Manga / Golgo 13

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This is the page for the original Golgo 13 manga. Although many of the stories featuring Golgo 13 revolve around the current assignment, the sheer volume of installments have led to an increasing number of stories that mainly focus on his current clients or victims, with Golgo making only a token appearance (one story focused on the effect of just the threat of his presence, with Golgo never appearing in the actual story).

Several other stories have had him making brushes with history: Duke Togo spent time in prison with Nelson Mandela; he was partially responsible for Princess Diana's death while assassinating a fictional counterpart of Prince Dodi Al-Fayed; and he even shot the ballots that would have won Al Gore the 2000 U.S. Presidential elections. Needless to say not only has Golgo 13 been around but has been portrayed as being a major player in some major events.

50 of the Manga stories were adapted for TV Tokyo: a Japanese television channel. The series ran from April 11, 2008 to March 27, 2009. The stories are almost entirely direct adaptations from the original stories with some modifications namely that they were updated for modern times and shortened to fit a near half-hour format.


This series contains examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: Well, unlucky for his targets.
  • Affably Evil: Golgo is a man of (oftentimes violent) action, not words, but when he has to talk to people who aren't trying to kill or cheat him, he's rather civil and well-spoken.
    • According to the Viz release, he once "paid" a kid butterfly collector for helping him out with a rare butterfly. In the same volume, it's mentioned that he had donated to various good causes (probably as a cover for himself though).
    • He has teamed up with his clients to complete the job on seperate occassions. The fact that he's willing enough to let them tag along (and most of the time, they aren't exactly The Load) if needed is actually pretty nice of him.
    • There have been times he accepted a lower-than-usual payment for a job from many a desperate client. (Keep in mind, his typical asking fee is $3,000,000.)
    • The weaponsmiths and contacts he employ are typically paid handsomely for their services. As a result, they are more than happy to provide tech support for him.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: The female assassins being the Amazons.
  • All There in the Manual: The editor for Viz Signature's US release of Golgo 13 manga went absolutely apeshit with detail. The appendix of all 13 volumes contains everything you'd want to know about the man himself, right down to statistical analysis of his sex habits. His favorite soap? Brown Windsor. How does he like his steaks? Medium rare.
    • It's also worth noting that Viz Media was only licensed to produce 13 volumes worth of stories as they chose not to take on the herculean task of translating the enormous number of stories into English. As a result they did their utmost to ensure readers know everything of relevance there was to know about Golgo 13 and you can pretty much consider yourself an expert on the Golgo 13 universe after reading all the appendixes in all 13 volumes.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Stories typically tend to find women displaying this trope, especially where Golgo 13 is concerned. However, there have been some subversions of this.
  • Amnesiac Hero: In "The Lost Assignment," Duke Togo has a loss of memory after a bomb explosion and is aided by the requisite beautiful female bystander. Being The Determinator, even without knowing he's a Professional Killer at first, Togo gathers enough information and fragments of memory to make it to the kill zone he's selected, but the question remains: who was he meant to kill among the people assembled in the kill zone? Togo fires his gun in the air, and the hail of bullets from the bodyguards somehow restore his memories. Then he's faced with killing the woman who helped him, as he must Leave No Witnesses. A stray bullet however takes care of that problem.
  • Anti-Hero: Golgo 13; see Nominal Hero below. Earlier versions of him, though, have shades of Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Art Shift
  • Ascended Extra: A rare, cross-media example of this is the black hitman Spartacus who intially fought against Duke Togo in the story "The Brutes' Banquet" in the original manga. He later appears as a boss in the first NES game as well as in the TV series adaptation of "The Brutes' Banquet". This gives Spartacus the distinction of being one of the only Golgo 13 characters to appear in both the manga and the media stemming from it.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis / Clock King / Crazy-Prepared: Golgo does outstanding investigative work and research for every hit he makes, and measures every little detail to make sure he strikes at the exact time. He studies his victim's habits, patterns, henchmen, and any other factor that might contribute or hinder the assassination attempt. Even more interesting is when he investigates rival assassins, whom he sometimes has to work against. He also has myriad contacts, like investigators, weaponsmiths, etc. to provide him with all the information and equipment needed for the job. If any fictional character can give Batman a run for his money in the Crazy-Prepared department, it's Golgo 13.
    • In the fifth episode of the anime, he goes against an outstanding Polish sniper, and studies his technique so intensely, he actually finds a strategy to beat him based on the fact that the sniper would compensate shots by moving the rifle a third of an inch. The video analyst that was viewing the video couldn't even tell the movement was made.
    • In the fourth episode, he startles a Mafia don's bodyguard into drawing his gun so he could measure his draw speed. He then tricks the bodyguard into taking away Golgo's client, and when he's pulling her out of the car, he makes his move. Since the bodyguard was pulling the client out of the car with his dominant hand, he had a few microseconds of advantage at the draw.
    • And in the anime episode "Dead Angle", a young sniper called Katz uses this trope to work out the only two positions Golgo can snipe from. Duke however comes from the one place the sniper insisted he wouldn't be, killing Katz as well as his target.
