It’s taken me a while to get to this review 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), but that’s not from lack of interest. It doesn’t look like the place I was going to was keeping up with it (at least, not within two weeks, which is my normal limit), and I had to find a different source. In this case, you may notice Chinese subs in the screenshots. I hope the subtitling group in question doesn’t mind me basing this review on the video they uploaded – it doesn’t violate any of the normal rules, but it’s all down to the preferences of the people who share the video, and I can’t read Chinese.

When we last left A.B.C-Z, they were on their way to Lady Musgrave Island – an uninhabited spot of land amidst the Great Barrier Reef.

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They sure are a boisterous bunch as they make landfall.

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This is the island:

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Looks sort of small, but very tropical.

I’m not too sure what they were supposed to be doing on the island, and I’m not sure they knew either, but they did a good job of looking like they had a purpose and were having fun.

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How about the interestingly shaped sand?

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Well, there’s no denying that it’s scenic, but there isn’t much to do at the beach . . .

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. . . so they start turning inland, with its foliage and wildlife.

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Very briefly, it looked like a real adventure . . .

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. . . but they weren’t long on the island before they were called back by the tour guide. By their pace, I guess they thought they’d have a longer time there, but you can’t call it an uninhabited island if it spends a lot of time occupied.

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As a consolation, they get their free lunch. Why they ask how much it costs and act surprised when they find out it’s free, I have no idea – they knew that the package came with a free lunch when they paid for it.

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Of course, it wasn’t all-you-can-eat, but they each got a healthy plate of food, and shared a rice plate.

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Speaking of the rice plate, they decided to try to keep it away from poor Tsukada-kun. This is the second time we’ve seen him picked on, recalling that soda can toss that had him diving last time.

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Rain started coming in, and because of the angle they had to protect their food.

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The food looked great, and the guys managed to make the meal engaging to watch, but throughout this whole adventure the most striking aspect has been how noisy they are.

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You would think that snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef would have been a big highlight, but it actually lasted only a minute and a half, much of which was a wildlife shot that was recorded separately.

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You see, while their camera was water-safe, underwater shots are still notoriously difficult without special equipment.

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To make up for the lackluster footage, they did their five-star pose at the end.

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Their day of fun over, they face the quandary of only having $173 left, around seventy of which will have to be reserved for the night’s parking.

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Tsukada-kun is at the helm as usual . . .

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. . . so of course he’s the one who has to announce that they need fuel fast. With 503 km left to go to their destination, they weren’t going to make it without filling up anyway.

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As usual, Hashimoto-kun is responsible for filling it up, and aims to put exactly $100 worth in. While he’s doing it, he again pretends to be a station attendant chatting up customers. Will he be able to hit exactly $100 while distracted by the conversation?

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They’re sure in a tight place as far as money is concerned. After being in four-digits at the start of the day, can they stay out of the single-digits by the end?

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As they find a place to plug in for the night . . .

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. . . it’s all down to wallet-keeper Goseki-kun to announce how much they have left:

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This financial disaster deserves a team meeting, with each member writing down their thoughts anonymously (though, by now, they should be able to recognize each others’ handwriting). Kawai-kun is the acting chairman.

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I don’t think anything surprising was said during the meeting, but Tsukada-kun did make a curious move by signing his note even though it was supposed to be anonymous.

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The next morning, the guys interrupt Tsukada-kun, who is busy with some semblance of Tai Chi, though I’m not sure if that was what he was aiming for.

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And they hit the road again, aiming for the Gold Coast ready for another round of looking for work.

2013.05.13 JJ ABC-Z Trip 082Before the end, Tsukada-kun complains that he’s hungry, so Kawai-kun pulls out the Kangaroo Jerky (please tell me this isn’t really kangaroo – they didn’t make it clear in the show) and passes strips around. Just as they’re munching, they see a kangaroo crossing the road.

In the end, I don’t think their recreational effort turned out as interesting as I thought it would be. At least, watching them work seems far more engaging. Maybe if the underwater shots were better and we really got to see them interacting with some coral (that is, if we saw them next to something that they wouldn’t find just outside Tokyo Bay) it would have been worthwhile. The part on Lady Musgrave Island was better than the snorkeling, because at least we say them really getting into the setting.

The mealtime bit and the meeting at the end was good work by them to keep the episode fun for the audience. Despite the fact that the Great Barrier Reef adventure didn’t bring the highlights I was hoping for, the guys still worked hard to make sure viewers wouldn’t be bored.

I suspect, though, that the next episode, where they are once again on the job hunt, will be a step up from this one.