Review: Golgo 13 Episode 01

2 minute read

Haven’t done as much writing lately as I should, so I’m going to give myself a kick in the pants by reviewing some of the anime I am currently watching for my own amusement. I don’t normally keep up with what is airing in Japan, but this season had two shows I didn’t want to miss. The first is Macross Frontier, a must watch since I first heard it announced. I’ll be catching up on that one after I catch up on the other series I’m following, Goglo 13. I’ll see if I can post a screen shot or two with each review but no promises.

For those unfamiliar with Golgo 13, the premise can be stated quite succinctly; Duke Togo is the one of the, if not the, world’s top assassins. If you want someone killed at a precise time, in a precise place, and a precise manner, Golgo 13 is the man to hire. There are no vast conspiracies or complicated pasts; he kills people for a living and does it extremely well. Yes, this is my guilty pleasure, a show all about style rather than substance.

The first episode opens remarkably with Duke in a US jail for of all things a bar fight. However, it is all a part of his plan to flee the country; he has fulfilled his contract to kill a high ranking mafia boss. Now, the rest of the organization is seeking revenge; fate intervenes when a plane hijacking coincides with his incarceration. The CIA get wind of his predicament and offer him a deal; make an impossible shot to take out the hijacker, and we’ll make sure you get out of the country.

There is little else to say about the plot; Duke makes his preparations, makes the impossible shot, and gets the hell out of Dodge. The fun of watching any Golgo 13 is the methodical, calculating yet innovative way Duke plans each operation. He is the anti-James Bond; rather than a debonair playboy, his appeal is the relentless stoic exterior that betrays no emotion about his job. He is a master craftsman who has dedicated body and soul to his profession.

This probably will sum up the entire series, so I will try with each review to point out the “cool” parts of each episode rather than do a true review. The animation so far has been quite good though it tends to dark color schemes. A lot of shadows are used to give Duke an even more menacing look. The theme songs are quite catchy, somewhere between hard rock and typical pop. The one element I wonder about is the use of a rose crowned skeleton in the logo. Will they actually go away from a pure “job of the week” format? Or did someone just get a hold of a picture book of Grateful Dead illustrations and thought it would look “kakko ii”.

3 comments

Daniel Zelter on
The first is Macross Frontier, a must watch since I first heard it announced.

You sure about that? It looks like the company's answer to Gundam Seed to me...

Yes, this is my guilty pleasure, a show all about style rather than substance.

But what about the movie and OVA? I generally like the manga, but only when it doesn't go for cheap shock like in that Viz volume 9.

He is the anti-James Bond

Actually, Saito worked on semi-unofficial versions of that series. http://patrickmacias.blogs.com/er/2005/12/one_does_not_us.html#comments

The theme songs are quite catchy, somewhere between hard rock and typical pop.

Disagree, there, but I guess the crappy music they're passing for j-pop nowadays has gotten to you. ^_-

The one element I wonder about is the use of a rose crowned skeleton in the logo.

That's nothing new for the series, actually. It has to do with the Jesus getting killed at Golgotha reference which basically inspired the name.

Luis Cruz on

@Daniel

Macross Frontier has yet to disappoint me; it isn't hitting the same marks as the original series, but I'm enjoying the characters and story so far. Once I catch up on Golgo, I'll be blathering on about why.

As for the other Golgo properties, I've only seen the first movie, and that one was still more style than substance but fun to watch occasionally. I should have realized the the Golgotha reference in the skeleton, but those roses and a skeleton makes my mind leap right to the Dead.

Daniel Zelter on
As for the other Golgo properties, I've only seen the first movie, and that one was still more style than substance but fun to watch occasionally.

Yeah, it's one of those guilty pleasures for me, too.

I should have realized the the Golgotha reference in the skeleton, but those roses and a skeleton makes my mind leap right to the Dead.

You might actually be right about the reference. Saito likes to appropriate real names and places without permission, and only gets away with it, because of that "these characters are fictional" clause. I think you'd get a kick out of the manga Bill Clinton. ^_-