Directed By: Hiroshi Nishitani
Written By: Keigo Higashino; Yasushi Fukuda; Osho Furuya; Otaro Matsumoto
Masaharu Fukuyama – Manabu Yukawa
Kou Shibasaki – Kaoru Utsumi
Kazuki Kitamura – Shunpei Kusanagi
Hiroshi Shinagawa –Shiro Yuge
Ikkei Watanabe – Hiromi Kuribayashi
Miki Maya – Sakurako Jonouchi
Language: Japanese Genre: Mystery-Thriller
Number of Episodes: 10 Run Time: 58 minutes
After reading up on Suspect X, I found that it was actually a movie spin-off of a crime thriller TV series – Galileo. Suddenly, it came as a realisation that the characters I saw take centre stage later, were actually the most important.
So the story revolves around Utusmi (Kou Shibasaki), a rookie cop who is trying to carve a space for herself in a rather patriarchal and chauvinistic police force. She wants to emulate her senior Kusanagi (Kazuki Kitamura), who had created a name for himself by solving tough cases and was now promoted to a higher branch.
The pilot episode is about how Utsumi and her partner Yuge (Hiroshi Shinagawa) are assigned a ‘supernatural’ case – a young man’s head suddenly catches fire. She turns to Kusanagi for help, only to be told that he solved his cases with help from his college friend, a genius physicist from Teito University – Manabu Yukawa (Masaharu Fukuyama).
Enter Yukawa sensei also known as Galileo sensei – who does not believe that there is anything like supernatural and there is and can only be a scientific explanation for everything.
So all the cases start off seeming rather supernatural like a child levitating or a poltergeist rattling houses and so on. Sometimes it is quite obvious who might be the perpetrator but it’s not the suspense so much as how Yukawa sensei scientifically explains it. It’s thus a very Sherlockian story – more about deduction and even Yukawa sensei seems a lot like Sherlock – not very social, highly intelligent and has the strangest skill set (squash, mountain climbing, sculpturing…). Also when he figures out something he randomly starts scribbling out equations with whatever he can find. Utsumi is like Watson – humane. She also believes in the ‘detective’s intuition’ which Yukawa sensei rejects as not very scientific but it does come as very useful. There is however an underlying plotline that seems to talk of the possibility of attraction between them. If the ending song is a narrative then this chemistry is more vocalised then. Interestingly, it is sung by Kou Shibasaki and the music has been composed by Masaharu Fukuyama.
Each episode deals with some interesting supernatural phenomenon which is given a scientific twist – healthy girl dies suddenly – a man murdered in a locked room – a reader of crystal balls called by his soul-mate only to be shot as a stalker – a woman who dies twice – a murdered woman astral projects herself to her sister who is a few kilometres away. The last two episodes are connected and are a brilliant end to an intelligent series. Also I must mention that the episode of the poltergeist is an especial favourite because it is about a house that rattles at night due to an ‘unhappy ghost’.
So just like Yukawa sensei says ‘jitsu ni omoshiroi’ (really interesting) when he is intrigued by something and wants to figure it out. This series is definitely Omoshiroi!