London’s Otaku oasis: What are the best anime shops in London?

Anime enthusiasts form one of the most passionate and expanding fan communities globally, immersing themselves in everything from the enchanting wonders of Studio Ghibli to the sombre narratives found in series like Death Note and Tokyo Ghoul.

Whether you’re a seasoned anime devotee in search of your next treasured find or a newcomer keen to delve into the world of manga, London actually has a lot to offer you. Join us on a captivating journey as we uncover the finest anime shops in the city! 

Forbidden Planet

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Location: 179 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8JR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7420 3666

Website

The first thing that sets Forbidden Planet apart is its sheer breadth of selection. From the latest manga and collectables to anime DVDs, action figures, and posters, you’ll find it all under this one roof. 

It’s like a treasure trove for fans, whether you’re into classics like “Naruto” or newer sensations like “Demon Slayer”.

The store also regularly hosts autograph sessions and meet-and-greets with prominent figures from the world of comics and anime. You could get up close and personal with your favourite artist or voice actor, which is a rare treat for fans.

TokyoToys

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Location: 6 Marechal Niel Parade, Main Rd, Sidcup DA14 6QF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3645 5050

Website

Are you a manga maniac? Well, TokyoToys has your back. The store boasts an impressive collection of manga, from popular series to more niche titles. 

Whether you’re into the heart-wrenching drama of “One Piece” or the supernatural mysteries of “Death Note”, you’re sure to find your manga muse here.

Cosplay enthusiast? TokyoToys has an impressive range of cosplay gear and accessories. You can transform yourself into your favourite anime character right on the spot. And if you’re new to cosplay, the friendly staff is there to guide you on your epic transformation journey.

Japan House

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Location: 101-111 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3972 7100

Website

If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki’s work, Japan House offers a curated selection of beautifully illustrated art books. 

Those books are a visual feast, offering a glimpse into the creative process behind your favourite films. You can explore the intricate details and breathtaking backgrounds that make Ghibli films so captivating.

Plus, one of the standout features of Japan House is its dynamic calendar of events and workshops. Here, you can participate in activities like origami, calligraphy, and even Japanese tea ceremonies.

Gosh! Comics

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Location: 1 Berwick St, London W1F 0DR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 0187

Website

Gosh! Comics boasts a splendid selection of manga, making it a hub for manga lovers in London. From classics like “Akira” to contemporary gems like “My Hero Academia”, you’re bound to find your favourite manga series lining the shelves.

For collectors, the store also occasionally carries rare and out-of-print manga and comics, perfect for those looking to complete their collections or snag limited editions.

Can’t make it to the physical store? Fret not! They also have an online presence, so you can explore their catalogue from the comfort of your own Batcave.

Raygun Comics

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Location: 26 Red Lion St, Richmond TW9 1RW, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8948 8476

Website

Situated in Richmond, just a stone’s throw from the train station, Raygun Comics is easily accessible from central London and the surrounding areas. It’s the perfect spot for a manga pitstop during your city adventures.

Beyond manga and mainstream comics, Raygun Comics also supports indie creators. You can find unique indie comics and zines that showcase fresh and diverse perspectives in the world of sequential art.

Japan Centre

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Location: 35b Panton St, London SW1Y 4EA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3405 1246

Website

Japan Centre often carries manga and anime, including Japanese, English, and even some other languages. It’s a fantastic resource for language learners or fans seeking a different reading experience.

While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to explore their food section. You can indulge in a delightful array of Japanese snacks, sweets, and beverages, just like your favourite anime characters. It’s an adventure for your taste buds as well as your brain!

Mega City Comics

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Location: 18 Inverness St, London NW1 7HJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7485 9320

Website

When it comes to manga, Mega City Comics knows the score. You’ll find shelves upon shelves of manga from floor to ceiling, ranging from shounen to shoujo, and everything in between. 

They also occasionally stock limited-edition anime and manga collectables. Whether it’s a special edition box set or a rare figurine, it’s a goldmine for collectors looking to score unique finds.

Estatic Anime 

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Location: Unit 1, 1000, A406, London NW2 7JP, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

Website

Estatic Anime might appear unassuming from the outside, but as soon as you step through the door, it’s like stumbling upon Aladdin’s Cave but filled with anime treasures instead of jewels. From manga to collectables, DVDs, posters, and apparel, they’ve got it all.

And just like other shops, Estatic Anime hosts events, workshops, and signings, creating a sense of camaraderie among fans. It’s a fantastic place to meet fellow otakus, share your passion, and maybe even argue about who the best anime character is.

Animetal

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Location: 28-30 Endell St, London WC2H 9AG, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

Website

Upon stepping into Animetal, you’re greeted by an impressive sea of manga, ranging from the classics to the latest hits. It’s as if you’ve stumbled upon the secret library of every anime and manga enthusiast’s dreams. 

From action-packed shonen epics to heartwarming shojo tales, there’s something for everyone on these shelves.

Bubble Pop

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Location: 60 Neal St, London WC2H 9PP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7553 556688

Website

When you walk through Bubble Pop’s doors, you step into an anime wonderland. The shop is a treasure trove of all things anime, from manga and collectables to cosplay essentials and more. 

It’s like a theme park for anime fans, but without the roller coasters (unless you count the emotional roller coasters of your favourite series).

Tips for exploring London’s anime shops

Check for student and membership discounts

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If you’re a student, your ID card might just be your ticket to savings galore. Many anime shops in London offer special discounts to students. It’s a fantastic way to stretch your budget and grab more manga volumes or collectables for your money. 

Also, many anime shops, especially the dedicated ones, have loyalty or membership programs. By joining these programs, you can often enjoy exclusive discounts, early access to sales, and even special events.

Keep an eye on the shops’ events

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One of the most exciting aspects of attending anime shop events is the opportunity to get your hands on exclusive merchandise. Think limited edition figures, signed posters, and rare collectables that you won’t find anywhere else.

Many events feature special guests, including renowned manga artists, voice actors, or industry insiders. Meeting the creators of your favourite series and hearing about their work firsthand is like a dream come true for any anime enthusiast. 

Inspect the condition of the items

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In the realm of collectables, authenticity is king. Be on the lookout for any signs that the item might be a counterfeit. 

Examine the quality of the print, the presence of holographic stickers, or any official marks. You don’t want to be fooled by a cunning mimic.

Ask for recommendations

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Each anime enthusiast has unique tastes and preferences. By asking for recommendations, you’re essentially getting a tailored experience. The staff can suggest series, manga, or collectables that align with your specific interests. 

Sometimes, you may not even be aware of the next anime masterpiece lurking in the shadows. When you ask for recommendations, you open the door to discovering new favourites you might have otherwise missed.

Join the community

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Anime shops often have dedicated communities of like-minded fans. By joining these communities, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge. Whether it’s the latest releases, hidden gems, or insider tips, the community is your gateway to a treasure trove of anime wisdom.

In these communities, you might find fellow fans looking to trade or sell their anime treasures. It’s an excellent way to expand your collection while offering a new home to items you no longer need. 

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