Despite the current Shiro not appearing at all in the episode, I feel like episode 9 revealed the most about him so far, tying up all those scattered hints in the past 8 episodes that didn’t make too much sense until now.
I’ll be drawing heavily from my own observations and this post concerning the true relationship between Weissman and Shiro, hoping to give a more comprehensive outlook on how episode 9 has essentially confirmed a theory that many of us were contemplating as early as two episodes ago.
There will be spoilers for all 9 episodes of K. And pictures. Lots of them.
Ready? Let’s begin.
For those who were out of the theorizing loop for the past few weeks, one popular theory that people suggested was that Shiro is the true Silver King, and the current Weissman is an impostor, the murderer of Tatara and (possibly) the true Colorless King, whose power involves some variation of body takeover/switching.
The revelation of episode 9 regarding Weissman in the past was the first indication of some truth in this theory. The present Weissman that the audience is accustomed to is a somewhat maniacal man with a flair for villainous drama.
That doesn’t match the personality of the past Weissman we’ve been shown in episode 9, does it? In fact, who does the past Weissman resemble the most in behavior?
Hmm…in fact, if you’d replay the beginning of episode 9 while replacing all instances of Weissman with Shiro, it wouldn’t seem unnatural at all. Every gesture that the past Weissman did, I can imagine Shiro doing.
The poster also mentioned how unusual it was for a scientist to show such an amount of affection for a laboratory mouse, petting it gently and even talking to it. This would indicate a natural affinity for animals in general, as demonstrated pretty clearly when a certain someone managed to befriend Neko after spectacularly crashing through the roof….
And Shiro has certainly been shown to talk to Neko long before she revealed her human form, much like how Weissman asked the mouse to ‘make him look good in front of the lieutenant’. Even after Neko turned into a human, though, Shiro’s affinity for animals still demonstrates itself with his tendency to pat her on the head whenever she seems worried or stressed, as in the end of episode 4 or the beginning of episode 8.
Then comes the issue of the Sword of Damocles, the irrefutable proof of a King’s power. Like I mentioned in the other post, a common point of confusion for viewers last episode seems to be the white glow in the sky that Kukuri witnessed, despite the blimp explosion being more yellow/red.
Shiro revealed his own Sword of Damocles in episode 7. I don’t feel like refuting all the claims of ‘but it was Neko’s illusion!’ in this post, since I believe that to be a moot point by now.
And Weissman himself revealed his Sword of Damocles in episode 9, when he survived a bombing.
It is unclear whether Weissman attained his kingly powers at the exact moment of the bombing (explaining why he wasn’t able to protect his own sister with his deflector field), but the sword is certainly unique, even amongst kings. All the Swords that have been revealed so far - the Gold King’s, the Blue King’s and the Red King’s - are quite detailed and ‘solid’, whereas the Silver King’s sword just looks like a glowing white sword with no discernible details - exactly like Shiro’s.
So what does that mean? The Silver King’s power is ‘unchanging’ - or, as Munakata chose to interpret it, ‘immortality’. This explains why the Weissman doesn’t look like he has aged a day since his sister died, and this explains why Shiro was able to survive a few hundred feet fall from a blimp. He didn’t survive because he ‘got lucky and fell on a gym mattress’ - no, gym mattresses don’t save you from falling with enough force to break through ceilings. However, being the immortal king certainly can.
Contrary to what almost all of us thought, Shiro is not the Colorless King, but he is a king - the Silver King. So when the Himmelreich exploded and he faced imminent death along with his comrades, he did the only natural thing - he used his powers to shield all three of them from the blast, resulting in the momentary manifestation of his Sword of Damocles in the night sky. But unlike the last time he was about to die from an explosion, he actually managed to protect what was important to him.
How did the true Silver King - Weissman - Shiro - end up in a body that doesn’t belong to him, though? And who is currently inhabiting the body of the Silver King, then?
The current Silver King’s personality is nothing like the past Weissman, but it does resemble someone else.
The mysterious voice that called Mikoto and taunted him by threatening to kill off HOMRA members. He even admits it upright that he was responsible for Tatara’s murder. We cut to Ashinaka high school, where a student wearing a fox mask is shown to be on the other end of the telephone.
