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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Golgo 13


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Heather Plunkett



Joined: 02 Mar 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:41 pm Reply with quote
Hey Jason! This is Heather from the Cartoon Art Museum Bookstore in San Francisco.

I wanted to thank you for this awesome review! A regular customer came in after reading it yesterday and bought volume 1. Loved it and came back today for the other eight volumes I had in stock!

Keep it up man!!!
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 775

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:32 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
mrakai:
Quote:
Not to rain on this theory but the movie Luc Besson made was called "Leon".


Sony might've appropriated the title, but it's still a Golgo movie by way of Lone Wolf and Cub. And Besson can be seen hanging out with Buichi Terasawa. Not to mention that he placed actual Viz manga in a scene in The Fifth Element. So he is a fan of anime and manga.


While I don't doubt the manga influence in Besson, it's not like Golgo was the first sniper hitman story ever conceived. I think Leon is different enough to stand on its own. It really is a pretty nifty action movie.

There are many reasons why Golgo isn't more popular. Not just the staid art, but the fact that Duke Togo is not a character that appeals to Western audiences outside of being really badass. He doesn't "develop" or go through any of the kind of "growth" that people expect out of manga and anime. He's more a force of nature. Even Batman (who could also be considered more of a force of nature in many of his stories) has his own backstory and everything. In some stories, DT only appears in one scene.

Many stories involve characters aged 40 and up. Many of these characters are ugly old men in ill fitting suits. Sometimes you get the occasional girl who pops up, but Saito draws women so poorly that I find it difficult to believe any male under 30 would come to these stories for the sex factor. Forget "moe", even by the standards of drawing pretty mature women, Saito's art fails on every count. Honestly, even Steve Ditko draws prettier women than this (okay, maybe not). Laughing

There's also the fact that sometimes the stories get very political. Nothing puts an American comics reader to sleep faster than stories involving politics.

I like Golgo 13 a lot, but it's really not a mystery why this franchise isn't more popular.


Last edited by bravetailor on Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dr. Osaka



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:35 pm Reply with quote
Golgo 13 is a bland superhero idolized by henpecked men and socially inept, Internet obsessed vermin.
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Daimao Raki



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 587
Location: Dark Side of the Moon

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:25 pm Reply with quote
reanimator wrote:


There are two things common with typical young manga fans and American comic fans: Style over Substance and Too much Fan Pandering

As I get older, I found both parties to be ignorant and stubborn. While young manga fans are always going after latest trend of particular art style and story pattern, and comic fans solely judge the quality of comic by realistic draftsmanship, but dull visuals.
I can't agree with that more. I think Golgo is great honestly. If I want nice art I'll go with something else. But to be fair, I don't even think the art in Golgo 13 is bad.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 337
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:54 am Reply with quote
I never understood people (or Internet trolls, for that matter) who complain that Golgo 13 is sexist. If you want to complain about sexist manga, please, at least start with Wounded Man and AIEUO Boy. And that's not even getting into the p*rn... please, let's work to eliminate sexism from p*rn manga first. That should keep us all busy.

Heck, even the first James Bond novel ends with Bond saying "The b*tch is dead." :/ Like I said: in the ranks of gar heroes, Golgo's a gentleman.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3309
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:32 pm Reply with quote
Yes, Jason, the only reason someone wouldn't want to start reading a 163-volume long and still ongoing series of stand-alone adventures of an assassin killing people and having sex with women is because of the art. (resists urge to use eye-roll emoticon)

And yeah, it's the total lack of overarching plot that has made me never want to pick up Golgo 13. I don't particularly like 100% episodic manga. Or stories where the main character is completely amoral, for that matter (90s anti-heroes, anyone?).

I'm just saying, not all manga readers are just looking for moe; some of just don't like this particular kind of story. And indeed, most young people who read comics, at least among the ones I know, love manga for the ongoing story that they can pick apart and then eagerly await the continuation. Something like Golgo 13, where the story is over after each job and there aren't many continuing characters, isn't going to appeal to them.

But I suppose that if you mean "Why didn't this series get picked up in the 1990s when this kind of thing was all the rage in mainstream American comics?" that, I don't know, but there the art might have something to do with it.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 337
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:53 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
Yes, Jason, the only reason someone wouldn't want to start reading a 163-volume long and still ongoing series of stand-alone adventures of an assassin killing people and having sex with women is because of the art. (resists urge to use eye-roll emoticon)

And yeah, it's the total lack of overarching plot that has made me never want to pick up Golgo 13. I don't particularly like 100% episodic manga. Or stories where the main character is completely amoral, for that matter (90s anti-heroes, anyone?).

I'm just saying, not all manga readers are just looking for moe; some of just don't like this particular kind of story. And indeed, most young people who read comics, at least among the ones I know, love manga for the ongoing story that they can pick apart and then eagerly await the continuation. Something like Golgo 13, where the story is over after each job and there aren't many continuing characters, isn't going to appeal to them.


I like long continuing stories in manga too, much more than short stories. Golgo is definitely an anachronism in manga. But, each story is its own tight little plot, usually with a fair amount of real-world research and historical-political crunch (which I like), and an ending. It's like choosing between sweet and savory; short stories are satisfying in a different way than the epic but nigh-endless adventures of the eternal Luffy or Ichigo (or Salaryman Kosaku Shima, for a more relevant comparison Wink ).
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ben_the_bear



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Location: NC, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:47 pm Reply with quote
Funny you should write about Golgo 13, because I just started playing Saints Row 3.

http://cloud.steampowered.com/​ugc/​487751575556655111/​A480327635CE00D3F403​C2DC6C51DAA38CE97A6B​/​
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12498

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:16 am Reply with quote
Maybe it's just the difference between Dick Tracy and The Spirit. They're both old crime comics, but one had a hit movie, because it was Batman-esque, and the other was Frank Miller's Howard The Duck. And while Dezaki's anime adaptations were nowhere near as bad as The Spirit movie, they did leave a bad impression on newer viewers expecting something a little more layered. That's probably why Kite took off, because people sympathized with Sawa more than Duke, even though Queen Bee essentially told the same story as Kite.
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simside



Joined: 07 May 2010
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:45 pm Reply with quote
ptolemy18 wrote:
What the heck?!?! You're Connie from Slightly Biased Manga?? I never even realized it! Nice to meet you, I love your reviews!

I'm pretty sure Carl was the one who added the D&D spells to the chapter titles of that volume. -_-


Yup, that's me. And thanks! I'm thrilled to hear that! I always love reading your articles.

Aww, the other stories were so detailed and well-researched, I thought that was an especially maniacal/nice touch to have those D&D spells for the chapter titles. I am a little disappointed the original didn't go that far, but it's still pretty awesome.
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