by Chris MaGee
Okay, Duke Togo is older than 40... or is he? No one knows for sure. Togo, codename "Golgo 13" is a professional assassin whose real name, identity and history is unknown; but in the real world Duke Togo is the brainchild of manga artist Takao Saito who forty years ago this month drew the first adventure of the deadly international man of mystery in "Big Comic" magazine. Saito, along with such manga luminaries as Go Nagai, Tetsuya Chiba and Naoki Urasawa, gathered in Tokyo this past Thursday to celebrate "Golgo 13", the longest running manga for adults in Japanese history.
The party was definitely not a send off for the iconic character though. The occasion also marked the release of the 150th issue of "Golgo 13" adventures. Taking the stage Saito, now 72, reassured the audience that "I'm still doing fine. I hope you will let me continue my work for a little longer."
In the four decades since it's first appearance "Golgo 13" has been adapted into an anime series, two animated as well as two live action films. The image above is from the poster of the 1973 film titled simply "Golgo 13" starring Ken Takakura. He was portrayed again in 1977 by Sonny Chiba in "Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon". The trailer below is for the English dubbed version of Osamu Dezaki's 1983 anime film "The Professional: Golgo 13".
Thanks to Mainichi Daily News for the story.