    • "Eye of God", included in the Viz release had a CIA satellite photo analyst attempting to turn Duke into his own Boxed Crook with the help of a top-secret stealth spy satellite; he arranged for it to be overhead both when he met with Golgo and when Duke made the contracted hit. Because the first assassination date was overcast, the analyst rescheduled for the next window. After the new time came, the analyst looked at the photo of where Golgo was supposed to shoot from — and figured out that Duke was just standing there, looking at the camera. Just from the three times and places he was supposed to appear, Duke managed to figure out the orbit of the satellite. (See Moe Greene Special below for what happened next.)
  • Badass in a Nice Suit
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Most of the Girls Of The Week in the series give us plenty of topless scenes, completely uncensored, but their downstairs stay Barbie.
  • Batman Gambit: In Episode 42, Golgo is hired by the CIA to kill a Double Agent in a snowy area of Canada. He captures a henchwoman working for the agent, and leaves her stripped naked in a cabin so that she can't escape without freezing to death. Before leaving, he tasks a local girl with watching the prisoner, and pays her with an expensive coat. The henchwoman quickly knocks the girl unconscious and steals her clothing in order to escape, and heads off to find her boss. While the two of them are fleeing, the woman realizes too late that Golgo planned all of this, and that the red coat was meant to make her stand out as a target against the white backdrop of the terrain. Before she can warn her boss, Golgo kills both of them with a single shot.
  • Berserk Button: Golgo is a professional, thus he expects his clients to conduct their business as such. Do not betray him and do not stand behind him. It's dangerous for your health.
    • A one-off rival assassin's was being called a "deformity".
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows
  • Bill Clinton: One of the Golgo 13 features Bill Clinton... having smiley sex in the Oval Office
    • President Clinton is one of the few people to hire Golgo 13 more than once ("Supergun" and "Eye of God" - indirectly in the latter case).
  • Bitter Almonds: In one episode, Golgo retaliates against an employer that betrayed him by inserting an almond-scented spray into the building's ventilation system. Fearing cyanide gas, the employer fled his secure office to an area with fresh air... that Golgo had a clear line of fire to.
  • Boom, Headshot: Golgo 13 pretty much 'always' prefers to take out both his targets and opposition in this way.
  • The Casanova: Explored to an extent in Golgo 13. The title character tends to have sex before a job, and does have good luck at getting women to join him in bed. However, he just as often hires prostitutes, and due to his notorious blank expression not changing, a number of readers have theorized he doesn't actually enjoy it.
  • Catch-Phrase: "I'll take the job."
  • Cat Scare: Even the normally unshakable Golgo 13 has a moment when a cat jumps onto the balcony just as he's making a sniper shot. His Reflexive Response is to whirl to face the intruder, chambering another round as he does so...thus ejecting the cartridge case he's just fired off the balcony where it's picked up by a police patrolman on the street below. For a brief moment, Golgo actually forms an expression!
  • Characterization Marches On: The first few stories had Golgo more expressive and sloppy. These gradually faded, with annotations explaining these as being Golgo maturing into his job.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Hiring Duke Togo to sabotage or slay a target is the only "fair" cheat you can possibly do in this series. He's often hired to clean up after his clients' screw-ups or finds himself having to retaliate when they try to betray him.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Golgo 13 has occasionally had informants walk in on him while in the middle of intimate sessions with women. He doesn't at all act surprised as his expression doesn't change one bit.
    • On one occasion, police officers arrested him while he was having sex. When he stood up, he didn't... how shall we put this... "lay down". One cop was surprised, the other disgusted.
    • Another incident has him disguised as a black man. Whilst having a make-out session with the story's love interest, cops in the employ of the target swoop in and arrest everyone in the compound he's in.
  • Cold Sniper: Might as well be the Trope Image.
  • Comic-Book Time: By all rights he ought to be in his early 70s at the least, but that damn expressionless face doesn't seem much more wrinkly than it's ever been. Then again, maybe he's been spending his fees on plastic surgery. Or maybe he's a Time Lord.
  • Conspicuous CG: The TV series uses this for automobiles in motion, "Target 18" in particular is a good example.
    • Some episodes also have some pixel-based, almost abstract panty shots, too,
  • Consummate Professional: He was, for a time, the page picture for a reason. You hire him, he does the job. No exceptions. His client died before he could fulfill the contract? He does the job. No exceptions. Oh, his target is a child, so it'll reveal he's actually a Hitman with a Heart, right? Nope. He does the job. No exceptions.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Although Duke Togo is strictly a freelance agent, he's frequently been double-crossed by his employers. This never ends well for them, since it's the closest to his Berserk Button. And seriously, why do they even bother? The guy's so much of a Consummate Professional that, as long as you pay him and not betray him, he'll never come after you.
    • On some occasions these contracts are made by non-employers. "The Masterpiece Assault Rifle" for instance involves an arms dealer named Kaizer hire two mercenaries brothers to kill Golgo 13. This is to prove the superiority of the two technologically advanced rifles he's given to them which he holds render his preferred M16 firearm obsolete. Doing this, he believes, will result in miltary forces across the world flocking to buy them.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Not exactly conviction and not exactly counterfactual, but pretty much every time anyone hears the name "Duke Togo" they immediately identify it as Japanese. While Togo is a Japanese last name, the idea that people wouldn't initially mistake it for Italian or Greek or something is ridiculous.
