The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Galileo / ガリレオ

Uso wo tsuku, nazo wo toku / See through the lies, solve crimes

2007, 10-episode, Fuji TV mystery drama about a guy deemed 'Tantei Galileo' (though the subbers chose to say 'weirdo Galileo' for whatever reason.

Yukawa Sensei (Fukuyama Masaharu) is a physics professor and a genius, and while he insists the only thing that interests him is proving or disproving theories, he ends up helping the local police to solve mysteries every time one crops up in their detective work.

Each episode pits him against a rookie, female detective who was introduced to the genius by her former colleague before he is transferred to another precinct.

She's really pretty, but it didn't seem like she noticed or cared.
Her job came first, and she was overly anxious to make a good impression on her boss and new partner, too.

Personally, I think Yukawa Sensei noticed her right away, but that his personality prevented anything from cooking (or even to simmer) for the duration, since 'ai', to him, is completely illogical and does not compute.

Every episode brings a new case with a new set of circumstances that baffle police and intrigue Yukawa while it also annoys his older assistant, who continuously insists that the police go away and let Sensei do his natural job, which is to teach at the university and conduct experiments.

In reality, Fukuyama is closer to my age, but in the drama, he not only captivated my heart, he also came off as a stud-muffin to all the giddy college chicks who attended his lectures because of the kawaii factor and not for the content of his brain.

For a welcome change, this is based on a novel that won a serious prize for literature, and the quality of the writing comes through in every, single episode.

It also ranked high in viewer satisfaction in Japan, which comes as no surprise, either.

The only problem I had was in picturing him as a JPop idol.

I'll seriously dig into his profile, listen to some of his tunes, and get back to you with my thoughts on that.

When the 10 episodes were through, there was an added treat in the form of a 'movie', or two-episode addition that in-depth explained how Yukawa Sensei came to be a much-needed addition to the detective division of the local police.

~ After that came another movie, titled Suspect X ~

This was well-received in Japan, with thousands flocking to the theater in the first, few weeks of its release -

Over here, it seems to have received less than favorable reviews - but, I think I know why -

It wasn't that this was a bad movie, a stupid addition, or even a sloppy afterthought meant to keep the momentum going.

What happened with Suspect X was that there was little tongue-in-cheek dialogue or silly bickering between Yukawa Sensei and the frustrated, female detective.

It wasn't at all like the comedy within a series of serious murder mysteries one came to expect with the drama, but as far as I'm concerned, that is totally beside the point.

I also got the impression Suspect X was meant to give the viewer Yukawa Sensei's final word on the 'ai' theory - yet, at the very end, it remained as ambiguous as he turned out to be.

Seriously recommend this one, and it will be in the top-ten, end-of-the-year list for me, too.


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