Psychiatrist Irabu series

"Kūchū Buranko" redirects here. For the Plastic Tree song, see Chandelier (album).
Psychiatrist Irabu series

Cover of the first Japanese edition of In the Pool, the first tankōbon of the Psychiatrist Irabu stories
(Seishinka-i Irabu shirīzu)
Genre Comedy-drama, psychological drama
Other book
Written by Hideo Okuda
Published by Bungeishunjū
English publisher Stone Bridge Press (In the Pool)[1]
Demographic General interest
Imprint Bunshun Bunko (bunkobon)[2]
Magazine All Yomimono
Original run August 2000January 2006
Volumes 3
Live-action film
In the Pool
Directed by Satoshi Miki
Written by Satoshi Miki
Music by Osamu Sakaguchi
Released May 21, 2005
Runtime 101 minutes[3]
Television drama
Kūchū Buranko
Directed by Shōsuke Murakami
Produced by Shizuo Sekiguchi
Fumi Hashimoto
Written by Hiroshi Hashimoto
Studio Kyōdo Television
Network Fuji Television
Original run May 27, 2005
Live-action television film
Kūchū Buranko
Directed by Masahiko Kawahara
Produced by Yukio Yoshimura
Written by Yutaka Kuramochi
Music by Masahiro Hasegawa
Studio Atelier Duncan
Network WOWOW
Released July 11, 2008[4]
Runtime 130 minutes[5]
Anime television series
Welcome to Irabu's Office
Directed by Kenji Nakamura
Produced by Masato Jōno
Kōji Yamamoto
Takashi Washio
Written by Manabu Ishikawa
Music by Hideharu Mori
Studio Toei Animation
Licensed by Siren Visual[6]
Network Fuji Television (Noitamina)
Original run October 15, 2009 December 24, 2009
Episodes 11[7]

Dr. Ichirō Irabu (伊良部 一郎 Irabu Ichirō) is a fictional psychiatrist in a series of short stories by Japanese writer Hideo Okuda, originally published primarily in the literary magazine All Yomimono from August 2000 to January 2006 and later collected in three tankōbon: In the Pool (イン・ザ・プール In Za Pūru), Kūchū Buranko (空中ブランコ?, "Flying Trapeze") and Chōchō Senkyo (町長選挙?, "Mayoral Election") . Of these, Kūchū Buranko is particularly acclaimed, having won Okuda the 131st Naoki Prize (given for a book published in the first half of 2004) but, as of January 2011, only In the Pool has been published in English. Works in other media based on the stories include a feature film, television drama, stage play and anime series.


Ichiro Irabu (伊良部 一郎) is a psychiatrist from the Irabu General Hospital. He is fat and pale skinned, with a fetish for administering injections to patients. An unreasonable and rather immature person, he normally ignores Yamashita's plights while challenging him to mid-air trapeze flying due to his self-proclaimed "light-weightedness." During his student days, he frequently misunderstood his lectures. Treated as a general nuisance at the School of Medicine, he entered pediatrics soon after graduation. However, due to claims of his tantrums and quarrels with child patients, he switched to psychiatry instead. Doubts remain about his actual grades.

Stories and characters

Kūchū Buranko

"Kūchū Buranko" (空中ブランコ?, "Flying Trapeze", January, 2003 All Yomimono)
Kōhei Yamashita (山下 公平 Yamashita Kōhei) is a member of circus troupe of seven years and is the leader of a flying trapeze team. Both his parents are fellow members. After suffering repeated failures on the trapeze act, he visits a psychiatrist on his wife's and fellow members' advice. Due to his failure during an act, he believes his partner is harassing him. He has been played by Masato Sakai in the television drama, Kenji Sakamoto in the stage play and Toshiyuki Morikawa in the animated series.
"Harinezumi" (ハリネズミ?, "Hedgehog", July, 2003 All Yomimono)
Seiji Ino (猪野 誠司 Ino Seiji) is an underboss of the yakuza "Kioi family" from Shibuya. He suffers from such serious trypanophobia that he cannot use chopsticks and must instead use a spoon at meals. He takes a psychiatric test on his common-law wife's advice.
Gifu no Zura (義父のヅラ, "The wig of the father-in-law") (the first publishing "All Yomimono", October, 2003 issue,
Tatsuro Ikeyama (池山 達郎) is a university lecturer and is a doctor of neurology working in a University-affiliated hospital. His father of law is the Dean of the School of Medicine, which supposedly could aid in his future employment prospects. A classmate of Irabu's during their college days. He has a type of obsessive-compulsive neurosis that compels him to force any place of tidiness into disarray. This disorder is so strong, that with just one glance at it, Ikeyama becomes agonized with the impulse of wanting to strip off his father-in-law's wig. Originally published in the All Yomimono with the title Kyōju no Zura (教授のヅラ, "The wig of the professor").
Hot Corner (ホットコーナー, "Third base")[8] (the first publishing "All Yomimono", April, 2003 issue)
Shinichi Bando (坂東 真一) is a pro-baseball player and is ten-year veteran third baseman. He suffered from yips, and he leaves the first team by pretending to have an injured right shoulder.
"Joryū Sakka" (女流作家?, "Chick Lit Writer", January, 2004 All Yomimono)
Aiko Hoshiyama (星山 愛子) is a popular novelist known for her stories which "express the subtleties of the hearts of today's urban men and women." While working on her newest story, she becomes ill at ease with writing new material. After relapsing into a continued state of compulsive vomiting from which had previously been cured, she consults psychiatry.



