☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p21

To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)

This week has nearly killed me! Each post has taken 3 to 4 hours to write (at least), and I found myself remembering events later on that I’d forgotten to write about. I’m kind of glad that this is the last Tenipuri post for a little while! I will try to set up a schedule for these posts, maybe once a week on a certain day. ^^ Once I recover! 😀 Don’t get me wrong, I love writing them! Tomorrow, though, I’m starting a new topic with a lot of pictures! 😀

So, let’s get down to it! Su-chan and I had just arrived at JUMP Festa after a hectic week of work. We were tired, or at least I was, but we were also really, really excited. We met, after some frantic searching, in the train station at Makuhari Messe and she slipped her shiny blue guest pass over her head and tucked it into her bright pink coat.

I really, really adored Su-chan. We got along really well, and she had such a funky personality. She dressed a bit goth-loli, with long curly hair and adorable glasses. Today, though, she wasn’t wearing any glasses.

“You look really different!” I exclaimed.

She just smiled.

And we headed off, weaving our way through the crowds.

(The big signboard at the front. Sorry I don’t have better pictures! I’m lucky that I was able to recover these from my old hard drive crash ^^)

The thing is, JUMP Festa, being huge and free, is a big draw. There were thousands upon thousands of people, walking to and lining up in huge lines that weave around the convention center. I’d been there before a few years back, and stood in freezing rain just to get in. Luckily this year the sky was sunny and blue, even if it was still freezing.

As we neared the buildings, we called Watanabe-san as we had been instructed to. He directed us to a side entrance, and we slipped inside. He surprised us, though, by handing us red passes instead. The old passes had said “person related to the event” (kankeisha), and the new red passes were labelled, “person who is appearing on stage” (shutsuensha).

!!! I would have panicked if I had been really required to go on stage! With no notice! As it was, I was having a hard time believing that I was really even there!

“Don’t worry,” Watanabe-san said. “These will just allow you to walk anywhere. They’re better passes.”

ALRIGHT! 🙂 I could deal with that. The Tenipuri stage was first up, at 9am, and Watanabe-san led us straight to the seating area, where they had saved us a few seats near the front.

Pictures weren’t allowed during the show, but I snapped a quick one before the festivities started. *^^*

If you’ll forgive me, I don’t remember a whole lot of the show. Here is what I do remember:

☆ The voice actress for Ryoma, Minagawa Junko, was hosting the show, along with a few others. Atobe and Sanada were there, I think.

☆ When sensei first came on stage, he was dressed pretty cool. Even though he dressed pretty awesome in the beginning of working with us, I had only seen the working side of him that week. Much more casual, though not exactly messy. But seeing him all dolled up was quite a surprise. 🙂 Not a bad surprise!

☆ There was a Q&A with Sensei about the new series, and then he gave the two main names that had been considered for the series (Shin Prince of Tennis and Prince of Tennis 2. Riveting, I know). “Which one do you think it is?” he yelled out to the crowd. While people cheered for one or the other, he brought up the final name on the screen with the new logo: “Shin Tennis no Oujisama.” (New Prince of Tennis) There was a lot of cheering. Mainly, though, because the audience members were all huge fans. Not because it was an exciting name, I think. I mean, that’s just my opinion…. ^^;

☆ Sensei made some jokes after that that a lot of people seemed to think were funny. I don’t remember them, though.. I didn’t really get them, anyways.

☆ Then, he made the announcement: “I have here the prototype for the new Uniforms.”

“New Uniforms?!” People were abuzz. You can understand why this part is still clear in my mind.

“Do you want to see?” he asked. They cheered in response.

Then, the cheers went wild as the uniform designs… MY uniform designs, appeared on the screen. In front of thousands of people! They were cheering for my design, even if they didn’t know it!

Seriously, I don’t know how I survived that day. “Jamie, that’s your drawing!” Marie poked me and whispered. I smiled back.

