Taking a little creative license with this one. These are inspired by the circa 1989-90 NYPD patrol cars. I couldn’t think of what Americans might call a labor (aside from ‘giant police robot’ or something), so I stuck with the Japanese name; it might plausibly be a loanword, though it’s actually an English loanword / portmanteau. It’s come full circle!
The text says: “Special Vehicles, Patlabor Squad, Officer Exchange Program.”
I thought this might be amusing: mock promotional shirts for the Shinohara Heavy Industries AV-98 Ingram patrol labor. Note that the font is the same as the Patlabor title card, and at the same unusually severe angle. Available in white-on-black and black-on-white. I also threw in some blues, because that seems to be Shinohara’s corporate colors.
This shirt is fiction, but in ten years, who knows?
This is a replica of the sign on the building in Little Tokyo. This is a plural version (CATS). Note that the model sheets show a possessive version (CAT’S), and at least one painted background shows a singular version (CAT).
The weapons in “Ghost in the Shell” are shown as items to help illustrate the 2029 setting. As such, although they loosely follow projections based on current technology, they’re not strictly bound to them – instead being designed based on what will look good in a movie context.
For example, the guns are generally made of metal rather than plastics, and that’s one place where you can see the director and the rest of the staff (although if we’re honest, mostly the director) impressing their own ideas upon the designs. However, on the other hand, it could be that there has been progress in numerically-controlled 3-dimensional metal milling technology and improvements in alloy technology, and what we’re seeing in these weapons is the effect of those improvements and such predictable trends as greater precision in gunsmithing, coupled with lower costs.
In that sense, it would be a mistake to say that the weaponry shown in “Ghost in the Shell” is always futuristic. This is something that both Mamoru Oshii (director) and Noutomi-san (weaponry concept design) have touched upon in their comments.
However, first and foremost, is the desire to design something futuristic the best way to achieve a futuristic design? This is something that many films and works in other genres have failed in. In fact, it woudn’t be far off to say that the concept of “a futuristic design” stopped having real meaning back in the 50s. We believe the movie that really demonstrated that once and for all was “Blade Runner.” But despite all that, since we’ve never actually tried our hand at purely “futuristic designs,” we’ll have to put this down as an open question with no definite answer yet.
This is the compensator fitted to the 9-Weapon muzzle. Compensators have openings on their upper surface in order to direct the muzzle blast upwards, the push-back from which prevents the gun jumping up too much when firing. On this gun, the right side openings are larger, an innovation which provides push-back to the left and down.
A Fusion of Assault Rifle and SMG
“Assault rifles,” which constitute the mainstay of man-portable military weaponry, can be said to have been introduced as rifles with an added full-auto firing feature. The problem is that rifle ammunition is relatively high-powered, so simply full-auto firing the same ammunition destroys any hope of maintaining consistently high accuracy. (In fact, several full-auto, man-portable weapons were produced that used rifle ammunition, but they all turned out to be pretty useless to all but the most heavily-built operators).
As such, the powder load was reduced, and the stock type changed to a straight stock (rifles up until this point employed a downward-curving stock to allow recoil to dissipate upwards). That is the assault rifle we know.
The lower-powered rounds of the assault rifle, then, gave it slightly less range and stopping power than its rifle forebears, but at the time, infantry was already beginning the march towards mechanisation, and pure range was no longer particularly emphasised. More importantly, the requisite battlefield movement speed had risen to an incomparable level, and this “man-portable firearm” was suddenly burdened with the essential need to be capable of area suppression in order to be considered effective at all.
Meanwhile, submachine guns (SMGs) also emerged, also as man-portable full-auto firearms. Despite significantly lacking in range and stopping power, they were praised for the simplicity of using existing handgun ammunition, and were effectively put to use in urban warfare and anti-crime roles, where larger ammunition would not be needed in combat in enclosed spaces.
However, the increased severity of urban crime and the greater power of firearms in the hands of criminals meant that situations where the SMG was insufficient were on the rise. To meet the new need, various companies developed weapons that would act as a midpoint between assault rifle and SMG. The 9-Weapon is one of those.
Ed: I must give copious thanks to my anonymous benefactor and translator, without whom none of this information would ever have been read by Western eyes.
9-Weapon – A New-Concept Firearm
Crvena Zastava Nosle got its start as a gun manufacturer in the 90’s, as an offshoot of Z.C.Zw (Zavodi Crvena Zastava), after Serbia’s democratization and separation from Yugoslavia.
The Model 22 is the company’s third marketed product. Following the end of the twentieth century, as the world faced a constant rise in the number of terrorism incidents and the severity of urban crime, demand grew for a new style of firearm with different capabilities compared to the traditional categories of “assault rifle” and “SMG.” The 9-Weapon was developed as a man-portable firearm fit to meet that demand. In terms of performance, it is truly a midpoint between its two “parents,” as the newly-developed 5.7mm round affords it stopping power and range that far outstrip the capabilities of an SMG, yet the gun retains high portability. Additionally, since the gun was released as an all-inclusive weapon system with its own versatile kit, it is able to meet a broad variety of needs. However, despite its favourable characteristics, the 9-Weapon has come to be considered too high-powered (especially for urban scenarios), and so popularity has been gravitating toward guns designed for lower-powered ammunition. The 5.7mm round itself ended up banned, and is now only used by certain special forces units. What this means is, we can assume that the weapons in use by Section 9 represent some of that dead stock of a once successful weapon.
A little more of a complex back-story than you expected, right?