Psycho Pass Season 2: Kirito Kamui Analysis
Kirito Kamui is one of the central antagonists in the second season of Psycho Pass. Although he is quite different from the first season's Makishima, this young man holds his own as a well-written and psychologically interesting antihero. This analysis will go over Kamui's background, general personality, MBTI type, and alleged psychopathy.
Kamui's Background and History
Early in his life, Kamui was a normal child. He was one of 184 people aboard a plane that crashed. Kamui was the only survivor of that terrible incident, but he was forever changed in both mind and body. A corrupt scientist was trying to test new technology, and used Kamui as her guinea pig. Certain body parts from the 184 dead plane passengers were put into Kamui's body. In addition, pieces of brains were grafted into his. The doctor who did most of the surgery was astonished that Kamui survived.
As for Kamui, he recovered and began to adjust to the changes. Because of the brain grafting, seven personalities besides his own were introduced to his mind. Kamui became a collective entity. As if it wouldn't be hard enough to adapt to this by itself, the boy was soon rejected by society. Let's review why that was the case.
In this world, everyone's mental states and capacity for committing crime are measured by machines in what is known as one's Psycho-Pass. The Psycho-Pass gives both a hue, a color representing your mental purity, as well as a number, called your Crime Coefficient. Scanners are installed everywhere to check everyone's Psycho-Pass as much as possible. But much to the surprise of young Kamui, the scanners no longer recognized his existence. To the Sybil System, which rules the country, Kamui was nothing but a jumble of corpses. In short, society could not acknowledge him-- let alone accept him and give him a place.
According to Kamui, everyone in his life rejected him as he grew up, because he could not be reconciled to the system that ruled society. Anyone who acknowledged him would be admitting the flaw in the Sybil System, and questioning the system is a great way to get your Psycho-Pass clouded. You could easily become a target. So Kamui found a way to survive in life by not getting too close to others. As long as nobody knew he was invisible to the system, he could get along like any other person. He could also assume any number of identities and get away with it.
That's exactly what Kamui did. He made elaborate holograms of the 184 people on the plane. For those that were children at the time, he used a visual technology that gave an approximation of their appearances at older ages. Then he took turns acting as different people in a variety of careers and walks of life. Sometimes, Kamui did things to try to get noticed. He claimed that he committed crimes out in the open, but we don't have any examples. It's safe to assume, however, that he tried a little bit of everything, since he could get away with anything.
By the time he was an adult, Kamui had gained enough experience to become, in his own words, "a modern medicine man." Natural talent also helped. With a combination of personal counseling and careful medication adjustments, Kamui could clear the Psycho-Pass of any unstable person. We saw him do this with many people in season 2, including Enforcer Shisui, who went so far as to worship Kamui after he cleared her.
The nature of Kamui's cures isn't entirely clear. According to Kamui's followers, it's a miraculous thing that makes them almost worshipful. According to Akane, however, it is more like brainwashing. Kamui can brainwash people to lower their anxieties, shame and emotional instability. One result of this, however, is that people cured by Kamui can get away with terrible crimes without an obvious effect on their Psycho Pass. That's how Kamui and his followers do so much damage to the law enforcement agency and to many innocent civilians as well.
As he developed this "skill," Kamui also began to seek answers for why he was who he was, and what the causes were. He discovered that the Tougane Foundation was responsible for making him their guinea pig and operating on him with strange technology. Revenge against the Tougane family would have been a typical villain's new goal, and Kamui did indeed want revenge. But he didn't stop there. He also saw the many problems with society under the Sybil System. His goal was to judge the Sybil System, forcing it to acknowledge collective entities like itself and him. In doing so, he would change society greatly and finally become visible.
So Kamui laid out his plans, began manipulating people, and started his attacks on Public Safety Bureau (law enforcement). His various tests and plans leading up to the final attack caused dozens of brutal deaths of innocent people. From there, you can see the rest of his story in Psycho Pass Season 2. Let's move on and try to gain an understanding of Kamui's personality.
Kamui's General Personality
What kind of person is Kirito Kamui? He is thoughtful and usually soft-spoken with a quiet kind of charisma. In contrast to Makishima, Kamui has a warm and humble air about him, rather than overflowing confidence and outward energy. But similar to Makishima, he is also highly contemplative about life, society, and his own identity.
Kamui also expresses more of a range of emotion than the previous season's villain. He can be frustrated, detached, pleased, and more. He even sheds tears on a few occasions. Kamui's apparent humility combines well with the quiet charisma of his sweet voice and and genuinely expressive face. The result is that Kamui is completely disarming to most people, allowing him to easily win trust from others who might otherwise feel threatened or on-edge. Combine all this with his insightfulness and natural intuition about people, and you get a person who seems incredibly genuine and understanding, but who could potentially be a master of manipulation.
