentally unstable. That reality can be quite difficult to take for some people. This world must have been cold and alienating for such a boy. Meanwhile, outside of the Matrix, we hear Trinity’s voice. Michael begins to awaken. Trinity can’t believe that self-substantiation was possible like that. I think it means something like getting loose from the matrix without having to use the red pill.

The first thing noticable about this film is the unique art it features. It’s by no means pretty. It’s actually very messy. Some scenes really have look as if they were drawn by a pencil, and then colored. Overall, it does fit the mood, which is dark, grey and light at the same time. The action scene, in which Michael flees from everyone especially looked good. I really like action scenes in which the animation drops all boundaries, and continues with really messy art, and this was a great example of it.

The fact remains, however, that this anime is one of the few who has actually been made in english. This made the voices rather annoying, except for Neo and Trinity, perhaps. But that could be because they were voiced by their original actors.

The most interesting part of this short film was the reaction of the adults, at the end of the movie. They’re wrong, in a sense. They’re talking about reality, and how Michael couldn’t accept it. However, they’re the ones away from reality. Michael was the one who was trying to reach it. But the fact remains that they don’t know they’re in this fake reality. They’ve been told that the world they live in is real for their entire lifes. They never heard about anything close to the Matrix. The untruth, is truth for them.

Overall, this was an interesting watch. It’s also short, so I can’t say I was bored.

5 Responses

  1. DiGiKerot says:

    The Animatrix DVD was released in between the two Matrix films, so if you’ve only seen the first Matrix movie you are at the right point to watch it anyway. The Kid is actually one of the new characters who pops up in the second movie, so this short is effectively his backstory. I actually prefer Watanabes other short, Detective Story, though.

    I think the best of the Animatrix shorts is probably “Beyond”, the one directed by the guy who doesn’t do much. Its utter sublime.

  2. Anga says:

    I like Studio 4°C a lot, they seem to produce unique stuff which is also good. Wandering through endless moe can be tiring sometimes. I haven’t actually seen Mahou Shoujotai yet, after few episodes decided to wait dvd files and now that those came I should probably watch it.

    Animatrix as a whole felt bit unbalanced. Some stories were good and one as a stand alone even deserves rating 9, but weak ones lower the overall grade a lot. I guess that’s caused by full range of different directors.

  3. Anga says:

    Ah, forgot to say this. The Second Renaissance was the best clip for me.

  4. IceMan says:

    Could anyone of you please help me out by helping me [maybe as a comment or an e-mail to (unniDOTicemanATgmailDOTcom)]…. What is the name of the background score when the kid tries and escapes in the “Kid’s Story”? And which music is played when the runner runs in “World Record” (its techno ) …. please somebody help me out coz they both are not in the official Animatrix OST … I can’t wait to get my hands on these soundtracks … :)

  5. Felix says:

    hey ice-man.
    I know 1 of the songs, it’s under the gun, by supreme beings of leisure.
    here’s the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB8fRpAAieM

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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…

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