THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Before analyzing Uehara’s new characterization, let’s consider the surrounding context. Although Shiroyabu believes Travis is a Kamui, the No More Heroes series does not feature its own Kamui/Ayame characters. There are echoes, but where Emir is undoubtedly Kamui, these echoes are faint.

Bad Girl.

“Badman Strikes Back,” another section of Travis Strikes Again, gives additional information about Bad Girl, the penultimate boss in No More Heroes. With these new story details, she resembles Ayame. Bad Girl is a sad, disturbed serial killer, an abnormally lethal fighter, and, like Ayame Blackburn, an unusually difficult boss fight. She became this way after, as a minor, she was kidnapped and tortured to draw out her assumed criminal power. Here, the perpetrator is not an agent of the state but instead a mafioso, Greco, and there is no suggestion of any kind of “Maspro” like that of Coburn Elementary School.

Unlike Ayame Blackburn, Bad Girl has an opportunity for redemption. Perhaps Bad Girl pulverizing mass-produced gimp clones into pulp is detached enough from reality it seems more pardonable than Ayame Blackburn trafficking children for a rapist to gut. In Travis Strikes Back, Travis and Badman resurrect her first, by accident, as a dog and then back into human form. After returning, her personality is notably less vicious, though she is still an alcoholic and behaves much more hildishly. Instead of a serial killer, this new Bad Girl becomes one of Travis’s stalwart friends, along with, ironically, Uehara.

Another resemblance comes in Klark’s faxes, which detail the “facts” behind the “truth” of the Death Drive MK II. Being a video game console is a cover for a plan to colonize Mars, which is in turn a cover for the “facts” of producing a Kamui-like clone army of emotionless soldiers, “murder machines” who will carry out US imperialism with ruthless efficiency. These multiple layers of conspiracy return to the information manipulation central to the earlier Kill the Past titles. The CIA “scouted” two orphan children, Klark and Juvenile, to build the Death Drive master machine deep underground, another detail vaguely reminiscent of the Maspros.

In the end, due to Klark’s plan, Travis and Badman are subjected to the same kind of vision control the CIA intended to use on the clones, causing them to see CIA operatives as the bug enemies and, in an ironic inversion, completely massacre the entire organization in a sequence implied to be equivalent to the slaughter of gangsters in Hotline Miami. By wiping out the CIA, Travis and Badman foil something resembling an American Maspro operation. After MKULTRA, encountering the literal CIA as villains seeking an army of mindless slaves seems like a logical place for us to arrive.

Dr. Juvenile. Source.

Dr. Juvenile has some commonalities with Fujiwara Kamui. She is a radical liberatory countercultural artist and orphan venerated by everyone she meets. The government hijacks her as a child as part of a plan to create “robotified” people. Like Kamui, she never clearly reveals her ideas or motives, but the player spends the entire video game learning convoluted, sometimes contradictory information about her life, which is wrapped up in death, exploitation, and government conspiracy: she designs almost every stage, she created all the enemies, characters frequently speak of her, and most chapters of “Travis Strikes Back” involve learning indirect details about her personality and biography from various people. The resultant tangle of baroque and bizarre information is something like Kamui, though not as incoherent. Like Kamui, she also has a vague antagonistic role but here for less obvious reasons, being the final boss. Juvenile gives cryptic comments after each boss fight. Following her own, Juvenile, after some pressure, says,

“In the human world,
the time for games has ended,
nothing binds us now.”

Dr. Juvenile, in the form of a semi-skeletal humanoid sheep, delivers a haiku to Travis Touchdown. Travis says, "I don't need a big ol' speech. But these are your last words... Leave me something special... A farewell poem." She responds, "In the human world, the time for games has ended, nothing binds us now."
The semi-skeletal sheep monster is a form of Dr. Juvenile.