☆ life

Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p14

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

It’s about time, right? 😉 I have much, much more to tell of this story, and I’m nowhere near done yet! 😉

Here are some questions from the last post! They have been waiting for answers for a very long time indeed!

Darj: I hope you can at least give us a hint to ‘who is this crush’ (sexy voice, sexy voice, and it’s not Kazuki… yeah, wondering if it’s 1st Hyoutei Generation Tensai of Ice Emperors >_<;) and it’s him who is this rotten jerk?
Me: It might be, or it might not be! *^-^*

Lana: Can’t you give us a little “hint” on who he is??
Me: Okay, hmm… not long after I met him, he texted me a picture of him in a samurai’s hairstyle, saying that it was from the job that he was working on right then.. *^-^*

Perky: Okay, wait….having JUST watched the Tokyo performance of Imperial Presence…is it Furukawa Yuta who is the good friend with the long hair?
Me: Saaa.. who knows? ^.-

Alyse: Beer is courage, huh?
Me: Haha, so I’ve heard! I don’t drink anymore, though! I’m trying to get that courage on my own. ^^

MJ: I wanna see a pic of that crush of yours. You’ve made me sooooo curious. pleaaaaaase?
Me: I don’t need to post a picture, since there are tons of them online already! He even has his own website 😉

Stacey: What happened with your crush’ e-mails and number? Did you ever contact him???
Me: Read on to find out! ^.^ I think the only mail that I have of his that works anymore is his hotmail… but I haven’t mailed that in ages. Don’t want to get within ten feet of the guy! XD

Kate: i’m soooooo curious who this guy is!! xD shirota yuu??
Me: The guesses are wide and varied, good! See if you guys can narrow it down! ^.- (By the way, the rumors that I’ve heard about Shirota are… let’s just say, it seems that he likes the ladies!)

Kate: If you could go back and change things, would you still ask for his email or not?
Me: Hmm.. that’s a really good question. He ended up being a jerk, and if I had known what he was really like, the current me wouldn’t waste my time on someone like him. But like we know now, the biggest douchebags seem the biggest sweethearts until it all comes clean!

Perky: do any of the boys look as good close up and in person as they do in their photos? (Different but yummy and Even better are acceptable answers)
Me: LOL! My answer is: yes. I think that yummy people generally look yummy even off-camera. :d

Perky: (I’m allowed one unrealistic fantasy, right? *grin*)
Me: What is life without fantasy? Nothing at all! *^-^*

Everybody who commented wanted to know the same thing, lol! I really can’t tell (right now), but have fun trying to figure it out! ^^ Maybe I’ll tell one day. After all, treating women like objects is not cool, as you’ll find out one day, boy! ^^

It’s a bit hard to get back into a romantic mood after all that’s happened recently, so I’m glad that the party-talk is over (for now). Here is where the real work was about to start!


The days between the party and when we were supposed to come in passed in a blur. I can barely remember them now! The only thing that sticks in my mind is that the first guy whose number I had gotten (the one a friend liked) turned out to be a huge emailer. He replied all of the time, and fast!! We even, completely and totally randomly, met up for ramen one evening and had a great time talking about anime.

Time rolled by, and soon enough, Konomi-sensei was calling us into the studio for another session. This time, though, he asked us to bring cameras if we had them. I borrowed my roommate Ami’s.

Lo and behold, when we walked in the studio door, there was a surprise waiting for us…

A new assistant!! A cute, tiny tiny tiny little girl, with cute glasses and the longest, curly hair ever. She was just the type that you’d want to be your little sister, and I think that my heart skipped a beat on seeing her! Soooo adorable, and, best of all, I WASN’T THE NEWEST ASSISTANT ANYMORE!


As Kaiwa-san said when I told him what I was thinking, “You’re a senpai now.”

YES!! I WAS A SENPAI! (“senpai” is a Japanese term that more or less means üpperclassman.” It’s a bit more complicated than that, so if you’re interested, you can read more about it here.) I was no longer the newest member! No longer the one with the most to learn!!

We didn’t get too much time to talk, because as soon as all of the assistants had arrived and introduced ourselves, Konomi-sensei told us that we were going out to dinner, and we piled into his car. With six people now, we didn’t all fit into the seats, and Tamusho volunteered to ride in the back on the floor, lol.

I named the new girl Su-chan on the way, completely and totally arbitrarily, and even though I was the only one to call her that name, I used it all through her time with us, and we are friends to this day.

Su-chan loved children’s anime, and wanted to be a manga artist for Shonen Magazine, another of the big manga magazines (similar to Shonen Jump). So, even though she had never read Tenipuri before, she had applied in order to gain experience working on a boys manga.

We went out to dinner, and returned to the studio, where we continued working on our practice material from before before Konomi-sensei sent us to bed. According to him, the next day was going to be an early one!

(A shot of my desk from that time:)


The next morning, we woke up bright and early, and got ready for the day. Unlike most days, where we lounged around in our work clothes (in this case, generally track pants and t-shirts), that day we all got dressed again in our street clothes. No sooner had the first person stumbled bleary-eyed into the studio, than Konomi-sensei gamboled in, as perky as could be.

“Are you all ready?” he announced brightly, which earned a general murmur of response from the rest of us.

“Well then, we’re going to eat breakfast first,” he announced merrily, and we ordered out.

It was after that, that things got interesting! If you remember, we hadn’t really done any work yet on the manga, unless you count the poster that Konomi-sensei was working on the first time that I came to the studio, and I hadn’t even gotten to participate in that.

(The aforementioned poster:)

Comfortably stuffed in the car again and clutching our cameras, Konomi-sensei let us on a wild tour of the Chiba countryside. Ask me how we got where we were going, and I could never tell you. We just drove for what felt like hours, until we were way out in the sticks.

Then, finally, he pulled into a large parking lot labeled, “Takanodai Tennis Club.” (It seems their website is down now. Maybe they went out of business?)

Next to us, Tenipuri’s editor, Watanabe-san pulled up in another car. If you remember, he had been the guy whom I’d spoken to on the phone when I was asked to come in for an “interview”, and whom I’d finally met in person at the Tenimyu party.

“This is XXsan,” he said, indicating the guy who’d come with him, and was lugging a gigantic camera. “He’s a professional photographer.” Oh. 🙂

It turned out that we were supposed to take as many pictures possible of the tennis grounds, to use as references for the manga! You heard it here first– Takanodai Tennis club is one of the real-life references for Shin Tenipuri!

Well, I wish that I could say more, but basically us assistants followed Konomi-sensei and the others around, taking as many pictures as possible. It was a lot of fun, and that’s not where our day ended by any means! In fact, it was just beginning!

But– I’ll get to that in the next part, and leave you with some pictures that I took that may or may not have been used later in the manga! ^.-

Me and the girls. ^^

Next time: How did our day end? What interesting thing did we discuss at dinner? What a whirlwind!

Comment, please!! ^o^ Let’s see if we can get to 50 comments before I finish the next post!

(1,140 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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