  • Cool Car: Duke likes to drive fast rides, mostly non-Japanese cars such as Mustangs.
  • Continuity Nod: Despite the generally episodic nature of the series as a whole, there are infrequent winks and nods to Golgo's past jobs on occasion. This is more significant in the early days.
  • Cowardly Lion: Duke describes cowardice as, ironically enough, part of the reason why he's so successful as it makes him a lot more alert and pragmatic.
  • Cowboy Cop: Agent Daches in the story "An Offering to God" can be considered this and Golgo uses this character trope as part of a Batman Gambit. During the story, Daches, who is adamant to arrest Golgo, orders FBI agents steal some items from Golgo's car to cover for an illegal search. Duke reports the stolen items which includes a plastic gun capable of shooting a single bullet which he used in an earlier assassination. The FBI can't say he's lying without admitting to the break-in thus incriminating Daches for ordering the search.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Earlier installments tended to have Golgo make wisecracks this way. For instance, in the 1975 story "The Orbital Hit", when he's accused of eavesdropping on a meeting in the Oval Office of the U.S. White House during The '70s:
    Golgo: Well, this is Washington... It happens all the time.
    Everyone else in the room: ...
  • Description Porn: The manga is well-noted for this, especially when clients have to provide information about their targets to Golgo 13.
    • The TV series is no exception either. However, description laden conversations are noticeably shortened from their original manga versions given the half-hour time format episodes are in.
  • Determinator: Golgo is capable of being this, but he'd much rather thoroughly prepare to ensure the success of his jobs and he's perfectly fine with taking special measures if the limitations of his body aren't up to snuff.
  • Distressed Dude: Golgo 13 commonly finds himself in this position though usually has little trouble getting himself out.
  • Dramatic Ellipsis: Duke is a master of this.
  • The Dreaded: To the point that there was one story focusing on how the threat of his presence affected people.
  • Dull Surprise: Golgo's famous lack of expression. Lampshaded in the story "Telepath":
    KGB official: I would like to have seen his expression when he missed... I bet it was the first expression he ever had!
  • Exact Words: Golgo will do the job he's hired for, no more, no less. He won't shoot at anyone or anything not directly mentioned in the contract unless he believes that doing so is necessary to complete the contract or to get away after doing so.
    • A good example of this is in "Sharp Shoot on the G String" where Thomas Simpson, a violinist, hires him to snipe a string on a violin played by his rival, Sergei Kerensky, during a major performance in the hopes of ruining it. Golgo does this, but said rival calmly re-tunes his instrument and continues the performance with the remaining strings. Golgo's reaction? He leaves. Simpson only hired him to shoot the string and he shot the string. That it didn't have the ultimate effect his client hoped for wasn't his problem.
  • Evil Cripple: "The Glass Fortress" features a character representing this trope. He is the owner of a high class rehab center located on an island entirely encased in bulletproof glass and only reachable by boat or helicopter. He's in a wheelchair, but spends all his time inside one of the glass buildings, the angle of which makes it impossible to shoot him... or it would be, for anyone who isn't Golgo 13.
  • Film Noir: The mood constantly comes across this way—especially when the episode takes place in the city.
  • Four Is Death: Or rather, 13 Is Unlucky.
  • Genius Bruiser: Golgo 13 is noted for being both physically tough and also very intelligent, especially when it comes to calculations.
    • A good example can be found in the story "The Masterpiece Assault Rifle". In it Golgo 13 engages in a sniper duel with two mercenaries using advanced rifles more superior to his own M16, and modified with a unique electronic "super scope". Based on their firing patterns, he deduces that the scopes have a vulnerability in that they do not take shifts in gradient into account. He then calculates the gradient necessary for their shots to be totally inaccurate, and positions himself in an area of the battlefield with that gradient, easily blowing them away.
      • However, given that sniping is more about making calculations than actually shooting, this is not surprising.
  • Get into Jail Free: This happens notably in "Sleep Inside the Cage". Duke Togo allows himself to be arrested so he'll end up in the same ludicrously high-security prison as his target: a crook whose old companions are worried about spilling the beans on them.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When government agencies or fellow criminals hire a professional killer of Golgo's standing, you can bet that the job they had in mind is too difficult, dangerous, or controversial to do themselves.
  • Good Is Dumb: The occasional Nice Guy or girl is not unheard of in Golgo 13's world and come in all sizes and stations, but they're often rather oblivious to the sinister happenings around them and tend to get in the way, if not outright killed.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In his first appearance, Duke Togo, aka Golgo 13, had no scars. Over the course of the series, he's collected a great deal of them on his body. They're covered by clothing much of the time. As for morality, you pay him, he does the job, no moral issues involved unless you double-cross him.
  • Good with Numbers: Golgo. He's a sniper, so he has to be.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: A number of earlier stories don't even bother masking the backdrop of the Cold War. Golgo himself gets tangled in hijinks on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
  • Handicapped Badass: A once-off rival assassin is blind.
  • Hates Small Talk: Golgo has shown a blatant dislike of his potential employers making small talk. Should they lapse into deviating too much from anything important and relevant to his assignment, he's not shy of telling them.