Does this look like the ‘Shiro’ who shot Tatara? Nope, didn’t think so. It is pretty clear at this point that whoever this mysterious voice and murderer of Tatara is - be it the Colorless King or just a Strain -, his powers involve some sort of body takeover, which is exactly what he attempted with Mikoto. By the way he was taunting Mikoto, it seemed like the mysterious voice’s power works by locating a momentary weakness in the target’s heart - the thought of losing Anna, in Mikoto’s case - and taking advantage of that to slip inside the target’s mind to take over their body. With Mikoto, he failed spectacularly. But against the Silver King, whose sister’s death still weighs heavily on his mind, the mysterious voice probably found it easy to take advantage of the Silver King’s weakness in heart and attempt a body switch.
Why would he want to do that? I could make an educated guess. If the mysterious voice truly is the Colorless King and the ‘weakest of all kings’, it would make sense for him to covet some form of power - and his ability of body hopping might help him achieve exactly that. Knowing of the Silver King’s powers of immortality, the Colorless King might’ve assumed that the Silver King’s immortality is tied to his body, so by forcing the Silver King out of his body and then killing him (i.e. by kicking him off a blimp), the Colorless King would be able to truly finish the Silver King off and enjoy the immortality of his newfound body.
However, it seems that the Colorless King’s assumption was mistaken. The Silver King’s powers are tied to something within him that’s beyond the physical level, and as a result, Shiro the Silver King did not perish from a deadly fall even when stuck in a foreign body. The Colorless King, now inhabiting Weissman’s body, was shown exclaiming “Why…?” after looking at all those photos he took of Shiro - because he miscalculated, because he actually expected Shiro - or Weissman - to die.
And if Shiro’s survival didn’t drive it home, the manifestation of his Sword of Damocles that the Colorless King witnessed from the Himmelreich would be the final nail in the coffin.
Seemingly realizing that his assumption was wrong and that the Silver King’s body was worthless to him, the Colorless King wasted no time in abandoning ship - blowing up the Himmelreich and merrily hopping along to his next body. It also makes it harder for the real Silver King to regain his old way of life with his blimp gone, so why not? In addition, episode 3 revealed that the arms dealer who went missing with his truck - the same one that provided the Colorless King with the gun used to murder Tatara - was also dealing with a huge amount of explosives. Those explosives are probably the ones responsible for blowing up the Himmelreich, as it is very unlikely for the original Silver King to have set up a self-destruction mechanism on his blimp, when he very much intended to circle Japan’s skies for the rest of his immortal life the moment he boarded the Himmelreich half a century ago.
Back to the fox mask…it’s an exact replica of the fox mask that was put on the young lady that current Weissman often dances with. With the revelation of Weissman’s older sister, Claudia Weissman, it would not be a far stretch to assume that her face is the face behind the fox mask. Weissman could’ve made a replica doll in his sister’s image in memory of her (or perhaps preserved Claudia’s corpse using his powers of ‘unchanging’), and judging from how much his sister’s death struck him, Weissman and his sister shared a very close relationship. It would be very uncharacteristic of the real Weissman to treat his beloved sister(or a doll made in her image) as some disposable toy purely to satisfy his own amusement - which is the behavior that the current Weissman has demonstrated.
In episode 8, Munakata also revealed that the orderly and unchanging course of the Himmelreich has undergone drastic changes ever since Tatara was murdered. These changes are not so mysterious anymore - after all, ever since Tatara was murdered, an entirely different person has been steering the ship (to presumably follow Shiro around, for obvious reasons). We could roughly draw out the timeline of December 7th as the follows: the real Colorless King, looking like ‘Shiro’, waits at the rooftop for the real Silver King -> Tatara wanders upon the scene, and is mercilessly killed by the real Colorless King, who deliberately proclaims to the video camera who he is -> the real Colorless King boards the real Silver King’s blimp -> some mysterious interaction occurred on the blimp that resulted in the Colorless King swapping bodies with the Silver King -> the Colorless King, now in Weissman’s body, kicks the Silver King Shiro off the blimp in hopes of killing him.
At this point, it is still unclear how the Colorless King convinced the Silver King to pick him up (if he did at all…he might’ve just jumped the Silver King’s blimp), or whether his murder of Tatara is planned or not. There still is the mystery of whose body it is that Shiro/Weissman is currently inhabiting - I could assume that it’s the true Colorless King’s original body, but given the Colorless King’s power of body snatching, it might be anyone - possibly even related to the series of missing person cases as revealed in episode 3.
