THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Screenshot of the boss battle against Greg Nightmare.
The boss battle against Greg Nightmare.

“Smile” concludes with Garcian discovering that he is Emir in December 2011, paralleling Akira and Tokio discovering the “facts” in December 1999. As Garcian is shaken out of his false identity as a servant, the latest principal perpetuating ELBOW at Coburn, his third eye begins to open. In a densely symbolic cut scene and boss battle, Greg Nightmare, the US education minister who has become eight Heaven Smiles, reenacts the Smith Syndicate Incident, permanently destroying the Killer7 personas using the Golden Gun until only Garcian remains. Garcian reclaims his gun and saves himself from the last Black Smile, killing Greg. Afterward, Garcian returns to the Union Hotel. No longer fighting regular enemies as in the previous visit, the player instead views a series of cutscenes in which Emir kills the other Killer7 team members from a first-person perspective, recalling the violence of the government agent Curtis and implicating the player character for serving the same state.

Mills indicates this upsets Emir: “Garcie, don’t cry. That ain’t like you.” It is a tragic, horrifying discovery. Instead of reviving them, Garcian killed all of the members of his team. While cold and fearless, Garcian, who never wishes to hurt anyone and previously had a passive, healing role, discovers he invented this identity to hide from his past as a bloody murderer. But this discovery also frees Emir from Harman’s control.

Screenshot of "Smile." In a spacious room, framed against a series of windows viewing woods, Harman Smith and Kun Lan sit playing chess. Harman is on the left, and Kun Lan is on the right.
Harman and Kun Lan play chess with human lives.

Finally, Emir enters the Forbidden Room where Kun Lan plays chess against Harman, symbolic of the geopolitical conflict that has caused the horror and violence of the storyline. There, Emir kills both of them. This shows him rejecting their East–West dichotomy, his loyalty to the US, and the violent systems of control both represent. For both Kun Lan and Harman, embodiments of rival governments, play with human lives, trading cities, wiping out populations, and empowering and then killing even Curtis Blackburn just as part of their chess game.

Screenshot of "Smile." It is black-and-white. On the left, Harman Smith and, on the right, Kun Lan are slumped back dead at a chess table. Each man is riddled with bullet holes. It is posed identically to the previous "chess" picture.
Assassinated like Nezu.

Kamui kills darkness and gives birth to light, so Emir’s only option is rejecting Harman. Like Ayame Blackburn, Harman, avatar of the US, thrives in darkness. In the dark, he is a cunning and controlling killer who commands his faithful slave Garcian. The alarming racial politics of Garcian, a Black man, bowing before the white Harman and always calling him “master” suggest the racist history of the US. In the light, Harman is instead a nonverbal old man, unable to take care of himself, subject to insults, physical abuse, and rape. He is a being of darkness. So it is in the brightly lit Forbidden Room, through whose windows beams of light pour, that Emir, rejecting the obedient Garcian identity, assassinates Harman.

Harman and Kun Lan are not really so opposed: Harman founded and operates Coburn Elementary School, which brainwashes the young and controls the outcome of all presidential elections to run the US, which has been run by the same oligarchs as Japan, including him, from the beginning. “The homeland’s [i.e. US’s] history is all right here.” Throughout killer7, logical if understood as a sequel to The Silver Case, Japan’s cruelty and ruthlessness are taken for granted. But now, as Mills puts it, “[the US] has been revealed for what it is—a monster.”