Galileo was the first J-Drama that I actually watched on my own accord, rather than because I was with friends who wanted to watch something, so I might be somewhat biased. Just pointing that out now. But I might start reviewing J-Dramas for a little while since I’m taking a break from anime, so hope you’ll enjoy this substitute.
Anywho, Galileo features Fukuyama Masaharu as Yukawa Manabu (nicknamed Henjin Garireo [weirdo Galileo]), an eccentric, sporty, genius physicist and university associate professor with a knack for solving mysteries. While usually level-headed and purely logical, two things will set him off; claiming that something is impossible and beautiful women (my kind of guy XD). During the course of the series, he is dragged away from his duties as a university professor and talked into helping hot-blooded rookie cop, Utsumi Kaoru, portrayed by Shibasaki Kou, solve ‘impossible’ murder mysteries.
•Galileo is 10 episodes long and was broadcast on Fuji TV from 15-Oct-2007 to 12-Dec-2007. It was fan-subbed by the group SARS.
•All 10 episodes are based on the first two novels in the Galileo mystery series, “Tantei Garireo” (Detective Galileo) and “Yochimu” (Foresight Dream). The novels were written by Higashino Keigo.
•The series spawned a special called Galileo Φ: Episode Zero which takes place three years before the main series and revolves around the case that is sometimes referenced in the main series.
•A movie called Yougisha X no Kenshin (Suspect X’s Devotion) and is a continuation of the series. It is based on the third novel in the Galileo series of the same title.
Theme SongThe theme song is entitled KISS shite (kissing) and was written by Fukuyama Masaharu (who also plays the guitar and sings backup in the music video) and is performed by KOH+, which is Shibasaki Kou’s stage name. The song in itself is decent, though I admittedly liked the intro music better (the one that also plays when Galileo gets his ‘epiphanies’). I thought it was pretty cool that the two main characters of the show are also the writer and performer of the theme song though.
I myself, with my somewhat limited knowledge of physics, found the series to be extremely good for the same reason that I loved watching Columbo as a kid (and still do, actually). You don’t watch the show to figure out who the killer is, since that usually becomes blatantly obvious within the first 10 minutes. You watch the show see how Galileo figures out what truly happened; how the murders were committed.
The only ‘bad’ thing I can say about the series is that because of the scarcity of revealed information and the high amount of specialized knowledge required, it essentially becomes impossible for the viewer to guess along. On the plus side though, this makes things that much cooler when Galileo puts all the pieces together and it allows you to get fully absorbed in the things he does.
Another thing I found cool where the references to physics and events; being the kind of person I am, I would usually watch one or two episodes and the use the next hour or two refreshing my physics knowledge (since I used to be quite good at physics, but have shamefully forgotten almost everything I learned).
On a more personal note, for some reason, it bugged the crap out of me that whenever he had an ‘epiphany’ Galileo always wrote the denominator first… However, I would love to see a mathematician go over the equations Galileo always writes to see if they actually make sense or if they are just random.
As something a bit different from my anime reviews, I’ll be posting the first episode of the series so you can decide whether or not you want to watch it yourself.