We also don’t know how much of his past that Shiro actually remembers at this point. His abilities as the Silver King seem to be innate, and using them might be intuitive for him even without his memories. Some have pointed out that Shiro might’ve regained his memories by the end of episode 8 - the explosion of the blimp triggering his memories of WWII. Specifically, the explosions on the day he became king and lost his older sister.
Update regarding episode 11’s preview:
And the most beautiful Sword of Damocles award goes to…
The mysterious Sword of Damocles that appeared in the preview of episode 11. The most catching thing about it is its appearance, as well as the fact that it seems to contain the colors of the 6 Kings - Silver, Gold, Red, Blue, Green and Black. There’s also a small gleaming gem at the very tip of the sword that’s not obvious from this angle - so it’s hard to pinpoint what color it’s supposed to represent…possibly Colorless, as the gleam of the gem is also the smallest out of all 7 gems - much like how Colorless is the ‘weakest out of all kings’.
(Somehow an earlier version of this picture I originally posted on animesuki and tieba got spread all over the net…)
The other interesting thing about it is how it was unveiled - a sheet of white energy slowly peeling off to reveal the sword underneath. Earlier in this post, I mentioned how the Silver King and Shiro’s Sword of Damocles is unique in that it is a blurry shape of a sword, as opposed to the detailed design and markings on the other kings’ swords. The sword itself also seems to be made out of silver. Perhaps the Silver King’s sword has finally decided to break out of its shell and reveal its true form to the world - after all, as the King of Origins, the one who was responsible for the birth of all other kings, it would not be surprising for his sword to incorporate the other kings’ colors in some fashion.
Of course, there is also an equal possibility of this sword belonging to the Colorless King - being one beholden to no particular color, perhaps it is fitting for his sword to contain all the colors in one. But call this a small amount of favoritism of mine - the Gold King accused Weissman of running away, but though it is a realization that came half a century later, Shiro finally decided to stop dancing around the problem and come face to face with his past. The stage has been set, the actors ready - so isn’t it about time for the First King to step up onto the main stage to play his part?
Some bonus points that fit well with this theory:
- Shiro knowing how to rig a phone even though he has no memory of his past. Shiro did retain memories of things like common sense and knowledge, though, so if he used to be a scientist, then this knowledge of how to rig a phone might not be too surprising…
- Shiro writing out surprisingly comprehensive and accurate notes in episode 4, regarding his current situation and the steps he needs to take to prove his alibi. Maybe the mindset of a scientist doesn’t disappear so easily?
- Isana Yashiro’s name is based on Izanagi, the shinto deity that created many other deities. The Silver King has been referred to by Munakata as the “King of Origins”.
- And, as others have pointed out, “Weissman” means “white man” in German, while “Shiro” is the Japanese for “white”.
- Miwa Ichigen’s haiku in episode 1 that Kuroh played when he spotted Shiro on the crossroad - roughly translated as “The figure of a foreign king casts a shadow in the firelight”. The precise word used for ‘foreign’ - 化外 - essentially means ‘not under the jurisdiction of a king or government; outside a country’s borders’. Seri was quite insistent upon reminding Munakata that SCEPTER4 does not have the right to carry out an investigation in Himmelreich, the domain of the Silver King - this is coming from the organization that can easily suspend every citizen’s privacy rights to carry out an exhaustive search. The Silver King himself is the ruler of the skies, the king before all kings, who does not fall under the jurisdiction of any one particular king (unlike say, Munakata, who has to answer to the Gold King).
Some sentimental blah blahs:
The Dresden Slates select those who are fit to become Kings, and it certainly is a cruel hand that makes those choices - bestowing immortality upon the one man who had lost his reason to live. He abandoned the younger Gold King and ascended into the Himmelreich - his Kingdom of Heaven -, expecting to live out the rest of the days in a manner true to his power - ‘unchanging’. Yet despite his malicious intentions, perhaps the Colorless King was a streak of fortune that Weissman needed - his days of unchanging loneliness came to an end on that fateful night when he fell from the Kingdom of Heaven.
Because though the king is unchanging, his loneliness doesn’t need to be.