Tokyo 24th Ward’s Mayor Suido Can Be Redeemed – If He Makes a Personal Sacrifice

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 9 of Tokyo 24th Ward, "Silver Salt," now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Tokyo's 24th ward is, in recent episodes, still mired in controversy and conflict, and tensions are running higher than ever before. Most of this can be traced back to the state surveillance systems -- first the Minority Report-style Hazard Cast system, then the even more oppressive KANAE system. And ward mayor Suido Gori is behind it all.

Mayor Suido genuinely wants what's best for this ward, but his methods grow increasingly tyrannical and heavy-handed, setting him up to be a classic cyberpunk villain. Fortunately, flashbacks in Episode 9 suggest there is a chance he might be redeemed after all. He may change his ways if someone can forcefully remind him of his family's fondest wishes.

0th yelling at gori

Episode 9 of Tokyo 24th Ward consists of flashbacks dating back to 1999, and most of them involve Suido Gori, his future wife Kanae, the graffiti artist known as 0th and a few other characters. In these flashbacks, Suido Gori is a cheerful and optimistic young man who seeks to protect the 24th ward with advanced technology to prevent crime, and he relies on Kanae's research to get the job done.

Gori dreams of a "smart city" in the future, while his associates take a more humanistic approach to the ward's problems. While 0th creates art to inspire the masses, Kanae and her friend Chikushi run a food bank and put on superhero stage plays to inspire and delight the ward's children and their parents. By 2012, those humanitarian efforts are paying off greatly, but tragedy strikes when Kanae is stabbed to death by a mugger.

Gori's cheerful optimism becomes replaced with ice-cold resolve, and he doubles down on his efforts to use technology, information control and state authority to promote peace and security in the ward at any cost. Gori once appreciated the food bank and stage plays, but he's not the type to cheer people up as a pretend superhero or a soup kitchen worker. To Gori, technology and authority are the answer to any problem, and by 2013, he has a prototype of the KANAE system up and running.

Notably, Gori refuses to use a living human's body to give the system the extra processing power it needs, viewing that step as unethical. Then, in 2020, Suido Asumi nearly dies in the elementary school fire and cannot recover, so Gori makes the hard decision to use her unconscious body to complete the KANAE prototype. He begs the deceased Kanae to forgive him for using their daughter this way.

suido gori looking out window

By now, in the present day, Mayor Suido is a true cyberpunk villain; he is "the state" that cyberpunk heroes must overthrow to restore freedom to the streets. His son Koki wants to help SARG and his father keep the peace, but not even Koki can sympathize with his father's attitude and methods. Mayor Suido's men had coldly assassinated Kunai the hacker activist in recent episodes, and it's clear that Suido would assassinate a hundred activists if it meant enforcing his will across the ward and defending KANAE's secrets. The mayor's grief controls him more than he realizes, and it's punishing him to the point of no return.

Then again, Episode 9's flashbacks make it clear that for all his tyrannical methods, Mayor Suido still has compassion and goodness in him. He took no pleasure in using his daughter's body to complete the KANAE system -- he did it out of desperation since Asumi would soon perish in the hospital anyway, and he felt terribly guilty about what the late Kanae would think of this. His sentimental side may be buried under his grief now, but it isn't necessarily gone, and what has been buried may be uncovered once again.

It's possible that, given the right push, Gori may be convinced to give up his tyrannical cyberpunk ways and truly live up to his late wife's wishes by helping the ward's people her way once again. However, to do so, he would have to say goodbye to his daughter once again and destroy the KANAE system, which would be a difficult sacrifice on multiple levels. Future episodes will show if Gori is ready to make that sacrifice for the good of all.

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