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July 13, 2012 / Bradley

Golgo 13’s Greatest Hits (Part 1)

I finished Golgo 13 last night, and thought to myself, “you know what this series could really use? Fewer episodes.” That’s not intended as a knock on the series. Overall, it’s a solid show built around a compelling anti-hero. It’s easy to see why Duke Togo is an iconic character in Japan- he regularly does creative kills with ease, and somehow walks a thin line between being monstrous and admirable. He feels like someone you could trust, but at the same time, he’s someone you’d never, ever want to meet. Given the chance, I think he would go over well with a lot of anime fans, but telling people to watch a fifty-episode series of anything, no matter how cool it is, is a tall order.  Golgo 13 could really benefit from a “greatest hits” collection, something to give potential fans a taste of what the series is all about. Like the Cowboy Bebop Best Sessions, it would highlight what makes the series great, and hopefully convince folks to watch the series in its entirety. A DVD release of something like that would be nice, but heck, with Sentai’s YouTube videos for the first half of the series, and the help of some fans on Twitter, I’ve compiled my own Greatest Hits collection. Links are after the jump.

1. At Pin-Hole (Link)

May as well start at the first episode, which makes sure to include every possible element of what makes Duke Togo an icon: his easy, casual attitude towards sex, his unique sense of professionalism, and of course, an amazing shot that everyone says is impossible. Because it’s intended as an introduction to the character, this is also the most straightforward episode- if you found this a bit boring, don’t worry, it quickly gets ambitious.

2. Room 909 (Link)

This is probably my favorite episode of the entire series, mostly because of how it builds into a fantastic ending that starkly lays out just how good Duke Togo is at his job. Most of the series’ episodes either build towards an amazing kill at the end, or focus on Duke’s clever getaway. This is the latter, largely narrated by a tough NYPD detective whose doggedness and intelligence makes him one of the series’ most memorable characters. He’s still no match for Golgo 13, though, who gets away with his crime just by sitting in a room.

3. An Offering to God (Link)

This episode is probably the best mix of both worlds: it starts with a memorable kill and ends with a clever escape. This time around, Duke makes being arrested part of his escape plan. This episode also shows another Golgo 13 signature move- while Duke favors the M16, he can also design the perfect gun for a job.

4. Sleep Inside the Cage (Link)

Some episodes of Golgo 13 feel like a tribute to other action movie tropes. In other episodes, he’s a bodyguard, a one-man guerrilla strike team in the jungle, and, in the case of this episode, he pulls off an escape from a maximum security prison. The twist at the end is a bit obvious, but no less impressive.

5. The Glass Fortress (Link)

My last two picks have plots that create an impossible situation for Duke, and watch him figure out over the course of an episode what small weakness he can exploit to pull off the kill. This also features a pretty horrific crime ring, and the second craziest kill of this list.

6. Florida Chase (Link)

And, you guessed it, this features the craziest kill. In fact, it’s probably the craziest kill in the entire series, and is a contender for craziest anime kill. I’m probably hyping this too much, but just watch the damn thing.

Part two is pending on if Sentai ever release the second half of the series on YouTube.

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4 Comments

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  1. Shinmaru / Jul 13 2012 4:56 pm

    My only real problem with Golgo 13 is that it feels like it’s frontloaded — many of the most memorable episodes to me are in the first half. Some of the second half episodes feel like retreads of earlier episodes, or they feature kills/situations that just aren’t as impressive as earlier episodes. The show does regain its footing in the final quarter or so, though. A couple of my favorites in the second half are the one that plays out like an actual crazy ’80s action movie and the one where Golgo battles a mecha. So awesome. I kind of want to watch the whole series again now, haha.

    • Bradley / Jul 13 2012 5:04 pm

      The mid-section is a drag, which probably influenced my earlier post on the series more than I realized at the time.

  2. schneider / Jul 14 2012 12:04 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’ve had Golgo 13 sitting on my hard drive and it’s so daunting that I can’t even start!

    Also wait what Golgo battles a mecha??

    • Bradley / Jul 14 2012 5:13 pm

      That’s in the second half. That episode is a shoo-in for Greatest Hits Part 2, if Sentai ever uploads them.

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