THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Fujiwara Kamui, the second Kamui

Promotional artwork of The Silver Case 2425. To the left of the logo, Fujiwara Kamui's head is visible. He has a serene expression. His left eye is visible. It is silver and outlined with several thin red lines.

The second Kamui, Fujiwara Kamui (no relation to the character designer of Terranigma), is the living man identified as Uehara Kamui in “Decoyman” and the first third of “LifeCut.” He is also the character depicted as Kamui in marketing material for The Silver Case and the man who stares at the player on the title screen, challenging the player to put a voice to his silent face. As explained below, the name “Fujiwara” comes from Face.

Fujiwara is the only Kamui in The Silver Case who is a specific living character instead of a narrative or a role for certain characters to assume, who is understood as a person instead of “transmittable crime” information acting through a person. Allegedly from Cape Kamui, he is a Kamui Maspro Shelter Kid who grows into a countercultural artist with a series of girlfriends. His punk messages, created in tandem with Shimohira Ayame, and his high standard of perfection secure him admiration and veneration in youth culture. A series of government plots successively ruin his life until his assassination in November 1999.

Fujiwara’s catatonia is the first plot twist in The Silver Case, not only the first major step of the subversion of Kusabi as a Dirty Harry-style hero but of the overall police thriller story. In “Decoyman,” after so much buildup as the “otherworldly avatar of evil” Piechota describes, Fujiwara sits staring into space, mouthing the word “shelter” in an attempt to indicate the source of his illness to cops both too ignorant and too indifferent—and too complicit, in the case of Nakategawa—to understand. Not terrifying, Kamui turns out to be pitiful. The police accept that Fujiwara Kamui is literally incapable of hurting anyone.

Screenshot from "Decoyman." The window shows the Precinct 23 interrogation room. The character portrait in the window shows Fujiwara, eyes lolling, staring into space. Chizuru says, "Aphasic deficit? Just like this medical report. Hyposthenic disorder..."

Sumio and Morikawa determine that Shimohira Ayame, not a sweet flag but a murderer, abducted Fujiwara from the IMM Hospital and framed him for her killings of Sakamoto Kenichi, Inomata Haruhiko, Natsume Daigo (possibly), Sonoda Yuriko, Yuka Kawai, and Kei Nanami. Instead of a standard misogynistic serial killer, the killer is acting out of jealousy, killing women Fujiwara loved though he had not loved her. Fujiwara is the titular decoyman. By extension, the Silver Case Kamui is the decoyman of The Silver Case, the “truth” concealing the shocking “facts” about Akira, Tokio, Kusabi, the HC Unit, and the nature of crime in society. He is also the decoyman for the conventional murder mystery action movie cop story Suda initially feigns.

(However, the situation never entirely makes sense. Shimohira says her uncontrollable urge to kill formed after she was impregnated, but then why did she break Fujiwara out of the hospital and rape him? The implication is that each Ayame character Shimohira kills was pregnant with a child by Fujiwara, and in “HIKARI” Kei Nanami tells Tokio she was, but this only makes sense for Sonoda and Shimohira. When could the other two women have had the opportunity for sexual interactions with Fujiwara in 1999 or 1998? Similarly, Suda seems to understand Shimohira as remaining alive, while Ooka writes assuming she has been executed, except when he explicitly states she is alive in “UTSUTSU.” This may exceed the usual occlusion of “facts” into just a confused narrative.)