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Anime / Golgo 13

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He never kills for sport. He never misses the mark. And he never gets involved.

Golgo 13: The Professional, known as simply Golgo 13 in Japan, is a Japanese animated film adaptation of the Golgo 13 franchise released on May 28, 1983 by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. It is the first animated film to be based on the manga and the third film overall. Merciless contract killer Duke Togo — codenamed "Golgo 13" — is hired to assassinate Robert Dawson, the son of oil baron Leonard Dawson and the heir of Dawson Enterprises, and succeeds.

Later, after accomplishing a hit on a powerful crime boss in Sicily, Golgo is suddenly attacked by the U.S. military and discovers that his informant has been killed by Snake, a genetically altered assassin. Aided by the U.S. Army, the FBI, and the CIA, Dawson has become determined to kill Golgo and avenge his son's death.

It was followed by a sequel in the OVA form, Queen Bee.

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    The Professional 
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Notably, the first use of CG within an animated movie was to animate helicopters in this movie, because it was a new technology at the time and the studio wanted to play with it.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Takes various elements from multiple stories from the manga.
    • The main plot is taken from "Trap of the Emperor"note , which features the Dawson family sans Robert's wife, daughter and most of Dawson's henchmen, as well as Golgo assaulting Dawson's penthouse HQ.
    • There are also elements from a few more stories, namely "Hydra"note , which features Dr. Z, "Action in 4/24"note , where the target is staying in a high-rise with bulletproof windows, and "Checkmate" note , which features Golgo being attacked whilst in an airport lobby. Additionally, the editor for the Viz series, Carl Gustav Horn, selected the story "Far From An Eranote  due to its similarities to the movie in its themes and twist ending.
  • Asshole Victim: Apart from Leonard Dawson and many of those who associate with him, the only two kills Golgo scores are contracts put out by people whose lives said targets had ruined: Mafia boss Dr. Z, and former Nazi Bernart Muller. Perhaps the only exception in this film was Robert Dawson, and that was a suicide contract.
  • Bland-Name Product: Averted with Parliament cigarettes, Marlboro, Ford and Esso.
  • Brainy Brunette: Rita helps out in modifying Golgo's M16 rifle for his missions in addition to lending him a car.
  • Bullet Catch: Gold blocks Golgo's first bullet with his prosthetic gold hand.
  • Contract on the Hitman: This is basically the entire main plot. Industrialist Leonard Dawson uses every resource available to him to kill Golgo due to him performing the assassination on his son. His daughter-in-law even lampshades this by asking why Dawson bothers going after Golgo at all when he is just a hitman, and he should be going for the man who put out the hit. He can't because it was his son who put out the hit on himself: he wanted to commit suicide but didn't have the nerve to do it. Dawson goes after Golgo 13 because he is the closest person Dawson has for someone to blame.
  • Cool Mask: Silver wears a creepy featureless mask made of silver, to cover his horrifically burned face.
  • Description Porn: Rita describes the modified M16 rifle to Golgo in detail:
    Rita: Everything's exactly the way you wanted it. Check the piece out. Go ahead. Please. [Duke examines the rifle] The trigger is an electronic push-button. I increased the bursts to 15 rounds per second. And the change in balance from the recoil is held below decimal. And check out the silencer kit.
    Golgo 13: Rita, it's okay. I don't need to hear it. I trust you.
  • Defiant to the End: The villains are this, which really throws Golgo 13.
  • Disney Villain Death: Leonard Dawson does this at the end. Overlaps with Driven to Suicide. Golgo shoots him in the head before he hits the ground, though.
  • Driven to Suicide: Robert Dawson knew he could never live up to the high expectations his father had for him, so he decided to commit suicide by hitman.
  • Dumb Blonde: Doctor Z's daughter, Cindy. Subverted as she's the actual Doctor Z.
  • Elite Mook: The three commando hit-squad that attacks Duke early on, and gives him quite a bit of trouble. Later, Snake effortlessly mutilates and kills them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though he does consent to it, it's clear Leonard Dawson doesn't like the idea of Snake raping Laura and only allowed it because he was desperate for men willing to kill Golgo, and Snake wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Evil Cripple: Gold and Silver, due to the injuries they received at the hands of the guerilla soldiers in the Pacific. Gold is missing an arm and an eye, and Silver is missing a leg and is hideously burned. Both wear metal prosthetic limbs made out of gold and silver respectively, and Silver also wears a mask.
  • Eye Scream: Snake takes out one of the three commandos by putting out his eyes via a weapon that uses razor sharp wires. Also, after Duke finishes Gold off with his revolver, his artificial gold eye popped out afterwards.
  • Gainax Ending: Since after losing her husband Robert, and since haven't seen her daughter Emily, Laura Dawson is seen prostituting herself on the rainy streets since she was raped twice by Snake. She then sees Golgo 13. Shocked, she drew a gun against him in public. He then walks away. Whether Laura shot Golgo and missed, or that Golgo retaliated shooting back, or something else entirely is up to the viewer to decide.
  • Gorn: Snake takes out three commandos in a really grotesque way.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Snake uses the third commando's hook against him by sliding his back open with blood spraying out, as well as plucking out another commandos eyes with his razor wire with the same result. Also, when Duke investigates the phone in the safe, he shoots an old guy who also drew a gun, gets shot and blood sprays out of him causing him to die.
  • Hook Hand: Used by one member of the CIA hit squad employed to take down Duke. Not that it helps him later on against Snake, who tears it off and tears open the guy's back with it.
  • Hookers and Blow: Golgo's target in San Francisco, Bernart Muller, is an ex-nazi who is partying with hookers in a penthouse sealed in bulletproof glass.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Golgo shoots a man in a building on the other side of a skyscraper from him.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted, which is rare for an Escapist Character like Golgo 13. Golgo barely survives several of his encounters and would possibly have lost his fight with Snake.
