A favourite otaku (geek) hobby in Japan is taking photos of toys. The pictures can make oh-so-cute miniature figurines look lifelike. But this trend isn't only a Japanese thing. It's also a Formula One racer thing — at least for one man. Via social media, Spanish F1 driver Fernando Alonso provides a look at Formula One that fans expect: fast cars, scenic locals, and killing time between races. He also shows a different side of the motorsport. A nerdier one.
Alonso has his own otaku style mascot, named "Tomita". And much like Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono or otaku blogger Danny Choo, Alonso takes his little "Tomita" figurine around and snaps photos as he travels the globe with Ferrari.
Fans of Japanese role-playing game Tales of Graces will recognise "Tomita" as Tales of Graces hero "Asbel Lhant", the game's 18 year-old sword swinger. Tales of Graces first hit the Nintendo Wii in 2009.
In the photos, you can see Tomita in Shanghai and Dubai, in the pit and sitting in small F1 cars. Since Alonso refers to the character as "Tomita" ("little Thomas") instead of "Asbel", it might not be clear whether or not he just liked this little figure or if he's a fan of the game. But since Alonso's feed also has pics of a PS3 controller (Tales of Graces got a PS3 re-release) and a Tales of Graces iPhone cover, I'm inclined to think he knows exactly what he's doing: he's a gamer, a JRPG player, and a good old fashioned nerd whose day job just happens to be racing F1 cars.
Delightfully geeky stuff from Alonso, a two-time World Champ. Check out more Tomita pics in the link below.
Fernano Instagram [Tumblr]