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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Golgo 13


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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14630
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:30 am Reply with quote
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Why isn't Golgo more popular here? My guess is, it's the art. Manga fans don't like Saito's art because it's old-fashioned and not moe (perhaps, since he uses a studio of artists anyway, Saito should license out Golgo and do a bishonen Golgo)and American comics fans don't like it because there's too many cartoony elements: sweatdrops, goofy expressions and big noses.


It's 'cus Luc Besson's The Professional ripped off Golgo's anime movie namesake, but went all sappy on it, and people want a killer with a heart of gold now. That, and casual readers had no recent domestic media property they could relate to on the same level as Golgo, until a certain George Clooney movie came along.
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chloes_fork



Joined: 08 Jun 2004
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:22 pm Reply with quote
There are no words ("...," indeed) for how much I love Golgo 13. I have every English-language manga release mentioned in this article, and I would eagerly buy all 163 volumes if I could.

One of the few things I love as much as Japanese pop culture is James Bond, and so Golgo is pretty much the best of all possible geek worlds for me. (Though I would kill to see English versions of the actual Bond manga Saito did.) They're not the same character, obviously, but they push many of the same alpha-male-ultimate-professional buttons.

I've never found any of the anime adaptations of Golgo 13 completely satisfying. The movies tend to be too action-oriented, whereas the manga typically focuses more on planning and precision -- one bullet, not hundreds. (Not that there aren't exceptions.) And the TV series has to condense the stories too much; I miss the more intricate plotting of the manga.

But the manga is the bomb, and it's a bummer it doesn't sell well over here. People just don't know what's good. Sad
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mrakai



Joined: 30 Oct 2003
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:35 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:


It's 'cus Luc Besson's The Professional ripped off Golgo's anime movie namesake, but went all sappy on it, and people want a killer with a heart of gold now. That, and casual readers had no recent domestic media property they could relate to on the same level as Golgo, until a certain George Clooney movie came along.


Not to rain on this theory but the movie Luc Besson made was called "Leon".

The company (Columbia?) that released it in the US cut about 30 minutes and renamed it to "The Professional".

To add to the confusion, the uncut version was eventually released as "Leon: The Professional".
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Generic #757858



Joined: 03 Nov 2008
Posts: 1354
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:57 pm Reply with quote
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I'm going to celebrate by getting my own Golgo 13 underwear and wearing it as I read it.


If you don't want to smoke Parliaments as well, you could always get some Lotte Black Black to chew.
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Joe Carpenter



Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 503
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:31 pm Reply with quote
man, I wonder who would win in a showdown, Duke Togo or Agent 47? (from the Hitman games)

it'd be like an unstoppable force hitting an immovable object
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 2011
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Really cool to see Golgo 13 get the front page splash instead of the usual sidebar listing. I do hope that those Viz volumes aren't too expensive now, since i really would love to have them. I do have the two sets Sentai did for the TV series, and I have Collection 3 on pre-order, not to mention that I do have the Queen Bee movie and will be buying Discotek's upcoming re-release the first movie, but I wish I really had the manga.

Anyway, like Jason said, Golgo is definitely the defintion of "'Why' or 'if' isn't what's important, but rather 'how'." I already know that Golgo will do his job, but I have no idea how he's going to do it, and that's the fun of this series.

I kind of agree with Jason's explanation that Saito's artwork is what kills the mangas chances over here, and I hate to admit that. Personally, I feel that artwork, unless it's absolutely incomprehensible, should never be the reason to ignore a title, since you could very well miss out on some truly great titles if you go solely off of how the art works. For example, I'd love to see Nobuyuki Fukumoto's mangas brought over, but I also feel that they'll sell horribly simply because people will see Fukumoto's "horrible" artwork (Fukumoto's own words), and then promptly not want to read it, even though Fukumoto's titles are generally amazingly great psycological stories.
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Animerican14



Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 961
Location: Saint Louis, MO
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:56 pm Reply with quote
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Golgo 13 has tackled almost every imaginable topical subject, including a story about a manga artist (in which Saito proved incapable of drawing the artist's 'moe' artstyle)

Okay, so I don't have a particularly strong interest in Golgo 13 (definitely enough to read through the article, at least)... but I'd really love to see what Saito's version of moe looked like. Laughing Any chance of anyone uploading a pic of that?
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simside



Joined: 07 May 2010
Posts: 29
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:27 pm Reply with quote
I literally just found out about the English Leeds volumes last week. I picked up three at the used bookstore I work at, and placed an order for the rest in English, because I LOVE GOLGO 13. I love that it has these long, well-researched storylines that did or could have happened, balanced with things like getting Princess Diana's driver drunk with a syringe full of beer. And that he is a perfect character. He has a set pattern of behavior that never changes, and regardless of the outlandish situation, he can be expected to act in a very particular way.

And I can really only do the manga. I tried watching a little bit of the anime, and somehow, I just couldn't get into the story adaptations. Similarly, I've tried the Assignment Kowloon movie, but Duke Togo made the transition into real life too easily, and it freaked me out that Sonny Chiba looked so much like him.

This is also one of the few manga series my roommate and I read together, volume by volume, as the Viz edition was coming out. If not for him, I would have been completely lost during the European politics tabletop game. He had to tell me all the chapter titles were D&D spells, and why it was the most awesome thing that could have happened when they rolled a 100-sided die to determine Golgo 13's success or failure.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:01 pm Reply with quote
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.