  • Lean and Mean: Gold, Silver and Snake, the three deadliest characters in the movie, are also notably tall and lanky, especially Snake.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: By the end of the film, Leonard Dawson is thoroughly established as a despicable individual who has exploited others, specifically his family, and caused all kinds of misery just to kill Golgo 13. Golgo 13, though a very cold-blooded killer, is in comparison portrayed in a comparatively better light having only killed people in self-defense and who very frankly deserved it. The film expects you to root for him.
  • Never Suicide: A rather unusual inversion of this trope occurs in which the target's father, after the assassination, spends the rest of the film sending people to kill Duke - but it turns out that his son, unhappy with his family life and too squeamish to take his own life, hired Duke to kill him in the first place - suicide by contract killing.
  • Nominal Hero: Golgo 13 kills a number of people, good and bad, for money only to defend himself from assassins. He also destroys the lives of several individuals with his murder of Leonard Dawson's son.
  • Not So Stoic: There are some instances where Duke expresses hints of fear or panic. This is played straight when Duke had been shot in the chest and needed time to recover. He was visibly on guard and told his information guy to "make damn sure" he wasn't followed. The informant was shocked that a "man with balls as big as his" was 'spooked". Considering the fact that the full weight of the US army, FBI, and CIA were after him, this made sense.
  • Off with His Head!: Duke finishes Silver off by putting an active grenade in his mouth resulting in an explosion that blows it clean off.
  • One Bullet Left: After a brutal battle with Snake, the helicopters, and Gold/Silver, Duke finally meets Leonard Dawson, face to face. After expressing his final words to Duke, Leonard attempts to commit suicide, but Duke fires his revolver's last bullet, killing Leonard with a headshot.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: This is how Golgo kills Silver. Having already used up all his bullets killing Gold, Golgo is bum-rushed by Silver, dodges, pulls a grenade pin with his teeth, and stuffs the grenade into Silver's open mouth. Strangely enough, despite that the grenade should by all reason have painted the walls with Silver, all it does is blow his head off and set him on fire. His teeth aren't even damaged.
  • Pretty in Mink: Cindy, the daughter of one of Golgo 13's targets (Dr. Z) wears a white fox coat. It shows her not wearing anything underneath. Lampshaded when his informant notes, "Don't ask how hard it was to get these photos."
  • Rape as Drama: Snake rapes Laura Dawson twice during the film as part of his payment from Leonard.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: Used the first time Snake rapes Laura Dawson. A bit less discretion is used the second time.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Golgo carries a BFG Revolver with him at times. He switches to it after losing his M16 in the fight with Snake, and uses it to dispatch Gold and Leonard Dawson.
  • Rich Bitch: Cindy.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Throughout the entire film, to avenge his son's death, Leonard Dawson sends the CIA, FBI, U.S. Army, as well as Snake, Gold/Sliver and even his own granddaughter Emily along with the butler to plot out revenge against Golgo 13. They all failed. Thus Leonard commits suicide.
  • Say My Name: Cindy says his name out loud as Duke found out who Dr. Z 'really' is before killing his target:
    Cindy: Who is this?
    Duke: You almost had me fooled.
    Cindy: Duke?
    Duke: I tested the phone in the safe. It's a fake. If I had more time, I'm sure I can locate the remote switch. You oughta get an oscar for that act you put on. Oh, and by the way, Cindy, I know who Dr. Z is: It's you.
    Cindy: [hesitates] ...Duke! Duuuuuuke!
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Golgo 13 smokes a cigarette after having sex with an unknown female redhead with a red ribbon.
  • Storming the Castle: The climax has Golgo 13 storm Dawson Tower, fighting off attack helicopters, Snake, and Gold and Silver in the process.
  • Tears of Blood: Silver cries a single bloody tear after Gold is killed. It's hard to tell if he's actually sad because of Golds death, or just from his facial injuries.
  • The Stoic: Golgo 13's attitude throughout the film, except for a few instances.
  • Suicide by Assassin: Robert Dawson hired Duke to kill him, which is why his father is taking it out on Duke.
  • Twist Ending: It's been revealed at the end in voiceover, that Leonard Dawson's son, Robert, requested Golgo 13 to plan the hit on himself. This was during Leonards's suicide and long fall from the Pertrolneum bulding.
    Robert Dawson: "Father, please forgive me for having to leave my last message like this. I swear it will be my first and only opposition to you. Father, thank you for the enormous love you gave me for 29 years. I still remember my sixth birthday, and you baked the only cake you ever made me. It was delicious. I also remember my high school graduation where you cried the only tears you ever shed for me. It was very greatful. But thank you so much for you all your kindness to my wife Laura and my daughter Emily. Father, I know you have such terribly high hopes for me, and being incapable of fufilling those hopes, and having to push them away caused me terrible pain. Because you see, father, I couldn't have the courage to put an end my own life. So I decided to ask someone else to kill me. I believe that he will do a good job. To my great father, the emperor of Pertrolneum: Leonard Dawson. From your disobedient son, Robert."
  • Tyke-Bomb: Leonard Dawson gives his granddaughter a crash course in an attempt to ambush Duke.
  • The Voiceless: Neither Gold nor Silver ever speaks. The only noise they make is shrieks as they attack and, in Gold's case, demented, sadistic giggling.
    • Snake's dialogue is limited to animalistic hissing and growling.
  • White Mask of Doom: Silver hides a horribly disfigured face underneath.
  • The Worf Effect: The elite commando squad that go after Golgo is skilled enough to defeat him. They are dispatched in seconds by the monstrous Snake, just to showcase his skill.
  • Who Shot JFK?: While it wasn't Golgo, the movie makes it clear that it was engineered by the FBI as part of an "unusual request" by billionaire Leonard Dawson.

