Manabu Yukawa, the prodigious physicist is without a single flaw. He is handsome and excels in sports with a sharp mind and an impeccable character. On the other hand, he hates children and can often be unreasonable, referred to as "the eccentric Galileo" by his acquaintances. How will brainy Galileo solve the supernatural mysteries set before him this time? Misa Kishitani is a police detective of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department investigation's squad. She is prideful of her intellect but sadistic in nature. Newly created for the TV series, her character will take over Kaoru Uchiumi's mission.
Cast & Credits
I'll start with the conclusion: This sequel was one big pack of WRONG CHOICES.
Biggest of which was by far changing the lead female detective from Shibasaki to Yoshitaka. It's not just about comparing the two actresses (I will tread the acting skills point later) but Kishitani which they chose as a new original character was simply outrageously ridiculous and unbelievably annoying. She's supposed to be a bit of an intelligent person or something and that's why she's soooo full of herself and always soooo domineering, but she only seemed to me as an empty-headed haughty ignorant extremely RUDE B**CH. Now, Shibasaki's character"Utsumi Kaoru" was soooo well received and well made, that it was introduced as a character in the novels, isn't that enough proof that even by the writer's standards it's a very successful character, believable, and bearing all the dimensions needed to make the deliverance of the story more and more enjoyable. Why give up such a character to this nuisance!!!
Not just Yoshitaka's character was the worst, that more than half of the time I felt like wanting to hit her with something or slapping her, and the other half I was either wanting to reprimand her on her rudeness, or simply not giving a damn to her, There was not even one time when I was able to relate to her. Even when she was drunk and honest, or depressed and crying. On the other hand Utsumi's character I was always on line with her even when she was acting childish or nosy or even lying. she was a lovable character and above all she was the perfect match for Yukawa, you could sense him being attracted to her bit by bit (also add to that the perfect chemistry between the two actors, which was ZERO in Fukuyama X Yoshitaka's case)
As for acting skills, this is my second drama for Yoshitaka Yuriko after Tokyo Dogs, and I'm sorry to say she really needs more practicing. Not just her acting feels lacking, she also recites her lines sooo badly...she's supposed to be a professional actress, how can her pronunciation be so bad!!
Second major problem I had with this drama, was the story.
Now I know that all of this season's stories are based off the original novels, but I'm quite sure that there has been many major changes done, either that or I'd have to say that Higashino Keigo's out of ideas and not making much sense. Around 75% of the cases had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with physics, or even anything near science in general. Now, Yukawa of course always ended up cooperating, putting it that he was too curious to know the explanation behind the tricks....which most of the time felt a little to made-up and not at all the expected from him.
So Instead of being the genius the police turn to in time of need, he felt like a normal geek just so full of curiosity (& maybe some dreams of becoming a detective one day?!) meddling with criminal cases he has got nothing to do with, and above all not the least busy as he's pretending to be.
The first season's stories might not all have been that good too, and some might not have had a relation to physics, but still there was a perfect balance between the two categories, the stories were far more fun and intriguing, and also the circumstances with which Yukawa ended up being involved was always more believable.
Plus, I couldn't help feeling that Kishitani was simply too over relying on Yukawa, like the crime happens and she runs to him right away for advice, without even doing any effort at investigation.
Third reason I couldn't enjoy this drama overall was: Yukawa Manabu himself.
Now I don't know if it's because of a long time having passed since the last time he played Galileo in the movie, but Fukuyama Masaharu was definitely not in shape for Galileo....it's like he totally forgot the character, or forgot how he got the grip of it the first time. He was trying his best to bring us the same Galileo, but THAT was the problem. In other words, he didn't manage to BE Galileo, rather felt like a quite similar spin off character of Galileo. It's kind of ironic to watch an actor trying to imitate his past self and failing. This season's Galileo didn't give the same feeling or depth.