In the Pool (イン・ザ・プール) is a 2005 feature film based on three of the stories collected in the book of the same name in which Irabu is played by Suzuki Matsuo.

Television drama

Kūchū Buranko (空中ブランコ) is a 2005 one-off television drama based on the story of the same name in which Irabu is played by Hiroshi Abe. It was produced by Fuji Television and broadcast by them on May 27, 2005.



Kūchū Buranko (空中ブランコ) is a 2008 play by Yutaka Kuramochi based on the story of the same name. The original production by theatre company Atelier Duncan was directed by Masahiko Kawahara and ran for 21 performances from April 20 to May 5, 2008 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, then toured for the remainder of the month starting in Kōchi, Kōchi on the 8th and ending in Kamisu, Ibaraki on the 29th. The original cast included Hiroyuki Miyasako as Dr. Irabu, Eriko Satō as Mayumi, Kenji Sakamoto as Kōhei Yamashita, Yumiko Takahashi and Takashika Kobayashi, with supporting roles performed by, among others, the male idols Takashi Nagayama as Haruki, Ryūji Kamiyama and Ire Shiozaki and members of the G-Rockets acro troupe. It was produced with Dentsu[4] and sponsored by Dentsu and TV Asahi.

A video recording was made, which premiered on July 11, 2008 on the television station WOWOW and has since been rebroadcast several times and released on DVD-Video on October 24, 2008.[4]


Welcome to Irabu's Office (空中ブランコ Kūchū Buranko) is a 2009 anime of 11 episodes based on the Psychiatrist Irabu series of short stories, produced at Toei Animation under the series direction of Kenji Nakamura for Fuji Television's noitamina programming block. Though ostensibly an animated series, its visuals are more specifically an experimental mélange of traditional animation with rotoscoped or otherwise processed live-action footage and other imagery.[7] Manabu Ishikawa's series composition adapts the stories to be set in Tōkyō during about one week from December 17 to Christmas (corresponding with the original broadcast, which concluded on Christmas Eve) and for the chief characters of each story to appear also as supporting players in each other's.

The plot of each episode follows a common thread. Irabu is consulted by a patient suffering from a psychological problem or a problem where other medical approaches have been exhausted. Each of the patients' heads are morphed into an animal head in some scenes after Mayumi administers the vitamin shot to them. Each patient somehow ties into one another, for example the first patient meets with the second patient and the seventh patient, all in the first episode.

The series won the Pulcinella award for Best Television Series in the "Young Adults" (14–17 years) division at the 2010 Cartoons on the bay international animation festival in the province of Genoa, Italy, the Gary Goldman-presided jury of that year commending it as a "unique representation of the complex inner world of adolescents.".[7] Noted animation blogger Benjamin Ettinger found it to be lacking in interest in the animation itself and the extreme eclecticism of the visual design no substitute for the finely crafted world of Nakamura and character designer and chief animation director Takashi Hashimoto's earlier Bakeneko (anime) and Mononoke but still highly enjoyable thanks to the excellence on the part of Nakamura and the episode directors with which the material has been handled[10] and highlighted the incorporation of real-life gravure idol Yumi Sugimoto as Mayumi as a welcome subversion of moe.[11]

