THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Chronologically, “electride” is Shiroyabu’s final appearance in The 25th Ward, occurring on 11 November 2005. But “white out,” a scenario added in the 2017 remake, depicts him in February 2003. Not only is he a fool in over his head, but he is “a new kind of monster on the move” in Japan. Under Mulholland, he almost kills his fellow policeman Akira. Barely averting disaster, Kusabi instead shoots Shiroyabu’s ear off. “Not even my mother has ever shot me,” the infantile Shiroyabu says. The moment he realizes he is talking to Kusabi, the former protagonist, Shiroyabu instead becomes an obsequious fanboy. “I… I’m a huge fan! I got absolutely obsessed with the Silver Case and made a special request to join the Heinous Crimes Unit, and I did my graduation thesis on ‘the influence of the mass media on the Silver Case’ and…”

Screenshot from "white out." In the left window, Shiroyabu, his left side bloody from the ear Kusabi just shot off him, salutes. He wears a full policeman uniform. In the right window, Kusabi stands in profile, wearing a trench coat. Shiroyabu says, "I... I'm a huge fan!"

Shiroyabu fails to understand the complexities of the subject in 2003 and so fails to solve the Joker case, not realizing he himself is the Joker. Then, in 2005, he still does not understand the difference between “facts” and the “truth”: ignoring yet another warning, he tells Munakata, “Facts are the truth.” This ignorance leads to his downfall in the broader Correctness storyline.

The wise past-killer Kusabi cautions Shiroyabu, “don’t let yourself get swayed too much by other people.” Shortly after finding her former partner turned into a monster, Hatoba echoes this in “electride,” chiding him, “Don’t let a dead man dictate your life.” Kuroyanagi is smart enough to recognize the problem too: “You’re still young, Jabroni. Getting so influenced by others shows how young you are.” Paralleling the many faces of Kamui, Shiroyabu is nothing but what others define him to be, and instead of defying and redefining his role like Fujiwara, Akira, or Sakura, he becomes a monster.

Though not without humanizing traits, Shiroyabu is a negative character. In 2003, without realizing it, he is only the Joker, a brainwashed hitman of the TRUMP crime ring who eluded Kusabi. He thwarts himself without ever realizing what is happening. In 2005, he fails in his central goal by not defeating Kurumizawa and Kamui and meanwhile becomes increasingly childish. He is a rapist, a coldblooded murder, and a “serial killer” and close friends with Kuroyanagi, a character so fascist she is directly identified with Dirty Harry (though at least she is fine with queer people and sex workers instead of taking them as a sign of societal decay). So much for killing the past with Kusabi Tetsugoro. Far from killing the past, the failure Shiroyabu never even realizes he is Kamui’s son.

Screenshot of "Travis Strikes Back." The left dialogue portrait shows Chillko, a girl. The right shows Travis Touchdown. The text reads as follows:

SHIROYABU: Kamui Kamui Kamui...

CHILLKO: That was an awesome move.

TRAVIS: It was a legendary suplex. I meant to throw him gently.

Finally, in his regressed state, as a swansong, Shiroyabu returns as a rogue buffoon hunting for Kamui in Travis Strikes Again. The wacky action hero Travis Touchdown defeats him immediately with one pro-wrestling move, leaving him on the ground jabbering “Kamui Kamui Kamui…” Then a teenage delivery girl, Chillko, is able to adequately dispose of Shiroyabu on her own. This gross dork is the glorious new man embodying possibility and hope?