"Dancer in the Dark" is the eighth episode of the Angel Beats! anime series, broadcasted on May 22, 2010. The episode has storyboards by Juju Miyashita, with the storyboard and the directing done by Hiroyuki Hashimoto.
Otonashi is rushed into an extreme scenario where Kanade has been stolen, causing he and the Battlefront to rush to retrieve her, with Yuri claiming she's their only chance against the amassing army of evil Kanade clones. Each member of the battlefront is hilariously killed by a Kanade clone as they force their way back into the guild to save Kanade.
SynopsisEditUnder the moonlit night, a girl sharing Kanade's looks appears atop a school building. Approaching the SSS, she remarks that their activities are fit for a punishment of her choosing. As she prepares to strike, Yuri attempts to defend everyone on a One-on-One combat with her. Ooyama is confused at seeing "Angel" attacking them; Otonashi, however, does not see their attacker as Kanade. Meanwhile, Yuri receives several injuries without being able to land a single hit. Due to this, Otonashi decides to take over for the moment and orders the remaining members to focus fire at the Kanade look-alike.
With their weapons on the ready, Yuri retreats and the others fire at Kanade. Unfortunately, Distortion renders the attacks futile. In response to their attack, the look-alike lunges towards the SSS, but out of the blue, the true Kanade launches an attack against her which results in both inflicting fatal wounds to each other.
The following day, the SSS takes refuge in the infirmary. Shiina and TK act as lookout while Yuri tends to Kanade's wounds. Otonashi and the others stay inside watching over her after she fell unconscious to the previous attack.Everyone is still puzzled as to why two Kanades appeared yesterday. Yuri suspects that it was Harmonics at work, a skill that Kanade had developed earlier and one among those discovered in their infiltration into Kanade's dormitory room. Naoi thinks that the first clone created was the one who helped the SSS members against Monster Stream. Thanks to this, the clone kept her aggressive attitude. Soon, they also deduced that the Kanade clone has in a way rebelled against the original, as it even attacked the original, and thus, it would be impossible to "undo" her. With no other options in mind, Yuri decides that it would be best for the main members of battlefront to go to class and stall the Kanade clone for the moment while she tries to figure out what she can do.
The others follow orders and they spend the day going to class; however, they devise their own ways of diverting their attention from the class itself in their own unique ways.Meanwhile, Yuri returns to Kanade's room and opens a program called "Angel Player". There, she inspects the Harmonics portion of the program. She does not find out any new information about how Harmonics works. Yuri, however, notices a book lying beside the CPU of Kanade's computer and discovers that it is the software manual for Angel Player. Yuri finds it difficult to understand the contents of the book as it is written in surprisingly American English, so she goes to tinker with the system to discover ways on how to take care of Kanade's clone. After discovering an "Absorb" command in the system, she tries to activate a countdown command which tries to absorb the clone into Kanade after 10 seconds. After comprobating the command is functional, she prepares to leave, but at a glance she notices another command listed: Howling. Instead of simply erasing the new technique, Yuri decides to keep the changes to a minimum and flees from the dormitory.
Upon returning to check Kanade, Yuri and the others are welcomed by a mess in the infirmary. No one knew what happened, but Naoi suspects Yuri to be responsible for Kanade's disappearance. She admits manipulating the program responsible for the Harmonics technique, which she is confident would work, though she also admits that her work was somehow slipshod. Yuri decides to gain intelligence on possible sightings of Kanade before acting.
Upon gathering information, they discover that Kanade is locked inside the headquarters of Guild which was destroyed earlier. Yui suggest a diversion, but Yuri decides not to resort to the aid of Girls Dead Monster, as they would be defenseless if the Harmonics Clones of Kanade were to attack them. Instead, the SSS are to venture without any external diversion.
In their descent to Guild's immense labyrinth of traps and security systems, they manage to walk across those hazards activated previously by them which, fortunately, no longer function. However, they found their first danger upon a Kanade clone close to the second trap. Before even assuming firing positions, the clone ran at a blinding speed through them, slicing down their weapons in her way. In order to slow her down, Yuri throws a grenade at her, leaving her open to handgun fire. Surprisingly enough, Noda becomes impaled by the clone's Hand Sonic.Beddazzled, they soon realize that Kanade's clone had used Harmonics as well, creating a second enemy for them to defeat. Finding the SSS cornered down by two Kanade clones, Yuri tries to find an exit. Suddenly, she sees a passageway and she orders everyone to rush towards it, while she attempted to create a diversion with a second grenade. After a 10 second retreat, everyone manages to enter the passageway safely.
