Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Galileo drama review


In "Galileo," Fukuyama Masaharu plays a genius physicist and university associate professor, Yukawa Manabu, who solves difficult mysteries. Affectionately known as Tantei Galileo ("Detective Galileo"), Yukawa is brilliant, an all-round sportsman, tall and handsome but eccentric. Yukawa's partner is a rookie cop, Utsumi Kaoru (Shibasaki Kou), a hot-blooded woman with a strong sense of justice.-- jade_frost (from Dramawiki)

Fukyama Masaharu was my main motivation behind seeing this drama. I first found out about this drama through the song Kiss shite by KOH+ (which is a temporary unit formed by Kou Shibasaki and Fukuyama Masaharu). That song is really a misfit for this drama, by the way. It is a cheerful, cutesy electropop song while this drama is hardcore mystery and thriller.

The mysteries are tied to seemingly supernatural and impossible things. The solutions to the problems are always ingenious. Fukuyama Masaharu's acting is perfect. You can almost believe that he is really a cold physics professor. I have coopied the following table from dramawiki. It shows what phenomenon the mystery is related to in the brackets and also the viewership rating.


Episode Title Subtitle Ratings
(Kanto)
Ratings (Kansai) Ratings (Nationwide)
01 Burns Weirdo Genius Scientist 24.7 22.8 ??.?
02 Floats (Astral Projection) The Mystery of the OL Murdere and the Flying Boy! 22.1 23.8 ??.?
03 Rattles (Poltergeist) A Missing Husband and the Dark House Cursed by a Ghost! 21.3 21.7 ??.?
04 Rots (Necrosis) Dangerous Seduction of the Handsome Prodigal Killer 23.6 24.8 ??.?
05 Strangles (Asphyxia) The Mystery of the Fireball and the Perfect Closed-room Murder 22.9 24.0 ??.?
06 Dreams (Fantasy) Future Love and a Long Night Together 21.4 21.5 ??.?
07 Predicts (Premonition) The Beautiful Wife's Favorite Murder Device of Horror 21.9 21.3 ??.?
08 Sees (Spiritual Sight) The Ghost who Notified Her Sister of the Murder 19.9 20.4 ??.?
09 Bursts (Explosion), Part 1 Serial Murders Set Up by the Devil 21.7 22.3 ??.?
10 Bursts (Explosion), Part 2 KISS Me on Christmas Eve! 19.6 21.9 ??.?
Average -- -- 22.0 22.4 ??

I have long been looking for anime, manga and drama with smart mysteries, like detective conan or Kindaichi case files. I even watched Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato De and Kimi wa Hanin Ja nai yo ne? but they fell short of my expectations. For fans of mystery, Galileo is a treat. It doesn't have too much humour though. There is a bit of romantic tension (or maybe I imagined it) between Manabu and Kaoru, but rest assured, it leads nowhere.

My only criticism was that this drama was a bit too one-tracked. Every minute in the episode was devoted to the mystery. No flashbacks on mysterious pasts of the main characters (though Kaoru lies about hers), no romance and no comedic relief. There weren't even any goofy supporting characters. The episodes follow a set pattern.

Overall, this is an enjoyable drama for those who enjoy scientific mysteries and interesting characters.

Pros
Good acting
Script is intelligent
No filler episodes

Cons
No romance, flashbacks or comedy to make the drama 'lighter'

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