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Born in Yamagata Prefecture, Ito sold his first script to the Urusei Yatsura TV series. As a member of the Headgear collective, he began a long-term collaboration with Mamoru Oshii, leading to their association with the Patlabor series, for which Ito wrote many of the best episodes-Ito's wife Akemi Takada was a character designer on the same show. Ito is one of the best writers working in anime; his arguable masterpiece being the Ghost in the Shell movie, for which he artfully translated Masamune Shirow's complex manga to the screen. He has subsequently moved into live-action films, scripting a Gamera movie and also Mamoru Oshii's Avalon, which, the director ominously commented in interviews, has been their last collaboration. Oshii's subsequent work has been demonstrably poorer for the absence of Ito's contribution at the scripting stage.