Theme songs


Ichiro Irabu (伊良部 一郎 Irabu Ichirō)
Voiced by: Yūji Mitsuya as Big & Middle Irabu
Voiced by: Romi Park as Little Irabu
Dr. Irabu is son of the founder of the Irabu General Hospital. Irabu is a psychiatrist with a care-free, eccentric, and childlike personality. He changes appearance throughout scenes. In his first form, he is slightly overweight wearing bright clothes under his labcoat with a large green bear head that can change expression to suit his. "Middle Irabu" is slimmer, wearing his normal attire. In this form he has long blond hair, red glasses, and a pair of green bear ears. His personality in this form is notably effeminate. His final form is "little Irabu" (him as a boy), with an over sized lab coat, and shorts instead of trousers. He is quite mellow in this form, but can get ecstatic.
Irabu has a strange angle to his line of medicine, insisting that all his patients have a vitamin shot (Irabu has a fetish for injections) and insisting that his patients face their problems head on. He is seen by other psychiatrists as obscene and childish, although his treatments seem to work.
Mayumi (マユミ)
Performed by: Yumi Sugimoto
A sullen nurse who serves as Irabu's assistant. She wears a revealing nurse's uniform and uses her sex appeal to distract patients while giving injections. In the episode "friends" it's revealed that she prefers to be alone because it is easier, and that she's into men who are lone wolves, like her. She doesn't have a cell phone, but uses one at the end of episode 6 to contact with Yuta, the patient from the "Friends" episode.
Fukuitchi (福井っち)
A psychiatrist who is not actually part of the story but frequently halts scenes and pops in via a door-like cut from the stopped picture to provide medical commentary.
Kohei Yamashita (山下 公平 Yamashita Kōhei)
Performed by: Toshiyuki Morikawa
He is an aerialist who repeats failure.
Tetsuya Taguchi (田口 哲也 Taguchi Tetsuya)
Performed by: Takahiro Sakurai
He is a public servant at the ward office who has a constantly erect penis, due to emotional issues at work and with his ex-wife.
Junichi Hoshiyama (星山 純一 Hoshiyama Jun'ichi)
Performed by: Shin-ichiro Miki
He is a romance novelist suffering from OCD, he believes that he has already done the ideas that come to his head for new books.
Shinichi Bando (坂東 真一 Bandō Shin'ichi)
Performed by: Daisuke Namikawa
He is a pro-baseball player troubled with yips, brought on by a younger and popular contender for his spot.
Tatsuro Ikeyama (池山 達郎 Ikeyama Tatsurō)
performed by: Hiroaki Hirata
He is a college lecturer and is a doctor of neurology, he has Compulsive obsessions to do destructive and strange things.
Yuta Tsuda (津田 雄太 Tsuda Yūta)
Performed by: Miyu Irino
He is a high school student, who has a mobile phone addiction.
Seiji Ino (猪野 誠司 Ino Seiji)
Performed by: Hiroki Takahashi
He is a yakuza, who has an obsessive compulsive fear of edges.
Yoshio Iwamura (岩村 義雄 Iwamura Yoshio)
Performed by: Mitsuo Iwata
He is diagnosing him as obsessive-compulsive neurosis by himself.
Hiromi Yasukawa (安川 ヒロミ Yasukawa Hiromi)
Performed by: Wataru Hatano
He is an actor, worried about his self image.
Mitsuo Tanabe (田辺 満男 Tanabe Mitsuo)
Performed by: Ryotaro Okiayu
He is the representative director chairman of the newspaper publishing company.
Hideo Tsuda (津田 秀雄 Tsuda Hideo)
Performed by: Tōru Furuya
Assistant Manager of the Paramedic Department, Irabu General Hospital. Father of Yuta Tsuda.


  1. Okuda, Hideo (1 April 2006). In the Pool. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-4-925080-94-1. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  2. "Chōchō Senkyo (Okuda Hideo cho) – Bunshun Bunko – Shoseki jōhō". Bungeishunjū. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  3. "Eiga: In the Pool". allcinema. Stingray. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 "Atelier Duncan produce Kūchū Buranko". Atelier Duncan. 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  5. "Kūchū Buranko [DVD]". Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  6. "Welcome to Irabu's Office". Siren Visual. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 "I Vincitori del 2010" (in Italian). Cartoons on the bay. 18 April 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  8. Japanese English
  9. Yasukawa is a character of Vol. 1 "In The Pool."
  10. Ettinger, Benjamin (26 October 2009). "Charles Huettner short film yay". AniPages Daily. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  11. Ettinger, Benjamin (30 November 2009). "Recent viewing". AniPages Daily. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
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