Golgo 13 (ゴルゴ13 Gorugo Sātīn?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Takao Saito, published in Shogakukan's Big Comic magazine since January 1969. In 1976, the manga won the 21st Shogakukan Manga Award for general manga. The series follows the titular character, a professional assassin for hire.
The manga is one of the longest running adult manga in Japan and has sold over 200 million copies in various formats, including compilation books. It has been adapted into two live-action feature films, two animated films, a television series and five video games.
Golgo 13, also known by the pseudonym Duke Togo, is a professional assassin. His age and birthplace are unknown and there is no consensus in the worldwide intelligence community as to his true identity. Most of his jobs are completed through the use of a customized, scoped M16 rifle.
Duke's alias ("Golgo 13") contains references to the death of Jesus Christ. Golgo is short for Golgotha, the place of Jesus' crucifixion. The number 13 is considered an unlucky number in Christianity because there were thirteen participants at Jesus' Last Supper before his execution. Also, Golgo 13's logo is a skeleton wearing a Crown of Thorns.
The origin of Golgo 13 is left in complete mystery, his age and birthplace both completely unknown. Various episodes throughout the Golgo 13 series have tried answering this mystery, but all of the origin episodes end with a note of uncertainty that never make sense if the story's theory was definitely true.
- The list of episodes guessing origin of Golgo 13:
- Episode 25 "飢餓共和国".
- Episode 56 "潜入ルート G3".
- Episode 64 "モスクワ人形" .
- Episode 68 "日本人·東健作" .
- Episode 100 "芹沢家殺人事件".
- Episode 127 "おろしや間諜伝説".
- Episode 145 "蒼狼漂う果て".
- Episode 155 "モンゴルの鷹".
- Episode 179 "毛沢東の遺言".
- Episode 199 "河豚の季節".
- Episode 277 "すべて人民のもの".
- Episode 293 "禿鷲伝説".
- Episode 357 "血液サンプルG".
- The list of episodes where Golgo 13 calls himself whether he says truth or lied.
- Episode 4 "色あせた紋章".
- Episode 92 "ヒドラ".
- Episode 113 "落日の死影".
- Episode 193 "KING OF BIRDS".
With respect to the character's age, a large number of stories are dated as they are centered around current events of the time. However, Golgo 13's age has not increased significantly to account for these events. He has also suffered multiple injuries on his body.
Golgo 13 began serialization in the January 1969 issue of the monthly manga anthology Big Comic published by Shogakukan and is currently in serialization. The collected volumes of the stories have been published by LEED Publishing since 1989 and are available in tankōbon and bunkokan editions. As of January 2009, 155 volumes of the tankōbon edition has been published, while the bunkokan edition has 122 volumes.
In 1986, LEED Publishing Company released four Golgo 13 trade paperbacks translated by Patrick Connolly.
In 1989 and 1990, LEED and Vic Tokai published two new Golgo 13 comic books, as part of the promotion for two Golgo 13 video games. The comics were released to the US public via a mail-in offer with the purchase of the games and were later even found packaged with the video games. Each issue contained one complete story and had nothing to do with the storylines of the video games themselves.
In 1991, LEED Publishing and Viz Media published The Professional: Golgo 13, a three part mini-series. The Professional was a re-printing of "The Argentine Tiger", a story where Golgo is hired by the British Government to assassinate the reportedly dead ex-president of Argentina Juan Perón.
In 2006, Golgo 13 was brought back by Viz Media as part of the Viz Signature collection. The stories are picked from the forty-year history of the manga, and do not necessarily represent the original's order of publication. A total of thirteen volumes were published, with the thirteenth volume being published on February 19, 2008. Each volume ends with an editorial commentary on Golgo 13 as a cultural phenomenon in Japan.
Toei Company produced a live-action film simply titled Golgo 13 in 1973, directed by Junya Sato and starring Ken Takakura in the title role. It was followed by Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon in 1977, directed by Yukio Noda and starring Sonny Chiba in the title role.
Golgo 13: The Professional
Golgo 13: The Professional, known simply as Golgo 13 in Japan, is a 1983 animated featured film. Tetsurō Sagawa provided the voice of Golgo 13.
Golgo 13: Queen Bee
Golgo 13: Queen Bee is Golgo's second animated film, released in 1998. Tesshō Genda provided the voice of Golgo 13.
