Professional, The: Golgo 13 (1983)

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Released 10-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Perfect Blue; Wicked City; Akira; Blackjack
DVD Credits
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 90:48 (Case: 93)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Osamu Dezaki
Streamline Pictures
Madman Entertainment
Starring Tetsuro Sagawa
Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Goro Naya
Toshiko Fujita
Reiko Muto
Kumiko Takizawa
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music Toshiyuki Omori

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    The Professional: GOLGO 13 is a Japanese animated film centred around a professional hitman with the code name GOLGO 13.

    GOLGO 13 takes the cases that others consider impossible. He is able to reach targets that others cannot and he has never failed an assignment. Women seem to be inexplicably drawn to this mysterious hitman and he encounters many during his exploits. After completing what initially appears to be a routine hit, GOLGO finds himself pursued by a large number of mercenaries and professional killers. It soon becomes clear that the people pursuing him are from a range of various government agencies including the FBI, the CIA and the Pentagon and the person directing them is in a position of power. GOLGO must determine who is behind these forces while avoiding the men who are trying to kill him.

    This film is based on the manga by Takao Saito that was also the inspiration for a live action film released in 1977 (GOLGO 13: Kowloon Assignment), and the animated feature GOLGO 13: Queen Bee, released in 1998. This film was released in 1983 and was directed by Osamu Dezaki who may be familiar to viewers as the director of the anime movie Black Jack.

    GOLGO 13 features standard cel-based animation as you would expect for a film of this age, but it also includes a short computer animated sequence. This computer-generated sequence does not fit with the rest of the film and is disruptive to the flow of the movie. Despite this small problem, this is an entertaining film and should be enjoyed by anime fans that are not put off by the frequent violent images and occasional sex scenes.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is slightly soft throughout but luckily this does not pose a significant problem for the viewer due to the style of animation employed. No low-level noise was detected. Shadow detail is excellent throughout with the dark scenes clearly showing all the available information.

    The colour palette displayed by this transfer utilises a wide range of colours including many subtle shadings but is always slightly muted, as typically seen in anime of this age.

    Two small MPEG artefacts may be seen at 5:12 and 66:24 but due to their short duration they are only minimally distracting to the viewer. A single instance of aliasing may be seen at 82:51 but this is very minor.

    A relatively high number of film artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 2:14, 2:58, 3:15, 3:37, 3:58, 4:26 and 6:16. The majority of these artefacts are quite minor but due to their frequency they are moderately distracting.

    Numerous NTSC to PAL conversion artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some of these artefacts may be seen at 3:25, 7:08, 12:32, 16:11 and 17:49. Due to their frequency, these artefacts are slightly disruptive.

    No subtitles are provided for this transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    A single English Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 soundtrack is provided on this disc.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    As with all animation, the expected problems with audio sync are present and accounted for. No dropouts or other problems were detected during the transfer.

    The original score by Toshiyuki Omori clearly displays obvious jazz influences but unfortunately this does not work particularly well with the on-screen action and always feels slightly dated.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilised by this transfer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Theatrical Trailer (1:44)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Akira (1:15)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Perfect Blue (1:38)

    This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Black Jack (0:36)

    This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Wicked City (1:28)

    This trailer is presented with a musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc does not appear to be currently available in Region 1.


    The Professional: GOLGO 13 is an entertaining feature that should be enjoyed by any anime fan that is not put off by frequent violence and the occasional sex scene.

    The video transfer displays a number of film artefacts but considering the age of the source materials this is not surprising.

    The audio transfer is adequate but the exclusion of a Japanese audio track is very disappointing.

    The only extra included on this disc is the original trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Sunday, May 05, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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