  • Historical-Domain Character: As mentioned before, Golgo has had many meetings with famous real-life characters who not only have played a big role in history but have sometimes employed his services. One of the most notable has been Nelson Mandela in "Power to the People". As mentioned, Golgo shared a cell with Mandela whom later hired him to help deal with ethnic supremacists who seek to undermine the status quo of his government.
  • Historical In-Joke: The example in the previous trope above is a good showcasing of how Golgo 13 has played a fiction-based role in helping history unfold through his assignments.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Mostly averted. Once he accepts a job, he'll do it. He just usually doesn't accept "easy" jobs, but will kill anyone he does agree to kill, be it man, woman or child. The latter is just very, very rare. Besides, while some of his rivals tend to kill their targets in gruesome ways (like Snake in the Professional), Duke does get rid of his targets quick and easy.
  • Hostage Situation: Golgo has been contracted with helping to end hostage situations typically by eliminating hostage takers. The stories "At Pin-Hole!", "Angry Waves", "Jet Stream", involve Golgo being tasked with eliminating very delicate hostage situations in land, sea, and air, respectively.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: While he has these in spades, Duke does not lean on them heavily, preferring more realistic shots. If he forgoes his modded M16 during a mission for a specialized long-range rifle, you know he's going to use them, though he is capable of doing fantastic feats with his M16. Examples include the following:
  • "GT The Sniper" - Duke hits a target moving in a high speed train from several thousand yards away while riding in the backseat of a moving car.
  • "At Pin-Hole!" - Similar situation: Golgo's target is a plane-hijacker. The plane has had its wheels shot out, causing it to slant to the side, making a poor shooting angle for anyone trying to snipe. Add to the fact that the sun is in the eyes of anyone trying to shoot. Golgo with a highly-specialized target rifle, snipes the hijacker from 2000 meters away.
  • "One Second Out of 36,000" - Golgo's target is in a high-security jail, protected by a revolving door. The door slides at just the right angle for a sucessful shot to be made, but only at one VERY particular time, and even then, it's open for one second. Golgo decides to set up a position in a nearby tree and wait until that moment. He gets a muscle relaxant so his muscles won't be tense for that amount of time. And of course, he makes the shot.
  • The 1983 movie had him take a sniping position behind a building blocking his target's (supposedly) bulletproof penthouse suite. by setting his M16 to semiauto, he looses off a burst that breaks through the windows of the building, which end up going through the penthouse's windows and nailing the target... just as he was making ou twith a hooker.
    • "Diamond vs. Diamond" - Golgo has a gunsmith make a special bullet that's made out of a diamond. He uses it to destroy a BIGGER diamond by shooting the center point of the latter.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Golgo doesn't rely on them, but he can use them when he needs to, like a gun designed for zero-recoil shooting in space or a special bullet-reflecting beltbuckle.
    • Then the special "diamond bullet" in "Diamond vs. Diamond".
  • Immune to Bullets: Many targets have bulletproof glass or something similar protecting them, though Golgo always finds a way.
  • Intimate Healing: Golgo often engages in sexual activity with women as a means of relieving tension and stress. He mainly does this before going after his targets so he is more effective in eliminating them.
  • Invincible Anti-hero: Golgo 13 never fails an assignment, or for that matter misses a shot. If he did, he'd lose his reputation as an assassin and there would be no series. Later chapters solve the problem by focusing more on the people who hire him and how their situations deteriorate to the point that they need to bring in a hitman. (Infamously, he doesn't appear in one story at all; the central character merely uses Golgo 13's reputation as a weapon.) The fact that the stories are standalone and bounce around time help in this regard.
    • For completeness sake, there have been several occasions of him missing, at least once by weapons sabotage creating a misfire, and one complete miss caused by his bodyguard who uses telepathy. He did make up for the last one by eliminating his targets in a spectacular manner though. During the misfire incident though... he outright quits the job so he can hunt down the person behind the misfire.
  • Invisible President: Averted; because they have to sign off on the hiring, whenever the US government hires Golgo 13, the president in office at the time of the story's writing will make an appearance.
  • Irrevocable Order: Once hired, Golgo 13 will kill his target. He will not accept cancellations, though at one point, he's been outwitted, and on the other, he quit for personal reasons. If you hire him, you damn well better want the target dead.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Duke will go to great lengths to complete a job. Such as getting arrested just to get past the layers of security a target put around himself.
  • I Work Alone: Golgo has worked a majority of the time alone. There have been a few instance where he has been dynamic and sometimes temporarily working with others achieve his objectives. He also has multiple contacts from around the globe who supply him with weapons and intel on his targets. The closest he has to a true partner/sidekick is reccuring character Dave McCartney, a Scottish gunsmith who supplies Golgo with weapons on an infrequent basis.
    • A good example can be found in the story "Shadow of Death" ("Deadly Shadow of the Setting Sun" in the anime) where Golgo 13 teams with another assassin hired by the Soviet government, AX-3. Both have been hired to destroy a syndicate hideout where poisons are being manufactured. In what could be also considered a anti-hero variant of the Pragmatic Villainy trope, Golgo 13 agrees to work with AX-3 to better destroy the hideout.
