☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p43

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

September 6, 2009. The day had arrived.
Tenipuri Festa.

The first ever Tenipuri Festa.

Here’s some background information that you might want to know: Every year, there is a show in December at a huge event space out in the boonies (it’s actually only minutes from Sensei’s studio) called JUMP Festa. It’s a free event to promote JUMP comics, with tons of booths, demonstrations, games, stage shows, talk shows, special food, and just about everything that you could ever imagine. I talked about attending the last one in this chapter. 😉 It’s really fun, really crowded, and as long as you like JUMP manga, you should get something out of it (so go if you have a chance! It’s at the end of December, every year).

So, I don’t know how it came about– whether it was Sensei’s idea, or an executive’s at JUMP, an idea thrown out there over a lunch meeting sometime. Who knows. But in any case, Tenimyu was a huge smash hit, and Tenipuri’s CDs (mostly songs sung by the characters) were another huge huge HUUUUGE franchise. So, someone thought that it would be a great idea to hold an event like JUMP Festa, but completely and totally dedicated to Tenipuri and its voice actors. The main event would be a huge concert with as many of the seiyuu as could make it (and they had nearly a full cast. Which is a huge feat considering the sheer number of characters), with a bunch of booths outside. The outside events, like JUMP Festa, would all be free, while the concert was by ticket-only and, of course, paid-only. I heard that it sold out right away.

Something interesting, though, to me at least, is the venue! The original Tenipuri manga (Shin Tenipuri is the sequel) ended at 42 volumes, after Seigaku won the All-Japan junior high tennis tournament. Sorry for the spoilers! But come on, we all saw it coming from episode 1. 😉 Anyways, the setting for this was Ariake Tennis no Mori/ Ariake Tennis Coliseum.

Well, guess where Tenipuri Festa was held? Yep!

The one and only Ariake Colosseum. Pretty cool, right? In fact, the stage was the court on which the final match was held in the manga. I didn’t work on the original manga, but Kaiwa-san, Marie, and Koko-san reminisced about how nostalgic it felt being there.

Remember how I said that we brought suitcases? Well, Sensei had let us go home from work a few days before, and told us that we’d be going straight from Tenipuri Festa back to work, and so we should bring all of our things with us.

Yay. ^o^;;;;;;

Well, at least we were used to lugging luggage across Tokyo. What was the difference, really?

I went a bit early, with a few friends, and we checked out the outside venue. It was a bit more low-key than I expected, but still really neat nonetheless. 😀 So we had a bit of fun checking out the venue, which included:

Boards where you could take pictures with your favorite characters (Ryomaaaaaaa<3).


Messages from Sensei and the voice actors to their fans.


Giant billboards.


Sanada’s Tarundoru ice cream. 😛


It wasn’t as awesome outside as inside, and I was a little bit underwhelmed. But it’s okay.. the screaming inside more than made up for it! 🙂

After that, I parted from my friends and went to meet the other assistants in the front of the coliseum. I felt really bad, though, because a friend of mine, Ale, had tried so, soooo hard to get tickets and failed, and it seemed so cruel to leave her behind. So, I thought, why don’t I ask and see if there are any spare seats in the kankeisha (related persons) section? After all, Kaiwa-san brought his wife, and Marie brought her boyfriend, while the rest of us were completely partner-less. Who knew?

Sadly, when we went to meet our editor Watanabe-san near the staff entrances, he said that if I’d asked ahead of time, they’d have saved a seat, but right now it was chock full of families of the seiyuu. ;____; I wish that I could have given her my seat..

He led us inside, where we were given free pamphlets, and shown to room where we could stash our things. And then, after we were seated on the balcony, a miracle of miracles happened: Watanabe-san came and found me, and said that he’d found room for my friend!!!!

YAAAAAAAAY! It was the first time that I could share this behind-the-scenes world with a friend. It was the first time that I could share the experience with another foreigner, too! Some phone tag later, and Watanabe-san had managed to locate Ale outside and bring her in.. only to learn that Watanabe-san had given up his seat for her! (AWWWW!!!) She looked like she was going to cry!! It was so sweet of him. He said that he wouldn’t have really sat down anyways, as he was actively working and so the seat was just a formality more than anything, but still.

