Golgo 13 Jams

Golgo 13 Original Soundtrack
My father owned a video store until the late-90s. Around 1994 or so, he started to carry a lot of anime. The section was instantly popular with many of the high school kids in the area as he was the only store that dealt with it. All the other stores in the area were chain stores that didn’t even bother with the stuff.

I still remember that first batch he got in, stuff like Akira (of course), Wicked City, Riding Beam, and this – the first animated movie based on the Golgo 13 manga.

I, being about 13 at the time and entirely ignorant of manga as a whole, had no idea that the movie was based on the manga. I didn’t even know that the manga existed. Instead, I assumed the movie was based on the NES video game, which I played the shit out of when I was much younger. I loved that game, even though it was punishingly hard and disgustingly unfair. That didn’t stop me from playing it for hours on end. Shit, I even played the sequel and managed to somehow nearly beat it.

1994 me hadn’t played the game in a while, but I still loved it, so I jumped at the chance to watch a movie that I assumed was based on it. I snagged it from my dad’s store the second I saw it and popped it in on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

My mother was very displeased with the somewhat graphic nudity early on, but I recall her rolling her eyes and letting me continue to watch it. My mom is dope like that.

To be honest, I don’t remember much of the film. Reading the plot description on wiki, only snippets come back to me. The (disgustingly misogynistic) ending does ring a bell, but the rest of it is a blur. I certainly didn’t recall the soundtrack when I picked it up a few months back. I bought it mostly for nostalgic reverence for the video game, and the super dope cover.

I’m glad I picked it up though, because it’s pretty damn rad. The movie came out in 1983, but if the soundtrack is any indication, disco was still the hottest latest in Japan. The main theme is very disco, as are many of the instrumental numbers that accompany it. One thing that does surprise me is that it’s a predominately analog affair. While some dope keyboard riffs do pop up from now and then, the entire thing sounds very organic, more like mid-70s disco than the more electronic-influenced dance music that was popular in Japan at the time. It still sounds great though.

The composer is Toshiyuki Kimori, who worked on several other anime films in the 80s, including Dirty Pair and Arcadia of my Youth. He also released a Super Mario Bros. covers album in 1986. That goes for a pretty penny online, but I can entirely see myself caving and buying it in the relatively near future. I have no willpower for such things.

This soundtrack was only released once, in 1983, and appears to have been out of print ever since. The seller offering the sole copy available on Discogs is asking over $70 for it, which is about how much the last copy went for on the site. Happy that I found mine for less than $20! Living in Japan has so many perks.

Enjoy the assassination jams.

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