What would you get if you crossed the ancient capital of Japan with the massively successful Dragon Quest series of video games? Nope, it’s not a silly question, since this collaboration has already been realized in the form of “Nara Quest,” the funny title for a handful of amusing souvenirs from Nara Prefecture that parody the famous game franchise. Read on for a look at the clever goods!
First of all, in case you’re not familiar with Nara, besides boasting some of the most ancient and culturally significant structures in all of Japan, the city is also famous for its herds of wild yet extremely tame deer. They’re so tame, in fact, that they don’t mind being petted, and they like to wander around looking for food until an old granny swats them away with a broom.
▼A typical sight in Nara–the true rulers of the city.
▼Smile for your close-up!
▼”Hey, whatcha got there? Food for me?”
▼You can even buy special rice crackers to feed the deer. But maybe this positive reinforcement thing isn’t such a good idea…
▼Hey, I wasn’t kidding about the old granny and the broom!
▼The pictures on this warning sign crack me up every time.
Now that you’ve learned a bit about the wildlife scene in Nara, let’s turn our attention to a recent tweet by Twitter user @chilime, who shared a photo of what are undoubtedly two of the coolest A4-sized clear plastic folders ever manufactured:
“As a citizen of Nara Prefecture, I always keep a few of these on hand to give out as gifts (*sparkle*). You can find them pretty easily if you go to any souvenir shop in Nara, but I personally recommend buying them at the souvenir stand at Todai-ji. There, the mysterious “Nara Quest” logo is nice and obvious…haha.”
As you can see, the folders are adorned with retro-looking graphics and captions stylized after the older Dragon Quest games. One of the folders reads, “A herd of deer appears!” and the other one tell us, “No reply. It looks like they’re just ordinary deer.” On the reverse side, both of the folders say “I visited Nara.”
▼You can see how the play on the Dragon Quest logo is clearly visible in the shop:
But that’s not all, because we also discovered pictures of some other amusing folders in the shop. This time, the quotes on the folders parody Gundam, MMR, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and they all share the common deer theme:
“NaraNaraNaraNara haha [a play on “Oreoreoreore” from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure]”
While we definitely recommend taking a trip to Nara to check it out for yourselves, if it’s just not on the cards right now, worry not: you can buy the folders from the online shop of Todai-ji’s souvenir stand for 270 yen (US$2.46) each. Not bad for a few giggles if you’re a longtime Dragon Quest fan!