THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Screenshot of "Smile." Travis spins a fire extinguisher on his right hand. His tank top reads "NAIROBI." The subtitles say, "The homeland's history is all right here."

Garcian kills the past first by accepting that he is Emir, facing his “true self” like Kusabi says to Akira, and has spent all his years as Harman’s slave and alone. Heeding Linda Vermillion’s injunction to “seek the real enemies,” he kills Harman and Kun Lan. In “Lion,” three years later, fully awakened as the supernatural past-killer Emir bearing “the Devil’s eyes” and again carrying the Golden Gun, he acts on his own initiative for the first time, deciding whether to side with Japan by sparing Kenjiro Matsuoka or to kill him to allow the US to finish wiping out the Japanese. Paralleling this context, it is also the first time the player has a narrative choice in killer7. But this is just the “truth.” The “facts” reveal otherwise.


Emir in 2014.

In the end of The Silver Case, Akira, Kusabi, and Tokio achieve unironic ascension into the light of possibility. In stark contrast, Emir’s liberation is both illusory and meaningless. Through their changes, Tokio and Kusabi keep their friends and family and remain beloved, while Emir loses everything. He has nothing to fight for or value. And where the tone and symbolism show the assassinations of Uminosuke and Nezu are liberatory, Emir’s ultimate choice is hollow.

The continuation of the on-rails gameplay, life on a path someone else laid out, already casts doubt on this Kamui’s potential to liberate himself or others. Emir has not voluntarily taken the mission to wipe out the Last Smile on Battleship Island or even discovered the “facts” behind the “truth” by his own will. In Report #25, Jaco, who himself learns he is under the power of a broader political force he cannot understand (ELBOW?), has hypnotized Harman’s caretaker Samantha. Without realizing she is obeying Jaco’s goals, she beats and rapes the vegetative light version of Harman and plays him tapes to unconsciously influence his mind, which is also Garcian’s mind, to awaken Emir to kill the Last Smile:

“One of the personae of the Killer7 will open an ‘envelope’—a package that doesn’t physically exist, but which when opened will make Garcian hear my voice. Motivation, hatred, hesitation, decisions…. These are what I have already conveyed to him, through Samantha and the tapes and old Harman… but what I really wanted to tell him is this:

“‘Kill him. Kill the “Heaven Smile”.’”