Former.. it still feels a little bit weird to say that. I didn't tell many people, but I quit working for Konomi-sensei at the end of January! Really, there were a few factors, but the main thing is that I felt that it was time to move on, and work on my own manga! I want to debut so badly and have millions of people around the world love my work too =^-^= I discussed it with Sensei before I quit, and as he really wants to see me move on to having my own name in print too, he let me go. It was hard on me emotionally, though, since he is like family to me. So were my coworkers too. <3
I still talk to them on occasion, and I was regaled with tales of how hard it's been since I left (lol.. oh man, sorry guys! I feel really guilty about that..) a few weeks ago. But I am really glad, and I feel like I'm finally ready to take the next step!!
So, Sensei insisted on having a going-away party for me, but because they've been so busy, it was put off until Dream Live!! LOL, it must be the latest going-away party ever?? Four months late... but it was a really, really good day..
Emotion.. I went through a lot of emotions after quitting.. No regrets, since life in that kind of environment is really harsh, and it's impossible to have time to yourself. It's the way that manga studios often work, and I love all of the people there from the bottom of my heart, but it was definitely hard at times. Especially since I had to cut out most of the things that I wanted most in life (love, mainly.. there was just no time to find someone..)
Since then, I dated someone and was very badly hurt by him (meh..), and eventually a few months ago I met someone very very sweet, whom I think fits me very well. Where have you been all my life, Mako??? *^-^*
And on the manga front... finally now, although it took a while, I'm in the right place, I think! It's partly because Makoto is pushing me really hard to get things done, but it's also because my going-away party is over, and.. I don't know! I'm not sure what this magical feeling is, but it's the feeling of getting-things-done (bit by bit), and I love it! There are down days, but I think now is probably the happiest that I've ever been in my life =^-^= (now if only I had money.. any money at all.. ^^;)
But back to the party... I took Makoto with me so that I could introduce him to Sensei and my manga-family. <3<3 We went to see the last show of Dream Live 7th-- the end (ehehe :D ?) of the end of Tenimyu. That alone was emotional enough, but to be honest, it was Sensei on stage that sent me over the edge and started me crying (as opposed to Kaiwa-san, who lost it when 6th gen Ryoma started bawling on stage, lol). Before the live, we were sequestered backstage, although there wasn't much time to talk :( Sensei was being prepared for his appearance, and some of the directors and staff (and Ueshima-sensei and Shirota Yuu.. my GOD Yuu is TALL! Way taller than me! I should have asked his height, but there wasn't any chance..) came in and out to talk and discuss and prepare. But seeing everyone again was great... so so great! The choreographer is adorable!! <3 I'd never seen her before, but still so, I thought she was some famous actress at first!! Japanese but with long blonde, curly hair~~<3 I forget her name though.. (Makoto thought it was Sensei's wife, lol!! But I can see why-- they would make a good pair!)
So after that.. when we were being escorted through the backstage area and around to the special seats in the balcony, we had to walk through the lobby. It was right before the show was going to start so there weren't many people in the lobby, but some girls sitting next to the entrance started squealing as soon as they saw us walking. One of them screamed, "SENSEI!!!" and her and two other girls rushed up and crowded around him, trying to shake his hand. It was SOOOOOOOOOOO cute! LOL And a little embarrassing. I wonder if they knew who we were, too. Probably (from the tv show that we all appeared on last summer). It was a little bit like he's become a bit of an ikemen idol himself.. I was not the only one laughing, that's for sure... but it was a good laugh. I'm happy. =D Sensei is a pretty good-looking mangaka, after all!! In the mangaka world, you can imagine the average look-- I mean, to want to make a living drawing comics kind of says it on it's own, right? (I used to look really otaku-like, too.. maybe I still do? lol)
We did sit together for most of the show, except for the part that he was on stage. I am glad that I asked for light-sticks for us, too, because it wouldn't have been as much fun without them. <3 And it's always fun to see the kankeisha (I'm not sure how to translate this, but basically it means "people who are connected to whatever this is". In our case, we worked on the manga, in other cases, friends, families, etc.) get really into it. I think me and Kaiwa-sensei won in the enthusiasm department, but Sensei got pretty into it at times too. =D Anyways, we had our own private booth, joined by staff at times. The next (much larger) booth down was kankeisha too, and I saw a few Tenimyu actors slip in and out too. Even some kids!! I'm guessing that they were brothers/sisters/children of the 1st cast? I don't know, though =D
