Angel Beats! – 08
「Dancer in the Dark」
Guard skill: harmonics. If you were thinking that was the case last week, then kudos to taking notice of the foreshadowing from way back in episode three. In what turned out to be a skill none too different than a “shadow clone” (kage no bunshin) of Naruto-fame, a key difference to Kanade’s harmonics is that it seems to retain the mindset she had at the moment it was created. With the split occurring during their run in with the master of the river, this second Kanade ended up becoming “Evil Tenshi” simply because of the killing intent she had at the time. While I could easily consider that a fundamental flaw in its design, I’m more curious as to why Kanade didn’t just use her absorb skill to dismiss the clone right after. Given how there doesn’t appear to be a range limitation on it, I figured there was ample time to use it during the huge fish feast even if there was some of sort of cooldown period (yay, more video game lingo). In any case, that struck me as a bit odd, but I won’t deny that a second descent into the remnants of the Guild after they blew it up was as humorous (and stupid) as the first one.
Before that happened, I’d sure like to know how the hell Yuri managed to add some code of her own to Kanade’s “Angel Player” software. As hot as the glasses look on Yuri was, I still see them as nothing more than datte megane (i.e. “fashionable lenses for show”) and not any indication that she knows a damn thing about programming. Granted, she only added a timeout (… sigh, timewait) to Kanade’s harmonics ability so that it would call absorb ten seconds later, but if it was indeed code and not a mere setting then that’s at least a few lines in C++, Java, and almost any other programming language. Details aside, I’m just going to cast that off to computers in the afterlife being more dummy proof. She did get it to work after all, but not before Evil Tenshi already made a several more copies of herself. Giving Yuri the benefit of the doubt programming-wise, I would have thought she’d come up with a better plan than the “line up to die” one to handle each of the clones, but alas stupidity reigns supreme in Guild-related adventures.
Evidently for comic relief, it was pretty hilarious seeing everyone try to act cool before they died, except for Ooyama of course who died a nice delusional one thanks to Naoi. The funniest moment of that repeat gag though had to be Naoi offering to go next and no one giving a damn about his death. That was a pretty laugh out loud moment for me, especially after all the respect he expressed for Otonashi while calling everyone else trash. I still find it interesting how Shiina’s deaths never get shown explicitly, but Yui going splat is always there for us to see. I guess that goes to show exactly how much she’s considered one of the guys, and possibly even one of the dumbest ones at that with the way she goes head-to-head with Hinata all the time. Not that I mind one bit, as I love watching Kitamura Eri play idiots like she did in NEEDLESS. Yui’s fear of pissing her panties out of fear and no one giving a damn were pretty cheap laughs, but boy did I enjoy them.
Upon witnessing everyone go flop one after another, I was really starting to wonder why the hell none of them bothered to learn how to fight hand-to-hand. I guess Noda should be pretty effective in that regard, if he’s not off dying first yet again. Yuri on the other hand is pretty crafty with her hand-grenade and knife usage, so it’s always cool seeing her fight against Tenshi. Here, she not only managed to outsmart one of the Evil Tenshi’s newly developed howling ability with earplugs, but actually kill it off too. As such, I wonder if this is the first time she’s actually killed Tenshi, clone or not. Whatever the case, I found it kind of odd how all the Evil Tenshi clones couldn’t move after having a corpse slumped over them, because I was under the impression that Kanade had a passive super-human strength “overdrive” ability.
The more pressing concern though is how Kanade will deal with all the bloodthirsty clones being absorbed back into her now, as their consciousnesses merge along with their actual bodies — again, akin to a shadow clone. It sure made for a good cliffhanger at the very least, with Otonashi helplessly holding onto her in hopes that she won’t be consumed by murderous intent. Kanade!!!