☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p46

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

Thanks to Konomi-sensei, I now had a sparkly new visa, yay!

And, another plus, I was so busy that, well..

…there was just no time to worry about T anymore.

I haven’t been forgetting him.

There was just nothing to write.

You see, I was so busy now, and I never heard a peep from him after the Tenimyu conversation. By the time that I remembered to think about him again, I found that I didn’t really care anymore. It’s funny how that works. One day, he’s all up in my brain, and then a few months later, he was as vacant as his heart. I was just sitting on the train one day, heading into the studio, staring at my phone, when I remembered him and I wondered if it was even worth the trouble. Time had flown by, and I hadn’t seen him since our ‘date,’ nine months ago.

Let’s face it. The guy was far, far, more frustrating than he was pretty. Never mind that he had long, pretty hair like a woman. Wouldn’t a real woman be better anyway? He also wasn’t really nice. Ignoring me until I told him that I really liked him and then suddenly remembering my existence. And then just as suddenly tossing me aside. As Amanda mentioned in the comments, he was hot-and-cold. And suddenly now I was the cold one.

I won’t say that I wasn’t sad over my change in feelings, but I’d done a LOT of crying over him in the past, and I just.. kinda didn’t care anymore. I actually did email, him, and the email bounced. It seems that he’d changed his address.

It had been a few months, anyways. Well….. so much for my hot and steamy (in my head) love affair. His hotmail address probably still worked, but I didn’t even try it, and a year later when I came upon the paper that he’d originally written his phone number on, I just threw it away. Good riddance.

It feels kind of anti-climactic, doesn’t it? That after all of that heart-wrenching, soul-crushing depression, my feelings just changed? He was a jerk anyways. But maybe someone out there can learn from my story. Don’t go out with a jerk (Because of course it’s that simple… not), and listen to yourself!

Well, there was certainly enough in my life to keep me occupied anyways! When I got settled in the studio for this work session, I noticed something.. interesting.. on the counter surrounding Sensei’s desk.

I approached for a closer look.

OMG! It was a beetle in a cage! A giant, ugly, scary-looking black horned beetle, in a cage just like this:

Sensei, when he came in, asked me to draw it in its cage, and the above was the result.

Iin order to do it right, I put the cage on my desk, and I spent a while trying to coax myself into touching it.

I didn’t want to touch it. It scared me. I poked it lightly with a pencil. I stared at it. I took photos of it (sadly, they’re all lost). I did everything but touch it.

And then, finally, I worked up the courage. A gross, slimy, disgusti–..

It wasn’t slimy at all! It was dry and soft! I took him out using a piece of paper and put him on my light table. From then on, he was my friend, for long after I finished drawing him.

I kept Kaburiel on my desk for days after because…. well… I sorta fell in love with the little guy! I was never one of those kids who played with bugs, and Japanese people have this obsession with making Summer pets of big horned beetles. They generally only live through summer and die when it gets cold. Since this was November, the little guy was near the end of his life.

At least I pampered him with little jelly snacks for his last few days. We only stayed long enough to finish work on PairPuri this time, and I left him in Sensei’s care. When we came back the next week, I was told that the poor little guy had expired. Aww. ;__;

R.I.P. Little Kaburiel. You helped me get over my revulsion of bugs, and you and your subtle quietness will be missed. ♡

By the way, the remote control for the a/c unit that Shiraishi uses on the next page of the manga is the exact same one that we had in the studio. What? You think we’d use something else for the model when we had a physical remote control sitting right there? 😉

To round out this little story, I want to talk about something that I forgot to mention two chapters ago: I was sort of the connoisseur of all things spicy in the studio.

We often ordered delivery from a place called Coco’s Ichibanya for dinner (and sometimes for breakfast).

At Coco’s, you could order your curry with a “spiciness” level from 1 to 10. Nobody ordered very high. Until I came around, that is. I LOVE SPICE. Marie always ordered a 0, which is actually called “sweet curry,” and tastes a lot like sugar (to me). Kaiwa-san would get a 2 and then Sensei usually a three. I started with a 5, and worked my way up to ordering 10 every time (Once I asked if I could go above that and they did say yes, but it turned out to be a 10 with a little container of red spice. Lol).

The first time that I ordered a 10, Sensei and Kaiwa-san tried it too, and YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THEIR FACES! Priceless! At one point, Kaiwa-san also ordered 5, trying to get up to my level. He spent a long time in the bathroom and really regretted his decision. It takes practice to become a spice master. 😀

The first time that Sensei asked me why I ordered it so spicy, I said, “No spice, no life.” (It was a parody of something that Ryoma had said in the manga a long time ago) So, when Sensei went on a vacation to Okinawa, and he brought me back a present.

“Japan’s #1 most spicy Golden Pepper.”

He knows me so well.

I don’t know why, but this pic makes me want to cry. I suppose after going through so many old notes, old photos, and thinking constantly about my life back then, I am feeling pretty nostalgic. I told myself when I quit that the next time that I saw Sensei, it would be on the same metaphorical stage, facing him as a manga artist myself. That didn’t happen, because for some reason, Sensei couldn’t stay away from me (you’ll find out!).

The end is coming up soon! My next post is about JUMP Festa, and then it’s about time that I decide that the insane schedule is just too much for me to handle. Sensei’s reaction surprised me, and I bet that it will surprise you, too!

There are only a few posts left, so be sure to stay with me until the end!! And thank you so much for reading thus far! I wouldn’t write if there wasn’t anyone here to read it! *hugs everyone*

(617 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.

9 Comments

  • Victoria

    That’s so amazing! You never see pet beetles in the U.S. whatsoever! I wonder what makes people want to keep a beetle for a pet…..
    Btw I tried to send you an email ……twice and I don’t think the email went through either time 😛

  • hirami

    Haa~
    I really love your stories <3
    Though it's sad that the Tenipuri-Story will end soon, I guess D:

    Trying to imagine their faces eating waaay to spicy food, haha, great XD

    The story with Kaburiel is really interesting too 😀 I don't really like bugs (and I HATE Spiders), but it's nice to see you can overcome it.
    (Bugs..Bugs.. reminds me of hilarious Episode of "Razor Ramon Hard Gay" when they go collecting Bugs xD)

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Hahaa! I’ve seen that episode!

      After this, I even thought about being a bug-finder. If you find the really rare beetles and capture them, shops will pay you thousands of dollars for them! I didn’t know where to go, though. >.>;

      • hirami

        Holy shit, I really don’t get why people pay that much for beetles XD (but okay, people also don’t understand why we fangirls ‘waste’ so much money on Fanstuff. keke.)

        Buuut~ I could NEVER be brave enough to just put my hand into a hole in a tree or something like this to see if there’s a good bug inside. iek x___x

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