Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 1 and 2
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) is continuing the adventures of Manabu Yukawa (Masaharu Fukuyama) aka Galileo, the character created by the redoubtable Keigo Higashino. So we’re immediately pitched into a nicely atmospheric scene in Tokyo. Cult Leader Shiko Renzaki (Takao Osawa), one of these guru figures, gives a public demonstration of his supernatural power to cleanse the evil from the soul of one of his worshippers. Unfortunately, the leader is angry with the man who’s alleged to have embezzled money from the cult. He overdoes the ‘fluence and, as a result, the man jumps through a window and falls five storeys to his death. By coincidence, a member of the press and a photographer are there to do a biography piece on the guru and the sequence of pictures shows no-one comes anywhere near the man before he jumps up, runs at the window and leaps. There’s a storm outside and the lights go out, presumably because of a lightning strike. The guru then turns himself into the police saying he’s responsible for the man’s death. As her last case before being sent to America for more training, Detective Kaoru Utsumi (Kou Shibasaki) runs the interview but, not surprisingly, the guru is unable to reproduce the phenomenon in the interview room. It seems Utsumi is too sceptical. This leaves the field open to new detective Misa Kishitani (Yuriko Yoshitaka). She’s been picked by Detective Shunpei Kusanagi (Kazuki Kitamura) because she’s a graduate of Teito University, the same university where Manabu Yukawa is professor of physics.
When the body is autopsied, there are the broken bones you would expect from the fall, there are cuts to the body (presumably caused by crashing through the window), and the man’s eyes are a milky colour. When the two detectives pitch this mystery to Galileo, he’s curious to see whether the force, power or influence created by the guru is a reproducible effect. He and Misa Kishitani go out into the countryside to visit the commune where the main body of the cult lives very simply. They have wind-generators to produce a small quantity of electricity, do their own subsistence farming, and live peasant lives. After a debate about the merits of living a life of faith rather than reliance on technology, the two investigators are taken into the meeting room where the guru does produce a noticeable effect. Both the detective and the scientist admit feeling as if they were wrapped in a warm blanket. The detective is tempted to believe this is a mystical experience. The scientist’s curiosity is piqued.
There are two things wrong with this episode. Although the primary plot idea is moderately ingenious and probably scientifically possible, it’s also quite easy to guess. Secondly, there’s a lot of padding as our investigators wander round the village compound where the cult makes its home. The almost one hour running time is slightly too long for this idea. That said, the chemistry between the new detective and the physicist works well. She thinks she gives better than she receives and has difficulty in adjusting her innate level of self-confidence to accept the professor is in a different intellectual class.
The second episode is also thin and relies on new detective Misa Kishitani’s interaction with the staff and students of the university as the filler as everyone studies the pendulum. The question for the professor is whether dowsing is a verifiable scientific phenomenon. The basis of the story is that a woman’s body is found strangled in her home. The gold she had hidden away has vanished. Her dog is also missing. Outside the crime scene, Misa Kishitani sees a young student and her instincts tell her the girl “knows something”. She therefore stakes out the girl’s home and observes the girl leave her home late at night carrying her dowsing crystal on a chain. At each junction, the detective watches the girl pause. She seems to ask the crystal a question. It swings and, presumably, indicates a direction. When this journey ends, the girl opens a dumpster and finds the dead dog. At this point the following detective has a problem. She can’t say she found the dead dog by relying on supernatural powers. She needs something “scientific” to put in her report so that the chain of evidence is not broken. Ironically, the problem becomes worse when the girl uses her pendant to spell out the name of the killer. Although it’s a very simple problem, the explanation came as a rather pleasant surprise and, with all the careful choreography of the scientific testing and speculations on how dowsing might work, this proved an entertaining episode. The relationship between Misa Kishitani, the classroom assistant and Galileo himself is more edgy than in the first series. On balance, this second series is shaping up quite well.
For other work based on Keigo Higashino’s writing, see:
11 Moji no Satsujin or 11文字の殺人 (2011)
Broken or The Hovering Blade or Banghwanghaneun Kalnal or 방황하는 칼날 (2014)
Bunshin or 分身 (2012)
Galileo or Garireo or ガリレオ
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 3 and 4
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 5 and 6
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 7, 8 and 9
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 10 and 11
Galileo: The Sacrifice of Suspect X or Yôgisha X no kenshin (2008)
Midsummer Formula or Manatsu no Houteishiki or 真夏の方程式 (2013)
The Murder in Kairotei or Kairoutei Satsujin Jiken or 回廊亭殺人事件 (2011)
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 1 to 4
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 5 to 8
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 9 to 12
Platinum Data or プラチナデータ (2013)
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 1 to 5
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 6 to 11
White Night or Baekyahaeng or 백야행 : 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 (2009)
The Wings of the Kirin or Kirin no Tsubasa: Gekijoban Shinzanmono or 麒麟の翼 ～劇場版・新参者～ (2012)
For a Galileo novel, see Salvation of a Saint.