The chief mechanic on base in both the novel series and the film. In the novels, Sasakura is portrayed as a male; in the film, Sasakura is portrayed as a female. However, that doesn't detract from any of Sasakura's personality, as Sasakura is almost the same in both the novels and the film, and it is assumed Sasakura has a similar appearance in both the novel and film, other than the difference in gender. Sasakura is addressed as "he/she" on this page. The reader can decide what they want Sasakura to be genderwise (whatever is easier to visualize). Sasakura will be referred to as male in the novels, and female in the film.
None but Air (novel)Edit
Sasakura in introduced by Kusanagi, when she thinks about what he said that the Teacher (Lynx) is like a sharp knife, whose glow attracts bugs to be killed. As in the film, Sasakura is introduced waiting for Kusanagi outside the hangar, with an umbrella over his head and a wearing a sullied white jumpsuit, similar to the one in the film, except in the novel Sasakura does not wear a red vest over it. When Kusanagi comes to the hangar to angrily confirm that she had a bullet hole on her first mission with Teacher and begins yelling, Sasakura smiles and watches her in amusement, but then gets to work on her damaged Suiga, perhaps thinking of Kusanagi as odd. He later tells Kusanagi to not worry about the slight damage, understandingly considering that this was not the Sanka M-II Kusanagi usually flies. Although initially not even allowed to touch the Teacher's aircraft, he soon gets appointed as mechanic in charge of Teacher's Suiga, and becomes very happy over the fact.Sasakura is later found finishing up fixing a motorbike, and invites Kusanagi to the diner in the downtown area with him. On the ride there, Kusanagi gets cold; Saskura then stops the bike, takes off his leather jacket, and tosses it to Kusanagi to wear, insisting seriously that she wear it after Kusanagi politely declined initially. Sasakura shows Kusanagi the sights, and has a conversation with Kusanagi at the diner.
Leaving the diner, Sasakura lets Kusanagi drive the motorbike at her insistance, but later fall off when Kusanagi swerves to dodge a sleeping Fuko in the middle of the road. Sasakura worriedly checks up on Kusanagi, and after seeing she was fine, rushes to pick up Fuko from the road. Sasakura supported Fuko on one side and walked back the short distance to the base, while Kusanagi pushed along the motorbike alongside them. Taking care of Fuko while she sobered up, he smiles at an apologetic Kusanagi for his motorbike as she leaves to take a shower. When she comes back to the hangar, Kusanagi inquires where Fuko went, to which Sasakura evades the question, hiding the fact that Lynx came to pick Fuko up for the night. Over the next two days, Sasakura tunes up Kusanagi's newly arrived Sanka A2/Mk-B, and suggests that Kusanagi can sleep in the Sanka overnight, which she does, as Sasakura continues working on the Sanka for some time after she falls asleep. Over the next few days, Sasakura also meets and interacts with Kurita and Higasawa, new pilots that arrive on the base. Sasakura also continues doing many engine experiments on the ground and then uses pilot's aircraft as test-beds to see their performance in the air, which Kusanagi tries to avoid. Sasakura later goes out with Kurita and Kusanagi to the local diner in a truck, and the next day continues experimenting with a new type of engine, causing a lot of smoke, much to Kusanagi's surprise and curiosity. Sasakura was using Kusanagi's name in defending his experiments and to protect them from being banned by Goda and higher-ups, the base commander, saying that Kusanagi ordered him to continue development. Later on, when Kusanagi returns from her leave, Sasakura passes by her walking back to base, and gives her a ride on his motorbike to go eat a meat pie together at the local diner. He informs Kusanagi, that the Teacher had left Rostock, which Kusanagi already knew about.
Down to Heaven (novel)Edit
Sasakura yells at Kusanagi to stay awake after she is injured in the neck from a dogfight. At the hospital, he informs her that the backside of her neck got injured from splinters of the Sanka canopy, and leaves soon afterwards. During Kusanagi's hospital stay, Sasakura calls in to check up on her, to which Kusanagi convinces Sasakura to bring her books and pictures of her Sanka to the hospital next time he visits. The next day, Sasakura arrives wearing a suit and bringing Kusanagi her books, some cigarettes, and roses. Sasakura stays with Kusanagi a good portion of the day, removing the locks to the window for her as well so she could get some fresh air.