Kamui may seem gentle, but he's also dedicated and stubborn to the point of insanity. His dreams of revenge and revolution are the ends that justify any means. No matter what sacrifices must be made on the way, the end goal is far more important to Kamui. Rather than skirt around the truth that revolution is bound to be violent, he embraces that truth. He welcomes the violence that his followers cause, and importantly, he's willing to get his hands dirty as well. Kamui is the kind of person who can become obsessed with a vision if he believes in strongly enough. He's also willing to die for his cause.
That was a short section, but that's all I can cover based on the limited screen time and dialogue given to Kamui. There are still some things to discuss related to his personality-- such whether he is a psychopath, whether he has a sense of justice, and how he feels about sharing his body with the other seven personalities. All of this will be discussed a little later on. For now, I'll quickly identify and outline Kamui's personality type according to Jung/Myers/Briggs typology. If you're not interested in his model, feel free to skip ahead.
Kamui's MBTI Type
There are two ways to determine a character's MBTI type. The first way is to quickly run through the four dimensions to determine which letters are fitting. The second way is to look at cognitive functions. We'll do both. First, is Kamui introverted or extraverted? Although he has excellent people skills, I believe he is more introverted. He's just quieter and less animated than most extraverted characters.
Next, is Kamui intuitive or sensing? I believe Kamui is intuitive. He possesses no great physical talents or artistic skills, and seems spacey sometimes. What I'm saying is that he is more of a thinker than a doer. He still takes action, but what's important are the thoughts driving that. Intuitive people are usually less practical than sensing people, but they have great imagination to make up for it. They are often keenly insightful and interested in abstract concepts like identity, society, and morality. This sounds right up Kamui's alley.
Thirdly, we should determine if Kamui is a thinker or a feeler. I believe he's slightly more F than T. Although he's not irrational, he makes decisions based on his values and not a strict logical process. He's also well in tune with his emotions and can easily understand and predict the emotions of others around him. He's keenly aware of the emotional climate. Finally, Kamui is more Judging than Perceiving. This is evidenced by the fact that he plans everything in advance and has a strategic mind. He would rather work everything out ahead of time than work it out on the fly somehow. With all this in mind, Kamui would be introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging: INFJ.
Now let's look a little at the cognitive functions. If Kamui is intuitive, we can eliminate half the personality types as options. We can then half it again if we find out what kind of intuition this man uses: extraverted or introverted. Extraverted intuition is an active thinking process of learning and interacting with the world by seeing connections and patterns. Introverted intuition is very similar, but it's not as much of an active thinking process. It all happens behind the scenes in the subconscious. People with this type of intuition may not even be able to explain how they knew certain truths or answers to questions. The other difference is that extraverted intuition takes one idea and explains many patterns using that idea; conversely, introverted intuition takes huge amounts of patterns and data and condenses them into a single, relevant idea.
So, what kind of intuition does Kamui use? It's hard to say for sure given the limited amount of time we have to study him in the 11 episodes of season 2. However, given Kamui's more quiet nature, and his way of seeing things in the context of a greater whole, I think introverted intuition is more likely. Intuition is so strong in Kamui that it's probably one of his two most dominant functions. If that's the case, the options for Kamui's type are so far: ENTJ, INTJ, ENFJ, and INFJ. These four types all have introverted intuition in their first two functions.
If Kamui is a Feeling type, then ENTJ and INTJ are ruled out. The only remaining possibilities are INFJ and ENFJ. Both of those types use extraverted feeling, which is more like what Kamui uses as well. (Introverted feeling is a little more focused on the individual, rather than harmony with others.) INFJ and ENFJ types are similar, differing only in the order of the functions. An ENFJ is Fe-dominant, meaning they are more focused on people and emotions than their abstract thinking processes like intuition. On the flipside, an INFJ is slightly more focused on their intuition and thoughts than their feeling dimension. As for which one Kamui is, I would probably say INFJ.
One reason for why I think Kamui is an INFJ is his dedication to a "greater cause." INFJs are often enamored with causes like social justice, or really anything that inspires them to contribute to a bigger picture. The only other type that comes close in its commitment to a single cause is the INTJ, but they are generally less altruistic in their plans and desires than an INFJ. Kamui dedicated his life to bringing down the Sybil System and changing society, even if he had to commit or allow disasters like mass murder and other atrocities. Whether or not you agree with his convictions, this level of determination is impressive.
Discussion of Psychopathy
Now, there are a couple of related issues I wish to quickly address. They are relevant to any discussion of this character's personality. Is Kamui a psychopath? And regardless of your answer, is he a redeemable character? Additionally, does his decision to save Akane at the end of his life make any difference? Let's answer these questions.
To start with, there are undoubtedly fans who would refuse to call Kamui a psychopath. After all, he seems so sweet, and his motive is ultimately to change society for the better, right? Well, don't forget the gruesome deaths he caused, like in the lockdown at the mental care facility. That was all his fault, and he shows no obvious remorse. In fact, Kamui never shows a sense of guilt for any of his actions. As for his supposed empathy toward others, it seems to be selective, and could very well be an act by a manipulative person. If you look at how Kamui treats Shisui, he seems especially manipulative, preying on her romantic and sexual desires to make her fall in love with him.
