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Behind the Scenes Part 8: Shinobu Tsuneki (Mechanical Designer)

This eighth installment of the series features Shinobu Tsuneki, who has been responsible for mechanical designs for the entire Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. series. We asked him for his thoughts after finishing S.S.S.

Part 8: Shinobu Tsuneki (Mechanical Designer)
"I have used all my time to push my designs to the limit."

Profile Shinobu Tsuneki is currently in force of Studio Takuranke. His credits include Crest of the Stars (1999), Sci-fi Harry (2000) and Zoids Genesis (2005) among many others. Along with Kenji Teraoka, he is the distinctive mechanical designer throughout the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, including the game edition.

In your designing work, were you conscious of the fact there was a time lag of two years between the 2nd Gig and S.S.S.?
To say the truth, actually not so much. Rather, this time I was exceptionally given quite a generous amount of time, so I thought I'd use all my time to push my designs to the limit, sort of. I get into that mentality when I have extra room in my schedule. By the way, for S.S.S. I took care of the overall design of cars. I know, it's up to the audience to decide whether it was worth taking all that time. Personally, I was glad that I was also able to put my energy into designing firearms as well as cars.

You mean you designed a lot of firearms as well?
For this project, they let me do Motoko's gear too. Usually, that job goes to Teraoka-san, but they asked me this time. It felt good to do the main character things once in a while. Basically, the gear used by Section 9 was supposed to be Teraoka-san's territory. So a tiny pistol from Sebro and the like that appear in this series were done by him, of course. But for Part D, which is the final section of the movie, it was decided that I was to come up with ideas for all the gear used there. So I had to figure out what kind of parts were necessary to fasten to the gear. As for rifles, they usually come with sling belts, but I thought it wasn't fun to see the slings every time. You know, there is a way you can sling it with a wire nowadays. So I thought it might be interesting to use that idea from the real world. They don't appear on screen a lot, so this might not mean anything unless you're really into them. I might be biased, but if you are knowledgeable, then I imagine you'd enjoy it a little bit more.

Is there a memorable episode from working on S.S.S. that you'd like to share?
We developed a huge towing trailer for Tachikoma from scratch again. The old trailer was pretty plain, so it wasn't very exciting as a vehicle. Actually, they originally ordered it as such, but this time around, we made it a little flashy and got a bit picky with the design. For example, I visualized a tiny Tachikoma plastic model and I pictured the towing trailer that I'd wished someone would make for me. I actually like plastic models, you know. So I designed something that I'd love to own.


What are the must-see scenes in S.S.S.?
As you know, in this movie, Motoko is no longer with Section 9 and there is a sort of uneasiness between Togusa and Batou. Their relationship is changing, but at the same time they have unchanged, subtle feelings toward each other, including mutual respect. I can sort of sum up that the emotional side of the characters is the main theme of this series. For instance, why did Motoko leave Section 9? How does Batou take this? I think it would be fun if you pay attention to the circumstances surrounding Motoko and each character's emotions.

Any message for the audience?
Sure! Please make sure to take a look at Motoko's outfit in the last battle. Even though you see it for only a matter of seconds.

This is the only scene where you can recognize a piece of gear hanging from a wire. Watch out. It disappears in a matter of seconds!

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