After Kusanagi leaves the hospital and gets sent to the city where Rostock is headquartered in order to fight Teacher, Sasakura is also sent to the airport where she is in order to tune up her Sanka to fight the Teacher. Sasakura was not happy about the fact that Kusanagi was to be going against Lynx, but immediately got to work on Kusanagi's Sanka as Kusanagi was counting on him.
The Sky Crawlers (film/novel)Edit
In the novel, Sasakura interacts and speaks a lot more with Yuichi Kannami than in the film, and also reveals a lot more information about Jinro Kurita and Suito Kusanagi. It is revealed that Sasakura lives in a reinforced basement in the hangar where he does his work on base. Sasakura also discusses more of his experiments and ideas with Kannami. As to Kusanagi in previous novels, Sasakura seems to really treat Kannami as a friend and will teach him about engines and other matters. In the film, Sasakura is not shown talking as much to anyone as much as in the novels and is shown to be more distant and experienced, although what is shown in the film mostly also follows the novel as well.
Sasakura tends to be a loner, but will hang out with people considered friends such as Kusanagi and the mechanics on base he/she is in charge of. According to Kusanagi, Sasakura is the type of person who can't tell you a funny story and will rather give you an ideological one. Sasakura has a wisdom he/she will tend to release through sayings. This does not mean that Sasakura is not friendly; Sasakura tends to smile alot with people he/she knows, and is shown to be courteous and is always willing to help those in need, such as Fuko and Kusanagi. Occassionally, Sasakura will have a humorous conversation or can be found doing some odd experiment by those close to him, mainly Kusanagi as is shown in the novels. Sasakura lives in the hangar where he/she does work on the base, a surprise to both Kusanagi and later on Yuichi Kannami.
Sasakura considers himself/herself to be a genius, and he/she may as well be one. Sasakura becomes one of, if not the best, mechanic Rostock has, quickly gaining the trust of pilots in his/her ability as a mechanic, including Lynx who had his doubts about Sasakura. Sasakura is able to dismantle and overhaul a motorbike by him/herself in a few days, putting everything back together as if it were new. Sasakura also easily comes up with solutions to mechanical problems, such as the Sanka Mk-B's engine breathing problem, to which he/she comes up with a device in the engine to fix that. That device is later implemented on all of the Sanka Mk-B's after testing it on Yuichi Kannami's aircraft. Sasakura is highly gifted with mechanics, able to learn different systems rapidly such as Sanka and Suiga, and in his/her spare time is usually found experimenting on or with something with glee.
Sasakura and Suito get close to each other because they are both loners, according to Kusanagi herself . Sasakura is one of the first few to actually get close to Kusanagi as a friend. Sasakura acts as a mentor to Kusanagi, and is the first to show her around the area when she gets to base. Sasakura also teaches her about relationships she doesn't know about and gives Kusanagi information, as well as being a source of help and consolation for Kusanagi as her friend. In the novel, Sasakura will have various comedic interactions with Kusanagi as he does experiments near the hangar and calls her when she is in the hospital, amongst other times. In the film, Kusanagi and Sasakura seem to rarely interact, but still seem close, as Sasakura rushed to her aid when she was shot down and seems to understand Kusanagi's pain of living as a Kildren.
Sasakura knows about Fuko's relationship with Lynx, and informs Kusanagi about it at the diner. He carries the very drunk Fuko back to the base when they encounter her and almost run her over coming back from said diner. Sasakura knows about Fuko and her friends, but doesn't seem to actively get to know them as much as Lynx and later on Tokino and Kannami do. Sasakura will help Fuko and has a basic respect for her, but doesn't seem to interact with her personally. In the film, Sasakura notices Fuko and her friend Kusumi on base, and advises Kannami to get them to leave before Kusanagi returns, wary of Kusanagi's attitude towards them and wanting to protect them.