Golgo 13 is not his real name. Then again, neither is Duke Togo, Tadashi Togo, or any number of the aliases he goes by. A man of mystery, not even the world’s most prominent intelligence agencies can determine who Golgo really is, or just where he came from. But all agree that his skills are nothing short of legendary.
Armed with a custom M16, Golgo is willing to take any job for any agency, from the FBI to the KGB. He has completed every contract he has ever taken and will work for anyone who can meet his price. He is both the greatest weapon and the greatest threat to any nation; no one is safe once they are in Golgo’s sights.
#1: "Glass Highway (ガラスのハイウェイ)" by Doa (eps 01-12) #2: "Yume no Hitotsu (夢のひとつ)" by Garnet Crow (eps 13-25) #3: "Sono Hohoemi yo Eien ni (その笑顔よ 永遠に)" by Kitahara Aiko (eps 26-38) #4: "Mou Kimi wo Hitori ni Sasenai (もう君をひとりにさせない)" by Yuuka Saegusa (eps 39-50)
As I finally came across the entire subtitled series, it is time to update the review I posted quite some time ago.
To start with, this is an anime that gives off an oldschool-ish feeling and that is to be expected, since the manga started publishing about 40 years ago. The drawing style clearly shows it: all characters have very serious and rough faces, showing each and every wrinkle. The scenery is quite good. Even though it might lack detail, it clearly isn't the type you would shove off as a picture-based-and-streched-over-the-horizon background.
There are no major problems with the sound either. At first it might
feel as if there is a lack of music, but as the series goes on, you will probably start to notice the recurring tones. Some might find them a tad repetitive, but considering the retro feeling this anime gives off, some repetitiveness could actually be considered as a tool to emphasize that special kind of feel. I have no complaints about the opening themes or the ending themes either.
When it comes to the characters, it is quite difficult to provide an evaluation. As this show is centered on Duke Tougou (a.k.a. Golgo 13) going on solo assignments, you will not be seeing any other major characters. There is not much to say about character development either. I mean, we have a cold-blooded sniper with nearly inhumane skills, unwavering principles and, most of the time, a perfect example of a poker face. He is certainly the most silent protagonist I have ever seen and we can't "hear" his thoughts either, so what is there to develop (not to mention how)? Still, it feels like Golgo becomes a tad more talkative and expressive towards the end of the series, so it is possible to interpret it as a slight emotional shift, though the reason for it is anyone's guess. Despite this, though, all the characters feel quite real and alive; they all have individual personalities and different attitudes towards Golgo, so the anime does not lose ground on this aspect either.
Where it does, though, is the story. Or, more precisely, the lack thereof. The series is episodic and there is no relation between the assignments whatsoever. In fact, if your younger sibling wanted to make a prank and rearranged the playlist while you were making a sandwich, you would not even notice it. I am guessing the studio picked the missions from the manga randomly, hence the lack of cohesion. Yet, despite the anime not having a coherent plot as a whole, every episode has a different and unique story, various circumstances and characters that continue to pique the viewers interest and provide tons of entertainment.
To conclude, anime series with no plot tend to lose their appeal very quickly. However, Golgo 13 is quite enjoyable. It just has something in it that makes you look forward to Tougou's next assignment and keeps you wondering, just how he is going to demonstrate his prowess. When his enemies underestimate him or make wrong deductions, you just get the proud feeling "That's my Golgo! Those bastards don't have a chance! Show them who's boss!", or something along those lines.
If you are a fan of super-manliness, protagonists having nearly inhumane skills and an oldschool feel wrapping it all up, this is one show you should definitely watch.
Well the Final Episode has finally been subbed, so it feels like time for a full review. Welcome to Golgo 13, The epitome of anime manliness. A masterful sniper who can take out any target, from nearly any distance with a single shot.
Each episode is non-sequential, and has no bearing on future or previous episodes so you can essentially watch the episodes in no particular order and have more or less the same enjoyment. Each episode begins with Duke Togo aka Golgo 13, receiving a request to kill a target, and the rest of the episode usually involves Golgo 13 undertaking some
masterful feat to accomplish his goal. There is no story overall other than following Golgo 13's exploits, however each individual story is fairly unique in regards to how it is presented, each supporting character's backdrops and storylines. That being said, each episode falls back into same formula and you essentially know how each episode will end.