The Golgo 13 animated television series was produced by The Answer Studio, which aired on TV Tokyo and other stations from April 11, 2008 to March 27, 2009, lasting 50 episodes. Hiroshi Tachi provided the voice of Golgo 13. The series has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, with the first set to be released July 13, 2010.
The TV series is currently airing in North America on the Anime Network on Demand channel. It is also currently airing on television in the Phillipines by TV5 and in South Korea by Animax Korea.
- "Take the Wave" by Naifu (eps. 1-25)
- "So Far Away" by Pinc Inc (eps. 26-50)
- "Garasu no Haiwei (Highway of Glass)" by doa (eps. 1-12)
- "Yume no Hitotsu" by Garnet Crow (eps. 13-25)
- "Sono Egao Yo Eien ni" by Kitahara Aiko (eps. 26-38)
- "Mou Kimi wo Hitori ni Sasenai" by U-KA Saegusa in DB (eps. 39-50)
Five video games have been released: Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, The Mafat Conspiracy and three Japan-only Arcade games, similar to the Silent Scope series, but with a few differences. The rifle only contained a magnifying lens, not a small monitor like Silent Scope. The screen itself would close up on the target only when the sensor on the underside of the rifle base was activated by the player leaning their shoulder into it. Each mission was preceded by a 8-10 panel manga briefing. The first two releases ran on Namco System 12 hardware, with the third on Namco System 10 hardware. A Golgo 13 game, Golgo 13: File G-13 o Oe, was released for the Nintendo DS on June 18, 2009 by Marvelous Entertainment. From initial reports, the game appears to consist of a large quiz mode, featuring questions spanning the 40 year history of Golgo 13, as well as several mini-games, including the "Don't Stand Behind Me" game, in which the player, as Golgo 13, must punch people who walk up behind him. At the end of each episode of the anime, the tagline was "Don't stand behind him, if you value your life." The game is played holding the DS on its side, also known as "book style" and surprisingly seems to be rated the Japanese equivalent of General/All Ages, which suggests the game won't feature much or any graphic violence or adult/mature subject matter, some of Golgo 13's trademarks.
Parodies: In the Yu-gi-oh manga Series a character modeled off of Golgo 13 takes on Yugi and his friends in a deadly match of laser tag.
Saito's work on the series has been compared to the novels of John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth, as the stories are "dark, meticulously constructed [and] painstakingly realistic". The Daily Vanguard calls Duke "a badass, something like a cross between Dirty Harry and Metal Gear Solid's Solid Snake"
Jc DuBois of Dragon's Anime has criticized those who say that most of Golgo 13's hits are impossible to do since there are problems that would prevent him from shooting straight such as the wind or with the coriolis effect, saying that the "whole mystique of Golgo 13 is that he's just that damn good. He CAN make those shots – and he can do it with one shot."
- "ゴルゴ13（さいとう・プロ）" [Golgo 13] (in Japanese). Saito Production. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
- "小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- "Golgo 13 profile" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo.
- Washington, Darius. "Anime Reviews: The Professional". EX: The Online World of Anime & Manga.
- "ゴルゴ13 英語版" (in Japanese). Saito Production. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- "Japanese manga series Golgo 13 is still important after 40 years". Vanguard. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- ‘GOLGO 13’ ANIME HITS JAPANESE TV. Retrieved on July 6, 2008.
- "Section23, Sentai Add Golgo 13 With English Dub". Anime News Network. 2010-04-23.
- "Anime Network Schedule". Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "TV5: Napagkakaisa ang Magkaiba" [Differences Unite]. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Prime Garden, Discography, Official doa page" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Discography Page, official Aiko Kitahara page" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Spec, Official Golgo 13: File G-13 o Oe" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- YouTube - NEC Commercial Featuring Golgo 13
- YouTube - Black Black Commercial Featuring Golgo 13
- "Official Golgo 13 M16 Page" (in Japanese). Tokyo Marui. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "figma ゴルゴ13" (in Japanese). Amazon Japan. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- "Golgo 13 figma 042 action figure by Max Factory". 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- Kimlinger, Carl (2006-09-08). "Golgo 13 GN 4 - Review". Anime News Network.
- JC DuBois (2008-09-09). "Golgo 13 (TV, 2008)". Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Golgo 13 Official website (Japanese)
- Saito Production's Golgo 13 website
- Golgo 13 (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Ed Chavez podcast
- Golgo 13 at Facebook.com