Do you like long walks on the beaches? Perhaps you relish the days when you can go skipping through town holding your partners hand? Or possibly enjoying a fine evening while watching the sunset slowly descend across the horizon? Well, neither does professional assassin for hire Duke Togo a.k.a. Golgo 13.
A Living Weapon
What does the Mafia, FBI, CIA, MI6, British Intelligence, War Vets, Snipers, Paparazzi, and Professional Assassins all have in common with each other? They ALL learned the hard way not to piss off Duke Togo. If you have 3 million dollars and a problem that seems impossible to solve, then you’re in luck. Golgo 13 will take any job; from shooting out the violin strings on your arch nemesis during a solo ensemble, to snuffing out a human organ harvesting tycoon that lives in an impenetrable fortress.
Over The Top
Golgo 13 was created in 1969, with multiple movies (including two live-action films), Manga, OVA’s and series being produced over the decades. In fact, Golgo 13 is the longest running Manga in publication to date. The veteran’s anime club on the MAL website recommended this anime for me to watch. I can’t say I’m disappointed either. While this series isn’t recommended for younger audiences, adults may find it a bit more to their standards. Golgo 13 is a world renowned assassin that is feared above all others due to the fact he has completed every single mission ever given to him. Each episode is its own unique story that plays out like a 1980’s style TV series. It almost reminds me of a more graphic and sinister version of the A-Team. While some episodes of the series may seem a bit over the top to certain viewers; including one where Golgo has to break out of an island prison with a specific prisoner. Other episodes have been described as “alarmingly accurate” by some of my fellow former military brethren.
Each episode Golgo 13 is presented with a new task to complete. This lack of a consistent plot to follow may turn some viewers off from enjoying the series. For those who aren’t set on franchise anime with a clearly defined path from the first to last episode, Golgo 13 presents a unique tale that sets itself apart from other standalone series. Sometimes people get in his way and pay dearly for their mistake, while others hire him because the only other being (Angel of Death) capable of doing the task isn’t available. Moral boundaries play no role in the decisions Golgo 13 makes when taking a job. He has no political, moral, social issues to distract him. In other words, his character takes on the persona of a robot designed for one thing, to complete what ever task it is given at any cost. His main weapon of choice through the majority of episodes is the M16a2 that habitually gets retro-fitted for each mission.
The Good: The characters, atmosphere, and majority of story lines.
The Bad: Some English voice cast actors are horrible, along with a few episodes that don’t live up to the intensity of others.
For viewers who desire a more realistic, gritty, approach to anime, then Golgo 13 won’t disappoint. The series is 50 episodes long, while not every single one is great, the majority of episodes make it well worth watching.
- Video: 4/5 (Artwork is fine, just a few minor flaws)
- Voice: 3/5 (English dub is bad, Japanese version is better)
- Music: 4/5 (Music is good, they don’t add a lot of variety through the first 26 episodes though)
- Plot: 4/5 (Each episode has to be taken on face value, 3-4 suck, but the majority are highly recommended)
- Overall: 4/5 (A good series for anyone who likes James Bond or A-Team type of shows)