☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p44

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

Ohohohoooo, afterparty with the seiyuu. I’m down for that! Other than speeches, the longest of which was by Minagawa Junko (Ryoma), thanking everyone for their hard work and all of the standard things, there were only two things of note that happened (for me) at this party.

I really do wish that I had taken pictures, but Watanabe-san, after kicking my friend out (nicely), said that under no circumstances could I take pictures in the party. Not even with my cell phone. Poo. I guess that he’d noticed my constant presence on twitter, aheh….. ^o^;; Okay, no pictures! But I do have a few stories for you!

I mentioned two chapters ago that the adorable, sweet new assistant, Maru-chan, is into seiyuu (Japanese voice actors), right? She was especially into a certain seiyuu in particular. A seiyuu that just happened to be in Tenipuri festa. What a coincidence! Not really, seeing as he plays a popular character in Tenipuri. ;D

In this case, I’m talking about the lovely gentleman Mr. Suwabe Junichi (Atobe).

Suwabe hamming it up as Atobe.

I actually admire Suwabe’s voice as Atobe too, but I’m not really all that much of a seiyuu fan in general, to be honest. (I used to listen to Atobe’s CDs on repeat while I was working out) The good thing is, though, that not being a seiyuu fan makes seiyuu much easier to talk to! There is none of that star-struck fervor that made it hard to talk to the Tenimyu cast, whom I’d watched and followed for years now. I’d even met some of the seiyuu before, and I do sort of stick out, so I had a feeling that I might even be remembered.

I was right!!

At JUMP Festa in December (about 9 months prior to this), I mentioned that I accompanied Su-chan to meet some of her favorite seiyuu, right? And that one, Takahashi Hiroki, was really, really funny and sweet! Well, he plays Kikumaru, so of course he was here, too! 😀

He actually found me (I’m 6’1” so I sort of stick out) and we chatted for a while. Because I have another friend (Mew) who is also a fan of Suwabe, I went back and asked Maru-chan if she wanted to talk to him with me. Her response was intense shaking of her head, and “NO NONONONONOOOOOOOO! I’m happy looking on him from afar.”

I know that this looking from afar is all that I want attitude is a Japanese thing, but I’ve never understood it. If you are someone’s fan and have an opportunity to meet them (especially in an informal setting like this), why wouldn’t you want to meet them? But I am one of those people who wants to be friends with everyone, especially my idols (Taylor Swift, looking at you! 😉 )

I couldn’t get Maru-chan to move, and I tried pushing her bodily, so I went to talk to Suwabe alone, and asked him if he remembered my friend Mew, who, at the time, commented on his blog a lot. He did! Yay! I went to talk to Junko (Ryoma), too, since Ryoma was my favorite character. And then, I went to talk to Hiroki again.

You see, I’m evil. I was the ONLY assistant talking to any of the seiyuu. Sensei was having a glorious time being mobbed by everyone, but the rest of us were just hanging back and I didn’t really get it. You don’t get a lot of opportunities to hang out with seiyuu, unless you are one yourself…..

So, because I am evil, I decided to make Maru-chan’s dreams come true. I told Hiroki that she was a huge fan of Suwabe’s, but she wouldn’t talk to him, and he was all for my plan! I think the guy just might be a little bit evil himself! So, he got Suwabe, and together we all went over to Maru-chan.

She tried to hide! Hiroki wouldn’t have any of it, and pushed her out in front of Suwabe, and made her shake his hand. And then.. AND THEN! She actually started to cry and sank to her knees!! Omg! Poor Suwabe, too, looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

I’ve never seen anyone actually cry and sink to their knees in happiness before! I thought this only happened in movies! But here it was, actually happening before my eyes! I would have felt bad, but after Suwabe left, Maru-chan told me that she’s never been happier in her life. Kaiwa-san gave me a thumbs-up.

All of that made my day. 😀

The party was actually fairly short, but the only other time of note for me was the end, when Junko and the other seiyuu gathered around Konomi-sensei and actually hoisted him off of the ground! They started cheering him on. You can bet that he loved that. I’m absolutely sure that he did.

We left the venue with the seiyuu as the party was being broken up, although they piled into a bus, and we piled into Sensei’s car. There were a lot of fans waiting outside the back door of the venue, and they started cheering. And then, someone spotted us! A few girls chased us down the block (which I’m sure Sensei also loved)! All in all, it was a good way to start work.

After that, we went to have a really, really expensive dinner with Watanabe-san (which is where the picture above is from), where the alcohol flowed freely. Let’s just say that when we did make it back to the studio, nobody did any work for the rest of the night. We just relaxed, and chatted the night away.

Good thing, too, because there was something coming up that was going to weigh heavily on my mind for the next few months: my visa renewal.

You try getting a work visa (permission to work) from the Japanese government, when you’re doing something that they’ve never really heard of before. A foreigner working at a manga studio? It definitely wasn’t a routine request.

Which means that tomorrow’s part is going to be part rant, part elation, and about a lot, lot, loooooot of sleepless nights!


See you tomorrow! 😉

(685 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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