What else could I do? I was so flattered!!! It would have been better with my name on it, of course, and I didn’t tell anyone that it was my design outside of my small circle of friends, for a long time. But I don’t mind anymore. I’ll shout it to the world!! That uniform design, the one that people are cosplaying all over right now, is mine! Whenever I see cosplayers doing it, I want to run over and tell them who I am. I can’t help it– I’m proud! *^-^*

In fact, so proud that I searched just now and found a few pictures online of people wearing them for fun:

I guess, technically, my dream of “having people cosplay my characters designs” is sort of fulfilled now?
If you have any more pictures, or have cosplayed them yourselves, please send them to me!! Please!!

So yes, happy I was. Happy I still am, to be honest. Last month I went to a friend’s birthday party at Tokyo Dome, and there must have been an anime convention nearby, because there were cosplayers all over. There was a huge group of Shintenipuri ones too! I almost, almost went up to them, but I was too shy. I should have. I kicked myself later for it.

After the event was over, Watanabe-san magically materialized next to us (I have no idea where he came from!), and led us backstage. It was way, waaaaaaay more exciting for me to see the Seiyuu than Sensei, seeing as we had been with him up until the night before, and I chatted with Junko a tiny bit. Ryoma is my favorite character and all. 🙂 Then Sensei left for an interview with a magazine, and we eventually parted ways.

Except for me and Su-chan. She wanted to meet some of her favorite seiyuu, so when she was asked if there was anybody she’d like to see or any event she’d like to attend, she piped up. I was good, really. Phenomenal, really, so I didn’t mind just tagging along. But I had no special requests of my own.

It turned out those seiyuu were having an event later, so the two of us passed the time by wandering around the event. At one point we came across “life size” cutouts of the characters, and I couldn’t help but pose!

We found a few other characters, too:

And finally, at a prearranged time, we met Watanabe-san and got together to met the seiyuu that I can’t name. ^^

(Do you know the seiyuu on the ends, even without their faces? That’s me, and Su-chan is in the pink)

They both play Tenipuri cahracters. Very, very genki characters. Anyone care to wager a guess?

What did we talk about? I can’t remember anything besides making some dumb jokes and me telling one of them that I was a big fan of one of his non-tenipuri roles. Seriously, the guy is so versatile!

We were pretty much tuckered out at this point. We had been working for a week straight after all. So we moved in the direction of the station and boarded the train headed for Tokyo.

Somehow, we managed to stop off at Ikea, though. I do not know how, but Su-chan was fun to shop with. I bought a table and paid more than the price of the table to have it delivered to my house. ^^;

And that concludes this week of daily Tenipuri postings!!! Did you enjoy it? I’m tired, but I am really glad that I got them out there. There is still plenty, plenty more where that came from, so as soon as I re-energize, I’ll be back at it! 🙂

Starting tomorrow, it’s back to the past, and I’m going to be pulling out a lot of great photos for you all! Stay tuned!! (And leave tons of comments! *^^*)

(820 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • fl

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on your experience in japan, especially this one in particular~ I was actually part of the magazine (the US Shonen Jump) that was interviewing Konomi Sensei that day and had seen your group walk into the room after the stage show. I remember you especially because a tall pretty caucasian girl next to rock star-looking Konomi is eye-catching haha. I very much share your opinion that “do mangaka look like this?” A few years later I saw Kubo Tite at SDCC and he as well wore those trendy clothes, fashionable hair and sunglasses and I wondered if he and Konomi were fashion buddys =p

    Good to finally match the girl to the scene!

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Oooh, hello!! I remember you, too! Afterwards, I asked about you and was told that it was for the US Shonen Jump. It felt like such a small world at the time. 🙂

      Kubo Tite is another cool one. There are a surprising number of cool mangaka nowadays. I wonder if it’s because they’re public figures, in a way. Of course, for all of the cool ones, there are still a lot more that are very average-looking, or even really, really otaku. 😀

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