The galileo we know and loved was an eccentric and unique character. A scientist always weighing everything with logic & science, and claiming to don't care the least about things which science can not explain, like human feelings or children (who act illogically he says). But despite him claiming to not understand or care about human feelings, he many times shows a soft part about him, being empathetic and understanding to others, and despite claiming to be allergic to children, showing respect and understanding to them. His character had its dimensions and sophistication. A character that kept you constantly curious to know more & more about; his past, his family and how he grew up etc....
This season, the only time Yukawa acted out of empathy, he advised a police officer and criminal to lie in order to get a lesser punishment!!!
One of the best parts about the first season, was the manner in which Yukawa would rationalize everything even the most obvious of facts and bicker back and forth about the most trivial things with Utsumi, that quibble was just priceless, you could really understand why he was nicknamed Henjin Galileo. This season was certainly packed with enough quibble, but not one that makes you feel like he's a henjin at all, rather merely a normal reasonable person who happens to be extra smart and good at physics. Maybe that owes to the fact that he had an even more sociably henjin person as a partner, their conversations never gave the same feeling Yukawa X Utsumi's gave, most of the time it was more like an ignorant rude child being reprimanded by a smart and reasonable grownup....No more No less!!!
I have still to watch Episode XX which I hear very good previews of. As for the second movie, since it's Yoshitaka as the lead, I won't be keeping my expectations high.
You can read the Japanese viewer's comments and wishes that if there's ever another installment that the the producers bring back shibasaki/Utsumi instead of Yoshitaka/Kishitani, I'm crossing fingers those voices reach them.
Galileo fans out there, if you haven't watched this season I would not really recommend. But I still believe you'd still not be able to resist watching if you're a hard-core fan like me.
The story flows exactly the same as the first season's. Manabu Yukawa, played by Masaharu Fukuyama, hears about a crime that recently happens and then proceeds to turn down the request for help until he hears the impossible feat it took to commit the crime. He then goes on his spiel about how "nothing is impossible" and thus begins his investigation. Then he does his famous bit of vandalizing the nearest surface with scientific formulas with whatever material he can use once he's solved the trick to perpetrating the crime. And it's always entertaining. You sit on the edge of your seat waiting for that moment to happen every episode!
But this season had a few differences. First the female lead in the first season, Kaoru Utsumi, played by Kou Shibasaki, was replaced. In comes a detective named Misa Kishitani, played by Yuriko Yoshitaka, a young brash female who follows her instincts and intuition and wants to pursue justice to the umpteenth degree. Not the first time we've seen this character in s detective show, but still could make things interesting.
The problem is that Kishitani provides little to nothing to the show other than occasional comic relief and lots of headaches in between. She really is essential in solving only ONE crime during the entire 11 episodes. While Yukawa and Utsumi had this great chemistry and work well in tandem, Kishitani and Yukawa are like skin and sandpaper. Her arguments with Kuribayashi aren't entertaining either. I found myself actively rooting for Yukawa to yell at her to 'shut up' numerous times during the show. She serves to hinder the show more than to help.
Besides that character fail, they do a great job at casting superstar talent to grace their show. Lots of top-notch actors and actresses play victims and perpetrators throughout the series. I marked out when I saw that the villain from Legal High made a guest appearance in the series. He was so entertaining.
Another BIG problem I have with this season is them spoiling the perpetrators early in episodes. I love the 'whodunnit' mentality of Japanese crime shows. And the fact that they show who commits each crime before the reveal sucks, but I still like how they don't spoil the method. A small consolation prize I suppose. I also hate that a few of the crimes were weren't as good as some other suggested ones that were never shown. Hell, in the last episode, after solving the crime, the prospective new one was more interesting than the one they just solved!
All in all, it was a great sequel to Galileo. It keeps the format and creates more interesting crimes to solve. Much more innovative crimes than what we see in most crime shows. But this season didn't quite capture the magic of the first season. Plus the two leads seriously lacked chemistry. Definitely a must watch for people who've watched and loved the first season. Even if you haven't, you should watch it. But for those who have seen the first Galileo, you'll find that this one isn't as great as the first one.