☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p25

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

Oh, the grande ol’ studio. The place of my dreams, only this time it wasn’t so dreamy.  Sure, I was still getting paid for doing something that I loved, but now little cracks in the enamel of happiness were starting to appear.

Looking back on this incident, I feel like maybe I made too big a deal of things. At the time, though, it didn’t seem like it. It felt like Konomi-sensei was being unnecessarily harsh and unfair to my friend. I mean, she hadn’t even been allowed to come and get her things, he had fired her without any notice, and he hadn’t bothered to tell us. Poor Su-chan. This job wasn’t exactly easy to get.

So, Friday came and I arrived at the studio in Chiba and pressed the intercom button. I was buzzed in right away, which was fairly unusual, and so I went inside, calling out “ohayou gozaimasu!!” as brightly as possible… in my state of mind.

“Ohayou Gozaimasu” means “good morning,” and it is also a standard greeting when you are starting the work day. It was actually afternoon, but we used it at night as well.

…..sorry, wow. I just got really, really nostalgic. I kind of feel like I am going to tear up right now.

… wow! I never thought that I would feel so nostalgic about such a little detail, but when I think about that stupid little greeting, some of the many times that I said it just come to mind, and I can just see them as clear as day. And I wonder how it’s going right now.. if they are working right at this moment, or not. Probably not, since it’s right after a deadline. (I do keep up with Kaiwa-san on Facebook, and he is still working there, so I hear bits and pieces of what’s going on).

So, I deposited my overnight bags into the assistant bedroom, and..

(The assistant’s bedroom consisted of 2 1/2 bunk beds. Great for 5 people, not so great for 6. There was a rolling curtain for privacy and two windows, but since we sometimes slept during the day, the storm shutters were always pulled and it was always pitch black without the lights on.)

I walked over into the work room across the hall, and..

(The studio as seen from beside Konomi-sensei’s desk. My desk is on the right with the “Japan” sign that I made. Marie is on the left drawing, and Tamusho on the right in the photo. On the far left? New boy. 🙂 )

..and there was Konomi-sensei at his desk, Marie at hers, and a someone I did not know sitting in the center of the room.

He was Su-chan’s replacement, and came from quite far away. In fact, he came all the way from Gunma prefecture, about 8 hours away on a bus!!! Let’s call him Koko, which is a nickname that ended up changing during the summer in a rather hilarious story. (You’ll see, soon!)

Koko was actually not a new guy per se. He had been an assistant during the original run of Tenipuri, and he worked all the way up through the end of the series. Konomi-sensei had asked him to come back after Su-chan was fired. He was really dorky and talkative and friendly, and it was really easy to like him, although that did not really help the burn from Su-chan leaving.

SPEAKING OF WHICH. Or rather, not speaking of which.

Nobody said a word about Su-chan being let go. Her things were still at her desk. Sensei was there, and he didn’t say a word. Nobody said a word about it until later in the day when Sensei asked us to pack up her things so that he could have them shipped to her. And you know what? For all of my hurt feelings and indignation, I didn’t say anything.

In the end, I was too much of a coward. I think that I was hurt, back then, and I wasn’t sure how to say what I wanted to say. I think that now, I probably would say something to him. Oh, but at night, after Sensei had went to bed and we had retired for the night, we let loose. Tamusho and I told the others what had happened, and Kaiwa-san said that he had known, and they ALL agreed that Sensei was a bit of a coward.

It might just have been everyone agreeing with me, I don’t know.

We spent the entire week in the studio, and I had a friend emailing me commenting on how much snow was falling. I had no idea that it had even snowed, since we did not leave the studio until the very last day.

I was still mad, but a lot of other things happened really quickly to divert my attention.

Here is an excerpt from my personal diary from the time:

I just can’t handle so many bad things happening all at once.
– Su-chan getting fired. Konomi-sensei finally showed his bad side. How cowardly.
– I want my own debut soon.
– T is probably not actually nice. Possibly a jerk, though I haven’t quite decided yet. How can someone be so nice on one hand, and so careless on another?
– My head hurts.
– I want outta this. Or just, someone to talk to. -_-
– Su-chan is the best. Gonna miss you.
– Found the bad sides to my job. Best part is, my coworkers agree with me.

Been a little blah over sensei recently. See, he went a really roundabout way and fired my favorite coworker. Without really an explanation. It makes me worry about my job, too. Though I think that I’m okay..

So her and I and another coworker had a bitch-session about him a few days ago.  It turns out that the things that I thought were bad about the job were the same things that they were thinking! And not just things like being cooped up and unable to go outside! I won’t go into details, but let’s just say…. it’s great to be involved with PoT, but I can’t wait for my own debut! I kind of lost a lot of respect for sensei, though.

Well.. one of the things that came to take my attention? I haven’t written about it yet, but you can see it up there! In quick succession, four things appeared to take up all of my time, and only half of them were good.

Next time: Who is T? I think some people have already guessed. What happened for me to hate him so much? You’ll find out! (MAN am I nervous about writing about this….)

(1,306 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.

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