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04 September 2010

[teatime] Singapore Otaku shops update (and YOG special)

This year, I was in Singapore on several occasions. I wrote an article on Singapore's Otaku scene. But that was in 2007. Singapore is a rapidly-changing society. Here's the latest update on the changes in Singapore's otaku scene.

(日本語版は、こちらへ。The Japanese version is available here.)

[Sunshine Plaza]
It's a still the de-facto otaku hub. But there are some small changes.

*La Tendo(楽天堂)
It moved to "Leisure Park Kallang" some years ago due to rising rental costs. It just opened a new branch at Funan DigitaLife Mall [109, North Bridge Road, #05-10/11, Singapore 179097] on 22 Aug 2010, and offers rental showcase for those who wish to sell their private collection. For Funan DigitaLife Mall, please see below.

*KKnM(彼氏彼女の店)/The Anime House

Kknm480x360

It's still in business in Sunshine. But I don't know that it was re-located to another unit on the same floor. When I saw the vacant premises(pls see a photo below[Aniplay section]), I was shocked. Fortunately, It's moved to #01-34 from it's previous location at #01-50 (just in front of Ani-play).
When I checked up new shop, many local Otakus(in the center of the photo above) made noise at seeing an Anisong videos inside the shop(^^;. (they raised their fever at songs from Macross-Frontier.) The shop is very sympathy with info-starving Otaku so much.
KKnM has also been appointed as the official distributor of COSPA merchandise for Southeast Asia and is also the official partner for Bushiroad. The wholesale business is registered under the company Genesis Frontier.

  *The Card Geeks[New]
This is a new shop some units away from KKnM. This shop is opened by a group of card-game loving otakus to serve the local fan community that loves trading card games (TCG) from Bushiroad.

*Ani-play

Aniplay480x360

It's still same. But it has less stocks of CDs/DVDs, and is focused on figure models, I feel. The slump of package media is a global trend. Even HMV(in Orchard, once the mega CD/DVD shop in sg) seems to be practically deserted.

[Chinatown Point]
*Pan-in-the-Box

Pib1480x360

The cosplay shop in Chinatown Point. It's still same. Please compared with photos, taking in 2007.

Pib2480x360

It has event schedule in the display window.

*Hyper Media

Hypermedia480x360

Once a DVD shop. But now, it's a Doraemon shop(^^). Please compared with a photo, taking in 2007. [It appears that ODEX stopped the shop from selling licensed anime video products from Taiwan and Hong Kong because it infringed on their exclusive rights as the anime distributor for Singapore]

[Suntec City]
It's a high-end shopping centre. But it has an array of small shops on the top floor.

*Otaku House
It's a fairly new comer. Besides an outlet in Iluma, it has an outlet in Suntec, too. It's not only a cosplay shop, but a Japanese goods shop.

[China Square Central]
A commercial building with many toy shops. Some are specialised in selling US action-figures, while some are specialised in selling Japanese toys and figures. "Toys N Toys" is Singapore's distributor for Good Smile Company, Alter, Kotobukiya, Max Factory and Kaiyodo. "Ng's Collection" is specialised in selling tokusatsu-related toys.

[Plaza Singapura]
A mall at the end of Orchard Road. It's also known as Plaza Sing for many years. Recently a number of toy shops such as Simply Toys and Vincent's Collections have moved in to the top level (cinema level).

[Funan DigitaLife Mall](*1)
This is a mall with many shops that sell consumer IT  products, just like Sim Lim Square - Singapore's version of Akihabara. It's a favourite haunt for IT geeks. On the top floor, there are  several game software shops. The anchor tenant is the mega IT department store: Challenger. Compared with Akihabara, Funan is a pure IT mall, not so much an otaku culture/shop area. But recently, some toy shops have also started business here, such as Latendo(pls see above) and Rapid Culture. I'd like to keep a close eye on the transition of this long running IT mall.  One of the key factor for a place to attract otaku businesses is low-rental and high-presence of geek crowd. Funan fulfils the latter criteria because alot of IT geeks and game geeks frequent this place - and it's near Liang Court and Bugis - the traditional areas where otakus are. As long as the rental remain relatively low, it may grow as an otaku haunt.

[Liang Court]
This is a mall that has been serving Singapore's Japanese expatriate community for a long time because it originally had a Japanese department store: Daimaru[1983-2003].
To the Japanese in Singapore, Liang Court was just called Daimaru, and is a magnet for Japanese resident employees living in ASEAN countries.
Since Daimaru ceased operations in 2003, Liang Court became deserted. But recently, Liang Court was dramatically renovated after it was managed by a new company. There are many more Japanese related shops/restaurants. The super-market also appear to stock more Japanese groceries these days. The reason which Otakus flock to Liang Court is to go to Kinokuniya Book Store. Besides the main branch(in Ngee Ann city), it has the most comprehensive and latest selection of manga and mooks from Japan. The Japanese section is mostly staffed by otakus.

[*SCAPE]
It's a newly opened shopping complex, which is located in Orchard(next to Cathay Cineleisure Orchard). *SCAPE has one cosplay shop: Haru. Haru is the official distributor for Zephyr(color wigs) and Coscomics(cosplay costume).


[Omake, YOG mascot characters]
As many knows, Youth Olympic Game[YOG] was held at sg in 2010/Aug. The mascot character: Lyo and Merly looks like Anime characters(^^).

Yogsd480x360

When I arrived at Changi airport. Life-sized(or SD version ?) fugures of them welcomed visitors.

In Orchard, I can see many icons of them. Here's photo collections.

Yogwre480x360

("Wrestling", It's an all-out fight between lions?)

Yogart480x360

("Art & Cultulre", Is Merly-chan an artist?)

Yogaqu480x360

("Aquatics", Merly-chan can swim very well.)

Yogisl480x360

("Island adventure", Yes, UV protection is important.)

Yoggym480x360

("Gymnastics", The most humorous photo is this one. It's like a school swimsuite[school mizugiスクール水着)] rather than a leotard for gymnastics.)


[Note]
*1) It is also known as "Funan Centre" the orignal name before was bought over and rebranded by the current owner.

[Acknowledgment]
This article is based on the original Japanese article which is posted in 2007. SG local otaku 0ne(ex-Zer0) contributed to some of these updates:  I'd like to express my thanks to him.

P.S.
For upcoming Anime Festival Asia 2010?, Please stay tuned(^^).

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