The manga is one of the longest running adult manga in Japan and has sold over 200 million copies in various formats, including compilation books. It has been adapted into two live-action feature films, two animated films, a television series and five video games.
Duke Togo is a professional assassin. His age and birthplace are unknown and there is no consensus in the worldwide intelligence community as to his true identity. Most of his jobs are completed through the use of a customized, scoped M16 rifle.
The character was portrayed by Ken Takakura in the 1973 live-action film version of Golgo 13 and by Sonny Chiba in its 1977 sequel, Assignment Kowloon. The character was voiced by Tetsuro Sagawa in The Professional and Akio Ohtsuka in Queen Bee. Duke is voiced by Hiroshi Tachi in the 2008 television series.
It is also believed by some that Golgo 13 is actually Goro Serizawa, the sole survivor of the "Serizawa Family Murders". However a definitive answer is still unknown.
In 1986, Lead Publishing Company released four Golgo 13 trade paperbacks translated by Patrick Connolly.
In 1989 and 1990, Lead and Vic Tokai published two new Golgo 13 comic books, as part of the promotion for two Golgo 13 video games. The comics were released to the US public via a mail-in offer with the purchase of the games and were later even found packaged with the video games. Each issue contained one complete story and had nothing to do with the storylines of the video games themselves.
In 1991, Lead Publishing and Viz Media published The Professional: Golgo 13, a three part mini-series. The Professional was a re-printing of "The Argentine Tiger", a story where Golgo is hired by the British Government to assassinate the reportedly dead ex-president of Argentina Juan Perón.
In January 2006, Golgo 13 was brought back by VIZ Media in their Viz Signature collection. The stories are picked from Golgo 13's forty-year history, and do not necessarily represent the original's order of publication. The volumes are advertised under the moniker "13 volumes of Golgo 13's greatest hits." The first volume is entitled Golgo 13: Supergun.
Golgo 13 has been adapted into two live action films, Golgo 13: The Movie and Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon, and two animated films directed by Osamu Dezaki. An animated television series began on April 11, 2008.
In addition, the title character has appeared in a number of TV commercials in Japan, including NEC and Lotte Black Black.
Five video games have been released: Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, The Mafat Conspiracy and three Japan-exclusive arcade games very similar to the Silent Scope series, using either the same or an incredibly similar cabinet. A Golgo 13 game, Golgo 13: File G-13 o Oe, is scheduled to be released for the Nintendo DS on March 26, 2009 by Marvelous Entertainment.
An Airsoft gun has been made by Tokyo Marui based on the rifle Golgo 13 uses.11