Saito, Takao 1936-
Saito, Takao 1936-
Born November 11, 1936, in Osaka, Japan.
Writer, illustrator, comic book writer, and publisher. Saito Production Co. Ltd. (a comic book artists and writers studio), founder and owner, 1960—.
Golgo 13, Volumes 1-6, VIZ Media (San Francisco, CA), 2006.
Golgo 13, Volumes 7-13, VIZ Media (San Francisco, CA), 2007.
Also author and illustrator of graphic novels Into the Wolve's Lair, 1986; Galinpero, 1986; Ice Lake Hit, 1986; The Ivory Connection, 1987; The Impossible Hit, 1989; The Argentine Tiger 1, 1991; The Argentine Tiger 2, 1991; and The Argentine Tiger 3, 1991. Artist and illustrator of comic book series, including Muyonosuke, 1967; Survival, 1976; Kumotori Zanpei, 1983; Oniheihankachou, 1993; Shikakenin Fujieda Baian, 2002; Kagegari, and Dingo.
Takao Saito is a Japanese comic book artist and graphic novelist, writer, and publisher whose creation, Golgo 13, is a long-term mainstay in Japanese animation and manga (comic books). Saito embarked on his professional comics career in 1955; in the years since, he has been a prolific producer of many popular and long-running manga features. Golgo 13, for example, premiered in 1968. Saito is considered a pioneer in the Japanese style of Gekiga, a style of comics that concentrates on mature themes and that had a profound effect on the Japanese comics industry, noted a biographer on the Saito-Production Web site.
Beginning in 2006, VIZ Media, a prominent American publisher of Japanese graphic novels and other publications, began reprinting Golgo 13 adventures. By 2007, eleven volumes had appeared, with more slated to appear. "Golgo 13 is the James Bond of Japan, but without the wry sense of humor," remarked a Publishers Weekly reviewer. The character is a mercenary and assassin, a deadly sniper who will take on any job for the right amount of money, who will travel to any part of the world in pursuit of his quarries, and will hunt to the death anyone he is contracted to pursue. Supremely skilled with a rifle, Golgo 13's signature is a one-shot kill, and he has never been known to miss. He is also a sexual dynamo with amazing lovemaking prowess. In the first volume of the VIZ reprints, then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has constructed an ominous supergun, a powerful weapon capable of hitting a target in the United States after being fired from its hiding place in Iraq. A shot from the supergun could not be stopped. Golgo 13 and President Bill Clinton become involved in the race to find and destroy the supergun before it can be put to deadly use. The second story concentrates on the fearsome reputation enjoyed by Golgo, and how it is often enough by itself to bring about fear, mistrust, and errors in his enemies. After a mobster runs over the fi- ancée of a private investigator, word gets around that Golgo 13 has been hired to extract revenge. The mere threat of being hunted by Golgo is "enough to reduce the mobster to a quivering wreck," observed George Galuschak in Kliatt. Galuschak concluded that Golgo 13's exploits "will certainly appeal to lovers of hard-boiled adventure."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kliatt, May 1, 2006, George Galuschak, review of Golgo 13, p. 28.
Publishers Weekly, January 23, 2006, review of Golgo 13, Volume 1, p. 193.
Anime News Network,http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ (May 24, 2007), biography of Takao Saito.
Blogcritics.org,http://www.blogcritics.org/ (October 5, 2006), Bill Sherman, review of Golgo 13, Volume 1.
Saito-Production,http://www.saito-pro.co.jp/english/index.htm (May 24, 2007), biography of Takao Saito.