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Animatrix, The: Program

With the writer of Ninja Scroll involved, you know action's going to take the forefront, but can that be successful in a seven-minute short?

We're thrown into a computer simulation where Cis is killing time. She soon runs into Duo and they take in some friendly combat training. Duo contemplates the current state of events, proposing a plan to leave everything behind and return to the Matrix. Cis refuses, but Duo will not take no for an answer...

If you're going to take action over plot, it has to look good, and "Program" does not disappoint. Since it takes place within a simulation, backgrounds are free to change constantly, and we get to see a various array of beautiful surroundings behind the two main characters. It's hard to describe the overall look, as while there's a lot of computer-generation involved, this short manages to retain the more "traditional" anime feel that many of us have become accustomed to.

With only two characters, pressure was on the actors involved to deliver, and I believe they did. Hedy Burress and Phil LaMarr play off each other naturally, with no detectable problems whatsoever. A quick check of the Japanese track revealed superb results as well. Also, it's worth noting how well the use of silence worked throughout both versions, as such would be natural between two people in this situation, and this really helped elevate the work in the end.

"Program" suffers from the unfortunate problem of placement among the Animatix shorts. With the number five spot, it follows "Final Flight Of The Osiris", "The Second Renaissance I/II", and "Kid's Story", all of which affect the movies in some way. For those watching in order, it can be a bit of a letdown to get wrapped up in these plot-heavy stories before coming to this action-tuned romp lacking any real substance.

I think "Program" succeeds in telling a simple story without using the crutch of a movie-character tie-in. Those who enjoyed the training simulations between Neo and Morpheus in the first film will enjoy this, as will fans of Yoshiaki Kawajiri's works. Those watching The Animatrix to fill in gaps from the movies, or those turned off by all-action may be disappointed, but it's only seven minutes long, so why avoid it?

Grade: 7 of 10 (3 1/2 Stars)

Added: January 29th 2004
Reviewer: JJc14
Related Link: Official Website
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  Animatrix, The: Program
Posted by anthonyfiddy2 on 2014-06-09 03:40:24
My Score:

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