I thought I'd do a meme of one of my favorite anime characters. The subject of course being good ol' Duke Togo/Golgo 13. But for this submission, I've borrowed images from the following media that the character has appeared in. From right to left, is a timeline featuring images from the manga by Takao Saito, and the images from Kowloon Assignment, The Professional, Queen Bee, and the 2008 TV series. As you can see, Duke has retained pretty much the same design throughout the course of time. There are slight differences in his design, but otherwise, he's remained pretty much the same. But in this case, it's not a bad thing. Because Golgo 13 is a good example of something that doesn't really need to change. I mean seriously, who doesn't like his buzzcut type hairstyle with the long sideburns and thick bushy eye brows? And his cold stare is enough to convince anybody that he means business, and he'll kick your ass (or kill you) if you mess with him.
Panel #1: This is the drawing style of Takao Saito, the creator of the manga series where Golgo 13 made his debut. This design was used for the character's appearances in the manga, and is still in use today. Not only was this design used for the manga, but it has also been used for some of Golgo's other appearances including in various drinking cans, plastic wraps for snacks, Japanese commercials, and other media. In fact, Golgo 13 is everywhere in Japanese media.
Panel #2: A screenshot from the 1977 film "Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment", also known as "Golgo 13: Hong Kong Assignment", where the assassin is hired to kill a Chinese drug lord named "Chu Lu Fung", and later a man named Polanski. In this movie, Duke was played by famous Japanese actor Sonny Chiba, who most people know as Hattori Hanzo, the swordsmith who gave Uma Thurman her sword in the first episode of the Tarantino film series "Kill Bill". Chiba is also known for his roles in the 70s as Hattori Hanzo from Kage no Gundan, and as Yagyu Jubei from Shogun's Samurai.
Panel #3: A screenshot from "Golgo 13: The Professional", released in 1983. This movie featured some really impressive animation for its time. Hell, it still looks nice today. Being from the 80s, the animation in this movie had sort of a comicbook look to its style with the rich colors, heavy shadows, and crosshatch lines. The Professional was also one of the first anime cartoons to make use of CGI in certain scenes. Although it's pretty dated and poor quality compared to the CGI we have today, it was pretty good for its time. But what really stands out in this movie are the action scenes and the catchy as hell soundtrack. In this movie, Duke was voiced by Greg Snegoff.
Panel #4: A shot from "Golgo 13: Queen Bee", which came out 15 years after the Professional. This movie featured more up to date animation with cleaner lines, richer colors, stylish shading, great special effects, and a nice soundtrack with some very original music. Though, admittedly, I didn't like this OVA as much as I liked The Professional. I felt that it wasn't really on par with it, and it was pretty short, being only an hour long. And not only that, but this movie didn't push Duke to his limits in showing us just how badass he really is. So basically, there was virtually no challenge for him. At least not like the kind that he had in The Professional. All in all, Queen Bee is an okay film, but it just wasn't as good as the film that came 15 years before it. In this movie, Duke was voiced by John DiMaggio. And he provided him with a pretty deep and mysterious sounding voice.
Panel #5: Perhaps Duke's most recent appearance was in this TV series. Like John DiMaggio before him, David Wald provided the character with a deep and mysterious kind of voice, which I think is quite appropriate for him given his dark antihero type of character.
Golgo 13 belongs to Takao Saito.