  • Kill Sat: In "The Orbital Hit", the U.S. government has a network of these in orbit, with nuclear missiles.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: A hitman posing as a circus performer demonstrates his skill with his Weapon of Choice by throwing a knife into the bulls-eye of a dartboard, just past his girlfriend's head. She shows her own badass credentials by not flinching. After playing the trope straight on stage, he then uses his skills against Togo, who unfortunately is an unflinching badass himself.
  • Last Minute Reprieve: Played with in the story "One Minute Past Midnight".
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Stories often see this trope come into play as Golgo's often faced or assigned to eliminate people even worse than he is. Even despite being despicable himself, readers are nudged into siding with him given he is comparatively less horrible than they are.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: In the live-action Assignment Kowloon Golgo eliminates his target thanks to this trope. He does so by hanging himself by rope suspensions from the edge a cliff he deduces a helicopter carrying his target will fly past.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Two to date. The first was released in 1973 with Ken Takakura as Golgo. The more famous adaptation though is 1977's Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon where Golgo was played by Sonny Chiba.
  • Locked Room Mystery: "The Serizawa Family Murders".
  • Loud of War: In the story "Statistically Explained Sniping", the last of a series of tortures used on Duke Togo is Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" at high volume (the Written Sound Effect being "ZUN ZUN ZUN"). This shocks Golgo enough to give him temporary deafness for a few days.
  • The Mafia: The story "Wiseguy" deconstructs the romanticized aspects of this trope. For example, Michael Corleone's possible future in Congress is given a darker spin with the story's villain, a Congressman from a Mafia family, who's taken gang warfare to a higher level thanks to government connections. Moreover, plenty of Golgo's targets and clients are Mafiosi themselves.
  • Meaningful Name: The eponymous character's codename in Golgo 13 carries a definite meaning. That meaning is a source of mystery as there have been numerous theories made by characters as to what it means.
    • However the most popular theory, both in stories and to readers, is that it's a call-out to Golgotha: the hill on which Christ was crucified. The 13 is linked to the thirteenth disciple, Judas. This theory definitely has merit considering the iconic series symbol of a skeleton wearing a crown of thorns.
    • In the first chapter, it's mentioned as a nickname given to him by fellow inmates in a West German work camp as his prison number was 1214. However, the chapter also mentions the above theory as well.
  • Metal Detector Checkpoint: "An Offering to God" sees Golgo hired to eliminate a high-ranking associate of a major politician at a political rally. This required him to pass through a checkpoint. He arranges to get a pistol made entirely of plastic (the plastic firing pin was explicitly stated to only be strong enough to stand up to firing one shot, but Golgo only needed one shot), which he concealed in a balloon, and hid the bullet in his mouth, which caused the man with the metal detector wand to assume that it was giving a false positive off of some dental work.
  • Moe Greene Special: Duke delivers a double to a spy satellite image analyst who tried to set him up to become a Boxed Crook, just for the Karmic Death value.
  • Mooks: Golgo's had to sometimes contend with antagonists who this trope in large quantity and who are often employed against him to stop him from killing them. Typically they underestimate Golgo as Just One Man but regret that line of thinking as Golgo 13 is very capable of being a One-Man Army.
    • A good example is in the story "End of the Century Hollywood". In it Golgo is assigned to eliminate whoever is trying to kill Lee: the star of an Asian film being made in America. He discovers that the attacks are being orchestrated by the head of American Company who believes that the Hong Kong film industry is eroding the American film industry and that the success of Lee's film will result in his company being bankrupted if it becomes a success. Despite using his influence to acquire a plethora of Elite Mooks in the form of Defense Intelligence Agency soldiers to kill Lee, Golgo routs them all single-highhandedly and kills the executive all in the span of a single night.
  • Mukokuseki: Very meta on this one. Golgo 13 is a worldly, adult-oriented manga sometimes incorporating world news events, where people will actually be drawn with something approaching recognizable ethnicity, especially the many portrayals of real people (Even Nelson Mandela needs Golgo, sometimes!). However, Golgo's own Mukoku Seki good looks (along with his polyglot abilities) become one of his greatest assets for being undetected, and even the other characters are confused about what ethnicity he is. Even then, however, people tend to vaguely assume he might be Japanese.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Several of the stories in the series, such as "The Serizawa Family Murders", "All To The People" and "The Last Will of Mao Zedong", seem to be possible origins for Golgo. However, they always end on at least on a loud note of ambiguity ensuring Golgo 13's past remains mysterious.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: That language? He speaks it. That gun? Oh yeah, he can shoot it.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Always averted.
  • Nominal Hero: Golgo 13 is a Cold Sniper and a Consummate Professional Killer who will take any job no matter how dirty it is (as long as you don't betray him), but his targets include ruthless criminals who would have rap sheets the length of a freeway if they were ever caught.
    • Other times, such as in "Wasteland" and "The Orbital Hit", he has to clean up diasters waiting to happen. (nuclear meltdown in the former, Kill Sat gone rogue in the lateer.)
  • Non-Idle Rich: Togo probably has more cash than anyone could estimate at this point, (the latest estimate, as per the Viz release being well over 12 trillion yen) with some assignments worth millions (incluing one worth 100 milllion dollars). But with his constant work and traveling, it doesn't seem like that half the time.
