THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

If Yuki will, perhaps, have a chance at someday maturing to exorcise the evil power of the old men; if, by 2021, Travis has let Uehara Kamui vent his grief and travel into the future in search of light; if Dr. Juvenile has declared nothing binds us and Travis can avenge her against Damon and the Kanto-like Utopinia; if Travis Strikes Again ends with Silver Face declaring “We run further on the path of evolution, to the bright future that’s sure to lie ahead,” Kill the Past might have space left for hope. Something closer to collective action is possible now: in No More Heroes III, Kamui is just just one of the many characters who contribute to defeating FU, none of whom are cops licensed to kill any civilians they deem unworthy.

The Silver Case Digital Art Book accompanies the 2016 release. In an illustration not present in the video game (shown below), Miyamoto Takashi depicts Sumio, Hiseki, Fuyuki, and Riru smiling and playing together in a woods that recalls the forest of light into which Akira and Kusabi escape in “LifeCut.” But the idyll occurs beside the poisoned river. In the background, the old men’s Mikumo 77 factory and disaster loom.

Prior to this image is one of Shimohira Ayame staring directly at the viewer with the text “fight the future.” And Ayame, who fights the future, is the only one who can counter Kamui, who kills the past. The future where people lose their identities to the old men and are put up for sale as machines like Format Kamui or Chizuru or Emir, human machines at which the metal parts surrounding Ayame’s head may hint, where children will suffer and die like they did in Mikumo—that is the future we must fight.

There is a blue gradient background. On the right, Shimohira Ayame, nude and visible to her midsection, folds her arms over her chest as though to hug herself. She stares directly at the viewer. Strange metal pieces of uncertain purpose surround her hairless, head, which fades into the shape of these mechanical parts. On the left is the white text, "fight the future."

“The past doesn’t die. Even if killed, it won’t die.”
– Morishima Tokio, “MISOGI”

“People have the power to twist ‘facts’ into ‘the truth.’ That is Kamui’s true identity.”
– Munakata Ryu, “boys don’t cry”

“To those who keep their violence within themselves, he can say: ‘Your modesty will be the death of you, dare to desire, be insatiable, let loose the terrible forces that are warring and whirling inside you, do not be ashamed to ask for the moon—we must have it.’ To the ones who vent their spleen at random: ‘Turn your rage against those who have provoked it, do not try to run away from your pain but seek out its causes and smash them.’ He can say anything to [the young] because he is a young monster, a beautiful young monster like themselves, who shares their terror of dying and their hatred of living in the world we have made for them.”
– Jean-Paul Sartre regarding Paul Nizan, Foreword of Aden, Arabie, 1960, as translated by Joan Pinkham in the 1968 Monthly Review Press printing, 17

“They try to cloak it all in logos, each day another myth
The news reporter smiles, gaining stories from the death
What they did to Southeast Asia they are doing here today
And if I had a rocket launcher
If I had a rocket launcher
If I had a rocket launcher
If I had a rocket launcher
I would make some people pay”
– Ryan Harvey, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”

Maybe the real Uehara Kamui is the friends we made along the way…


Thanks for reading. You can contact the author by email or on Tumblr. I am also still on Twitter for the time being. With the centerpiece completed, I plan one more installment in this series about The Silver Case. Unless I burn out too much to make a video, it will be a YouTube video about Morishima Tokio of a rather less intensive and analytical nature than the preceding material. Provisionally, I think it will be called “MORISHIMA TOKIO: People Are All Perverts” or “MORISHIMA TOKIO: Sacrifices of Our Times.” If I am still alive, I will post it at some point between now and the end of 2033.

I am on Tumblr. I am also still on Twitter sometimes.