Defending champions Kawasaki Frontale are a team with a target on their back at the start of the new J. League season.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before. Three times in the last four years, to be precise.

Those lucky enough to go to Todoroki Stadium over the last two seasons — with tickets that, due to pandemic-enforced crowd limits, might as well be embossed with gold — have been able to witness the J. League’s most exciting dynasty in person, with manager Toru Oniki’s men running rampant and scoring goals at will.