This will be a long post and not a spoiler-free one. It will function both as a recap of the season, my overall thoughts and its relation to what it means to be scientifically advanced according to a scientist in the making (a.k.a me).
I wrote on how Fugou Keiji was an adaptation from a literary novel before, from the same author who wrote Paprika and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Tsutsui Yasutaka is a prominent author in science fiction (SF from here on) and I was a little puzzled as to how Fugou Keiji could be considered in this genre since I had only seen the PV back then. Now I understand that, not the whole world-building itself was SF but it surely has interesting elements and seeing the season finale, the show brilliantly came to an end with a series of important open questions that are still in discussion.
On that note, I have to mention that I haven’t read the actual novel, I wish I could but it’s in Japanese. There is also an earlier TV show adaptation, which again, I’m not sure how devoted it is to the novel. I hope the general excitement towards the anime creates enough hype for publishing houses/translators to take up the actual novel. That said, I’ll be taking only the anime adaptation into consideration.
Fugou Keiji is the story of Katou Haru and Kambe Daisuke, the odd pair who have stark differences in their principles on how to restore justice. Daisuke is the embodiment of a spoiled, little kid who has to have everything his way because… why not? That’s what he’s been getting up until now. Meanwhile, Katou is the headstrong, idealist and hardworking detective who’s been demoted after he couldn’t handle an accidental shooting during a bank robbery. Together, they work on solving crimes from diffrent difficulty ranges and their getting along skills, drinking until they drop and sob over hard boiled detective show being one of the ‘field trips’.
The SF elements of the show are HEUSC and a new, fictional material called adollium, a material that can somehow provide unlimited supply of energy from seawater. And what prompted me to add the critic of our idea of ‘dangerous knowledge’ was the closing scene where Kambe’s grandmother half-threatens-half-asks Kambe to continue keeping adollium hidden because it would lead politicians and public into chaos, basically saying they “couldn’t handle the truth” and it should be the elite, or more specifically, Kambe Daisuke himself the person controlling it..
When Kambe falls into a moment of confusion and wavers, a wounded Katou appears, granting Kambe what he had been wanting to do all along. That’s the first time we see Kambe genuinely let out a laughter, it was such a sight! Fawning over Kambe and Katou sharing a drink on a dimly lit rooftop on the side, I also appreciated the open questions the show relayed with the ending remarks. Fugou Keiji weighs on the ‘information should be disclosed no matter what’, however for us 3 dimensional folks, it may not be that easy to answer. When can our knowledge be considered as ‘dangerous’? What would be the justification for keeping what you know hidden as an academic, who seems to be the authority sitting on the heap of decades of research? Or is it unjustifiable? Where do companies come into play? And in relation to all I listed above, what does it mean for our everyday life?
Academic knowledge is out there, if you read it. All of the journals those researches are published in, can be accessed through an institution, a library, or, well, through other means. Even the Wikipedia is out there, right under your fingertips. “Just one click away!” is the new motto of our era of information. Does it make us any ‘smarter’ or ‘learned’, is another debate because a heap is nothing if you don’t actually make use of it. Even when used, you can continue to critic the way you make use of those pieces of knowledge.
From here, it seems quite absurd to say that ‘it’s out there’ because there are many reasons behind why we don’t seek it, or not even fact-checking the information on social media from reliable sources.
Scientific discoveries and everyday life applications, most of the time, don’t develop simultaneously. As the distinction between research fields continue to melt and now a great deal of them are interdisciplinary, what might become of your work gets harder and harder to foresee. In the future, findings of your research might be used in a field that you didn’t think would be necessary or in a field that is so unrelated to your own. As you may know, big corporations not only mass produce, let’s say, electrical appliances or vehicles for personal use, they also spend huge amounts of capital for their research and development department for new technologies. This video from Nissan is a great example of what I’m trying to convey.
In a similar vein, self-parking motorcycles are being developed for some time by Honda. We could ask: assuming everyone is able-bodied, can’t those 30-something workers just push their office chair in its place after sitting on them throughout the day? This is an important question relating to our human condition, but technology-wise, this advancement is not just so you can leave work 2 seconds faster. These types of advanced sensory products can be extremely useful for disabled people or animals, could have medical applications when built in small scales, or a scientist might take this and use in a completely unrelated, but equally useful application. That’s why, in terms of gaining more scientific knowledge, we have to continue searching and discovering because there’s no way of knowing what the future holds.