    • He also owns an island. One can only assume that even there he doesn't feel comfortable when not on the job.
    • The Viz appendices also mention he has properties and safehouses worldwide.
  • No Smoking: Though Golgo 13 is famous for his chain-smoking, the TV series erases this aspect of his character. It's definitely one of the most questionable changes to be sure considering it's a famous characteristic of his.
  • Omniglot: Golgo 13 can speak 13 languages. Some of them include English, Japanese, French, Tagalog and Spanish.
  • One Bullet Left: "Deadly Shadow of the Setting Sun" provides an excellent example but with a twist. After Golgo 13 and AX-3 destroy their target, a poison producing hideout, AX-3 gets a call telling him to kill Duke. AX-3 states that he's been Counting Bullets and knows both of them have only one bullet left. As they're of equal skill, the winner will be the one who breaks position first. They both move at the same time and both miss. However Duke turns out to be moving to a knife which he throws killing AX-3 while he's drawing a silenced pistol.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Variant: Golgo 13 makes a point of not allowing anyone else to kill his target when hired for an assassination. Not even themselves. When they die, it must be by his hand.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase: "Do not stand behind him, if you value your life."
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Averted; Golgo's worked for the U.S. government several times and each time the then-current real-world president was (surprisingly accurately) drawn.
  • Overt Operative: Golgo 13 almost always uses some variant on "Duke Togo" as a cover identity. Which wouldn't apply except that Duke Togo is also the name he goes by in public. He has subverted the trope by using fairly different names, but he keeps coming back to Duke Togo.
    • But if he was caught, who would the government in question use when they needed people shot in the head?
    • The most common fan rationalization for this is that Golgo just doesn't care. People have tried to take him in before and it's never worked. He's untouchable and he knows it.
    • Notice how many of the guys who hire him are government personnel? The man is too valuable as a tool of death, to keep him in prison or get rid of him for that reason.
    • The story "Afterglow" deals with a detective who came as close to anyone to catching Golgo, but whose case was suppressed by the State Department.
    • Also, in "An Offering To God", a lawyer actually manages to exploit loopholes in a cop's attempt to nail him in crime.
  • Perpetual Frowner: The title character of Golgo 13 fame is one of the trope's fathers.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: In an anime episode, Duke Togo finds out another hitman is also stalking his target. He teeth-pulls the pin from a grenade (presumably to show he's just as cool as Togo) and tosses it back into the room where he just kneecap-interrogated a man. Duke shows he's even cooler by calmly looking at his watch, whereupon half the buildings around them blow up.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Virtually Golgo 13's Calling Card.
  • Professional Killer: Golgo exemplifies the Assassin archetype from this trope.
  • Rated M for Manly: A Darker and Edgier version.
  • Rare Guns: Generally averted; Golgo's favorite gun is an M16 because of how it's easy to obtain, customize, and dispose of.
    • He does have access to specialized weapons, like underwater guns, that fit this trope, though.
    • At least one manga plot involves the bad-guys attempting to outfit private armies with Type 100 sub machine guns.
  • Really Gets Around: Golgo's had a lot of sexual encounters over the years, and is suggested to have fathered numerous illegitimate children.
  • Reflexive Response: Do not stand behind Duke when he's sitting if you value your life for ANY reason. Just don't.
    • Still not convinced? As people's rear quarters are a textbook blind spot that can be taken advantage of to induce death, Golgo is indiscriminate in attacking people who directly approach him from behind without letting their presence be known immediately. This reflex has some occasions saved his life.
    • But it is a double-edged sword that's gotten him into trouble. This is best illustrated in the very first story of the series "Operation Big Safe". During a stay in Hamburg, Germany, a woman he has just slept makes the mistake of trying to playfully creep up on him from behind without saying anything at all. She gets punched by Golgo and causing her to hit a nearby bedpost knocking her out. This results in him not only arousing the wrath of two burly hotel tenants who try subduing him for hitting her whom he beats very soundly but is arrested by the police after trying to escape.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: The key of of arms merchant Jakob Nachtbloem's plan to survive exploiting Golgo 13's reputation in the story "A Fierce Southern Current". Jakob's plan involves manipulating six nations into a war over a small set of oil-rich Pacific islands by implying Duke would invest the billions he's earned with the winner; if he followed his standard procedure by just killing Nachtbloem, the sudden death in the growing story with him already in the background would cause a stream of reporters who would be led onto the trail of the mysterious Golgo 13, and killing them as usual would just lead him into a downward spiral. However, Duke manages to figure out how to Take a Third Option.
  • Sedgwick Speech: Assignment Kowloon shows two men working for Golgo's employer spying on a meeting between him and the assassin with a telescope. When Golgo spots them and aims his M16 at them, one of them remarks "it's 500 meters away. The bullet will never reach." Golgo promptly disproves this by delivering two head shots to each one.
  • Sniper Rifle: Duke occasionally uses various models of sniper rifles to assassinate his targets. However, since he usually operates from somewhat closer ranges, he more often prefers an M16 which is also modified to shoot long distances.
  • Statute of Limitations: Golgo typically relies on this trope expiring in order to escape police custody if ever arrested. As he is actually very good at covering his bases, especially of killing his human target, and being very knowledgeable about using the law to his advantage, it's unsurprising that most of the time this tactic works out.
