THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Furuya and Nakama addendum

Screenshot from "KamuiDrome." The top window shows a squished, compressed image of Furuya and Nakama. The lower left window shows an image of a hand with a triangle and a series of numbers, captioned "Method Tank The end of the century Countdown." The lower right window shows a close-up of Kotobuki. Kotobuki says, "......"

The Kamui influence on the Mikumo boys is clear: the terrorists repeatedly use Fujiwara’s famous line, “Kill the past,” and carry out the model of the Format Kamui legend, eliminating corrupt people who escaped legal consequences for destroying Mikumo. “Parade” and “TSUKI” present the Mikumo boys’ plot sympathetically, a tragedy only insofar as it harms the criminals themselves. The Mikumo boys are personally kind in their interactions with Tokio and suffered a legitimate wrong as a result of the capitalist order. Their destruction of the Yukimura Zaibatsu has salvific implications, putting Riru’s soul to rest and bringing color to Kusabi’s black-and-white world, allowing him to team up with Kamui to destroy Nezu in “LifeCut.” In this way, the Sumio, Hiseki, and Fuyuki are each the fourth Kamui.

However, the narrative perspective on the Method Tank in “KamuiDrome,” another Kamui-influenced terrorist plot, is more ambiguous. This essay argues that Kamui primarily becomes a positive, liberatory figure in The Silver Case. But the largely negative Method Tank may seem to contradict this pattern.

Screenshot from "KamuiDrome." The left window shows the main page of Kamui Net. The right window shows Furuya at his computer, glasses ominously glowing in the light of the computer monitor.

“KamuiDrome” and, to a lesser extent, “AI” primarily focus on Kamui Net, part of Kinjo’s Black Angel Network involved in online crime, particularly the disappearance of young people into what the “imaginary girl” tells Akira is a literal alternate dimension.

The unsympathetic Furuya Tomonori is characterized as a pretentious NEET. His screen name is “oldman,” indicating an association with the past and control. Furuya responds to his mother’s friendly consideration with, “A middleaged woman who can’t come back to reality[.] Is this what people struggling with the gap of modern times looks like?” Neutral identifies Furuya as living up to the “oldman” name as a sexist aspiring tyrant: “are you trying to become a dictator? get rid of the outsiders and create a paradise and make it into your own harem? people like you are called idiots and losers.” Note the reference to “paradise,” always an unhealthy retreat from reality in the Kill the Past series.

Screenshot from "KamuiDrome." Text in a window reads, "how stupid. youre just the same as them. no. youre worse than them. are you trying to become a dictator? get rid of the outsiders and create a paradise and make it into your own harem? people like you are called idiots and losers."

Furuya spends all day surfing the untamed, more intimate ’90s internet in search of, apparently, extreme Usenet sites and BBSs. The music, if that is the term for the sound that plays during several of these scenes, suggests this is horrifying. His online interactions are often edgy and immature. On 21 August, he arrives on Kamui Net, seemingly a 2 Channel-like site, and engages in an argument with the similarly edgy, immature users, including SPLOOGEMEISTER and MonsterDong420. In a surreal sequence that follows a hostile exchange on 26 August, Nakama, the woman behind the Neutral account, appears to Furuya in person, and the two have sex. “You’re going to become the moon,” she says. “You’ll transcend Kamui.” We might say Furuya and Nakama go on Kamui Net and take the Maspro pill.