Golgo 13 Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Saito Takawo
Translated by:Kenichiro Yagi
Adapted by:Carl Gustav Horn

What They Say
1994: Nelson Mandela, after 27 years in prison, has just become president of South Africa. But with deadly enemies both white and black, Mandela turns for help to the man he once served time with - Golgo 13!

Then, half a world away, Golgo arrives in the Spratly Islands - a few bits of coral in the South China Sea, sitting on oil reserves larger than Kuwait's. Six nations claim them - but it's Golgo 13 who will close the deal!

Plus, excerpts from the File 13 dossier on the other main "character," Golgo's famous customized M16 rifle, and an analysis of the assassin's sniping skill!

The Review
As a fan of politics I was riveted by what was covered in this latest release of G13. You don't have to have party affiliation to appreciate how Saitou Pro has brought back to life an important moment in modern history in one story and how freakishly spot on the other story is with geo-politics in this century (more than a decade after that story was penned). Take the significance of Nelson Mandela and his efforts to unite his nation after apartheid. The era was filled with social strife and the chance of civil war, yet through Mr. Togo readers can get a taste of history packaged in some intense action. The faces are familiar and the fiction leaves readers wondering what did happen. Now that's what sophisticated manga should be about.

At the end of apartheid, with the rebirth of a unified nation came a sense of underlying turmoil. South Africa was unified was only as strong as the people that made the nation. If their unity wavered, the nation did. If the clans resisted, the nation might not have been able pus them back. The nation was like a child, weak, delicate but full of potential. To see his dream of achieving that potential Nelson Mandela could call on only one person. This person would not only see the dream, but he could do the pushing while the baby gained strength.

The second story A Fierce Southern Current covers a topic that is very relevant to modern geopolitics. In the South China Sea, there is a fictitious island chain that is claimed by Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines. This small archipelago might not have much strategic value, but it is sitting on top of a resource that some consider as valuable as gold. There is a huge oil field there and right now one entity, no one man, is said to have ownership of this land. That man is rumored to be G13! Rumored is the key there and that rumor is enough to prevent these nations from going to war with their militaries. That has not prevented a financial war with G13 in the middle of it all.

The great thing about these two stories is how Saitou Pro is able to turn the tables on G13. Usually a man that never gets caught up in others´┐Ż problems G13 is forced to take action without getting paid. He is also playing favorites, something that is against his mercenary nature. Another side of G13 is revealed and that alone makes this volume a must read.



Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 174
ISBN: 1-4215-0462-6
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left