    • As noted under Overt Operative, Golgo has worked for multiple governing bodies. If the police tried to hold him, they would most likely receive a phone call from a higher authority telling them to let him go. This in fact happens for instance in the story "At Pin-Hole!" in which both the CIA and the FBI work in conjunction to release him from a jail in Texas so he may assist them with a hostage situation aboard a plane.
  • The Rival: Subverted. Duke has faced plenty of would-be rivals over the years, many of whom end up dead by the end of the story. Known examples include...
    • AX-3, whom the Viz release states that he is "one of the few men he [Golgo] could call an equal!"
    • Spartacus, as per the above entry. Duke himself even admitted that he "moved beautifully".
    • Big Snake, from the 1983 movie. He actually managed to put Golgo on the ropes and was on the verge of killing him when a helicopter appears, miniguns the elevator they're fighting and Duke uses him as a shield.
    • Gold and Silver, from the same movie. They annhilated an entire battalion of guerillas by themselves and managed to make Golgo scream in pain after he fought off Snake.
    • There were also three CIA agents who managed to cripple Duke after he completed a routine job. They didn't last very long against Snake.
    • Ixion. He's a blind sniper with a guide dog.
    • Dave "Golden Boy" Krueger: An Olympic gold medalist shooter and gangster protege who challenged Duke to a duel after the death of his sister.
    • Katz Double: A young sniper who tries to ouwit Duke when he targets the Jordanaian ambassador to the US.
    • Brigitta: A female assassin who comes up with a near-foolproof plan to take Duke out and even manages to have sex with him before the hit. She however, is outwitted by Golgo, who kills her afterwards.
    • "The Masterpiece Assault Rifle": ostensibly on a job to spoil the efforts of a racing crew in the desert, Duke suddenly get ambushed by two French commandos, the Savine brothers, who force Duke into a tight spot with their modified automatic rifles. he beats them by taking the gradient into account while using the passing race cars' headlights to spoil their aim.
    • In the story, "Bionic Soldier", the said soldier is assigned by the CIA to kill Golgo, who's on assigment in Cambodia.
    • Nikolai Ledelovitch, an ex-Olympic medalist Polish sniper in "The Superstar's Joint Appearance". He actually meets Golgo in a bar and offers him a drink, but with Golgo being Golgo, coldly refuses. When Nikolai finds out who he is, he calls his employer and demands a pay raise as he did not expect that he was going to shoot it out with Golgo 13. He gets his raise, but Golgo outsnipes him regardless.
  • The Stoic: Besides showing some blatant emotions in his very first stories, as the Characterization Marches On trope above notes, Duke now embodys this trope rarely showing any emotion.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Lt. Bob Bragen has the National Guard blow up an entire church, which Golgo escaped from, despite being wounded in the left shoulder by the commandos.
  • Swiss Bank Account: Golgo makes use of Swiss bank accounts among the many secretive financial institutions he uses to store his money.
    • It also plays a vital role in one story in which a Smug Snake villain learns about Golgo's Swiss bank accounts and the fantastic sum that must be in them to run an international scam. Needless to say, after Golgo finds out, it doesn't end well.
    • Another one has the target blackmail the bank owner. He teams up with Golgo to stop the mastermind.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Detective Smith in Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon is a textbook example of this trope.
    • Detective Shire in "The Impossible Hit".
    • "Bannings The Hunter": An aging Interpol detective, who desperately wants Golgo brought in. He is forced to be in an illegal operation bound to fail. At the end Duke gets away, of course, but the whole operation is caught on tape. Duke then burns the tape.
    • The client and his girlfriend in "The Saint With The Stench of Death".
    • "Touch Down": An old-minded Baltimore PD detective tries to find the one who killed a beloved quarterback. It's Golgo, of course. While his colleagues try using a new supercomputer to reconstruct the crime scene. While Duke gets away (by shooting up the computer) the detective does manage to avenge the target's death in a way by killing the clients.
    • "Hit and Run": A former SFPD detective's girlfriend is run over by a crime boss. What does the man do? He doesn't hire Golgo, suprisingly. Instead he spreads a rumor that Golgo is out to get the boss in question, then takes a pot shot at the boss' penthouse window after his moll, goons, and criminal associates leave him to his "fate". Come the next morning, he admits to the hit-and-run incident, desperate for police protection. As a bonus he also offers to reveal the names of his associates.
  • Take Me Out At The Ballgame: In "Touch Down", Golgo assassinates a quarterback while he's making a running play during a game. His client was the man behind the target in the depth chart.
    • Subverted in "The Blood-Stained Stadium". The hit actually takes place at an empty stadium.
    • A variation happens in "The Law of The Pedigree": Golgo's target is not a person. It's a prize racehorse.
  • A Taste of the Lash: The story "Power to the People" sees Golgo tied up and forced to undergo a whipping by South African customs agents after discovering he's carrying a concealed submachine gun in his luggage. Oddly enough this is enough to make him laugh subtly.