I don’t know if he made it up or not, but that was SO SWEET of him nonetheless. I still hold him in high regard. Ahh, I really need to reconnect with him.

After I made a remark about how the entire auditorium below us was lit up with glow sticks, and how we should be the most proud and where in the world could we get some? Watanabe-san again came to save the day and handed everyone their very own glowstick. Now this was going to be fun!

After the show started, though, something happened really quickly.

While the auditorium around us was lit up, our square.. our section of seats, the kankeisha seats, were almost completely bare. Even though there were little kids, and plenty of young people, we were the ONLY people with anything glittery/shiny at all. ToT

Have you ever been at a concert where everyone has glowsticks and looked up behind you, to spot a completely black section of seats? I guarantee you that that’s where the guests are sitting.

Well. Poo on those boring people. Shouldn’t you all be the people who are most excited? You have a personal connection, after all!

I was proud, and I wanted to have a good time! So Ale, Maru-chan, and I waved our glow sticks enough to make up for all of the stuffy people around us. 😛 The other assistants helped a little bit, except for Marie, who is pretty shy, but they apparently had their limits. At the intermission, we got up and stood at the balcony railing and joined in shouting and singing along, having a good time.

And then, finally, came Sensei. My heart was beating fast. I was so, so excited to see him on stage. To see how he would perform. Whether he’d just walk, or dance, or…

And there he was, wearing tight red pants and a zip-up sleeveless hooded vest, and we all burst out laughing.

And the dance.. the dance!!!! I still can’t stop laughing! He looks sooooo uncomfortable, and look how he rushes off! It’s so adorable. <3 You know how you like to make fun of someone that you love? That’s what it feels like to me. 😀 😀 😀

XDDDDDDD We joked around afterward, wondering if he’d learned how to dance from Kimeru (guess what: he had! XD).

The rest of the show was enjoyable, even if I wasn’t really familiar with a lot of the songs. I had been a Tenimyu fan more than any sort of Seiyuu fan, and while I knew Ryoma’s songs and some of Atobe’s, my other favorite character, Kevin, doesn’t have a song at all (T_T).

You can watch the entire show here, though, if you’ like! 😀 (Sensei sings again in part two, but it’s cute and not as lol)

[ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ]

I still can’t stop laughing. 😀

After the show, Ale was insistent on leaving, but neither Watanabe-san nor I would hear nothing of it. We dragged her down through the back halls, all the way to Sensei’s dressing room. He wasn’t wearing the red pants anymore (sadly!!!), since he’d appeared on stage at the end in a School-uniform-type outfit, but at least nobody wanted to laugh. He looked pretty cool! 😀

I made sure that Ale got a photo with him and his autograph, which he was all too happy about. Whatever else I can say about Sensei (or his work ethic), he really, really loves his fans! He’s always so gracious!

After this, we piled into the afterparty!!! Afterparty in a giant room chock-full of seiyuu? What’s not to like? 😀

I was going to write about it this time, but this post is getting REALLY long, so it will go in tomorrow’s post! Maru-chan nearly has a heart attack and starts crying, and whose fault is it? You’ll find out tomorrow! 😀 (It just might be mine)

(870 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.


  • Mona

    Wwahhh sensei looks so cool when he sings and dances but at the start he looked so nervous. Did he have time to rehearse? Was all mangaka are given this chance to sing or dance on stage?
    I really feel that the world is spinning around him or maybe it’s the magic of being rich?

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      I think that he rehearsed the day before, on stage. But surely it feels different to be doing it in front of thousands of people. 😀

      It’s pretty rare for a mangaka to be on stage like that. Umezu Kazuo does it sometimes, I hear, and some other mangaka, like Arina Tanemura, have been given the chance to sing on CD. But on stage is not very common. ^^

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