For once, Shinryochu (心療中 – in treatment) picks up where it left one of the stories in the last episode. It left the Katayama Hikaru (Tanaka Juri) story in a very weak state – totally obscuring what was going on with Hikaru – so hopefully this quick follow-up shows that the writers recognized that problem, and wanted to fix it immediately.

In the last episode, counselor Tenma Ryo (Inagaki Goro) called Hikaru’s parents about his plans to go to a hot spring with his brother. As a result, they’re now keeping a close track of his activities and he blames Ryo for that.

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Well, I say he blames Ryo, and he seems upset at first, but his emotions are incomprehensible.

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He doesn’t feel like Ryo trusts him . . .

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. . . so Ryo has to be candid about his concerns to demonstrate that he doesn’t mean to hide anything from Hikaru.

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Ryo explains why he decided to call Hikaru’s parents (something that I had been wondering about, since all that seemed to trigger it was Hikaru mentioning the hot spring trip). It turns out that his mother had said something similar, with grim intentions and tragic results.

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Hikaru initially tries to explain that his situation is different from Ryo’s mother . . .

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. . . but his curiosity about Ryo’s story seems to indicate that it has some resonance for him.

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Eventually, we finally get Hikaru’s real story. I’ll leave the details out so that you can find out by watching it. A lot gets cleared up, but I’d still say Hikaru’s behavior is bizarre and perhaps unhinged.

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For instance, consider Hikaru’s expression when he says his brother wanted to die:

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No doubt there’s going to be a lot more to this story.

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As if that wasn’t painful enough for Ryo – requiring him to dredge up unpleasant memories about his mother – he had to go on to marriage counseling with his wife Kanae (Sakai Miki) and mentor Miyama (Asano Yuko).

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The session ended up being focused on their daughter Tomoka, who hasn’t been in contact even though it’s late. If you remember, Tomoka actually called the cops on Ryo’s patient Tanaka Shun (Takada Sho) for reasons we don’t understand yet, and the tensions between her and her father have been high ever since.

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Miyama uses the Tomoka situation to get the couple to reflect on their situation and perhaps the impact on their children . . .

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They finally get through to Tomoka, but I was surprised by the way Kanae didn’t let Ryo speak to their daughter even though he expressed plenty of concern for her. So far, we’ve seen all of Ryo’s problems and that might have led viewers to be more sympathetic to Kanae than to him (even though she was the one cheating on him). With this moment, though, I think Kanae lost a lot of sympathy, and the balance of our concern was more firmly on Ryo’s side.

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Especially since Kanae lies to her daughter:

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But then Ryo loses some points by lying to Kanae.

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This whole couple counseling thing isn’t going well at all . . .

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. . . and after that failure, Ryo’s mind quickly goes back to his patient, Hikaru, instead of focusing on trying to straighten out his own life.

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This was a solid, if slow, episode. At least all of it made sense and moved the plots forward. It lacked the intensity brought by characters like Aikawa Sakuya (Sanada Yuma) and Tanaka Shun (Takada Sho), though, so I hope we see more of those characters in the next episode. I can’t give the thumbs-up on Tanaka Juri-kun’s acting because I still have trouble understanding his character, so I don’t know whether he’s doing a good job of playing the part.

Thanks to yanie02 at livejournal for the English subtitles.