In the last episode of “A.B.C-Z オーストラリア縦断 資金0円 ワーホリの旅” (A.B.C-Z’s working holiday trip through Australia with 0 yen), the guys treated their employers for the day with a performance, and otherwise had fun tending to the unique selection of fauna Australia has to offer.

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They took extra time recapping the last episode at the beginning of this one (in place of the thirty seconds or so when they normally preview what’s going to happen in the episode ahead). Does that mean this one is short of content, or just that they thought the previous one was so much fun it was worthwhile to repeat the best scenes?

As we rejoin the members of A.B.C-Z, they look burned out. Since he has to drive, Tsukada-kun has to stay alert (not that I can imagine him napping, anyway). Though Kawai-kun in shotgun is only slightly less effervescent than usual, his eyelids start to droop and soon Tsukada-kun really is the only one awake. Tsukada-kun declares them all “OUT”, then declares himself “OUT”, which gets them all awake. No good letting the driver fall asleep, right?

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But by nightfall, even Tsukada-kun is looking frazzled. Got to appreciate his endurance, though.

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Up to the last episode, they had only managed a fraction of their journey – getting from Cairns to Townsville.

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Thanks to Tsukada-kun’s persistence, though, they managed to cover an extra 380 km after working at the zoo, practically doubling their distance covered. They reached the town of Mackay. Did they decide to go to some sort of restaurant or a McDonalds for dinner? Of course not – they hit the supermarket.

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Not only did they go for the supermarket, but they did so with a sharply reduced budget of $30. Of course, in their first supermarket trip they had to pick up some necessities that will last through their whole trip, but $30 is still quite a tight sum to do grocery shopping on, even with American prices. That means more pasta (along with noodles, the all-time champ for cheap yet filling calories) and less steak. They did get beef at 650g for $8, but Tsukada-kun desire to get one of these . . .

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. . . was soundly rejected. And after we saw how well they did on their first shopping trip, it should come as no surprise that they were just as disciplined this time:

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That leaves them with a pretty healthy $749. They could have probably afforded more, but being frugal up-front is a good idea since they don’t know where their next meal-ticket will come from.

Totsuka-kun handles the camera work as usual while Goseki-kun deals with the beef and Hashimoto-kun cooks up the spaghetti.

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For some reason, Totsuka-kun focus in on Tsukada-kun instead of the cooking as if looking for the driver to say something more than “tanoshimi”, making him flustered.

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They triumphantly hold up their meat-sauce pasta for the camera:

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The meal gets rave reviews. Notice that Totsuka-kun doesn’t let go of the camera even as they eat.

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Tsukada-kun turns off the lights at the end of the day, and he was probably the first one up in the morning (though we didn’t see that).

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The next morning, the first thing we see them do is the planning session. There’s a little flashback with Totsuka-kun asking their zoo employers yesterday if there was work on the way to Sydney, and they got a tip to see John at a place in Rockhampton. But what sort of work will it be?

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Well, they can’t be choosy, so they’re off to Rockhampton no matter what the work entails. It’s another 332 km from Mackay, so it’s about three hours of driving for Tsukada-kun to kick off the morning. At least everyone seems awake.

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Unfortunately, they have another gasoline level issue that causes a bit of delay (not to mention a cost of $100.38). After that, the landscape was tree-lined with occasional signs of grazing:

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They reached their destination still wondering exactly what kind of animal they would be tending to. It was clear it would be animals since the location had “farm” in it, but at first sight of the place, they wondered whether it was cows first, then fish.

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They meet John, coming in a bit late. He asks them to work harder to make up for the time while shaking their hands.

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The logo on his polo reveals the animal he has in store for them – crocodiles!

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John warns them that there’s no room for silliness, and in this case silliness includes putting your hand over fences. There are 3000 crocodiles in the place, so it’s sort of like being in the lion’s den . . . except with crocs.

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So, if they’re not going wrestle crocs, what are they going to do? Well, drastic landscaping:

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They have to clear an area of all the greenery except the trees within an hour. Tsukada-kun has a tough time trying to tug out that particular weed.

In the end, they sit atop a truck full of plantlife.

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Next, they have unload frozen chicken shipments – food for all the crocodiles. Tsukada-kun tries to carry three boxes at once – a combined weight of 30 kg (66 pounds) – and couldn’t manage it. Two seems to be the limit. He could have probably done it easily in normal circumstances, but it should be no surprise that he’s worn out at this point.

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They then get to see a pond swarming with crocs:

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They have to toss some of that chicken in, spreading it evenly. The crocs seem still, but once there’s food in the air, they snap at it and compete over it.

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Tsukada-kun and Goseki-kun get to carry a small croc with its mouth duck-taped shut.

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There’s plenty of other cleaning to do after that.

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They also got to see and feed a massive specimen, which measured at 3.5 m long and around 250 kg (550 pounds). It looked ready to chew through the fence.

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So, what kind of payment can they expect from this day’s work? The guys wonder if getting over $1000 is possible, but I don’t know whether they meant their total account (held by Goseki-kun), or their earnings from this job. I would guess the former, since they seem to have a good sense of money and now have some experience with what they’re likely to make from each job, and $1000 for a day’s worth of work is unlikely. To find out the real sum, you’ll have to watch for yourself.

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John did give them a very special bonus, though – something that could save them plenty of money if they decide to use it (which I’m sure they will).

So, this turned out to be another excellent episode. In the last episode, they dealt with cuter and cuddlier animals, and this episode provided a contrast to that by adding some danger into the mix. Instead of ending on a meal, it ended with them getting their money and special reward, which was a great way to close things out. The format of starting the episode with them being tired, having dinner, and sleeping, and then having them be energetic and active through the second half is better than the alternative, though it’s also fair to mix things up.

I still have to marvel at how much of a trooper Tsukada-kun is. Kawai-kun was less prominent in this episode, but we got a bit more of the others, including the first solid stuff from Goseki-kun – especially as he carried that young crocodile.

They’re really doing an excellent job with this series – it’s far better than the past two seasons (just in terms of entertainment and engagement) of Johnny’s Journey, and about on-par with Kitayama-kun’s struggles in India. There’s a definite sense that they’re on a difficult mission, and that they’re trying their best to get through it while still getting some fun out of the journey. Just as Kitayama-kun insisted on seeing the Taj Mahal despite his tight budget, we can expect them to now use some of their funds to experience the purely-enjoyment side of Australia.