Ah characters... or should i say "character" as each episode introduces us to only one character who returns every episode. (excluding the gun craftsman who appears a few times). As previously stated, Golgo 13 is the best sniper in the world, he can take out any target, regardless of the circumstances. Also a master in hand to hand combat and short ranged armed combat. Golgo 13 has the outward appearance of a cold emotionless killer, amazingly well built, and has his share of battle scars from earlier days. Quite possibly the manliest man of anime. That being said though, he undergoes very little character development over the entire series. There is a plethora of other characters introduced, usually with unique stories, or backgrounds, however many either end up dead (targets) or will never appear again throughout the series.
Clean artwork, great colouring and shading. I was a big fan of the gloomy atmosphere that the shading gives the series. even in the bright and sunshining days, there still exists that sort of darkness. Character design is somewhat lacking however in this series. Although for the first few episodes you don't really notice it, a general trend starts to develop... A lot of the supporting characters start to look the same. There are soo many supporting characters introduced throughout the series, that most of the henchmen,a few of the targets, and many of the supporting/extra women throughout tend to look nearly identical to each other. Fluid animations throughout, amazing backdrops, and overall pretty good stuff
the First Opening: "take the wave" from naifu was actually quite catchy, Also a big fan of " Glass no Highway from doa. other op and eds were alright. I thought the seiyu for Golgo 13; Tachi Hiroshi did a great job voicing Duke Togo (Golgo 13), It was a cold emotionless voice that just fit the character perfectly.
This series was fairly enjoyable, The viewing experience was over a period of 8 or so months, so there was a decent gap inbetween watching, Although thinking about it now, This likely isn't one of those anime where you can just keep watching all the episodes back to back and in 1-4 sittings, Each episode will tend to get very repetitive over time. But as a simple, sit back and watch every now and then show, this anime has merit
A pretty good experience to watch, Has some pretty enjoyable moments, and a few twists and turns along the way. Check it out if you find the time
The name is 13. Golgo 13. Our main dude happens when James Bond meets terminator and then everything gets turned more Japan and more manly.
Golgo is an elite sniper. Man with a mission. All you need is 3 million USD and he will make any of your wishes happen. Need to embarrass a violist during his play? No worries! Golgo can shoot the string of a moving instrument from 500 feet away, eyes closed while parrying flying katanas. Here's a meme. Who would win? Bulletproof, 30 inch thick class wall or one big boy with a toy gun? There is literally nothing this dude
can't make happen.
Story-wise, Golgo 13 is entirely episodic show. One man, one mission, one episode. The best part is how consistently fucking amazing the writing is. For example, during one episode, he trolls the police forces in 5 different ways and they all fall under his master troll, but it is not a keikaku doori tier meme, everything is planned, shown to the viewer. and works because the police officers are doing their job in the exact way they are supposed to. This other time, our dude got a life sentence in prison just to break out of the "unbreakable" jail with an inmate, purely to shoot him moments later. There are only 7 episodes that were more mediocre than amazing, which leaves similar shows such as City Hunter in absolute shame. Nearly every episode is unique and so different from one another that watching the show becomes nothing less than hooking. It's impressive how knowledgeable the writer is of so many different subject and how he manages to create such successful episodes around all of them.
During the run, the amount of times Golgo smiles is 0. He does not smile. This is a serious anime. So. Damn. Serious. No matter how ridiculously awesome and amusing the events get, there is absolutely no room for character centric comedy. He also has sex with something like 34 different women during the run, and no matter how much he likes these women, he never shows it in any other way than sex. He never speaks, he never answers their feelings nor shows an expression of any sort, and in case they happen to witness him practicing his profession, there is no soft spot in his hard. Any witness dies. There is no limit to how Man and how loyal to himself this dude is. If there ever was a person who doesn't break his character, it is him.
What really serves this series is the English dub which made the thing incredibly enjoyable to watch. Golgo himself is voiced with a guy who sounds like a real professional killer. Especially meaningless side characters have been voiced according to their character archetype. Different English pronunciation have not been left out as there are everything from "oi m8" aussies to Irish drunktards. Some of the dialog has been seasoned with insane puns and more of the witty side banter. Like in one episodes, there is this guy - who is paralyzed below the weist - being targeted by Golgo 13, so he flees on an island and covers the entire island with bulletproof matter. When Golgo 13 arrives there with his helicopter, this dude's friends and bodyguards go to him and say "Looks like you can't even take one step out of this island." Pure comedic gold.
