“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) features two members of Hey! Say! Jump traveling through France on trains without any guidance.

When we last left the merry travelers, they were about to take flight, paragliding in the French Alps on the morning of Day 6 of the their trip.
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Chinen-kun was eager, but Takaki-kun was reluctant. It doesn’t matter though – this is the sort of challenge a Johnny’s member can’t back down from.

Once they take flight, it’s really all about the beautiful Alpine scenery (well, that and random exclamations). There was too much glare to get good shots of their faces once they were in flight.

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While in flight, Chinen-kun amusingly starts singing the Hey! Say! Jump “Fly”, and we get the recorded version of the song as background music.

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Flying, of course, is easy as long as you’ve got an airfoil and some wind. The tricky part is landing, but they manage it smoothly enough. Once Takaki-kun recovers from the experience, they take a nice picture to wrap things up.

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But their Alpine adventures are not over. The aim now is Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, and therefore Western Europe (or, depending on where you draw the line between Europe and Asia, all of Europe).

Interestingly, Takaki-kun chooses this point to ask how much money they have. They don’t actually tell us, but looking in the wallet, he decides that there’s enough to allow him to take 15 Euros.

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Chinen-kun asks what it’s for, but Takaki-kun says it’s a secret (秘密 – himitsu). What’s this all about?

Takaki-kun walks into a bakery, and gets a box of something.

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And on up they go:

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On the way up, Chinen-kun takes shots of some lonely houses perched precariously on mountain-tops with some of the best views in the world.

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He also gets spots some hikers going up the hard way. The next stage up is by elevator, and a display inside shows them how high they are in meters – as high as Mt. Fuji already (3776 m). The elevator takes them to 3842m.

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At the top, they get an unrivaled view of the Alps:

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They mention that the highest they’ve been before now – on land – is Mount Takao (高尾山 – Takao-san) – a measly 599 m – less than a sixth of the height they now stand at. So, they’re expanding their frontiers vertically, too.

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Then Takaki-kun reveals what he bought – Mont Blancs:

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That’s quite an expensive treat, isn’t it? If Kitayama-kun is watching this, he might have just thrown something at the screen. The agency has really gone way too easy on these two.

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Well, getting a good look at Mont Blanc – both the real thing and the confections – they quickly continue on their way to Grenoble. This episode has really felt restless and full of movement, both vertical and horizontal. They’re back to not really engaging with anything.

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We leave them on the train to Grenoble . . .

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. . . and it’s time for another Gachapon talk with Takaki-kun drawing the question. It’s again the sort of thing you might expect in an idol magazine – if you were a girl, which member would you want as a boyfriend? Conversely, who don’t you get along with?

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The way they say “oh” when Takaki-kun reads the question definitely reflects how often they’ve had to field this question before. I’ve already taken issue with this segment in previous reviews, but one thought comes to mind – I hope they at least ask “how has your view of France changed after this trip?” at some point near the end. I mean, at the very least. It’ll be nice to hear them deal with a question they haven’t heard a hundred times before.

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Interestingly, Hikaru-kun makes the connection to the magazines, too, saying that Takaki-kun’s answer was a magazine-style one, proposing that they should get a bit more real with their answers. With that admonition, Takaki-kun has to answer the second half of the question – who he doesn’t get along with and why.

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After that, we see the arrival of Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun in Grenoble, with slight precipitation in the evening air. They decide to turn their backpacks neon green – I suppose this is meant to make them waterproof? Not sure what the point is.

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They aim for dinner first, and see something unexpected – a sushi bar.

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And that’s where we leave them for this week.

Well, if the best parts of this series has been the occasions when Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun engaged with French people . . . this episode had none of that. What it did have was some nice scenery. I guess I can’t blame them, since it’s tough to arrange that sort of encounter in the middle of the Alps, and there was no good reason to miss the sights once they were there.

The best part of the episode had to be when Chinen-kun started singing “Fly” on the paraglider. That was unbelievably cute and amusing. Beyond that, though, this was a step back from the improvement we’ve seen in recent episodes.

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