    Queen Bee 
  • Description Porn: Mob Boss Don Roccini describes Queen Bee and his sexual experiences with her to his butler.
  • Dirty Communist: Queen Bee and her people are Marxist Revolutionaries.
  • Evil Redhead: In the OVA, Queen Bee kills a person who squealed to the cops in cold blood, even though he has a family. Averted later when Queen Bee's past is revealed. Also, after being shot by Golgo, Queen Bee, A.K.A. Joanna Hardy, has requested before her death to Golgo to kill Thomas Waltham, the man responsible for manipulating her father.
  • Fiery Redhead: Queen Bee, A.K.A. Sonja, A.K.A. Joanna Hardy.
  • Gorn: In the OVA, Queen Bee disembowels a person attempting to attack her children.
  • Made a Slave: Joanna Hardy was made one by her father's assistants.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Robert Hardy's gravestone at the end of the movie reveals that the story takes place during the 2000 US presidential election. The film itself came out in 1998.
  • Rape as Drama: One of the film's pivotal revelations comes when it is learned that Queen Bee (Joanna Hardy) was raped by Thomas Waltham as a child.
  • Split Screen: Used more often in the 1983 anime movie, Queen Bee and the anime TV series.
  • The Stinger: During the credits Golgo 13 assassinates Thomas Waltham aboard his ship along with his accomplices after Golgo assassinated Queen Bee per a contract she made with him before he did so.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Queen Bee's peoples are squarely over this line but not unsympathetic.


Video Example(s):



In The Professional, Cindy says his name out loud as Duke found out who Dr. Z 'really' is before killing his target.

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