THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

killer7 – What is United States? The American Kamui

Screenshot from "Smile." Young Harman Smith sits in an orange chair in the Union Hotel under a fan. He wears a fedora and suit. He says, "The assassin, Emir Parkreiner, was the ace of aces."

Any commentator who analyzes the Kill the Past series cannot fail to recognize that Emir Parkreiner is an American alternate-universe version of Uehara Kamui in the same way that the Killer7 or Second Smith Syndicate is, to some degree, an American alternate-universe version of the Heinous Crimes Unit. Piechota, for instance, refers to Emir as Kamui’s “echo.”

Let us begin with the name. “Emir” is an Arabic word for a type of ruler. Like “Kamui,” a name derived from Ainu, “Emir” is derived from a different language than the one that surrounds it. “Parkreiner” includes “park,” a word that in English refers to an area kept in it natural state. “Reiner” is more obscure. While “rein” is an adjective in German, meaning “pure” (note that purity is a recurring concern in Suda’s writing), the -er suffix indicates a verb. So “rein” may represent its near-homograph “reign.” Taken together, then, “Parkreiner” connotes power or authority over a wilderness, much like “Uehara.” “Emir Parkreiner” reads almost as a localization of “Uehara Kamui.” However, given that the “East” of God’s Hand is associated with spirituality in killer7, unlike the God-Killer of the “West,” it is suitable for Emir’s name to have political rather than spiritual implications, the rulership of an emirate rather than the natural, spiritual power of a kamuy.

Before considering Emir, we have to understand Ayame’s role in killer7. In “Encounter,” the player pursues Curtis Blackburn, a lavishly rich assassin who previously worked for the US in the Seattle Self-Defense Department but, in 2011, suddenly massacres the Seattle Immigration Bureau in retaliation against his partner, Pedro Montana. A cutscene depicts Curtis slaughtering everyone he meets at the Immigration Bureau from a first-person perspective. He conspicuously stops on a scared young woman identified as an immigrant orphan in Hand in killer7. Supporting Kun Lan and in league with the Opposition Party of the US, Curtis and Pedro have used their government ties to run a child organ-smuggling operation from 1987 to 2011.

Screenshot from "Encounter." From a first-person perspective, Curtis Blackburn is shooting a receptionist in the head. The blood flies through the air like mist. The other receptionist is already slumped dead in the chair beside her, a bullet through her bloody forehead.