We meet a new student at the beginning of this episode of Shinryochu (心療中 – in treatment) ~In the Room~. It’s Narukawa Rui, a friend to Tanaka Shun (Takada Sho) – the student that counselor Tenma Ryo (Inagaki Goro) finally seemed to be getting somewhere with at the end of the last episode, before Shun had to flee from the police.

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We found out that Rui was the source of friction between Shun and his best friend Toma in the first episode of the series:

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Since she’s just visiting Tenma on Shun’s behalf, you would think that this conversation would be relatively straightforward . . .

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. . . but instead, it quickly starts to get weird. Rui starts out by saying that Toma and Shun have an ‘improper relationship.’

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But Rui’s own relationship with the other two seems bizarre.

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She seems to admire Shun . . .

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. . . but then says he’s possessed by a ghost:

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Ryo’s expression at this point is good:

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What is this all about? Why does Rui believe that Shun got possessed by a female ghost at the age of ten?

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Well, she has evidence, but you’ll have to watch for yourself to decide what to make of it.

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Reinforcing how odd this whole conversation is, when Ryo tries to get her to talk about that improper relationship between Shun and Toma she mentioned, Rui dodges the topic. She was the one who brought it up eagerly – what’s with her reluctance to talk about it now?

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That was pretty befuddling, but not nearly as taxing to Ryo as what was going to come next – his best friend (that is, arch-nemesis) Aikawa Sakuya (Sanada Yuma).

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Ryo looks pleasant, but there’s no way he’s not apprehensive here.

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Unfortunately, Aikawa seems resistance to pretense.

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Aikawa begins by attacking Tenma Ryo’s persona as a counselor, but he’s just starting off slow.

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Whatever smile Ryo might have been able to put on quickly fades away.

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When Ryo asks questions, they seem to be speaking across each other – Ryo wants to talk about Aikawa’s relationship with his sister while Aikawa is adamant about keeping the focus on Ryo.

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It quickly becomes clear that we’re watching a fencing match between two Olympians, and it’s really difficult to follow the subtleties of all the moves. We’re just waiting to see who connects first.

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Ryo tries to turn the topic away from himself by suggesting something shocking about Aikawa’s own mentality . . .

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. . . but it proves to be a mistake, as Aikawa deftly turns the blow against him.

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As Ryo stumbles, Aikawa decides it’s time to start delivering the attacks he’s been holding back on.

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What will happen when Aikawa reveals that he’s been doing some investigative work – on Ryo’s family issues?

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There’s no doubt about it – Aikawa has Ryo in a corner.

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And he reveals that he prepared for this meeting thoroughly – going so far as to study Ryo’s specialty to ensure that he was ready for every trick up Ryo’s sleeve.

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Will Aikawa be able to break Ryo?

After that, Ryo still has possibly the most painful session of the episode ahead of him – the one where he and his wife Kanae (Sakai Miki) seek help from his mentor, Miyama Mikiko (Asano Yuko).

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Like the last time he went to Miyama for help, Ryo tells all – even talking about his session with Aikawa earlier.

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After Ryo finishes spouting off, it’s his wife’s turn. Since the viewer has spent so much time seeing Ryo in action, it’s very interesting to see Kanae’s take on him.

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Nothing was resolved in that session with Miyama, and I came away wondering what the good of it was – perhaps just to let them both air out their feelings.

All I can say about this episode is that things are progressing. The most concrete part was the Aikawa confrontation – the other two sessions felt shaky, and I’m not sure what to think about them, yet. I was also disappointed that we didn’t get more related to the way the previous episode ended – especially more about Ryo’s daughter.

Thanks to yanie02 at livejournal for the subtitles.