Art-wise, here's a tip: the bluray is a disaster. Not as bad as, let's say Death Note remaster, but it was a failed attempt. Get the DVD instead. The art itself follows the more classic side seen on mature anime series that were made with 90's style without the typical anime bs. Gungrave, Speed Grapher and practically every old Gonzo production are good example of the familiar and welcoming art style this anime has. In terms of animation, compromises are rarely ever made. Story telling and visuals are prioritized over cheap effects and atmosphere killing tricks that mainly would remind the viewer that they are, indeed, watching an anime.
I highly recommend Golgo 13 to people who like their anime manly and mature, served ice cold with nothing but respect towards the audience.
Golgo 13 is an ongoing manga written by Saito Takao. A really long running manga at that. It started in 1968. It wasn't until 2008-2009 that it finally got a proper anime adaptation, although it got an OVA in 1998 and an anime film in 1983. The fifty episode series was handled by The Answer Studio, which I don't believe I've ever seen anything else by them. So, after a forty year wait is this anime any good?
Golgo 13 is one of those series without a major narrative. It's episodic with none of the episodes really affecting what comes after. You could actually watch them
in a completely random order and it wouldn't matter in the slightest. The basic set-up is that Duke Togo, the titular Golgo 13, is a professional assassin, quite possibly the best there is, who charges three million per hit. Each episode shows a different mission
That leads me to the biggest issue with the series. Mainly, it's very formulaic. You can start an episode and know that Golgo is going to face some kind of challenge and kill his target. It's the type of thing you encounter with “monster of the week” series, except with a lot more machismo and a lot of those series are for younger audiences which makes the formula more acceptable. We also get quite a few sex scenes that exist solely for the sake of showing how manly and amazing Golgo is. He can just lie back and think of England, completely stone-faced, while she writhes on top of him, feeling great pleasure. From a meta standpoint, it makes sense. This series is pretty blatantly intended to be a power fantasy for us men, after all. However, the scenes largely don't actually do anything. They're mostly just an excuse to have bare breasts.
That being said, I will praise the series for actually having a lot of episode variety. It is quite good at devising creative scenarios for Golgo's missions. You know he's going to win in the end, but there are times that you're really curious about how he's going to do it. The episodes also take varied approaches. Some focus on the people around Golgo, including his intended victim for the episode. Some focus on his preparations or on building up the difficulty of the scenario. Some put the focus on building up an antagonist for Golgo. And, to the series credit, a lot of the scenarios are really intense and compelling, in spite of you knowing what the end result is going to be. I'll give the series full credit for that. I will also say that the whole aesthetic of exaggerated machismo can be pretty entertaining.
Golgo, as a character, isn't particularly compelling. He's the epitome of machismo but there's really not much to his character aside from that. Which is clearly what the series is going for. The series also strives to develop some of the one shot characters in order to make you hate his targets or feel for them, depending on the episode. Or in order to try and make the world around our macho protagonist fleshed out and lend it credence. The success of those efforts varies quite a bit. In some episodes, it really works. In others it comes across as forced and falls flat. To the series' credit I will say that they succeed more often than they fail.
The art is mostly really nice with detailed background, strong character designs, and visually interesting action sequences. That being said, there are some weaknesses to it. There are points where they get lazy with the characters and the people Golgo kills frequently have unintentionally silly expressions on their faces when they get shot. It's like the folks at Answer were under the impression that people spontaneously decide to enter a silly face contest right before bullets hit them and their faces just instantly undergo rigor mortis.
The actors in this do fine. Tachi Hiroshi pulls off the very stoic attitude of Golgo well. Although one could make the point that it's not difficult since he just has to refrain from emoting. When it comes to all of the characters who show up for an episode, which is most of them, the performances range from decent to really good. The music is nicely done and really complements the whole aesthetic nicely. I especially like the little victory composition.
There isn't any in this series.
So, that's Golgo 13. What did I think of it a a whole? Well, it certainly has its problems but it also provides some interesting scenarios that make you wonder how Golgo is going to manage and its overly macho execution can be entertaining. My advice is, if the concept sounds like it could be entertaining viewing to you, give it a go but don't try to watch a lot of episodes in one sitting. For myself, I actually did mostly enjoy it and my final rating is going to be a solid 7/10. Next week, Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl.
Anime aimed at teens is a lot of fun. But anime aimed at an older crowd is on a whole other level! You get more violence, gore, nudity and sex than you bargained for...which isn't entirely a bad thing.