Lord Geo: What's expensive is trying to get the pre-Viz single issues from the 80s.
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zawa113



Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 7326
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:10 am Reply with quote
Yikes, I knew it was a long manga, but 163 volumes? Wow, puts Inuyasha into perspective.

Anyway, I never knew wtf Viz was doing with Golgo 13, so it seems they did a 13 volume "best of" in essence? I thought they were going from the start, which intimidated me since I knew it's a really long manga. I'll have to see if I can't pick up a few volumes then, it sounds like it's two stories per volume, hopefully I don't need to read them in order.
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reanimator





PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:15 am Reply with quote
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Why, Duke Togo? Why? Why isn't Golgo more popular here? My guess is, it's the art. Manga fans don't like Saito's art because it's old-fashioned and not moe (perhaps, since he uses a studio of artists anyway, Saito should license out Golgo and do a bishonen Golgo)and American comics fans don't like it because there's too many cartoony elements: sweatdrops, goofy expressions and big noses. And frankly, by any standards, Saito's art is pretty stiff: in the early '70s it has a nice rugged cartoony look with lots of dark spaces, but in the more recent stories, it looks…well, like a dozen different people all drawing different parts of a manga and assembling them in a factory. And Saito always draws people with the weirdest eyelashes.

Although crime and 'noir' comics are popular in America, they all either have a super-serious, realistic art style, like Sean Phillips, or they're stylized in a certain way with heavy use of dark spaces, like Mike Mignola, Eduardo Risso and Frank Miller. When I asked American crime comics fans on Twitter why they didn't like Golgo, one guy just answered "Sanctuary!" as if a comic that came out more than 10 years before Viz's Golgo was somehow competing with it. But he's right: the plot of Sanctuary is just as over-the-top and melodramatic as Golgo but American readers instantly respected it because of Ryoichi Ikegami's photorealistic art, but they couldn't look past Saito's goofy artwork on Golgo. Even Lone Wolf and Cub had Goseki Kojima's beautiful brushwork. Artwise, the closest thing in English to Golgo 13 are probably oldschool "serious" newspaper comics, like Rex Morgan, M.D. and Dick Tracy.


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.

Regardless of art style or trend, a good comic(manga) is all about telling great story in most effective manner regardless of age or generation.

I can forgive Takeo Saito's art style because he is the product of his generation and his lack of formal art training which many of western counterparts already have. It won't be easy to change Golgo 13's art style to current popular style because Saito's art style is deeply rooted into Japanese readers' consciousness and trendy art style ages fast. Instead of going Moe style which won't be taken seriously, Saito should look out for better illustrators who are good at realistic, yet stylized depiction of people.
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dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9892
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:23 am Reply with quote
If I had to take on the driver of a Buffel, I'd choose 7.62 or something bigger. Colt / Armalite should really thank Saito for promoting M16 to the level of a sniper rifle.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14194
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:02 am Reply with quote
mrakai wrote:
GATSU wrote:
Quote:
Why isn't Golgo more popular here? My guess is, it's the art. Manga fans don't like Saito's art because it's old-fashioned and not moe (perhaps, since he uses a studio of artists anyway, Saito should license out Golgo and do a bishonen Golgo)and American comics fans don't like it because there's too many cartoony elements: sweatdrops, goofy expressions and big noses.


It's 'cus Luc Besson's The Professional ripped off Golgo's anime movie namesake, but went all sappy on it, and people want a killer with a heart of gold now. That, and casual readers had no recent domestic media property they could relate to on the same level as Golgo, until a certain George Clooney movie came along.


Not to rain on this theory but the movie Luc Besson made was called "Leon".

The company (Columbia?) that released it in the US cut about 30 minutes and renamed it to "The Professional".

To add to the confusion, the uncut version was eventually released as "Leon: The Professional".


At least it has loli Natalie Portman, right? Laughing
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 357
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Animerican14 wrote:
Quote:
Golgo 13 has tackled almost every imaginable topical subject, including a story about a manga artist (in which Saito proved incapable of drawing the artist's 'moe' artstyle)

Okay, so I don't have a particularly strong interest in Golgo 13 (definitely enough to read through the article, at least)... but I'd really love to see what Saito's version of moe looked like. Laughing Any chance of anyone uploading a pic of that?


Unfortunately I saw it years ago and don't have it anymore and don't remember the name.... and (sorry to get your hopes up!!) I was using 'moe' in the broad sense, it was actually more like a genero-'anime' art style, not specifically K-on!/Azumanga moe-like or anything. -_-
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 357
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:33 pm Reply with quote
simside wrote:
I literally just found out about the English Leeds volumes last week. I picked up three at the used bookstore I work at, and placed an order for the rest in English, because I LOVE GOLGO 13. I love that it has these long, well-researched storylines that did or could have happened, balanced with things like getting Princess Diana's driver drunk with a syringe full of beer. And that he is a perfect character. He has a set pattern of behavior that never changes, and regardless of the outlandish situation, he can be expected to act in a very particular way.

And I can really only do the manga. I tried watching a little bit of the anime, and somehow, I just couldn't get into the story adaptations. Similarly, I've tried the Assignment Kowloon movie, but Duke Togo made the transition into real life too easily, and it freaked me out that Sonny Chiba looked so much like him.

This is also one of the few manga series my roommate and I read together, volume by volume, as the Viz edition was coming out. If not for him, I would have been completely lost during the European politics tabletop game. He had to tell me all the chapter titles were D&D spells, and why it was the most awesome thing that could have happened when they rolled a 100-sided die to determine Golgo 13's success or failure.


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. -_-
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