The ceremony to celebrate the 45 anniversary of Golgo 13 was held in Tokyo on 13th November. The author Takao Saito and other famous comic writers attended the ceremony; also they were joined by the vice president of Japan.
Golgo 13 is the oldest manga still in publication. Its tankobon edition has the third highest number of volumes and its bunkoban have also been popular. The series has spawned video games, films, and a TV series. When first published it experienced an almost immediate impact. What made Golgo so different was the way he was designed to be more Western, disregarding the traditional Japanese assassin. His self-determination and autonomy and ability to survive by his own personal code set him apart. In part perhaps Takao Saito, after creating a short James Bond manga in 1960, created Golgo as a Japanese Bond. In the 1970s and 80s in Japan this was something very different, combining Western references and Japanese morals to great effect, of course with Saito Productions high quality visuals.
For 45 years, since 1968, he has never stopped the series. “When I started Golgo 13, I thought it would continue at most 10 years,” Takao Saito said. He is surprised at its success himself but added “I will continue”.In the ceremony, Golgo 13 drawn by famous comic writers such as Fujiko Fujio A (Obake no kyu-taro), Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk), Eichiro Oda (ONE PIECE), and Rumiko Takahashi (Ramma 1/2) were displayed.
Takao Saito said, “Duke Togo, the name of main character was from my teacher I respected in the junior high school. He was the only person who taught me a lot”. Duke Togo usually used a customized M-16 rifle to complete his missions. Playing in with the Western theme Golgo 13 is loaded with biblical themes. Golgo is actually short for Golgotha the place Jesus was crucified. The “13” relates to the unlucky number of people at the last supper and his logo is a skeleton wearing a crown of thorns. We never see Duke enjoying the results of his work, or material possessions. Essentially he is there to sacrifice himself for the sins of society. Although the world changes around Duke Togo, Saito often references current events, he never changes.
When the reporter asked him “When can we see the last episode?”. He clearly answered, “I cannot decide it easily. But I have a clear story about it in my head.”