#57「ドラゴンボールの聖地 前編」

公開日: : 最終更新日:2016/02/15 ネタ話

058_DB

小学校の頃に書いた文集をめくると、こんなことが書いてあった。

4年3組 8番 しのべまさたか 将来の夢

「マンガ家のアシスタント」

なぜ、アシスタント?
我ながら、なんとも謙虚な小学生だ。

きっとこの頃はアシスタントの意味もわからずに、なんとなく横文字の響きだけで、勝手にかっこいい職業だと勘違いしていたのだろう。

我ながら、なんともアホな小学生である。

とにかく、子供の頃の僕の夢はマンガ家になることだった。授業中は教科書のすみに、家に帰れば自由帳に落書きばかりしていたものだ。

この頃のバイブルはなんといっても「少年ジャンプ」。キン肉マンから始まり、北斗の拳、ドラゴンボール、聖闘士聖矢とジャンプのキャラクターを見ながら、よく真似して描いた。

その中でも、一番夢中になったのが「ドラゴンボール」。今では世界中でウルトラヒットしている伝説的な傑作。

実家の栃木では毎週月曜日がジャンプの発売日なのだが、近所に一件だけ日曜日に発売するお店があった。少しでも早く読みたいので、開店と同時にその店まで自転車を走らせ、1コマ1コマ、ページをめくるたびに興奮しながら読んだものだ。

それくらいドラゴンボールは少年だった僕を夢中にさせてくれた。

それから時は流れ、いくつも年月を重ねた2008年、夏。眼球が飛び出るようなラッキーチャンスが、突然僕の人生に現れた。

それは僕が仕事で撮影している模型雑誌の中に毎月模型好きな著名人をインタビューするページがある。なんと今度の取材相手が….

ドラゴンボールの作者である鳥山明先生に決まったというのだ!

以前から鳥山先生がプラモ好きだということは知っていたけど、まさかこのインタビューページに登場していただけるなんて!

しかも、取材先は名古屋近くにある先生の仕事場兼、ご自宅。そこは孫悟空やピッコロが生まれた場所、まさにドラゴンボールの聖地だ!

これは凄いと編集者さんから話を聞いて興奮は最高潮。しかし、人生というものは残酷なものである。その2秒後、残念なニュースが耳に届いてしまった。

鳥山先生は顔出しがNGの為、今回はインタビューだけすることになったというのだ。つまり撮影はしないので、

カメラマンは必要無し(涙)!

撮影はなくても着いて行きたかったが、取材当日は平日。他に仕事があったので結局、鳥山先生にお会いするというビッグチャンスを失ってしまった。

そして季節が夏から冬へと流れたある日の出来事。再びスーパーチャンスが、目の前に現れた。

なんと、いつもお世話になっている編集者のDさんがまた、先生のご自宅へ行くという。用件は雑誌掲載用としてお借りしていた先生が趣味で作った模型をお返しすること。

しかも、今度は日曜日。仕事も休みだ。ぜひ一緒に連れて行ってほしいと懇願すると、心優しいDさんは快くO.Kしてくれた。

そして12月14日の日曜日。自分史上歴史的な一日がついに訪れた。

新横浜の駅から名古屋行きの新幹線に乗り込んだ。田舎の少年のように目をキラキラさせて。

電車に揺られながら、バッグの中から一冊の本を手にとる。「ドラゴンボール 完全版 コミック最終刊」汚れないように丁寧にページをめくると、悟空や魔人ブウ達が激闘を繰り広げている。

記念すべきこの日に、僕は3つのミッションを計画していた。

Mission 1:  先生のご自宅にお邪魔すること

Mission 2:  コミックにサインをしてもらうこと

Mission 3:  サインと一緒に悟空を描いてもらうこと

あの世界的な傑作ドラゴンボールが生まれた場所にお邪魔させてもらう。

次に編集者のDさんがお借りしていた模型を先生にお返ししたあと、チャンスを見計らってコミックにサインをお願いする。
そして、もしも可能なら悟空のイラストを目の前で先生に描いていただく。おそらくこの3つ目がミッション最大の難関だろう。

大人気漫画ワンピースの作者も尊敬するほどの大先生がイラストまで描いてくれるのだろうか?

昔ジャンプで悟空のイラスト入り色紙が読者プレゼントで当たるという企画があった。当選者はわずか一名。この広い地球の中からたったの一名。まさにドラゴンボールを7つ集めないと叶わないほどの極めて低い確率だ。もちろん当たるはずもなく少年の夢は夢で終わった。

しかし、その少年の夢を叶える最大にして最高のチャンスが奇跡的に訪れたのだ!

車窓の向こうで流れる空が、西へ向かうほど晴れていく。まるで神様がミッションの成功を予言してくれているみたいだ。

そして新横浜を出発して約1時間半後、僕は名古屋の地に降り立った。

#59「ドラゴンボールの聖地 後編」へ続く…..


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