You may ask me, what human sides Duke Togo can possible have? That is a valid question, a good answer would be “none”, most likely. Is he even a human, that’s a good topic of discussion too. Duke Togo is a person with no morals who lives by killing people without distinction or sign of regret, his actions always follow perfectly thought-out plans, he never loses, always ahead of his opponents in terms of both brute power and tactics. That is just not what humans are like. And keep in mind, this is a very-very realistic anime, it is not a shonen show where, say Gin Ichimaru can work on treacherous plans for half a century without ever changing his facial expression. In Golgo 13 people are real, and a character like Duke does stand off. So what do I mean by “human side”, if he clearly is a made-up unrealistic figure in this anime?
Let me take a step back and talk about episode 23 that I just watched. So in that episode Golgo was on a plane that was hijacked. Hijackers were going to blow it up, and officials couldn’t do anything. But they knew Golgo was on the board. So through some weird ciphered messages they hired him to take care of the guys who were causing the troubles. Here is the interesting part. It is obvious that Duke would have took care of those guys anyway, cause he was on the plane, and there is no way he would let some random psychos blow him up. What was not clear was the safety of other passengers. He could have let a whole lot of them die; he is Golgo 13, he has no mercy, or feelings for that matter. So what they actually did was hiring Golgo to save the passengers and get rid of the hijackers. And that was exactly what he did. He made sure none of the passengers got hurt, for example he forbid them to follow him when he was about to attack guys in the pilot cabin.
Now, since when Golgo started to take on jobs like that? Saving people, really, was that always on his price list? Here is what I think about it. Golgo, while being extremely proficient with his plans, very particular with his habits and doing almost everything perfectly, is not a slave of his own rules. That is a lot for a fictional character of this type, if you think about it. Yes, he is a sniper, but he would take a job of saving people if he likes it. And that kinda links his person back together. He does have some sort of human-like personality, deep inside of him. In that same episode there was a scene where hijackers were choosing which passengers would remain hostage, and which would be allowed to leave. For some reason the bandits were asking passengers who are willing to stay to stand up. Golgo didn’t. But then another passenger asked him to join them and stay and he agreed. If you are inclined to think that he did so out of sense of honor – watch the show, you’ll change your mind. He probably just wanted to have some fun taking care of those guys who attacked the plane. But that is a human emotion too – desire to have fun I mean. He did this sort of thing before; once he took a job which involved becoming a prisoner, and it was absolutely obvious that he did it only to escape from that prison, to test himself, to show that he, Duke Togo, can do even that. Another time he took a job of destroying a whole gang in jungles of South America, where he was fighting using rockets, machine guns and military vehicles. Obviously that was him playing in war, seeing if he can take on something this crazy.
So what I want to say is – Golgo does have a human side. A peculiar one, but still. If he does have an overarching characteristic, that would not be a machine-like behavior, but rather desire for freedom. And freedom is a word with positive connotation, but I don’t think we have a negative or neutral equivalent for it in English. What I mean is, Duke isn’t bounded by anything. He likes to be superior, but if the situation demands it, he can behave in a relatively meek fashion; he likes to be silent or say minimum required, but if needed he can chat like normal people do, etc. If he has a desire that requires him to cross a law or go beyond the boundaries of morals – he would do it, and he would make sure he gets away with it.
And the thing is, a lot of times this quality I’ve described can look horrifying in an individual. Even in this silly show that you don’t take 100% seriously Duke manages to make you feel uncomfortable at times. I seriously think he should occupy the first position of top list of bad guys in anime. But in this particular episode it wasn’t like that. Actually, if you try to imagine yourself in such situation, with armed people taking over your plane, planning to kill you, you’d want to be able to defend yourself, or have someone defending you. Being like Golgo, a person who doesn’t care about a four people with guns, who is confident he can take them on – in that situation you might be glad to take it. So instead of being horrible he kinda looked positive this time.
He did kill two of the hijacker at the end of the episode though. I wish he didn’t, that would have made this episode even better. Golgo as a good guy, we need to see this some time. I bet he wants to be a good guy too, just for a change.
That is it from me. If you don’t care about this Dike Togo guy and I bored you – sorry ^^’ See you next time (^_^)/
My other post on Golgo 13 here.
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