5'7.75" (172 cm)
|Voice actor(s) (English)||
Saito (サイトー Saitō) is the ace sniper of Section 9. Among the members of Section 9 he is regarded as one of the least cyberized. He can handle any automatic firearm with deadly accuracy and precision, but his primary role is as the unit's tactical sniper. His left eye was replaced with the "Hawkeye", a prosthetic eye that interfaces with satellites to allow for shots of incredible accuracy. He is also valued for his ability to think like enemy snipers; on two separate occasions his ability at determining sniping locations impacted Section 9's actions.
This ability is mentioned when Saito and the Major first met. Saito was genuinely scared of the Major, "down to the soles of [his] boots", as is mentioned in an episode of 2nd GIG. It was revealed in the same episode of 2nd Gig that it was the Major who took out his left eye and left arm, after a sniper confrontation on the roof. Saito misjudged the Major's skill, and took a shot after coming out from his cover. He grazed the Major's cheek with his shot, while she hit his scope, causing a shard of glass to strike his left eye. Approaching his position immediately after, without giving him a chance to recover, she was able to pin his arm to a wall using her knife. She then complimented him on his rifle skills and added that he "belonged to her, now". (Although we don't know this encounter really happened-- see below.)
Saito, although he has not been seen on a lot of occasions, has also appeared in the film Ghost in the Shell for a split second (however, this Saito has both his eyes). He is also mentioned by Motoko and Batou when they are talking to Togusa about having no cyber implants.
In a scene in the SAC movie Solid State Society, Saito mentioned to Batou that the trip to Africa was a tough assignment. Batou replies by telling him that further enhancements to his body will affect his cardio-pulmonary system. This either implies that Saito has had recent cyber-implants and such enhancements is a possible cause for his fatigue, or that Saito should not consider getting any enhancements as his body cannot afford to have any other cyber-implants which allows him to increase his stamina/endurance and reduce his normal body's susceptibility to fatigue and tiredness.
At one point, however, Saito is seen accompanying Motoko and Batou on a mission where they leap clear over a ten-foot fence. While Saito is not seen making the jump, he is by their side immediately afterwards, which suggests that he must have some cyberisation to his back or legs to keep up with them.
Before Saito was recruited to serve in Section 9, he fought against American Imperial Army soldiers and various UN forces as a freelancer hired by various anti-occupation guerrillas during World War IV in South America, starting in Mexico when he joined up with Red Bianco, a unit made up of foreigners that wanted to free Mexico and the rest of South America from foreign occupation. He lost his left eye and arm after engaging American, British and Japanese UN peacekeepers, who were coincidentally led by Motoko Kusanagi, in Monterrey, a northern city of México. After successfully picking off several of Motoko's men with his excellent sniper tactics, she cornered him in a tense showdown. Motoko bluffed Saito into thinking that, even though it was theoretically a hopeless contest between full human and full cyborg, she had not yet downloaded mid-range marksmanship software, and thus Saito was lured out, thinking he might have a chance to get a shot in at her. Saito's bullet grazed the Major's cheek, and her bullet traveled down the scope of his rifle, sending glass shards into his left eye; before Saito could reload, she was on top of him and stabbed a large combat knife through his left arm (resulting in the loss of both his eye and arm). This standoff, along with its political background, is shown in episode 14 of 2nd Gig. However, it is presented only as a story Saito tells his opponents around a poker table, and the viewer is offered no confirmation that he is telling the truth.
When a Tachikoma uncovered his cards after leaving a poker game between Section 9 and plainclothed officers, it whispered to the other officers that maybe Saito was telling the truth after all.
In 2nd GIG, Saito would later recount that the Major's following order to not move at all was the first order he ever took from her.
In Solid State Society, Saito was missing through most of the movie due to the fact that he was in Africa and later because his left arm was shot by another sniper; naturally, his shot was more accurate, severely wounding his target (interestingly, the rifle he used appears to be the same type of rifle which the Major used to shoot his left eye in Mexico, resembling a Walther WA2000).
It was also revealed that Saito may have had more cyberizations done to him according to the conversation he had with Batou in the elevator, he may have had a better heart or lungs.
|Characters of Ghost in the Shell|
Cabinet Intelligence Service: Kazundo Gouda