I would consider Kamui a sociopath, and depending on the definition, also a psychopath. Neither of these terms is clinical, and definitions vary. But in my mind, someone is a sociopath who can shut out any remorse for killing others, and who feels no sincere empathy. Sociopathic tendencies do not always make someone a psychopath-- to me, a psychopath has to be actively trying to harm others. Kamui clearly does this. So if you ask me, Kamui is a psychopath. That being said, I'm not wholly invested in the idea. There is a possibility that Kamui can still feel empathy. Additionally, it might be a more relevant question to ask whether he has Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is the clinical diagnosis of a sociopath/psychopath. I'll reserve judgement on that for now.
An interesting follow up question is, regardless of whether he qualifies as a psychopath, does Kamui have a redeemable character arc? The price was enormous, but Kamui's actions combined with Akane's at the end of the season did lead to a major change in the Sybil System. However, as it was briefly explained at the closing of the final episode, the effects of this change are not yet known. There could be massive negative consequences of having Sybil judge collective entities. At any rate, there is no obvious, immediate change that's positive for society. And even if there were, would that make up for all the damage done by Kamui and his followers? I don't think so. Practically speaking, the violence was not justified by the end result.
What about Kamui's last action of saving Akane and shooting Tougane? Well, if you look at the situation for more than a moment, you will see it really wasn't some noble or heroic action. He didn't necessarily sacrifice himself to save Akane, since she was in no immediate danger of being shot or stabbed. But he did sort of "save" Akane in an emotional sense, by taking over the situation and shooting Tougane while he was taunting Akane about murdering her grandmother. I would say shooting Tougane, and getting shot in the process, was still a good deed, even though it wasn't nearly enough to be called heroic or sacrificial.
In addition, I think there was personal significance in Kamui shooting Tougane. Kamui is a sort of "romantic villain" who has an internal sense of justice and wants to correct what he sees wrong in the Sybil System. And Enforcer Tougane, as a sadistic murderer who blackens others around him, was the epitome of the problems with the system. So by firing the Dominator at that soulless villain, Kamui might have felt some closure or gratification before he died.
Kamui's death is just one example of several of the ways that Kamui is a sympathetic psychopath. Another important example is the way he gets along with Akane. The two are surprisingly similar in some ways, even sharing the same personality type according to the MBTI model (INFJ). Akane also wants the systems to change, but she doesn't want to use violence to do it, and she'll protect the law as much as she can on her personal quest for meaning and justice. Defying Sybil, Akane is the one who leads Kamui straight to the collective's location so he can begin his judgements.
Still, it's important to understand that Kamui isn't really a "good person." By his own admission, even if he had met Akane sooner and found the kindred spirit within her, his plans and methods would not have changed. Akane angrily insisted that he didn't need to kill so many people to enact his scheme. Kamui just smiled a little and answered, "That was never an option."
Final Thoughts: Kamui as a Collective Entity
I promised to include a little bit about Kamui's relationship to the other people sharing a brain and body with him. The first thing that comes to mind is how Kamui is somewhat similar to a person with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). However, there are key differences. A DID patient develops two or more distinct personalities, or alters, in response to severe childhood trauma. While this may very well have happened in Kamui's case (the plane crash could be the trauma), the explanation given by the anime is different. Kamui has multiple personalities because the minds of seven others were grafted into his brain using some kind of sci-fi technology.
Another clear difference is that Kamui seems to have full control over who is in charge (or who is "fronting") at any given moment. Switching between the personalities at will doesn't seem to be any issue for him, nor does he ever mention memory skips or similar experiences of dissociation. DID patients typically report dissociation, and it can be distressing for some trying to maintain control of who they are. So it's pretty safe to say Kamui doesn't qualify as a person with DID. I actually appreciate this because characters with DID are usually demonized or misrepresented in fiction. It would be a little bit cheap to have yet another psycho DID patient in a thriller series.
How does Kamui feel about sharing a body with others? We don't have enough information to know how he coped early on. But by the time of Psycho Pass season 2, he is extremely well adjusted to the whole experience. Each of the seven personalities want revenge on the Tougane Foundation, which set up the plane crash and used the dying children on board as guinea pigs. Some of the seven also seem interested in changing society, but I think that's mostly Kamui. He, the main one who controls the body, is able to bring everyone together in a unified cause. Additionally, he cares about them, and wants them to have justice.
All in all, I believe Kamui grew to be comfortable with sharing his mind and body. It helped give him the purpose that gave meaning to his life. Also, the different personalities and their individual skill sets helped make him into the "medicine man" he needed to be to clear the Psycho Passes of others. That was essential to his plans.
With that, we've completed our character analysis of Kirito Kamui. Hopefully, you now have a more comprehensive understanding of this interesting antagonist. Thank you so much for reading and have a great day.