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GOLGO 13 #1 - - Special Review

Step aside, pretty boy! This is a real man's anime.

Oh boy… this is one manly, manly anime.

It’s so manly that nearly every man in this show has the burly physique of a pro linebacker.

It’s so manly that I was thinking the Golgo 13 just had to be modeled after legendary J-cinema tough guy, Sonny Chiba - - and, sure enough, Chiba actually did play the character once.

Seriously, the love for 70’s exploitation flick machismo is so… thick that I was always thinking of that other macho, multi-media grindhouse throwback, BLACK DYNAMITE. See, it’s not enough that Duke’s so cool that he’ll take four hours off during a hostage crisis... or that he’s willing to blow his entire mammoth paycheck on the right equipment... or that he’s able to hit a dead-eye head from two klicks away…

...Nah, what clinches it is that Golgo 13’s apparently so damn good in the sack that he’ll get a top dollar call girl desperately offering to cancel all her other clients because no other man in the world can satisfy her like he can.

That’s the exact sort of scenario that’d be played for laughs in a Rudy Ray Moore flick but, man, it’s actually funnier here for how it’s seeming to be played straight in the most shameless bid at the male ego. The image of big man Golgo just laying there, stone faceD, while this hooker writhes in mind-melting ecstasy on top of him is a sight more ridiculous than any of the plethora of anime/manga shot calls in BINBOGAMI-GA.

I just… I just… man, this show will put hair on your chest.

Going into this, I was expecting to talk a little about how anime audiences can have pretty short memories about titles that were huge in decades past. Watching it, I have to think that the crew looked at the old GOLGO stuff and decided it was so dated that they really had to play it up into a caricature. This offered some solid thrills - - don’t get me wrong - - but if they weren’t in on joke, then this had to be one of the most unintentionally things I’ve ever seen.

Watch this episode, "At Pin Hole" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator is online on Sept. 27, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.

A friend of mine is big into old anime and he put me on to the recent series of this. I haven't seen it all, but I've loved every episode. Golgo reminds me of a good Vin Disel role where basically write dialog and then go through every line and reduce like 50% of it down to 5 words or less and the remainder of it is removed and replaced with grimace in asterisks.

No_name_here staff on Sept. 27, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.

@sickVisionz said:

Golgo reminds me of a good Vin Disel role where basically write dialog and then go through every line and reduce like 50% of it down to 5 words or less and the remainder of it is removed and replaced with grimace in asterisks.

Ha! I love the way you break that down. Riddick!

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 27, 2012 at 10:45 p.m.

Golo is the anti hero.Err anti villian... err Anti something that parts for sure.Pro killer maybe?One can not watch the shows an take it serious.No more than one can watch the A-team as a serious drama.It just is what it is.Some times pretty fun some times it leaves you wondering "if i only practiced with that rifle a little more..."

80's cheese action at its best.When you know every one else that is not named Golo is a red shirt.If Frank Castle had a favorite anime character...it would be Golo 13.Nuff said.

Om1kronon Sept. 28, 2012 at 3:25 a.m.

Togo is such a bad ass, he is way too raw in this anime. The most hilarious stuff ever. It's like the drug scene's from walk hard. "you don't want none of this shit, even if it were possible that shot is impossible." and goglo says with his piercing eyes "I think I kinda want to make the shot happen regardless, then the narrator will explain how I achieved this." An anime about a big ass Japanese assasin. Or a physics major who really loves m16's and manga?

Who knows, but 2 seasons of this on netflix were awesome. I especially enjoyed his movies when I was a teenager.

CapeBarneson Sept. 28, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.

If you can, look into "Golgo 13: The Professional." Awesome 80's anime film, in spite of its flaws.

I love this show. I wish we had more manga volumes in English though.

Count_Zeroon Oct. 22, 2012 at 8:49 p.m.

I read a little bit of the manga, and there was nothing tongue in cheek here. Duke Togo's character is that he's a stone-faced emotionless killer who is the best at everything ever - capable of providing mind blowing sex in the missionary position and woman-on-top (which is good because those are the only positions he does), and capable of hitting any target at any time with any weapon - though he favors his customized M-16 assault rifle, because the M-16 was high-tech and new when the manga started in 1969.

It's really the ultimate conservative salary-man wish-fulfillment manga. Togo looks foreign, but he's part Japanese so he's not too foreign. He uses sexual positions that everyone knows and which most salarymen (not just in Japan) have the physical endurance to handle. He gets to travel to exotic locations. He never messes up at anything. He's got that samurai stoicism.

Duke Togo just might be the biggest Gary Stu in the history of anime and manga - and he's designed to be that way. Fortunately, that Samurai stoicism and the way everything around it is played so deadly seriously is what keeps the character from being obnoxious (at least in my eyes). The events of the series are so serious and somber that they can't be taken seriously at all. If the people working on the show actively tried to make us, the viewing audience, take things seriously, I think the show would be terrible.

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