Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Galileo 2 Review (2013)

Drama Rating: ***
Personal Rating: Decent

Professor Yukawa returns in this second season of Galileo to help the police solve more cases involving strange physical phenomena. Utsumi leaves for the US and is replaced by Kishitani who picks up where she left off. Will the pair get along and how will Kishitani get Professor Yukawa to delve deeper into her cases?

*Spoiler warning*

Galileo 2 follows closely to its predecessor both in form and style. The episodic challenges that arise are quite formulaic although the science behind some of the phenomenons were perhaps more interesting than before. The undergraduate or even graduate level understanding required to understand the physical phenomena presented lent the drama more credence than before. Fortunately, layman explanations are provided for the audience's understanding. Incidentally, the tone and style of this series reminded me somewhat of the 'Trick' series particularly some of the earlier cases they took on.

Fukuyama Masaharu plays Professor Yukawa much like he did before in the first series. His expressionless professorial tone is quite convincing and provides the series with a steady guiding light. Yoshiko Yuritaka's Kishitani replaces Shibasaki Kou's Utsumi in a fairly similar, elementary role that didn't carry too much weight with it. Kishitani's job mainly consisted of continually bugging Professor Yukawa until he accepted the challenge which really doesn't allow for much in the way of character development. Her acting was passable at best, often exuding a seemingly forced, confident tone meant to convey her competence as a police officer yet coming across more as a pouty, know-it-all high school girl.

The primarily instrumental soundtrack was light and a tad mysterious which fit in well with the series. While lacking any deeper meaning, its distinctive melodies made for a lighthearted and fairy-tale like accompaniment although it was used a bit too often for my liking and felt a bit too formulaic. For example, the buzzing of the electric guitar signifying Professor Yukawa's breakthrough was fun to hear the first few times but its touch faded as the episodes wore on.

This series followed fairly closely with its predecessor with Kishitani replacing Utsumi in bothering Professor Yukawa with her cases. While the physics involved in some of these cases was fairly advanced (kudos to that), it was fairly well explained to the audience so it served a good educational purpose. However, as a drama, character and overall plot development was sorely lacking. Yuritaka's acting was also just so-so and definitely less enticing than Shibasaki Kou in the previous season. All in all, a fairly average drama.

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