Webmaster: Thank you, Masamune, for joining us today and welcome to the kodanclub.com web site. Congratulations, by the way, on the publication of "MANMACHINE INTERFACE"!! Like many fans of "GHOST IN THE SHELL" I've been eagerly awaiting the sequel. Well it's taken 10 years, but now it's out how do you feel?

Masamune Shirow: You know, I didn't think it would take me 10 years...but I'm pleased to have published it without hitch (Or were there problems?). Actually production only took me a year and a half. But it feels good to finally get rid of the baggage I've been carrying around with me for the past 10 years. When I finished, though, I wasn't so confident about what I'd done. I thought, like maybe, there was room for improvement in many places. Now all I want is for my readers to enjoy it. All's well that ends well...
I should say that "MANMACHINE INTERFACE" is not a true sequel to "GHOST IN THE SHELL"...well, not in the strict sense of the word. "GHOST IN THE SHELL" was all about the 9th Division of Police HQ. This time, I've written about what happens to Motoko after she's been fused with an "artificial life" (Motoko-plus). She now works in a huge corporation that floats on the Pacific Ocean. Readers may find that some parts are similar to "GHOST IN THE SHELL" but it's really a completely different kind of work.

Webmaster: You said before that all 200 full-color pages were created on a computer. What was especially difficult about using computer graphics?

Masamune Shirow: One day my hard disk suddenly died on me and I lost 16 GB of data. It was really tiring, too, having to read through those thick manuals, every time an application got an upgrade. As a MAC user I experienced trouble with USB devices. In the end, I learned that DTP involves a lot of manual work and relies -painfully- on the operator.
There are 2 versions of "MANMACHINE INTERFACE" published in Japan, the "short-cut" and "standard" versions. For the "short cut," I made the colors darker and softer to facilitate quick and tireless reading. But for "standard" I went for a stronger contrast than regular printing, so be warned, your eyes might get tired. Right now I am making the data for the foreign-language editions. I've no idea how they will turn out because I don't have enough information about the ink and other factors.

Webmaster: You've drawn a fascinating combination of very detailed machines and erotic characters. What do you like to draw the most?

Masamune Shirow: Everything. I create by putting together everything I like. I like it best when a drawing turns out exactly as I intended. This is even more satisfying than drawing things I like.

Webmaster: By the way, have you read any books or seen any movies recently that impressed you? Or is there anything else that you are interested in right now?

Masamune Shirow: There's computer games... I've finally got the time to play "TOMB RAIDER V CHRONICLES"... As of June 19, 2001, I'm looking forward to CAPCOM's "Devil May Cry" (not yet on sale) and ARUZE's "SHADOW HEARTS" (not yet on sale)... I hope I'm not too busy when they come out... No! I'll be in trouble if I'm not busy.
And animations... I wonder if they'll make Hayao Miyazaki's "Zasso Note" into an animated movie. I hope they do during my lifetime. Not that I can do anything about it.

Webmaster: So what do you have up your sleeve next...

Masamune Shirow: I'm currently making plans for my next work. I've heard that Mamoru Oshii, the director of the animated movie, "GHOST IN THE SHELL" is planning on doing a "GHOST IN THE SHELL 2." It will be about the 9th Division again and not "MANMACHINE INTERFACE."

Webmaster: Last of all, do you have anything to say to your fans who are reading this on kodanclub.com?

Masamune Shirow: Yes. I'm making non-Japanese versions of "MANMACHINE INTERFACE" right now. I'm afraid I've had to rewrite the balloons and sound effects and reverse the work from left to right. So like "GHOST IN THE SHELL" sometimes right arms become left arms for example. But there's not much that can be done about it. Ideally, I wanted to publish them at the same time as the Japanese version but it just wasn't possible. Sorry. Please wait a little longer. I would also like to thank the people, who have waited for 10 years. Thank you so much. Foreign editions will be out soon.
(Tokyo, June 19. 2001)

Guest Profile
Born in 1961, Masamune Shirow created his first manga, "Black Magic" while still in college and made his public debut with "APPLE SEED" in 1985. His profound worldview, fast action scenes and detailed artwork have won him many fans. His major work, "GHOST IN THE SHELL" was a big hit and it's movie adaptation was popular in Japan, the US, and UK. The video reached number 1 on the "Billboard" sales chart.