Animation: Weak
Depth: Excellent
Design: Weak
Characters: Weak
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (50 episodes)

Vintage: 2008


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Verdict: Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page

Golgo 13 - TV

Summary: >

An Asian man who never shakes hands, doesn't allow people behind him and never smiles. His demeanor makes him conspicuous, but his actions have made him into a legend. He's the professional among professionals: the assassin Golgo 13. Time after time Golgo 13 has taken missions which were thought to be impossible, yet he always pulls through without a scratch. If you can afford 3 million dollars, you can hire the best of the best. Just don't cross him.

Thoughts: >

A bit of history first. Golgo 13 is an ongoing manga which was first published in 1969 (that's not a typo). He's got a lineage that goes back father than most anime fans have been alive. The most enduring thing about Golgo 13 is that the series has NEVER compromised. Golgo 13 has never smiled, it doesn't matter if he stubs his toe, is getting laid, wins the lottery or smells chocolate chip cookies, he's had the same expression on his face for over 40 years. And he never fails. You might think at first that this is pretty lame, but also consider the title never sold itself short. Golgo never stooped to cheesy bad comedy attempts, adopting some bratty kid in an attempt to fish for sympathy, or anything like that.

Some compare Golgo 13 to James Bond but I think that's inaccurate. Because Golgo 13 never fails, there is never any question in his mission. Now that might sound boring, however the fact that Golgo's feats are the stuff of legend is where the story really takes shape. In that way the series is more like Mission Impossible. We know the result, but how in the heck is he going to do it? Taken from other perspectives, sometimes the hit happens in the first few minutes, and we follow around detectives who try to piece together how Golgo did his seemingly impossible feat. Make no mistake, they know he did it too and in fact sometimes the stories aren't about the hit so much as they are about how Golgo got away with it.

The main detractor for this title is the animation is poor and choppy at best. There is no bigger picture, each episode is self contained and the cast of characters changes entirely exempting Golgo himself. In fact there isn't much to the characters, and Golgo isn't a very deep character himself. As he always succeeds it's a bit anti climatic and that formula I think would get very old for many. Really this series is "what you see is what you get". Something that also might be a hangup for some are how women tend to be objectified in this title, but then again Golgo himself is also objectified.

Golgo 13 is not heavily character driven as far as depth and details. That puts a lot of pressure on the story but this series wouldn't have survived as long as it has if they sucked. I'm also a bit of a gun nut, and the details in ballistics is another draw for people like me. If you can enjoy the feats he does in most episodes despite their outlandishness, they're really intriguing the way they unfold. It's easy to dismiss this series because it looks so shallow, but honestly it's a good formula that has withstood the test of time. After 13 episodes I could easily watch more, even if it's not the best, I found it worth the watch. In a world where things are always changing, it's comforting to know that Golgo 13 will always be out there somewhere. He'll still be a badass. He'll still be getting laid all the time. And he'll still have never failed at a mission.

Quote: >

Detective: If that's who I think it is, I wouldn't even trust him holding a pin from a sewing kit.

Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2010