Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p31

To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)
So, to recap: Six months after we’d began, the first chapter of The New Prince of Tennis was finally in stores! YAY!!! ・:*(〃∇〃人)*:・━!!!!

This was certainly a high point for me. In fact, I still think of it as one of the best times in my life. Everything was exciting and twinkly again (except for T). The feeling of accomplishment after all of the sweat, confusion, blood, and tears, was a feeling that will always stick with me, no matter what I do in the future.

I was about to get out of the studio when, all of a sudden, I was invited to a taping of a show with NHK that wanted to interview foreign otaku living in Japan. Ohhhh boy. Alright, sure I could do this! Or so I thought.

I left work following an all-nighter, lugging another giant box of chocolates home, “for my friends,” and my dear friend Eda helped me get the giant box from the station to my home, where I collapsed in utter exhaustion and unloaded a bagful of the chocolate on her.

Well, life does not wait for the weary, and  for that reason, half-conscious, I found myself out the next day running errands that had piled up. Firstly, paying bills. In Japan, you pay bills by taking them to the convenience store. They scan the bar-code on the bill and ring it up like any other purchase! Isn’t this awesome? I thought that it was weird when I first moved to Japan, but now I actually miss it. I went right to a meeting with the people from NHK afterwards.

Saturday I spent at rest, and Sunday, I met up with the NHK people in Akihabara again to help film their tv show. I had thought that they’d want to interview me on my actual experiences and thoughts as a foreign otaku living in Japan. Silly me! Basically, the entire filming was a flimsy fabrication. It was made-up. A really cute girl ‘interviewed’ me in a cafe whose gimmick was that you could pay by the hour and use their copic marker sets and computers while you were there. It’s an interesting idea, but I had never been there before. I’d never even heard of this place, and in the interview they told me to say that I came there all he time. They told me to say a lot of things. I wouldn’t learn this until I started taping my own tv show a few weeks later, but this sort of “reality” was common in reality tv.

Want to see it? They had me lie my bum off, and had me hunt down my favorite art pieces and bring and show them all, and then they basically cut everything. The real ‘interview’ was at least a half hour long and the final product was a tiny fluff piece that was made up of lies.

Oh well. Que sera sera! I wasn’t paid for it, but it had been an educational experience and was good preparation for the tv show that was yet to come.

Suddenly, In the middle of all of this commotion, I got a mail from T. It was a group mail, saying that he was leaving for Korea for a shoot and would be gone for a long time, and we could mail his hotmail account if we needed anything from him in the meantime. A bright spot in the blackness-a mail from T!!! YEAH!

Of course, like any good (read: horrible, jealous) girl, I scrutinized every single address in the “to” section and agonized for hours over whether I should mail any of them to ask who they were (I didn’t ever email them. I’m not that creepy). In the end, there was nothing that I could do, though, except complain to Yasuka about the problem. And, to my surprise, he stepped up to the plate.

“Tell me all of the details. I’ll help you!” he said, and we talked on the phone, long into the night, about just what we could do. Have I mentioned that Yasuka is sweet and adorable and oh-so-nice? Well, yes he is. 🙂

During the next few days, with T out of town and me mentally exhausted, I collapsed into bed and shut myself off to the world. On March 12, we all trudged back into the studio again, only to find another surprise waiting.

This time, it was a box from Bridgestone! I mentioned in my last post that on Tenipuri each character has his own specific racket, which is a brand that exists in the real world, right? If you want it, you can actually literally buy it! And as a special thank you for happening to randomly pick their brand for Ryoma’s new racket because it was the right shade of cool, they sent us a box with some rackets inside! :O Free perk! Whoa!

Naturally, this was the only possible outcome:

Photo courtesy of Kaiwa-san.

Ooh, and we also got free balls. Ryoma(‘s) balls. 😉

I had no idea, though, that that night I would get hit with another piece of news. Something that, somehow, in all of the things going on, I had managed not to notice. One roommate was moving back to Canada, and the other was moving into a place with his girlfriend. Right away. So, I had until the end of the month (2 1/2 weeks) to find a new place, or pay the $1800/month rent all by myself.

Let me tell you, being a mangaka’s assistant does not pay that well.

Cue a major, major sadface. What should have been a pleasant week at work eating chocolate and playing fake tennis turned into a bit of an emotional disaster. Renting an apartment in Japan requires a lot of money up front. A LOT of money. Of which I basically had none. So what’s a girl-out-of-luck to do?

Naturally, I decided that I would ignore it and instead volunteer to feed the homeless.

Read about that, and the crazy shambles that my life was becoming, next time!

PS: Starting now, I’m setting my website to auto-update every day at midnight Pacific (Hollywood/California) time! This means that you can check my site every morning (times will vary depending on where in the world you are) for a new post! I may also update randomly as the mood strikes me. So, yay! Check back every day to read more! (Please!)


DISCLAIMER: I do not hold this sudden whammy against my roommates at all. In fact, one of said roommates is right now my best friend in the entire world. It’s partly my fault that I didn’t realize what was going on in her life, because I was so busy with my own, and at the time I was hurt, upset, and panicked, but I don’t feel that way anymore.

(618 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.


  • Kelly

    Hi, Jamie~~
    I’ve always loved reading you posts and I’m so interested in what happened next! It’s like I’m right there with you along the ride~ ^0^
    I’m only 20 but I wish I could have spent time being your friend when you were my age too xD

    I’ll be sending you love and support through telepathy (ノ゚∀゚)ノ

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