Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p12

Have you ever felt like your life was in a whirlwind?

As if it was passing by without you. As if there were gears moving around you, but nothing that you could do to slow them down.

That’s how I felt at the time that these events were taking place. Not in a bad way, of course! My dream was coming true, but things were just moving really, really fast.

It’s also how I felt this last week, hence the lack of an update. But I’m back on schedule now, come heck or high water! I know it’s frustrating to be waiting for an update, and nothing happens. ;o; Sorry!! 本当に! (“Really!”)

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

Susu: Hi Jamie, I know you took animation as your major back in the day 😉 . How did it help you in term of drawing and story telling?
A: Hi Susu! ^^ I’d rather keep the questions relevant to the story, but just to answer you this one time: It didn’t, not at all! Not in story-telling, especially. My architecture drawing class helped a bit, since I drew a lot of buildings for Tenipuri. Except for that and my life-drawing class, I don’t think it really helped much at all. ^^;

Ranchan: Ok, so now it’s two years later – any of those actors who are now adults that you would like to contact? Or have you already done so?
A: Hahaha, to be honest? After the stars washed out of my eyes, I found out that I didn’t have a lot in common with them. There are two guys that I have occasional contact with, and some others that I’ve ran into during completely unrelated activities. I don’t feel any need to get to know anyone or hang out with them anymore. (So many of them life to drink, smoke, and hit on women in bars. I am not interested in that, lol!)

Fujifan: Is Konomi-sensei aware of the the huge yaoi following of tenipuri and how we love to pair the characters up with each other?
A: Oh yes, he knows, and he’s drawing the manga for you guys! Trust me ^.~

Kari: Is there anybody who is famous now that was in the cast at the time??
A: I might be wrong since I’m not into actors too much, but afaik the biggest guys who got their break through Tenimyu are Kimeru, Katou Kazuki, Shirota Yuu, Saito Takumi, and most of the D-Boys. Can anyone reading this name any others who have went on to greatness after Tenimyu?

Akaya: Was this the first Tenimyu you went to visit since you came to japan? If no, Which other Musicals did you visit too?
A: I started with the Graduation myu (Side Fudomine), and went to every musical between then and the end of Season 1. ^^

Kyle: Is this the type of music most young Japanese listen too? How does it change as they get older? Is it more popular to listen foreign songs then Japanese songs? How are the Japanese styles changing?
A: To be honest, I don’t know what young japanese people are into these days. Probably pop music and idol music? This is a musical, so think about it in the same way as a musical anywhere else, in that the music is only really appealing to musical fans. ^^

Perky: So…does Konomi-sensei have a favorite character (or three)?
A: Perky, if you reread my older posts, I bet you can find the answer to that. ^.~

FujiFan: Is tennis as a sport very popular in Japan?
A: I don’t know about watching it, but playing it is really popular!

So, here we go!

Here we were– the assistants and a few acquaintances of Konomi-sensei, and various staff members as they ran in and out.

I imagine that Konomi-sensei was speaking with the cast members, taking photos, and things like that, while we sat at a tiny round table somewhere on the third or fourth floor of the building attached to the theater.

“I wonder if we’ll go to the after-party,” Kaiwa-san mused, and I was the only one who responded.

“That would be soooooooo cool!”

So much for not showing my fangirl side. Considering how much the extreme amazingness of this situation was threatening to tear me up inside, nobody can really blame me for letting a little bit out, right? ^-^;;;;

For their part, Marie and Tamusho said nothing. Literally, they were so quiet. But both of them were neither fans of Tenipuri or the musical, so I’m not sure how they felt about being there. Do you think that you’d be bored if it was you, and you had no interest? Or would the excitement of being there, treated as a VIP of sorts, get to you?

Kaiwa-san and me were balls of energy, though.

“I really, really want a picture with Aiba. Jamie, you promise that you’ll get me one, right?” he turned back to me.

“Of course! But I need a picture with my little tiny Ryoma.”

“You can put him in your pocket for the picture,” he said with a grin.

And finally, Konomi-sensei came back into the room. We looked at him expectantly.

He stopped for a moment, a cocky grin spreading over his face. “Get your stuff ready,” he said. “We’re moving over to the Sunshine 60 building now. Who wants to ride in my car?”

Wait.. what………..!!! XDEROSDGBSGRTUYFFF!! Really??!! It could only mean one thing– THE AFTER-PARTY WITH THE CAST/STAFF!!! YEAH!!

I was sure that my dreams were about to come true. Actually, they were coming true! (I’m a really positive person, in case it wasn’t painfully obvious, lol)

There was one thing that I hadn’t confessed to anyone, though, that was really important to me. You see, there was one guy in this cast in particular, someone with just the right voice, right hair, right image… (My bf looks a lot like him, although much hotter! And nicer! lol) I only knew his “public” personality and interests, but those too.. he seemed exactly what I was looking for.

I had a major, major crush on him. In more modern words, maybe I’d say, “damn, that boy was hot!”

