This episode of Shinryochu (心療中 – in treatment) has school counselor Tenma Ryo (Inagaki Goro) looking out of the window at couples twice. The first time is right at the beginning of the episode . . .

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. . . and he shouts for his wife Kanae (Sakai Miki) because the girl outside his window is his daughter Tomoka.

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But we don’t get to see what happens. Instead, it’s time for Tenma’s session with Kitahara Ren (Senga Kento).

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It looks like Ren’s relationship with Nana is on the rocks, but with Ren looking so distraught, and considering how Nana seemed to feel about breaking up with Ren the last time we saw her, there’s probably a good chance for recovery.

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Ryo senses that Ren has some father issues, and the patient (as usual) denies it . . .

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. . . but ultimately we find out all about Ren’s complicated feelings about his parents.

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This was definitely Senga-kun’s best acting opportunity so far, and he did a good job of it. Ren’s feelings were complicated to convey because he’s conflicted, but the way he thinks about his parents clearly plays a part in his approach to Nana and other relationships.

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I’m not entirely sure what some parts of their discussion were really aiming at, except that Ren needed to get his feelings about his father out, and had never had a chance to give them air before.

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Ultimately, though, I don’t think any of Ryo’s sessions so far have ended on a more positive note. There’s a definite sense that Ryo finally had a breakthrough with Ren.

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Which is good, because he’s sure got a lot of other troubled people to deal with.

Incidentally, is everyone going to have issues with their parents? We already know Ryo does, so will his patient’s problems ultimately bring him to come to terms with his own?

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Speaking of Ryo’s problems, Kanae bumps into Aikawa Sakuya (Sanada Yuma), who is totally civil towards her and complementary toward Ryo.

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So . . . what’s Aikawa playing at? Is he satisfied with getting Ryo riled up in their last session together, or is he planning something even more sinister?

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Well, he certainly knows how to charm Kanae . . .

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. . . and she’s all too willing to be charmed – to believe that her husband was totally at fault and Aikawa is a nice guy. Shouldn’t a wife be more wary of a guy who enraged her husband that much?

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But no – Kanae totally glows at him. It’s not Aikawa’s session next, though – he’s just waiting for someone else.

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Presumably, he’s waiting for Kaibara Minami (Suda Anna), twin sister of Miyu and Tenma Ryo’s next patient:

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Suda-san does a good job of making Minami a distinct character from Miyu, but Miyu is certainly the more fiery and engaging of the two.

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In Ryo’s last talk with Miyu, he found out that her boyfriend was violent towards her. To my surprise (because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal where I come from), he said he would not report the physical abuse.

Now, Minami wants him to help Miyu. Just like Miyu, she likes to talk about her twin (and nothing else), and is very certain about her views.

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Oh, she does have Miyu’s smile, too, but she doesn’t show it as often:

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She doesn’t seem to mind Miyu impersonating her . . .

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. . . because she’s not above doing the same. In fact, she wants to go to the police in Miyu’s place, preferably with a statement from Ryo backing her up.

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She even went to Miyu’s boyfriend and sustained some injuries of her own, getting her own boyfriend to take pictures.

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Again surprising me, Ryo decides that he can’t support her in going to the police because she got the injury as Miyu. But . . . if the guy laid hands on her at all, she should be able to report it, right? It might be a complicated issue, but with photographic evidence there’s no need for her to establish her credibility.

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Altogether, I find Ryo’s approach to all of this . . . misguided.

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But if you think I’m being to harsh on Ryo, just wait until after he sees Minami and Aikawa together (which makes you wonder even more what Aikawa is up to) . . .

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. . . when Kanae totally blasts him, blaming him for everything under the sun.

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This was ugly, with Ryo apologetic and Kanae attacking him relentlessly in return.

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She went so far as to say that she didn’t need counseling, but that she was glad that he was getting it, because he’s the one with the problems.

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I think it’s safe to say the viewer came away from this episode really feeling sorry for Ryo, and really hating Kanae. Now, I’m not sure what he might have done to her away from the camera to deserve being cheated on and all this verbal torment, but all we’ve seen is her unpleasantness.

So, it was smooth through the Ren part, but I didn’t find Ryo’s decisions in the Minami part credible. The end with Kanae was compelling, but painful to watch.

Perhaps ironically, the highlight of this episode was seeing Aikawa again. Seems like we haven’t seen him in a while, doesn’t it? And he’s certainly the most interesting character, since he’s the one who most successfully got under Ryo’s skin. If there’s any plot I’m concerned the writers might not conclude properly, it’s his.

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