Eternal animé fan and Eurasian student Fabrice Requin is on a mission; a mission to transport his cardboard cut-out “bride” Holo around the planet and visit as many scenic locations together as possible.
Having already visited Singapore, Indonesia and China as well as many European locations, brave traveller Fabrice has recently caught the attention of the Japanese media who can’t get enough of his wacky adventures and admire his brazen, anime-loving spirit.
Project Holo, named after the character of the same name from anime Spice and Wolf, sees Fabrice visiting world-famous sites with his friend, sister and, most importantly, a life-size cardboard cutout of character Holo dressed as a bride. Caring not a jot about the stares and giggles he receives, Fabrice poses in front of sights like Kyoto and Nara’s Kinkaku and Todai temples, fashionable Ikebukuro and the famous “scramble” pedestrian crossing as seen in Bill Murray’s now legendary movie and Japanophile favourite Lost in Translation.
“Several months ago, I purchased a cardboard cutout of Holo from Spice & Wolf out of curiosity,” explains Fabrice on his website Fateful Encounters. “Thinking that it was a waste to just display it in my room, I decided to create Project Holo along with my friend and sister with the intention of taking her to as many places around the world if the opportunity rises, and put together a photo album with different country landmarks and everyone that she has met.”
Fabrice says that he was inspired by this short scene in the animé Durarara!! in which two characters are seen carrying a cutout exactly like that Fabrice found online.
With his bags packed and his bride broken into easily reassembled pieces, Fabrice was ready to begin travelling. And travel he did!
▼Feeding deer in Nara park as a couple
▼”Come on, Holo, we’re leaving this place!”
▼Proud Fabrice and Holo in Shibuya
▼ A handsome couple
As Japanese website IT Media writes, during their time in Tokyo, Holo and Fabrice paid visits to all of the popular sightseeing locations, but also made time to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka and the otaku mecca that is Akihabara, calling in at Good Smile Cafe and Karaoke. Fortunately for them, their visit coincided with the final day of a special Puella Magi Madoka Magica event; an animation that Fabrice is a huge fan of.
Quizzed further about his choice of animé and manga, Fabrice lists titles including Girls and Panzer, Bakuman and the story of astronaut wannabes Uchuu Kyoudai as his favourites, with the latter being a title that has recently spawned a highly successful live action feature film.
Like many animé fans living outside of Japan, quirky traveller Fabrice bemoans that lack of official sources and distribution points in his home country, and is often frustrated that many titles are sometimes edited or have entire scenes removed. Thankfully, thanks to the existence of websites like animé and otaku haven Crunchyroll, he and like-minded people can watch an enormous array of videos online and engage in chat and discussions via the site’s vast number of forums.
There’s no news yet regarding the next geographical location the pair have their sights set on, but we’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on Fabrice’s incredible honeymoon adventures from now on and be sure to bring you news as soon as it comes in. In the meantime, any animé fans out there should definitgely pay Fabrice’s homepage a visit and check out some of the other locations that he and Holo have visited!
Until the next time!
▼Bringing joy to yet more tourists at the Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto.
▼See? He’s not always alone!
▼Holo looking pretty before a shrine
▼ Best of luck to the happy couple!