What happened to the video rental stores in Singapore ?

Posted By yonghow on September 25th, 2007

I’m finally back in the studio after a much needed one week break. Its amusing how I am always craving for some personal time when the 18 hour days are killing me but not haven’t the foggiest idea how to spend it well when I do get some. I took lazy afternoon naps, had dinner with some Japanese friends, met up with 2 Singaporean friends who came for the Tokyo Game Show, and watched a couple of films, in between a fair bit of just lounging around doing nothing – an enjoyment nonetheless.

Here are some photos I took while exploring an area near Shimokitazawa.(下北沢)
The first one looks like something straight out of a scene in Akira :

This second one is actually a voyeur shot of a night pub taken from a back alley.

The red curtain is a tad bit distracting but the light was beautiful. Shinoda Noboru, anyone ?

Here’s a tantalizing picture of the Unagi-don ( grilled eel + rice) that I had for lunch yesterday in Shinjuku, just before watching Fantastic 4 II.

Lastly, Freedom rental dvds in the anime section of my neighbourhood Tsutaya. ( Tokyo’s largest video rental chain ) Its nice to see that most copies have been rented out.

The anime selection here is pretty huge, so the average fan can usually find what they want to watch.

Which got me wondering – if you can rent anime dvds from the video rental stores in Singapore, and what is the selection like ? In light of recent events with the Odex clampdown, wouldn’t it be a good idea for video rental stores to offer anime titles ? Fans get to watch their anime at an affordable rental price without the need to folk out the full sum to buy the dvd, and the video vendors get a steady stream of loyal customers.

Win-win, no ?


11 Responses to “What happened to the video rental stores in Singapore ?”


I’ve spent quite a considerable amount of time in Singapore (almost a year altogether) but not once did I see a video rental shop. I asked several of the local people and they all said the same things, they just buy the VCD or borrow from other people, or get the pirated movie.


Actually, there still are DVD rental services in Singapore. It’s just the most of the small mom-and-pops ones are gone.


They basically work like Netflix. Very convenient. Video Ezy has a few physical outlets too.


Roy – Just out of curiosity, what were you doing in Singapore ? :]

DarkMirage – Thanks for bringing me up to speed with the links. I had a quick look at all of them and non seem to have a decent collection of anime titles – I wonder why not – because there clearly is a fan base large enough. Nice Gravatar, by the way.


So good to hear you had a break, that’s exactly how you should spend your days off. In Australia we call afternoon naps, “Nana naps” (nana=grandma) and I love them, they keep me working all night! One week is just not long enough though is it? The light in that photo is beautiful, I remember Autumn being a lovely time for colourful evening skies in Japan, is it getting cooler yet?

tragic comedy

if im not wrong the underground video rentals are still alive and kicking…


Would be pretty awesome if we could rent anime DVDs in Singapore. I can see one problem though – who would they get the DVDs from? Japanese ones have no subtitles, Taiwanese/Hong Kong ones might work even though they only have Chinese subtitles, and American releases are quite expensive.

So in the end they will most probably just end up renting Odex DVDs. And their collection of anime titles are quite miserable if you ask me.


andrea – I need more nana naps then ! Its finally get cooler here, thank goodness. :]

tragic comedy – we actually have those ??!]

Chraen – I guess a particular vendor will have to start if off – import a good collection of US dvds,and do some decent promotion to attract customers. In the long run the rental fees will pay for the cost of the dvds, and if the collection and service is good, the customers will come back.



Previously, I project managed a bunch of projects which were developed out of Singapore and went there many times for one or two months at a time. Altogether is added up to almost a year.

Singapore is a very nice place and I have many friends there but I kind of got sick of living out of a hotel. Pan Pacific, Oriental etc. Next time I’d like to stay at the Raffles if I can.

Oh yeah, and the Great Singapore Sales are wonderful!!!


Haha, those are really classy places you stayed in, but I guess for long periods its might just make you sick. Even I would like to see what its like staying at Raffles Hotel. :]


No, it doesn’t. Most anime videos there are in Singapore are produced by Odex and everyone’s boycotting Odex due tothe clampdown.


thank u i jus did ot no i there is any anime stores left in singapore