Upon reaching the fifth basement level, the crew rests while trying to understand their current situation. Naoi proceeds to explain the problems that they arefacing. Firstly, Kanade's clones' ability to use Harmonics meant that the number of clones could be anything but limitless to them. Otonashi realizes that not too long ago, Yuri had manipulated the Angel Player, which meant that all clones had to return to Kanade in the end. To this comment, Naoi brings up the second problem: For what everyone had seen, it was a possibility that Kanade's clone reacted in a faster way to Yuri's meddling, creating a vast amount of clones before the program was altered, meaning they had no time limit. To this there was only one conclusion: they were being led to a trap. One way or the other, Yuri decides to push forward.On the tenth basement level, they find themselves in front of the third Kanade clone. To this, Matsushita claims that gunfire would prove worthless and be a waste of bullets and suddenly lunges towards the clone, taking her down, but becoming fatally pierced by her Hand Sonic. With his last moments he encourages the rest to move on while he is still capable to hold her down, entrusting them with the rest.
Thanks to Matsushita, Yuri realizes that Kanade's complex proves to be a disadvantage to a Judo grapple. In their next encounters with more clones, a SSS member sacrifices him/herself allowing the rest to move on. (In order, they were: TK, Takamatsu, Fujimaki, Shiina, an hypnotized Ooyama, Naoi, and finally Hinata)
Yuri, Otonashi and Yui reach the Epicenter, the deepest part of Guild's ruined headquarters. In their descent to the explosion's crater Yui becomes victim to a protruding girder, leaving her unconscious. Otonashi and Yuri, once again, remain as the sole survivors.Finally, the last clone appears. Yuri orders Otonashi to run and look for the original Kanade while she fights the clone. She manages to fend her off in single combat with the help of a handgun and a third grenade. However, they prove to be useless. To this, the clone suddenly raises both Hand Sonic blades in an X-Shaped form. Yuri reacts and warns Otonashi to cover his ears. The clone uses Howling, which releases a field of high-frequency waves which can render a person unconscious. Yet, Yuri was clever enough to wear a couple of ear-plugs, rendering her immune to the attack's effects, which allowed her to defeat the clone. Meanwhile, Otonashi manages to find the original Kanade. Upon waking her up, he requests her to endure one more Harmonics so that everyone could be saved from the clones. Kanade consents and uses Harmonics a last time. Even though the clone created by this had no killing intents, she bestowed the truth behind Harmonics and Absorb to Otonashi: "I see that you have altered the program. All those cruel version of me will do so? Even us clones have a will of our own. It won't vanish, but merge together with hers. All the clones of me that attack you will go back inside of her. Do you think that she'll be okay by absorbing all those personality's at once?"
Otonashi begs her to stop the Absorb process, but the ten-second countdown ends, and all the clones dematerialize into a storm of blood-red binary cyphers heading towards Kanade, overwhelming her. Otonashi curses himself for his ignorance and embraces Kanade in an attempt to confort her as she faces the painful experience: "Please be okay, Kanade!"
- It remains a mystery on why the Harmonic's Clones of Kanade would attack Yuri and the rest of the main members of the Battlefront, despite the original Kanade having no interest in fighting them.
- Could it be possible that there was some sort of glitch/bug in the Angel Player program that Kanade wasn't aware of to cause the clones to attack them?
All of the main members of the SSS all looked at the blood-red eyed Kanade looking down at them through the top of a building. She walked forward, and drops to the ground.
Angel: Is everyone playing at night? Then I'll have to punish you.
Otonashi: "What going on, Kanade?"
The red-eyed Kanade stood up, her eyes gleaming at the SSS. Suddenly, Hand Sonic materialized out of her wrist, without saying the word. She giggled, then lunged foward.
Yuri pushed Otonashi out of the way and run forward, their blades clashing and sending sparks crackling through the air.
Oyama: I don't understand what's going on? I thought Angel was harmless now?