So here we are – the conclusion of A.B.C-Z’s Johnny’s Journey through Australia. It’s fair to say that this has been a great season of the Johnny’s Journey sequence, and it deserves this victory lap.

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The trip remaining for the group is still a full one between Tamworth and Sydney – 387 km – but this episode is mainly about recapping what has happened as they make their way south.

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On this last day in Australia, they have $112 remaining, and most of it is coinage so Goseki-kun complains that the wallet is getting really heavy.

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Tsukada-kun pumps himself up for his last drive in this long trip. He’s really put a lot of energy into these nine days.

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Goseki-kun wants to budget $80 for whatever fuel they might need – they still have four-tenths of a tank, but that won’t be enough to carry them all the way – which will leave $32 for a closing meal.

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At the gas station, Hashimoto-kun once again plays the station attendant, aiming for $80 this time.

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To eat the meal that will finish off the last of their local currency, they stop at Cessnock. If their past experience is any indication, $32 will barely be enough. If they’re really lucky, they’ll get to share a steak like they did at that other town.

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And . . yeah – look at those prices:

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There are some possibilities under $30, though, and sure enough that looks like ‘beef’ right next to Totsuka-kun’s finger. It’s a 400g T-bone steak.

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As you might expect, the waitress is surprised when they order just one steak for the five of them and a single coke to share between them (an additional $2). You have to appreciate how close they cut it, though, barely having a dime left.

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The five portions of the steak are cut and they play janken to determine the selection order.

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And that’s the end of their money – in dollars, they’re back where they started, but in geography they’ve nearly accomplished their task.

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It’s all smooth sailing after that, so it’s time to start the recap. I’m not going to include screenshots of all the clips from the previous days. Between the clips, they talk about their experiences briefly.

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As they get through talking about day six, seven, and eight . . .

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. . . they also see the sign marking their entrance into Sydney . . .

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. . . and they’re all smiles.

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Sure enough, they park at the seaside with a great view of the Sydney downtown skyline, and they look prepared to enjoy the traditional Johnny’s Journey-ending beach scene (at least, all the seasons I’ve watched ended with a beach scene). At least this time they were screaming “goal!” instead of “umi da!” (it’s the sea!).

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As they take in the view . . .

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. . . there’s another chance to reflect on the journey. With 2753km traveled, 8 jobs completed, and $2319 dollars earned and used, they take the opportunity to thank each other for their efforts, beginning with Tsukada-kun for taking care of the driving and Totsuka-kun for taking the lead phoning up workplaces.

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Goseki-kun was thanked for his money management, but after that it got a little tricky. Hashimoto-kun pumped the gas, of course. But Kawai-kun . . . .

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Completing that ritual, they do the one the fans were waiting for:

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After that, we got treated to the trip photos as the credits rolled. Here are just a few samples:

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Actually, they didn’t really have a proper beach scene this time even though they were a few feet away from the sea, so let me include a few screenshots of what they should have done. These were from the ad for the Director’s Cut DVD:

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It was good to be reminded of all the highlights in this series, since it was filled with them. No offense to Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun or Tackey-san, but those seasons were somewhat lacking when it came to the highlight reel. That was not a problem here.

The member who left the greatest impression on me was definitely Tsukada-kun. I didn’t really have much of a sense of him (except that he was brilliant at the acrobatics) until watching this series, but he’s such a trooper! His efforts throughout the series were remarkable.

As for the rest, I didn’t feel like I learned much about the members except that Totsuka-kun’s English is definitely functional. They’re all good can-do guys with a positive attitude that kept things moving, and the pace of the series was the best of any Johnny’s Journey so far.

I don’t know if they have any future Johnny’s Journeys planned but hopefully if they decide to continue the series, they’ll be able to capture the strengths of this season – a definite and difficult challenge that required the members to interact with the locals, lots of discussion from the participants, and no slow debriefing segments used to fill time.