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Professional: Golgo 13

Year: 1993
Director: Osamu Dezaki/Shichiro Kobayasahi
The best anime movie I've seen (not that there's been many) with the exception of Akira. It makes you realise that the anime movement is a way of telling stories using a different art form than live action filming, and that people are dead serious about it. Forget everything you think you know about cartoons (usually a lifetime of conditioning by Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny) - there's enough bloodshed, action and sex here to put most Hollywood schlockers to shame.

Golgo 13 is a professional killer for hire, and when he does a job on the son of a despotic business magnate, it looks like his number's up. His hunter - Dawson - is an extremely powerful and rich man with the resources of the US intelligence and covert operations agencies at his disposal.

Golgo 13 goes from one seemingly impossible escape to another, outgunning and outrunning them all without hardly breaking a sweat to elude the ever more inhuman and chilling killers Dawson has set on him.

All the while, he goes about his business, doing jobs (the shooting through the building is inspired) and bedding all the foxy chicks he can (which is actually where most of the shock lies, that you can see soft porn in a cartoon).

The story itself goes farther than you think it will and while you think it's about to finish more than once, it doesn't disappoint when it lurches into the next high-tension bloodbath. It also engages your emotions - at times uncomfortably - and stay with you in a way you never expect cartoon characters will.

And the animation is a classic example of a care for the craft, using the medium to exact some striking imagery.

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