With plenty of big anime releases this year like the first part of Attack on Titan’s finale, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Spy x Family’s second season, there’s plenty of time to catch up on the manga for fans. A way to do so without breaking the bank is at City Square Mall’s recently launched pop-up Manga Library, the first-of-its-kind initiative from National Library Board.
Decked out in a Japanese-themed layout, with low wooden bookshelves and high windows giving the space a tranquil feel, the space is located on the fourth level with comic drawings adorning the entrance.
Over 5,000 titles will be available at the ‘Grab-n-Go’ library — all you have to do is scan into the gantry with your NRIC, pick up your desired books (up to 8), and tap out with the system automatically scanning your books as you leave. The library houses some of the currently trending titles such as Spy x Family, My Hero Academia, and Blue Lock, which are joined by classics like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and Bleach.
Japanese publisher Shogakukan has donated 1,000 out of the 5,000 titles in the library, including Assassin’s Creed and Pokémon titles, with plans to contribute further to the collection in the coming months.
Apart from manga titles, rare local comics will also be on permanent display, such as Captain V, Singapore’s first full-colour comic, Bookworm Gang Adventures, and more nostalgic entries to educate library-goers on Singapore’s lesser-known comic scene. Look closely enough, and you might spot the iconic Mr Kiasu and The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye sitting within the glass panels.
For those looking for recommendations, the library’s fully automated robot concierge, modelled after Mr Kiasu from the popular 90s’ series, will recommend books based on your reading preferences and guide patrons on using the ‘Grab-n-Go’ system — in Singlish to boot, keeping true to the character’s Singaporean roots.
The pop-up is now open to the public, and will run for six months. Throughout this period, the selection of works will be rotated out or refreshed with new volumes, ensuring there’s always variety to check out.