THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Screenshot from Videodrome. Max aiming a gun at the camera, killing his former colleagues.

Multiple plot elements resemble not just “KamuiDrome” but The Silver Case overall. The surreal conspiracy and counter-conspiracy disorient the audience until what happens in Videodrome is impossible to entirely explain, resembling the tangle of competing interests manipulating data and “criminal information” in the 24 Wards. In the same way that different hidden interest groups manipulate the violence of Videodrome to control the public and brainwash assassins on the false pretext of revolution, different interest groups manipulate the third Kamui to control people with promises of revolution and liberation.

“KamuiDrome” updates the television channel into a chan-like BBS, Kamui Net, and replaces quaint TV with the internet (and still a quaint version of it compared to what now exists). Kamui Net users are crude and hostile to outsiders. They might worship Format Kamui but, instead of displaying political or ideological awareness, regard him with the consumer shallowness they might “worship” a pop idol: “Kamui has been deified and is worshipped here. It’s kind of like the people who were really into [Baian Sayaka].” Online users hound Baian to the point of suicide. By analogy, the view of Kamui is unsavory, unhealthy, and unproductive.

Screenshot of "AI." Tokio has typed, "This place is huge and weird. Kamui has been deified and is worshipped here. It's kind of like the people who were really into Sayaka Baian.

"Kamui Net is just totally full of shit. Even if there were something there with any amount of meaning, it would be impossible to actually find it. Kamui Net is now deteriorating. Is Kamui hiding out here?"

Like Max, Oldman and Neutral’s fate occurs off-screen. After the countdown, they are never seen again. The “imaginary girl” tells Akira that Oldman and Neutral have traveled into an alternate dimension where the number 7 is not prime and indicates she is going there next, though what this means physically is unclear. Max most likely splatters his brains believing he will undergo a “total transformation.” “To become the new flesh, you first have to kill the old flesh” (1:24:53–1:24:57). Given Max’s delusional suicide, the implications of Oldman and Neutral’s journey into another dimension do not bode well for them.

Still from Videodrome. On a TV set, Max holds a gun to his head. His expression suggests a mystical experience. The gun is sealed to his hand with metal cords and an additional layer of uneven wet, brown flesh.

What can be definitively considered are the effects of the Method Tank “revolution,” which plainly is not a revolution, not a social transformation, but instead a widespread terrorist act. In “AI,” Tokio diagnoses Furuya and other Kamui Net suckers as naïve kids who mistake “truth” for reality: “They look up to the world of ‘truth’. They think that’s the same as freedom. They mix up reality and fiction.” They never heed Kusabi’s warning that “truth” and “facts” are different. Furuya is Format Kamui in the same way he is an analogue to Max Kenn: a patsy who thinks he finds special knowledge on new media that instead brainwashes him into abandoning his life to serve the interests of power through violence. The Method Tank ultimately serves power as some part of the TRO/CCO and FSO plots. Hence Central orders the HC Unit not to investigate or stop it.