[From April Issue 2010]
Golgo13 (Directed by DEZAKI Osamu)
Golgo13 is a professional assassin whose real name, age and nationality, are unknown. In this hard-boiled action film, the multilingual Golgo, alias Duke TOGO, kills indiscriminately at the request of politicians, millionaires and ordinary citizens. With a grim outlook, Golgo is a cool guy who never wastes time, and he is merciless, with everyone.
The original character written and illustrated by SAITO Takao has been serialized in print since January 1969, and still continues today. Initially released in 1983, Golgo13 is known as the world’s first animated film to use computer graphics. In 1973 a live-action version was produced, starring TAKAKURA Ken, after whom Saito had supposedly modeled Golgo. More recently, the first animated TV version was also broadcast.
The story starts just off the Californian coast where wealthy oil baron Leonard DAWSON is celebrating his 62nd birthday aboard a cruise ship. No sooner does he announce that he will remain his company’s chairman, while welcoming his only son, Robert, as the new president, than Robert is shot dead, by Golgo.
Following another successful assassination assignment, this time of a woman in Sicily, Italy, Golgo finds himself the target of a volley of bullets, but manages to escape. General T. JEFFERSON, the Director of the U.S. Pentagon Intelligence Agency, along with the FBI and the CIA, continue plotting his eventual demise.
It is soon revealed that the mastermind behind the failed Golgo assassination attempt is none other than Leonard Dawson. Having vowed vengeance for the murder of his only son, Dawson uses his influence to contract the agencies for the kill. However, Robert’s widow, Laura, attacks Dawson, saying the person they should kill is the one who initially hired Golgo. But Dawson doesn’t respond.
One after another formidable adversaries such as the quick and flexible Big Snake, as well as the notorious assassins, Silver and Gold, are sent out to try to kill Golgo. He struggles to defeat them, and finally corners the puppet master Dawson, who admits that it was Robert himself who requested his own assassination, as a way of foregoing his father’s impossible expectations. Dawson then jumps out of a window of his company’s building, but is shot in the head by Golgo just before impact.
One night, a women with lifeless eyes stands in the streets as Golgo passes her by. Recognizing him as her beloved husband’s assassin, Laura reaches for the gun that she secretly carries and takes aim from behind. A shot rings out, but it’s never known whether or not the bullet hits its target. The film ends with Golgo just walking away from the camera.