Tako Saito, the creator of the long-running manga series Golgo 13, has passed away at age 83. His confirmed cause of death is pancreatic cancer. The news first came from Yahoo News Japan. The outlet reported that the celebrated author had passed on September 24. However, the news was released early September 29. Saito is the creator of the Golgo 13 manga. The series was first published in 1968.
Tako Saito’s manga told the story of a legendary assassin with the codename Golgo 13. Duke Togo is also Golgo’s other nickname. Golgo 13 documented the hitman’s many missions as he drew the attention of every government and security organization in the world.
Since its release, Golgo 13 has had many various media adaptations. This includes two live-action movies released in 1973 and 1977. Most notably, the 1977 version cast the martial arts actor Sonny Chiba in the forefront role. The series also has three different anime adaptations. Also, the series is referenced in other anime. For North America, Togo made his first appearance in the 1988 Nintendo game Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode. In 2016, Viz Media localized the first 13 volumes of Golgo into English.
The Continued Legacy of Golgo 13 and Its Author
Currently, the manga sets the record for being the longest-running ongoing manga. Golgo is also the second best-selling manga of all time, with the first being Oda’s One Piece. The manga celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018, and in 2003 the Japanese government awarded Tako Saito with a Medal of Honor. Also, he was awarded a Purple Ribbon Golgo 13’s contribution to the arts.
In 2013, Saito confessed that he thought the series was going to be canceled many times. To prepare for that unknown moment, he planned a finale for Golgo’s adventures. In April of this year, Saito spoke about the ending of his series, saying, “I always get questions about the final episode, and it has always been in my head… I just don’t know when it will see the light of day.” At the same time, according to publisher Shogakuan, Saito said that if he ever passed, he would want to story to continue without him. With that request, the publisher commissioned several of the editors and scriptwriters to assist the staff of Saito Productions.