Golgo 13, part 1

Golgo 13 is a fictional assassin and is the lead protagonist in his own manga series, also titled Golgo 13, created by Japanese mangaka Takao Saito.

The Golgo 13 series is one of the longest running adult manga in Japan and has been adapted into two live action films (Golgo 13 and Golgo 13: Kûron no kubi), two anime movies directed by Osamu Dezaki, and three video games including Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode and its NES sequel, The Mafat Conspiracy: Golgo 13 II and a light gun arcade game released only in Japan. Since its debut in 1968, it has sold over 200 million copies in various formats, including compilation books.

Golgo 13 has been called a Japanese counterpart to James Bond, except with a darker character, a much more hardcore attitude towards sex, and a complete lack of morality. Golgo 13 is described as a mystery man of undetermined origin, possibility being at least part Japanese, who takes any assignment for any employer (it has been said he has worked for the CIA and the KGB) as long as the right price is given (usually around 1 million dollars for a hit) and will always fulfill his contracts, even if he has two or more opposing contracts at the same time. He is an uncanny sharpshooter, with near 100% accuracy (with only one missed shot) and capable of lethal trick shooting, and regularly uses a customized, scoped M-16 rifle in his assassinations. He also is a heavy smoker of cigars.

Despite Golgo's "amoral" status, the stories are always set up so that Golgo is at least nominally a "good guy" -- his targets are typically criminals or people who otherwise at least partially "deserve" what they get. There are no stories that involve completely innocent people being assassinated.

Particularly in the later volumes, Golgo himself tends to take a back seat to the other characters involved in the contract. It's not uncommon for Golgo to only appear in a single panel or two out of a 150-page story.

Two animated movies were created, The Professional: Golgo 13 and Golgo 13: Queen Bee. The Professional: Golgo 13 was once licensed by Orion and Streamline Pictures and now is licensed by Urban Vision. Queen Bee is also licensed by that same company and celebrity voice actor John DiMaggio (Bender of Futurama) plays the role of Golgo 13 in Queen Bee.
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