It’s also quite straightforward that, the more we read on a certain subject, our perspective broadens. Although I don’t make it into a ‘better/worse’ kind of comparison, it’s only natural there’ll be a difference in the ability to assess the topic at hand. Simplistic view on things fails to comprehend the context and requires definite, yes or no answers, interpreting what research says to their own convenience. That’s where the ‘danger’ factor comes in. There’s no inherent ‘dangerousness’ to knowledge itself, but rather how it’s handled by individuals, authorities or state. However, it’s not possible to separate the knowledge from its function. I hate to sound like a broken record, so I’ll only give LGBTQI+ movement as another example. ‘Controversy level’ of these issues keep declining, albeit very slowly, if I were to make a blunt analogy.
Hence, everything in this world is indeed political. Contrary to what is believed about STEM in general, and specifically about natural sciences, the research done on paper or in the labs cannot be exempt from politics, money or societal norms. At this point you might be thinking I confused my blogs and released the post on the wrong one, but I’m there. Kambe family stands in the prestigious intersection of science and industry. They have much more money, responsibility and means to do research, and in turn regular scientists get to live their lives in relative peace, without involving in international crime or, you know, witnessing the murder of their spouse at the hands of their life long housekeeper.
Daisuke is born into this environment, and has become the sole heir after the unfortunate events that plagued his childhood. There are great parallels between Daisuke’s and the veteran detective Chousuke’s obsession, also in their ways of revealing the truth. Even Cho-san, who seemed like he was more on the wavelength of Katou, uses every method he can to get ahead in the investigation. Partly because, I assume, he knows the case will be buried by the higher-ups if he doesn’t. Daisuke’s agenda is a personal one and initially, he seems more of a ‘job needs to be done, I don’t care how’ kind of person when he’s in the Modern Crime Prevention Headquarters.
There was also the dam construction incident with another country, Poliador. This issue wasn’t handled in depth, but again it was a great example (and still a problem) of the clash between what government profits off of, what is best for indigenous people and land and how ‘science authorities with funding’ can steer the conversation where they want it to go.
I personally would enjoy seeing more about Daisuke’s drive; at the very beginning he tells us that he was like the child next door until a certain moment. Then, his clothes and accessories are replaced with monochromatic colored ones, a stern expression settles on his face. Was the murder case the only thing on his mind when he decided to become a detective? I’d also want to know more about what brought such a person who is used to be on top of everything to share adollium with the world? Was it to spite his grandmother? To continue his parents’ legacy? A little bit of both? Maybe his strong desire to shed light onto his father’s wrongdoings (since he doesn’t know the real culprit behind the murder at that point) transforms into the motive of letting adollium be known by the science community. I know Fugou Keiji doesn’t aim to go to such lengths as a show that’s supposed to be fun, action-packed and fan service-y at times. However, I find it enjoyable to have my mind run loose with the possibilities of what could have been.
Apart from what the show made me think about, I really enjoyed each episode and anticipated the next. OP and ED themes were from groups that I haven’t heard before, song-wise I think it was very fitting of the show. The soundtrack overall provided a nice enhancement, although it wasn’t anything spectacular. I also loved how 4th episode of the season provided us more of Daisuke behind his usual wall-like expression during work. He is a literal child! He runs from home with no money and refuses to give in, he is picky about food and you could see he has no survival skills on his own. It was so entertaining to watch the time he spent at Katou’s house.
The show wasn’t very strong on the female character aspect, and my favorite amongst the very few was Mahoro Saeki at the task force, working along with Katou and others. I loved how she was just… minding her business and munching on her snacks at any given time!
I mentioned before how I loved Yusuke Onuki’s voice acting for Kambe Daisuke and couldn’t believe he was rather new to voice acting scene, apparently he is an actor. While I was going around, I came across a show he attended along with Miyano Mamoru to promote Fugo Keiji. If you still haven’t seen it, please give it a chance, they are hillarious together!!
With this, I give you my best regards and huge thanks if you managed to get here. If you have anything to add, anything to fangirl over or something you oppose, I always appreciate new input, especially from this community. Until then~~