Is there a list of the symbols shown in "The Matrix" when operators do they work watching it? How many are they? What are their names? Which ones didn't exist by the time the movie was shot?

  • 9
    Looks like this question would be highly relevant... don't think it's a duplicate though.
    – Radhil
    Aug 9, 2016 at 18:45
  • Mmm, it didn´t appear another one when I was typing. Let us see in a few time.
    – Feuergeist
    Aug 9, 2016 at 18:48
  • 1
    – Valorum
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:35
  • @Radhil - No. With the edit it's not a dupe, although my answer does speak to what the "rain" is made up of in terms of characters.
    – Valorum
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:42
  • 2
    Since you seem particularly insistent on getting a full list of the characters that were used, I have to ask: why? What are you trying to do that the existing answer is insufficient for? Aug 12, 2016 at 22:15

3 Answers 3


As explained in the answer to this closely related question, all of those symbols are "real" characters, they've just been flipped horizontally to mirror images of themselves. If you look at a still image flipped back, it's easier to tell:

Matrix code falling Matrix code falling, flipped

The top is from the movie, the bottom is the same shot mirrored left-to-right. You can tell that many of the symbols are just normal Latin alphabet digits, letters, and symbols. The rest are Japanese characters (mostly half-width katakana, though there's at least one kanji in there as well). None of them were created specifically for the movie.

  • 6
    feel free to write your own answer with all of their names.
    – KutuluMike
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:25
  • 4
    Katakana, not kanji. They don't really have "names" separate from their values, no more than the letters of the Latin alphabet have names.
    – user41830
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:26
  • 5
    @Feuergeist you have got to be kidding me... just look at a katakana chart And, if there are kanji in there (Mike's right that there's at least one), there are potentially thousands of kanji if you were to freeze frame every single iteration from the film. Limited lists are one thing... this list is too big. This answer seems perfectly acceptable.
    – Catija
    Aug 9, 2016 at 19:58
  • 1
    @Feuergeist Yes... Thousands. See this question on Japanese Language. Even if you only consider the most commonly used ones, there are over 2K. Also, if you don't speak Japanese, figuring out which ones are used can be very difficult. They have character dictionaries but "naming" each of them will be... complex.
    – Catija
    Aug 9, 2016 at 20:12
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    What I believe you are missing is the fact that it will be a terrible answer. The answer will be a list of the letters of two alphabets and the Arabic digits. Listing them all out, e.g. "LETTER A. LETTER B. LETTER C. LETTER D. LETTER E." is just a huge waste of space.
    – KutuluMike
    Aug 13, 2016 at 0:38

So I was curious myself so watched the opening of the first film frame by frame in mirror mode and noted down what I saw. That being the case there is probably some missing.

Notably, there is no 6 and the only Kanji I found is (roughly meaning day/sun). The only Roman letter is Z until the title appears in which case letters in "THE MATRIX" appear. Most of the symbols are Katakana, however they are not uniformly distributed. Some appear very frequently while others are completely absent.

Identifiable symbols (all are mirror versions unless noted)

  • Kanji: "日"
  • Katakana: "ハミヒーウシナモニサワツオリアホテマケメエカキムユラセネスタヌヘ"
  • Missing Katakana: "ヲイクコソチトノフヤヨルレロン" (at least I couldn't find them)
  • Numbers: "012345789", "3" is upside down, "4" has underscore, "7" is not mirrored
  • Roman: "Z" only, then "THEMATRIX" for the title.
  • Punctuation/Arithmetic: ":・."=*+-<>"
  • Other: "¦|" and dashed underscore (╌ but lower down)
  • Unknown: Something like ç and something like リ but with an overbar (might be ク).

In total that's around 67 characters.

  • 2
    Additional Kanji - I also see the kanji 二 (meaning two) often in the opening title sequence. Katakana - I see the additional following: コ (backwards) ソ (backwards), and what appears to be a slightly stylized ヤ (backwards)
    – Matt S
    Jul 13, 2018 at 18:11

These are mostly known characters, but they are flipped (mirrored). They include Arabic digits, Latin letters, punctuation/math/etc characters, Kanji and halfwidth Katakana. Here you are, a list (I believe it's 100% full) from analyzing the code rain in opening scene (0:30-0:37) and dream scene:


  • mirrored: 2, 5, 9, 8 (two identical circles – hard to tell if mirrored)
  • not mirrored: 1, 7 (without the line crossing through the middle), 0 (a "slashed zero" form), 3 (a "flat-topped three" form, upside down), 4 (a "closed top four" form, with underscore, but see )
  • *) there is no 6


  • Z (sans-serif)
  • *) +(letters AEHIMRTX at the end of intro forming "THE MATRIX", but it's clearly visible that they were added to the video after generating the code rain because they misalign, glow brighter, are thinner and have serif font-face)

PUNCTUATION/MATH/ETC. (symmetrical, so no sense saying if mirrored)

  • :."=*+-¦|_
  • [space] (I assume so; sometimes there is an empty place in a column and one could treat that as blank place, not [space] generated; but sometimes it really appears in a sequence in spots where the symbols change frequently)
  • ╌ (← "double dash horizontal" but low, on the bottom line, like underscore; I haven't found such glyph in Unicode table and online)
  • *) there's no dot in the middle of the text line (・/∙/•/etc.) (as Annan stated) – it's rather normal full stop [.], because it's on the bottom

(MOST OF) HALF-WIDTH KATAKANA (MIRRORED) (in order of appearance in Unicode table)

  • ヲアウエオカキケコサシスセソタツテナニヌネハヒホマミムメモヤユラリワ
  • missing ones: イクチトノフヘヨルレロン
  • *) Annan said that character [ヘ] is present in code – I believe he was wrong; I think he must've seen a fragment of another character during appearing (they appear not each at once but each unhiding from top to bottom)
  • **) what's interesting – [ウオケ] are with overscore, [ネホヤ] are with underscore; I think this is somewhat because of emulating technical problems of old screens; just like the underscore in digit [4]


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