The novel “Suspect X’s Devotion” by Keigo Higashino is a mystery of mystery in which Manabu Yukawa, an associate professor at Teito University, plays the role of a detective.
- Book Title: The Devotion of Suspect X
- Author: Keigo Higashino
- Publisher: Bungei Shunju
- Notes: Winner of the 134th Naoki Prize
This eccentric Galileo, or Manabu Yukawa, was played by Fukuyama Masaharu and became a TV drama and movie. He is still active in novels, where he has been promoted to professor, and I’m sure many of you know him.
By the way, this Galileo series has a very popular and controversial feature film called “The Devotion of Suspect X”.
As the name “Suspect X” suggests, we know who did it right from the start, and I wondered what on earth could be called a “deduction”. That’s what the discussion is about.
It is true that, even if I read the books, there does not seem to be any “mystery” in “mystery”. However, there are certainly questions that affect the life of Manabu Yukawa, a great detective.
Since this seems to be a hidden theme of the Galileo series since “Suspect X no Devotion”, this time I would like to try to solve the “mystery” of what exactly was asked of Manabu Yukawa.
What is Yukawa studies
As you may know from TV dramas, movies, and novels, Associate Professor Manabu Yukawa of Teito University is known as “Galileo the Weirdo”.
As those of you who majored in a field called “science” at university will know, there are many different types of science majors. For example, if a person with a Bachelor of Science and an engineering background works together at a company, they may argue about the way they approach their work. (At least in my company.)
For example, sometimes engineering departments don’t care if you can’t see anything concrete, but science departments don’t care if you can’t see it, as long as you can prove it exists.
And furthermore, even in the same science department, the math and physics departments tend to be of different types. I was good at math in high school, but I had a hunch that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the mathematics of building theories based solely on axioms and principles. (So I majored in physics and wrote my thesis in theoretical physics (particle theory).
Manabu Yukawa, aka Galileo the Weirdo, is also a physics (applied physics) major. Whenever he finds something interesting, he starts by observing it. Then he discovers a mystery and tries to solve it.
It’s a so-called hypothesis/testing style. The author has an engineering background, but he seems to know a lot about physicists. It’s true that physicists are like detectives in a mystery novel; their nature is to find and solve mysteries.
It may be a coincidental choice, but it’s quite interesting that the author set Associate Professor Manabu Yukawa as a physicist.
What is Suspect X
Now, the suspect in “The Devotion of Suspect X” is a mathematician named Ishigami. His former best friend, Manabu Yukawa, says that he is a “genius mathematician.”
He, unlike Manabu Yukawa, became a high school teacher and had an unhappy life. My father-in-law was a high school teacher, and he said there were many different high schools.
Not only was Ishigami not able to pursue his studies, but he was also in a difficult position as a high school teacher. He plots a perfect criminalization to cover up the incident regarding the murder of his father by his neighbor’s mother and son.
This is not a so-called “spoiler” as it is written on the spine of the book. The novel knows the killer from the beginning.
This type of story was controversial when it was published. I am interested in the content of the novel, so I am not at all interested in whether this book is a mystery novel, which is what I would call a real mystery.
But the fact that we know the killer and suspects from the beginning makes me think of Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. (Come to think of it, in Sherlock Holmes, the killer is the professor. (Oddly enough, he’s a mathematician.)
When the police & detective side and the criminal side are clearly understood in this way, the structure of the conflict is clear and easy to understand. Can you say that this is a novel with a pretty good setup?
By the way, Ishigami is a mathematician, and he is good at building up blocks of mathematical formulas. Therefore, he has a composition of Manabu Yukawa, who loves experiments, and Ishigami, who loves simulations.
It is true that criminals plan this and that to complete a crime, so simulation is a useful skill. As a graduate of the mathematics department, I am often impressed by the fact that this is a very realistic novel.
Lose of Manabu Yukawa?
Well, that’s why (what reason?) So, it’s a battle between a physicist and a mathematician. As expected for the oddball Galileo, he has a really formidable opponent.
After all, the great detective is going to get the evidence from the clues and figure out what happened. But the killer takes control of both the clues and the evidence.
There are novels in which the detective becomes the killer, but the detective can only do what he or she would do if it were him or her. You may hear the phrase “your worst enemy is yourself”, but it’s even more troublesome than that.
Even if you want to say “I would do this, so I’ll solve the mystery from here,” the simulation has already taken care of that “here” as well. It’s true that there may be no one better suited to the perfect crime than a mathematician.
In other words, this film pushes Yukawa studies to the limits of what a physicist can do. As I am also acutely aware, on the stage of life, it’s not enough to solve a mystery.
Well, a complete simulation (in a sense, an imitation of reality) is not a reproduction of reality itself. Therefore, the ending is a “pleasure to read to the end,” but it is a memorable one.
Although not related to this work, Manabu Yukawa uses this as an opportunity to master the simulation. If you’ve read his latest book, “Parade of Silence,” I’m sure you’ll nod your head in agreement.
What did you think?
Writing this way, we could say that the person to whom Suspect X was most devoted was Manabu Yukawa. In this case, Manabu Yukawa gains the ability to simulate the loss of his best friend in exchange for the loss of his best friend.
(Though, of course, his devotion to his mother and son is spot on.)
It is true that in order to plan and execute a plan to make things as calm as possible, the ability to simulate in a mathematician’s way is indispensable.
Through “Midsummer Equations” and other activities, Professor Manabu Yukawa gradually acquired this ability.
(If you ask him, he may blurt out, “Oh dear, I’m not happy at all.
However, reading it like this, it’s really a profound novel. I am amazed that it is indeed a masterpiece.
Well, I’ll leave it at that. See you soon.