This is “Johnny’s Journey – Hey! Say! JUMP Takaki Yuya & Chinen Yuri Futarikki France Juudan Kakuekiteisha no Tabi” (縦断各駅停車の旅 – flying through/cutting across local trains trip) and it features two members of Hey! Say! Jump traveling across France in trains without any guidance. So far, it’s had its moments, mostly thanks to some remarkably silly mistakes by the two main personalities – Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun. Can they keep things interesting when going where they intended?

 

Well, they’re certainly looking intently at the map this time. Do they have a plan?

 

Actually, to my surprise, it looks like they’re going to give Lyon a miss. What’s up with that? After all the trouble they went through to get to Lyon, they pose in front of the Lyon Part-Dieu station sign, then immediately board a train for Chambery, then another for Aix-Les-Bains. It’s so confusing.

 

Well, at least they got to the station they intended and look excited once there. Since they deliberately passed up on Lyon, does this mean they have something specific in mind? Well, on the way, they hear music, and see people dancing in a restaurant courtyard.

It’s a dance party, and a member of it gestures for Takaki-kun to come over – an invitation he quickly decides to accept (though he expresses misgivings).

I’ve got to say, the guy whose place Takaki-kun took was great about it, urging Takaki-kun to stand in. Takaki-kun spent part of the time shouting “it’s embarrassing” (恥ずかしい – hazukashii), and didn’t really manage to settle down into it. She tried to engage him in conversation, but he said he couldn’t speak the language in sort of a panicky voice. He also couldn’t look at her.

Chinen-kun spent the time shouting encouragement to him until he, too, as approached. He was actually a lot more willing to dance when invited than Takaki-kun seemed to be. The lucky lady who pulled him in had to make some adjustments, but ultimately said that he was doing very well. Chinen-kun might not be much of a talker, but he can definitely dance.

Altogether, the scene definitely put a smile on my face. Well done to the French locals for bridging the gap this time – I doubt Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun would have inserted themselves otherwise.

Eventually, though, the song ended and they had to continue on their way.

 

Though still close to sea level, they’re a stone’s throw away from the Alps, and enjoy the view from a pier overlooking Lac du Bourget.

Well, there’s only one thing they could do now that they’ve caught sight of the Alps – get closer.

But they’ll tackle that tomorrow. For now, it’s time to eat. They choose Le Chalet Du Coucou, which sounds expensive, but the cheese fondue they eat is 16 euros. That’s still expensive for people on a budget, but not as outrageous as it could have been.

Unfortunately, their comments while eating have completely devolved to the usual series of “umai” and “mecha umai.” At Mont St. Michel they had a bit more to say. This time, Takaki-kun manages to mention that the fondue is milky.

 

Chinen-kun is inspired to compose a line which translates (as best as I can tell) to “France is cutting across me” (where cutting across is the same compound as in the title of the series). Don’t worry if you don’t get it or if it seems underwhelming – even the announcer gave an “eh~” in response.

Time to grab a bed for the night, but there’s two beds of drastically different sizes in their room. They decide who will sleep on which one with janken (of course), and that ends up giving the logical result, anyway.

 

It’s Takaki-kun’s turn to handle the diary entry, and there’s a lot to reflect on. After all, they started the day by working on a farm, and then got invited to dance. There were no big surprises in the entry, though, and it was mainly a recap of what happened and some basic feelings about it.

They wake up at 6:30 AM on day six. Looks like they have to get an early start to the Alps. There’s clearly more planning involved than they’re letting on here, or they probably wouldn’t have started out so early.

Their target is Chamonix Mt. Blano, and the Alps bring out talk of Heidi.

 

So, there the mountains are. What are Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun going to do about them?

Well, Chinen-kun spots a big sign for a paragliding (parapente) place, and he’s totally enthused by the idea. Takaki-kun says “muri” (impossible) on the spot, but Chinen drags him in. I especially like the line from Chinen, “let’s go there honto ni”, which was a funny mix of languages, and a good one.

Now, I think this was set up from the start, and that’s why they had to leave Aix-Les-Bains before dawn. However, I also believe that Chinen-kun liked the idea and Takaki-kun hated it. A lot of the interaction between them in this scene was hilarious. This is the type of situation where Chinen-kun shines – when a bit of physical courage is necessary – and Takaki-kun comes off as a wimp (and I’d react even worse in his place, so it’s not a criticism).

Up they go, and even the ride up has them going “whoa!”

They watch others go before them, and the expression of disbelief and despair on Takaki-kun’s face is a perfect contrast to Chinen-kun’s eagerness.

Well, it’s time for them to get strapped in and checked out. They’re each riding tandem in front of a pro, of course.

Takaki-kun points out that the name of their group is Hey! Say! Jump so . . . yeah . . . jumping is good. Doesn’t look like he has much composure, though.

And they’re off!

We’ll get better shots of this little adventure in the next episode.

Altogether, I think this episode held up well. The dancing bit was great, but things were mostly dull beyond that until the topic of paragliding came up. Takaki-kun was absolutely brilliant at selling that part. If all we had was eager and willing Chinen, it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.

Looking forward to the paragliding shots in the next episode!