☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p29

To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)
Beware: this post contains more of me acting like a stupid, lovesick idiot!
(That part is ending soon, so don’t worry!)

Spending 16 hours a day cooped up in a room with the same people, drawing, leaves a lot of quiet me time. So, of course, my brain slid back on over to what had happened with T, T, T, T, T…. replaying every little second that we’d spent together.

My love was growing into something completely out of my control, even though technically we’d only met twice and exchanged a handful of emails. (Although to be fair, we’d kissed and… other things…) But that aside, he’d also sort of rebuffed me, if the fact that he hadn’t written me in weeks meant anything (seems like it did).

Still, in my mind, we were now destined to be together. Maybe I’m the psycho ex-girlfriend type. X.x In my defense, I am such a romantic, who just wants to be with one person forever and ever, and love each other to the end of time. My mind has a way of making up those sorts of things when I have a lot of time to think. (Does anyone else have this problem?) Geez, this is becoming like a soap opera.

At least I had chocolate. 

This particular 10-day stint in the studio eventually came to an exhausting end, as we were still working on chapter 2, and we all left with as much chocolate as we could carry. Every muscle in my body was aching from carrying two cardboard boxes and a bag full of chocolate a mile from the studio to the local train station, then onto the train, where thirty minutes later I had to maneuver through Tokyo station and onto my local train. From the final station it was another 15-minute walk home. I made it in one piece, though, whereupon I finally lavished my chocolate booty on my housemates, friends, and pretty much anyone else who had the misfortune of saying that yes, indeed, they liked chocolate and of course they would like some/a lot.

Well, my mind turned right back over to T quite soon.

Here is an excerpt from my diary at the time:

Why I like T—–:

1) Extremely well-read and verbose. He’s intellectual and deep-thinking.
2) Extremely considerate and sweet. Nice, nice guy.
3) Worldly and seems fun and genuine.
4) FUCKING HOT! (well, it’s true)

It’s like finding everything you could ever look for in a SO (except boobs!!) and they’re hot to boot…. too good to be true.

Man, was I wrong. He acted well-read and verbose(+link to definition), but it turned out that he didn’t read much at all, and he used words just because they sounded cool. He was just tall and good-looking with a romantic voice. But I stand by the old adage, “love is blind,” and I was as about blind as a bat (or, perhaps I was only looking with my eyes).

T hadn’t written me since Valentine’s day, so I’d concocted a great plan in my head. Hold myself back, and don’t write him once while I’m at work, unless he wrote me first. Then, when I did call or mail, I wouldn’t seem smothering or anything at all like a crazy fangirl who might have become attached after one night together. Brilliant, right?!

But the thing is that this stupid plan of mine? It worked! More or less. Obviously, I’m not together with this T now, but I did get a reaction from him.

I went out to eat at an Okonomiyaki restaurant in the area with my best friend, and plucked up the courage to call him. It was now or never, and I wasn’t alone, so that I’d have nothing to do but stare at the phone like a loser. I took a deep breath, panicked inside, and pushed “connect.”

(Okonomiyaki is yuuuuum..)
Ring.. ring…

Nothing happened. No voice-mail either, if I remember correctly. I hung up, and then sent him a message that said, “When you have a minute, call me back! ^o^”

An hour and ten minutes later (I was very specific in my diary), my phone rang and his name came up on the screen.

I WAS GOING TO FAINT! From lack of oxygen, I’m sure.

OMG HE CALLED ME. My brain was sure that we were meant to be together. It was only fate! My heart was beating a million miles per hour when I answered that call. I might have been more nervous than the first time that I answered the phone with Shueisha calling to offer me this job.

I did feel a little bit guilty, though, when I answered and he immediately asked me, “is something wrong?”

Only a little bit.

We spoke for a little while, and he said that he liked getting mail from me, even though he was really busy and didn’t always have time to answer. Apparently he wasn’t even in town– he was out of town filming a drama, and then was going straight over to Korea to film a movie or something.

I spent the rest of the weekend in a chocolate haze, because we had to go back into the studio on Monday, and what else was I supposed to do with a million chocolates? I tried some more Haruki Murakami books and found out that, indeed, I still did not like them. I’ve never really liked them, and never understood why they are so popular. When I read Kafka on the Shore, I actually threw the book across the room and hunched over, nauseated. I just really, really love cats, and I cannot read about graphic animal cruelty.

We went back into the studio on Monday, and finished up chapter 2, then came home. It was already the beginning of March, and in March, the first chapter of Shin Tennis no Oujisama (The New Prince of Tennis) finally came out, and suddenly the world took notice that I was a part of the manga production world. That’s when the calls for interviews started pouring in, and I finally, finally held the fruits of so much nervousness, sweat, blood and tears in my tired little hands. Can you believe that after all I’d been through already, 6 months of working in the manga studio, and the first chapter was only just FINALLY coming out?

You can’t imagine how it felt to finally hold it in my hands!

And the news started with this article on Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-03-06/american-artist-assists-on-new-prince-of-tennis-manga

Read about how I felt, and exactly what sorts of interesting things happened around this time in the next post! Coming soon!! =^____^=

(738 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.


  • eitou

    Not a fan of Murakami, myself! I’m not entirely sure what it is that people love so much– as far as I’m concerned he’s not doing anything different. There are much more interesting Japanese authors out there (particularly those from the premodern period).

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      I’m glad that I’m not the only one! I have found his books pretty pointless, confusing, or depressing. There are, as you said, far better authors out there from Japan, and from all over, really. I’m never quite sure what Murakami is trying to say.

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