With COVID-19 hitting the region hard, plenty of anime fans have stayed indoors catching up on shows via streaming sites as well as doing their shopping via e-commerce platforms. We’ve had the privilege of having a (socially distanced) chat with Jeff — the General Manager of Muse Communication Singapore, the company behind Muse Asia and online retail store “Hakken!“, to talk about just that. Check it out below!
How did MUSE Asia start, and what was your chief role in it?
Muse Communication Singapore started in April 2019; Muse Communication Taiwan’s goal at that time was to expand its portfolio in South-East Asia and chose Singapore as the base of operations.
We believe that South-East Asia has a lot of potential that has yet to be discovered; that there will be a huge growth in the demand for anime intellectual property — as well as merchandise.
Due to my experience in this field, the General Manager of Muse Communication Taiwan, Mr. Kang, appointed me to be in charge of the operations in South-East Asia. I have been tasked to expand our online retail and media streaming portfolios, as well as the theatrical releases of movies across South-East Asia.
Jeff, General Manager Muse Communication Singapore
As an official licensor of anime merchandise, which titles have Muse Asia collaborated with that you would like to highlight?
We have a large collection of titles under our belt: some of the big hits that we have are “Sword Art Online”, “Attack on Titan”, “Re: Zero – Starting Life in Another World”, and “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime”. We also have recent popular anime titles like “Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious” and “BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense”.
You have recently started streaming licensed anime for free on your official YouTube channel. What was the seed for this idea, and what are your hopes on the future of the channel?
Much of the audience in South-East Asia do not have ways to access anime contents via legal channels. Many of them turn to unlicensed streaming websites to view the latest anime, and it is not beneficial to the industry — so this is one of the reasons why we decide to use YouTube as a platform to stream licensed anime.
We hope that in the future, there will be more fans turning to official channels like Muse Asia for their anime; of course, we also wish to bring in more anime titles to our channel in a sustainable manner for our fans.
Coming back to your merchandise arm, you also recently launched “Hakken!” — can you also share how this got started, as well as how you can see it grow?
Retailing of anime merchandise is always one of our key business models, and our goal is to shape a new way of doing online retail for anime merchandise. Muse Communication has always conducted retail in a more traditional method, such as brick and mortar retail stores and sales of products at anime events.
“Hakken!” is our new door to an online retail concept. “Hakken!” when translated from Japanese means “to discover”, and we wish to spark joy when our customer opens the parcel received from us. This joyful feeling is the kind of relationship we wish to establish with our customers.
Moving forward, we will do more with our marketing campaign for “Hakken!” on Muse Asia, as well as launch new online retail experience for our customers in the near future. We would like for “Hakken!” to be the #1 choice of our fans for anime merchandise in the whole of South-East Asia.
Can you drop a few hints about future collaboration titles?
Top titles like “Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World” Season 2 and “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” Season 2 are coming back strong — those are just a few good titles in our up-and-coming collaboration.
Please leave a message for the fans of Muse Asia
On behalf of all staff at Muse Singapore, we thank you for your kind and generous support, and we really looking forward to serving the anime community better. It is your wonderful support that makes our Muse Asia channel one of the top trending channel for South-East Asia. Remember to follow and subscribe to our social media account and let us work towards 1 Million Subscribers!