After the show, there wasn't that much time, but Sensei was whisked off to talk to the casts.. probably to give some kind of parting message, since he wouldn't be going to the huge party that apparently happened. Yanagi, Kimeru, and a few others came into our room briefly too. For those that don't know, Kotaroh Yanagi (1st Ryoma) has always been my favorite cast member. Partly because Ryoma is my favorite character, and the first musical that I saw was the first cast Graduation, with him as Ryoma. The story of his accident really moved me too, and to this day, I see the way that he is fighting to stay in his dream field, and I take a little bit of courage from that. Like Yanagi, I want to do my very best! I have to give it my all ~<3
When I had met him years and years ago (long story), he had been pretty much fluent in english. I was sure he wouldn't remember me (I was right, lol), but I tried to grab him for a moment to talk in english, but.. oh my. I don't think that it's my place to comment on his health, but I will just say that I think that he is fighting hard, and I wish him the best of luck!! Fight, Yanagi!! I will forever support you, from afar!!! (It kind of makes me teary to write this.. but people who were there at Dream Life will kind of know what I'm talking about, if they were watching him on stage..). As for the other.. Kimeru ^^; I used to adore him (before I'd ever met him, I was a big fan!!), then I kind of hated him for a while (a misunderstanding?? Sort of..). Now I guess we are sort of friends. Colleagues once-removed? He's a nice guy and I wish him the best of luck. I'd like to get to know him better, and when I see him these days (rare, but every once in a while), I get the feeling that I'd like to hang out sometime. I suppose we'll get around to it eventually.. probably =^^= I wish him l uck, anyways! I'll invite him to my mangaka-debut party, whenever that happens, at least =D
So, after our brief flurry of after-show activity, we were rushed suddenly off to a van and away to Yokohama. The reason... my going away party!!! <3<3<3 My choice of restaurants was El Torito (tex-mex Japanese style, lol), and it was a big hit! We ate SO MUCH!! The billl must have been around $800? I don't know.. but there was much food and much alcohol <3 And much fun!! Although I kept crying. I had a GREAT time! I can't have asked for a better going-away party =^_____^= Sorry, I'm going to keep the details safe in my heart for forever more, but it was mainly joking around, catching up with each other, being silly, and in the end, receiving the best present ever. =^^= See below...
Konomi-sensei, TK Works, Watanabe-san (Shin Tenipuri's editor).. I will always, always love you, forever!! <3 I am not going to let you down!
I will, definitely will, become and mangaka! Not just a mangaka, but a successful one! I won't let you all down!! And my fellow assistants (TK works members and those who quit before me), I am waiting for your debuts as well! FIGHT!!!
All that I can do now is Fight!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
And (this is going to sound really corny), but..
I really want to bring everyone on lj (and those not on lj who still read my blog) along for the ride!
This was the end of my time working for Konomi-sensei (but by no means the last time I'll see him-- he is still my family after all!), but this is only the beginning of my manga journey!
Step one: 1 1/2 years of experience working on and designing a manga (you'd be surprised some of the things that I did for Shin-Teni ^.~)
Step two: Write my own short story and draw it. (In progress!! It's written and I'm going to start drawing after filming is over Wednesday)
Step three: Once I have a good story all drawn, make an appointment with Shueisha's editing department and come in to meet with one of Ribon's editors. (Ribon is the magazine that Marmalade Boy ran in, and Full Moon wo Sagashite, and a bunch of my other favorites http://ribon.shueisha.co.jp/)
Step four: Depends on their reaction... to be determined!
Now the big fight starts!! Please, please, support me! I need all of the cheering on that I can get!! ☆☆
A few pictures, too? ^^
Makoto took this of me and Sensei in the back room of DL7 ^^
Me and Maru-chan, one of the current assistants, whom I love to death =^-^= In the balcony right before the show started ^^
The Tenipuri staff~ ♥♥♥ These are the people working on Shin Tenipuri, yo *^^*
Front: Marie, Tamusho, Watanabe-san (Tenipuri's editor, and a total sweetie)
Back: Maru-chan, Kaiwa-san, me, Konomi-sensei
By the way, that was my present... Sensei drew it for me on a signboard, and everyone wrote sweet messages on it. Of course I started bawling when Maru-chan brought out the package... ~<3<3<3
So, here is to the future!!!!!!!! Hashiteikimasu!!