Golgo 13; (relatively) human side of Duke Togo

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?


In case you don’t know who Gin is – here you go

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.

Golgo 13 episode 23

Oh, and in case you don’t know who Duke Togo is, and for some reason you kept reading – it is this guy here.

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.

Golgo 13 episode 23 pic 3

Random picture from the episode

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.

Golgo 13 episode 23 pic 6

This is an image from the opening, hence better quality


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.

Golgo 13 episode 23 pic 4

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.

To see the catalog of the posts published in this blog click here.


7 thoughts on “Golgo 13; (relatively) human side of Duke Togo

  1. You just made me add Golgo 13 to my ‘To watch’ list ^-^
    I find Golgo’s character interesting. About what you said about Golgo killing two of the hijackers in he end, I think it is better that way. From what I’ve read, the author isn’t trying to prove that Golgo is a good guy who cares about others. Trying to stop some hijackers without killing them is not something that would have been at the top of his things to do list and it would have probably been out of character if he did something like that =) Though I guess after watching him all this time, you want to believe that there is a human behind that cold and calculating killer =)

    • I don’t think you’d like the show ^.^’ Maybe I’m wrong though, I often am =)

      Oh of course not :D I am just saying that it would be fitting for Golgo to play a good guy, just for the fun of it. He isn’t like those evil guys with identity issues (like half the bad guys in Naruto >.>), doing something good or something really bad won’t affect his personality and self assessment =)

      • I don’t know if I’ll like it. But I’m sure I won’t hate it :3

        So Golgo is the kinda guy who would try being a good guy just for fun. Hmm… I have a feeling I’ll probably like his character O.O
        Orochimaru is the only interesting evil guy in Naruto >. < All the others are boring. Except for Nagato I guess.

        • That is just my impression of that character; he doesn’t show emotions and we never get to hear his thoughts, so it is not an easy task to tell what’s on his mind =)

          I’d say a lot of them are interesting in their own way. It was interesting to see Obito with his strange personality that reminds me of a grown-up who never found a place in life that would satisfy him. A grown man with teenager problems, I don’t mind having such character =) Nagato was interesting when he was Pain, a man who believed himself to be a god. That is interesting for a different reason, and his speeches were kinda awesome ^^ Madara was more than a little awesome too, especially when he just appeared and defeated an entire army. He didn’t even have a moral code, a high goal, he was just evil :3 Gaara, Itachi, Orochimaru, Deidara, they were pretty good as enemies too, each with something unique and interesting to him.

          By the way, I just realized that I don’t remember a female character being antagonist in an anime O.o I mean an “antagonist” in shonen fighting anime sense.

          • There is only one character that managed to remain a complete mystery to me until the very end of the anime. His name is Johan Liebert, a character from Monster. I doubt Golgo will be able to amuse me as much as Johan did. I could never understand what went though Johan’s head =)

            Yeah. They were all good but what annoys me is that Naruto always manages to change his enemies. He could even disturb Obito, a guy who had completely rejected his past. And Madara defeating the entire army and the kages was annoying. So that means what? All the current ninjas are useless? -_- Oh well. I liked Slayers better. Lina had to kill Rezo and copy Rezo even though she knew that all they wanted was something that others got without having to work for hard. That is a lot better since changing them is impossible. Once a person becomes obsessed with something, beating some sense into their heads becomes a pretty hard task. So I will vote for Orochimaru anytime 0:) He does bad things because he is curious to see the results XD That is a lot better than people fighting for revenge or power :3

            I’ve seen some female antagonists :3 Like Diva from Blood+, Rumi from Perfect Blue, Sunako from Shiki ( Her character is more sad than evil though).

            • So Monster has such interesting characters huh =) All the more reason to see it ^^ Not that I need any, to be honest, any anime from your fav list get a pass anyway :D
              Unless you put your imagination into work Golgo is as amusing as a log, so yeah, I bet you are right xDD

              A lot of stories have this thing where heroes from the past are stronger than the current generation. So I didn’t feel a bit weird when Madara was shown to be superior fighter to all the current kages :P That’s an opinion thing though =)
              Yeah obsession is a motif in Slayers for sure. You’ve seen all the five seasons by now, right? =) (I’ve checked your mal list :P) That moment when Rezo revived in a kid’s body just finished curing all those people – what did he do right after? Opened his eyes, knowing he would pay the ultimate price for a few seconds of being able to see. I liked that moment so much I almost forgave them all the mistakes and inconsistency they had in last two seasons *_*

              Also now that you’ve seen all the five seasons of Slayers I can bug with questions “what did you think about this and this part of the anime” :3 I’ll try not to be too annoying with those ^. ^’

              xDD I didn’t mean people like Rumi xP I was talking about bad guys (I mean bad girls O.o) shonen style, like Medusa from Souls Eater. But in general yes, there are female antagonists, for sure =) You can name Lady Eboshi from Princess Mononoke, Dante from FMA.

              • Yup. But Monster has an awfully slow pace and I’ve seen people who dropped it because of that. The slow pace gives us time to think about the characters and the situations. It makes the show more interesting. I think you’ll enjoy it though. It is probably your cup of tea :3

                Well I can’t agree with that belief :(
                Yup. I liked that moment too ^-^ It made me like his character even more =) To think he went through all that trouble and was even prepared to die only to be able to see for a few seconds. It kinda sad.
                I just updated my favorite characters list in MAL. I’ll have to update my manga list sometime soon -_-
                You can go ahead and ask the questions senpai :P Slayers is a great show and I don’t mind spending a lot of time talking to you about it :3

                Rumi is such a great character ._. lol XD I know what you mean :P

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