The London Anime Shopping Guide

Last revised 12th August 2003

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, no guarantee can be given. Additions and corrections are welcome.

If you have an image capable browser, click on the icon next to a shop name to see a photo of it.


Major Video Retailers
Most video shops stock anime to some extent. These are the big central London department stores.

Japanese Book Shops
The Japanese community in London is big enough to support a few bookshops. They all stock Japanese comics and artbooks.

Specialist comic/SF Shops
These are the notable shops in central London. They all stock imported US comics.

Chinatown[section currently missing]
There are a number of shops in Chinatown that stock Hong Kong media goods such as comics, posters, CDs, videos etc. Pirate goods are common. Until I do some proper research here, you're on your own. Chinatown is located in the area bounded by Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Charing Cross Road and Wardour Street.

Game Shops/Arcades
Specialist game shops and notable amusement arcades in central London.

Other places of interest not covered elsewhere.

Major Video Retailers

HMV. Oxford Street (two branches, east of Oxford Circus and opposite Bond Street station) / Trocadero Center, Shaftsbury Avenue (west side).
The store near Oxford Circus is the main one. The video department is on the first floor, with a good selection of anime tapes and DVDs. They also have a few anime CDs in the soundtrack department in the basement, but they are mixed in with the film soundtracks, so you can't easily browse them.

Tower Records. 1 Picadilly Circus (west side inbetween Picadilly and Regent Street)
The video department is in the basement, but the anime selection is poor. Of more interest is the selection of Japanese anime and game import CDs in the games department and the J-pop section in the 'World Music' department on the first floor.

Virgin Megastore. 14 Oxford Street (Tottenham Court Road end) / Picadilly Circus (south side)
The Oxford street branch is the main one. The video department is on the first floor. Not as well stocked as HMV.

Japanese Book Shops

Adanami Shobo.387 Edgeware Road, Colindale (just south of Oriental City)
Tel: (020) 8201 3499
A second-hand Japanese book shop. Loads of manga with prices to bring even the stingiest otaku to their knees. Only open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon.

Asahiya Shoten. Oriental City, 399 Edgeware Road. (turn right out of Colindale station, then right at the end of the road)
Tel: (020) 8200 0039
The largest Japanese bookshop in Europe, with the most comprehensive selection of Japanese comics anywhere. They also have a good CD section with J-pop and anime soundtracks, some UK anime DVDs and a few imported video games. They can order any book or CD from japan if it is in print, providing you can supply an ISBN/catalogue number or the title and author (written in Japanese). Good prices.

Japan Centre. 212 Picadilly. (south side, near Picadilly Circus)
Tel: (020) 7439 8035
Mainly a book shop, but they also sell anime and manga related merchandise, and even have a few imported videos and games. Prices are high, but there is usually some unsold stock being cleared out cheaply.

JP-Books. Dorland House, 14-20 Regent Street (part of the Mitsukoshi department store, south of Picadilly Circus)
Tel: (020) 7839 4839
I haven't visited this one yet.

OCS Books. 2 Grosvenor Parade, Uxbridge Road, Ealing. (turn right out of Ealing Common station)
Tel: (020) 8992 6335
Doesn't stand out from the others particularly.

Specialist SF/Comic Shops

Comic Showcase. 63 Charing Cross Road. (West side, just north of Leicester Square station)
General comics store with a good range of translated comics and some UK anime videos.

Forbidden Planet. 71 New Oxford Street, (south side, near Tottenham Court Road station)
Tel: (020) 7836 4179, website:
The largest specialist SF/comic shop in the UK, including an excellent range of anime goods by default. Comics and magazines are on the ground floor, videos and DVDs are in the basement. Models and trading cards are mixed in with the relevent sections elsewhere. Closed on Sundays.

Gosh!. 39 Great Russell Street (opposite the British Museum)
Tel: (020) 7636 1011
A comic shop, specialising in non-mainstream comics, including a comprehensive manga section in the basement. Of all the London comic shops, this is my favourite.

Orbital 9 Old Compton Street (near the Charing Cross Road end)
Tel: (020) 7434 9363
Another comic shop.

The following shops stock translated comics and UK video and DVDs, but they are not centrally located:

Avalon Comics. 143 Lavender Hill, Clapham (5 mins walk from Clapham Junction)
Mega City. 18 Inverness Street, Camden Town. (north west of Camden Town station)

Game Shops/Arcades

Casino Leisure Centre. Tottenham Court Road (inbetween Goodge Street station and the Church of Scientology)
Notable as being a beta test site for some arcade game manufacturers (e.g. Capcom, Komani). This means that they get new games in before anyone else, or get machines that never appear anywhere else.

Computer Exchange. 32 Rathbone Place. (off Oxford Street near Tottenham Court Road)
New and second hand Japanese/US/UK games of all descriptions. Retro department in the basement stocks all manner of legacy games and game systems. The one thing they do not stock are Nintendo imports (for legal reasons). Good prices, bad service. The staff have good gaming knowledge, but lack customer service skills.

Funland. Trocadero Centre, 40 Shaftesbury Avenue. (near Picadilly Circus)
Labyrinthine indoor theme park and biggest amusement arcade in London. Has the best range of machines overall, and several unique rides. Game Focus, Goodge Street. (near Goodge Street Station)
Small shop selling new and second hand video games, including imports.

Namco Station. County Hall, Riverside Building, South Bank (between The London Eye and Westminster Bridge)
Tel: (020) 7967 1066, website:
Another big arcade, but with the added attraction of a bar and pool hall attached. Currently the most popular hang out for the otaku-about-town.

Play2win. Oxford Street (opposite Rathbone place)
There are a few Play2win arcades dotted around central London, but this is the biggest.


Arigato. 48 Brewer Street, Soho. (north of Picadilly Circus)
There are lots of shops around London that stock Japanese groceries, but this is the only one that is centrally located.

Comet Miniatures. 44-46 Lavender Hill, Battersea. (north side, near Queenstown Road)
Tel: (020) 7228 3702, website:
Model kit specialist. A gold mine of Gundam kits, toy robots, vinyl kits and other goodies. Stock includes some pirate kits.

Hamleys. 188 Regent Street. (east side, near Beak Street)
Huge toy shop. If you're look for anything that's been officially released in the UK, this is a good place to start. There is a small video arcade in the basement.

Oriental City. 399 Edgeware Road, Edgware. (turn right out of Colindale station, then right at the end of the road)
Big shopping mall. Everything a Japanophile could wish for - restaurants, bookshop, toyshops, Sega Dome, supermarket, etc. Check out the sweets section in the supermarket for some interesting goodies.

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