  • Take a Third Option: Duke is a master at this. The incident during "A Fierce Southern Current" notwithstanding, there was also one time in "The Serizawa Family Murders" when he was asked if he was a child implicated in the murders of a secret ninja family after WW2 ended. The detective, who had essentially sacrificed his life seeking an answer to the case, stakes everything to get an answer out of Duke; Golgo is hired to kill the detective with a very specific condition. At the scheduled time, the detective would be waving a cane from side to side: the contract said that Golgo would shoot while the cane leaned to the right if he was the kid, or while it was leaning to the left if he wasn't. Come midnight, the detective's visiting ex-partner, who the detective explained his plan to, hears a gunshot. When he finds his colleague's corpse with a Pretty Little Headshot, he also finds a broken cane. With a quick bit of detective work, the partner realizes Golgo had shot while the cane was directly in front of the detective, not leaning in either direction. In other words, Golgo refused to give ANY answer.
  • Technician Vs Performer: Several assassins Golgo meets consider themselves artists, and some romanticize killing. Golgo, in comparison, just coldly executes his marks (and the other assassins).
  • Telepathy: The aptly titled story "Telepath" has Golgo 13 faced off against this in the form of Alina Dovator: a KGB agent who, as a result of covert experiments by the Soviet Union, is telepathic. She's able to use her mind to manipulate, sense threats and even cause death. Her telepathy serves as a major plot point for the story. As stated previously, this trope is credited with Golgo 13 missing two shots intended for his target, who Alina was protecting at the time.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: During the early years of the manga, ex-Nazis of various kinds were common targets.
  • Twist Ending: The 1969 story The Yellow Rose. Duke is hired to kill a playboy only known as The Yellow Rose, who's infamous for seducing rich, famous women who later turn up dead. A pornographic film featuring a Marilyn Monroe-expy leads him to a rug factory in Iran, where he discovers countless other films, where he also notices that all the men appearing in the films are different people and cant be the Yellow Rose. Finally, it turns out The REAL Yellow Rose is a hermaphrodite living as a woman, who's the brains behind the operation. She sells the films for high prizes to her rich clients, and smuggles them around the world hidden in expensive persian rugs. Her motivation? She hates the world because of her condition and takes it out on rich, beautiful women. This revelation is even enough to make Golgo surprised.
    • In the 1987 story "Route 95", a former Nevada businessman turned motel owner is found murdered. Turns out the one responsible is one of his employees, who is actually a hitman sent by his old associates from the Mob. Then comes another hitman who, ostensibly is there for the businessman's funeral, is there to take out the said employee. He does, but then Golgo shows up and shoots the second hitman in the arm. The last twist is that Golgo was only hired to maim, not kill him. He then leaves the second hitman be.
  • Tykebomb: Goro Serizawa from "The Serizawa Family Murders", who may or may not have become Golgo 13.
  • ‹bermensch: Golgo has indeed been doing this throughout his career.
  • Underestimating Badassery: While they're correct in assuming he's not invincible, Golgo's more treacherous clients operate under the belief that he's formidable enough to get the job done, but weak enough to assassinate.
  • Villain Cred: Golgo has spent his whole lifetime building his legend.
  • Villain Protagonist: To an extent. Generally whomever he's trying to kill (and often his employer) is even worse.
  • Visible Silence: Possibly first introduced to the West by Golgo, and is quite fond of this.
  • War for Fun and Profit: "A Fierce Southern Current" revolves around an arms merchant trying to start a war in the south Pacific, with the promise of the billions Golgo's earned over the years going to the winner. Duke beats him by immediately donating the money from the accounts supposedly up for grabs to the United Nations' nature conservation efforts, making it clear to all parties that he is refusing to be a player, then putting a bullet in the arms merchant's head for good measure.
  • Weapon of Choice: A modified M16. M16s are generic and easy to find, so he can drop it after a mission with no problem, whereas hauling around a giant, expensive sniper's rifle would make discreet escapes nearly impossible. Also, he is the lone wolf of lone wolves, so he lacks a spotter or permanent sidekick of any kind. No one is watching his back for him. Using an assault rifle like the M-16 gives him a weapon that is equally suited for self-defense if he is attacked during a mission.
    • Moreover, considering there are thousands of M16s everywhere, if Duke does lose his gun, he can always get another one, as stated in the Viz release's commentaries. This even comes into play when he gets one on-site, according to the volume.
    • Technology Marches On makes this less awesome than it once was. When Saito began the series, sniping with an M-16 made about as much sense as sniping with an Uzi (Assignment: Kowloon even has Duke's scope zip-tied to the carry handle). AR platform weapons are now common bases for sniper rifles, without losing their assault rifle functionality. However, the Viz release actually manages to explain the probable reasoning behind this in one volume.
      • The series even makes note of this; Duke has upgraded to each new model of M16 a few years after it becomes commonplace - presumably because he's waiting for all the bugs to be worked out.
  • White Mask of Doom: The cult leader Gabriel in "The Saint with the Stench of Death" wears one. Underneath, he's horribly disfigured.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Golgo has no compunction about killing women should it be required and especially when they are his targets.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Unfortunately, yes he would. It's just extremely rare that he has to. While he normally wouldn't even bother to accept a contract on a child, if he discovers that his target is one... well, he is a professional after all.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/Golgo13?from=Main.Golgo13