And, well.. I was single. I’d lost a lot of weight. I’d just dyed my hair a gorgeous dark brown. I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in my appearance (it’s all feigned, if I seem to), but in Japan I am considered exotic.. So, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, I’d have a chance! (*^o^*)/

I secretly hoped that I did. Of course, even meeting him would almost be enough to make me faint, probably. But you can’t blame a girl for hoping, right? ^.~ Anyone have any theories on who it was? I no longer like him, but at the time I was sure head-over-heels for him! I won’t answer if you’re right or wrong, but I do wonder what type of guys you think I would like! 😀

So… we were now going to head to this building:

The Sunshine 60 building. Or rather, the top floor of the Sunshine 60 building. The musical staff had rented out an entire restaurant for us, and it was a catered course with all of the beer that you can drink! (I don’t drink beer.. at least usually!)

It was only a 5-minute walk or so away, but Konomi-sensei was waiting on us to decide who would get to ride in the car and who would walk.

I, for my part, expected to walk, but it was Kaiwa-san who piped up first, “Why don’t you take the girls, and us guys will walk?”

“Good idea,” Sensei replied with a smile, and it was set!

This is one of the few times that I didn’t mind being led around, having everything decided for me. =^-^= Because, like I said, my dreams were coming true!

Of course, poor Sensei would soon have to pay the price.

To be Cont…. Wait.. I wouldn’t leave you there, not after making you guys all wait so long! I really am sorry! Please forgive me, in the holiday spirit! =^-^=

So, we piled into the car. Me with Sensei in the front seat, as he requested, and Marie with the other two girls in the back seat. I didn’t talk about them much before, but these two girls were aquaintances of Sensei’s. Actually… two fans he had met a long time ago at one of Kimeru’s concerts and befriended. I tried to talk to the girl right behind me in the car, but she was so nervous that she couldn’t hardly speak!

I knew how she felt, I really did. At least, though, I had Sensei and Marie by my side, and soon would be back with Kaiwa-san and Tamusho. So I wasn’t alone. I could manage a slight conversation. XD

In Sensei’s car, we exited the building through the back entrance.

As a fan of the musicals, I knew what was coming, though.

You see, in Japan there is a practice called “demachi.” It is basically, when fans of a group/actor wait near the back door of a live concert/play venue for their favorites to come out. I used to do it. In fact, I’d waited at this very building time and time again!

This time, though, I was the one coming out!! It was at the same time exhilarating and embarrassing! Sensei drove a very flashy, very expensive car, and he had just been on stage at the end of the musical about 30 minutes before, so it wasn’t like he could just sneak away quietly.

Especially when he drove around the building twice!

Oh, Sensei… ^^;;;; You are such an attention whore, but I love you for it ♥

On the first passby, we only had a few girls stare or point, and a few girls actually ran up to the car and reached in the open window to shake his hand. But the second time around, a bunch of people looked, and a few lone girls even chased us down the block!

I wanted to sink down in the seat and die of embarrassment (with a 10% mix of elation/happiness, though) 😉

I had seen a few friends of mine in the crowd, though (I would have been there with them if all of this hadn’t been going on!), so I did what anybody would do, and texted them about where we were going. The idea was… if they were in the “right place” at the “right time” (by accident, of course! ^.~), then I could introduce them to Konomi-sensei!

I just thought that it would be fun at the time, and I knew that they would be interested. I also kind of felt like… like people might think that I was lying about everything. About my new job, my new experiences, everything.. This way, I could prove I wasn’t lying.

It kind of sounds stupid that I’d need to prove anything to anyone. I mean, it was real and that was just that. But.. it was important to me at the time. ^^;

All of this time, I’d been texting and not paying attention to the roads around me. Suddenly, though, I heard a siren and finally looked up.

Sensei was being pulled over!! LOL!!!

I imagine that he’s forgotten now. A ticket wouldn’t mean much to a multi-millionaire, right? But anyways.. he did get a ticket for driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

In Sensei’s defense, it’s really hard to tell what is a one-way street and what is not, in a town like Tokyo. So many of the streets in the city are only small enough to one car to pass through at a time, even though they are not one-way! ^o^;;

Poor Sensei, though. What a time to get a ticket! At least he was a good sport about it, and after we pulled into the Sunshine 60 basement parking lot and were met by Kaiwa-san and Tamusho and our editor Watanabe-san, laughed about it.

Then, we entered the building. As we did, Watanabe-san turned to me. “Don’t talk about this online on your blog,” he cautioned.

Oops! I think enough time has passed, though, so I’m going to do just that! In the next post (which will be ready within this week!)

Stay tuned!!

No matter how many comments I get, I’ll continue later this week! Keep checking back, and keep making comments though! *^^* When you comment, try to answer this question: If you hadn’t seen one of the Prince of Tennis musicals, did reading my account make you want to watch one?

It’s amazing what sticks in your head and what doesn’t, several years later. I can remember some of the conversations like they were yesterday, and others, even more important ones, not at all. So odd.

(1,738 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.

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