Manga is a visual narrative art form that has become a multimedia global phenomenon, telling stories with themes from gender to adventure, in real or in imagined worlds. A few years ago The British Museum held the largest exhibition of Manga outside of Japan, and there are many spots in town where you can pick up some of these iconic comic books and graphic novels. Here’s our rundown of eight of the best Manga shops in London:
1. Forbidden Planet
Located on Shaftesbury Avenue, this enormous place is billed as a ‘megastore’, and it’s easy to see why. This place sells every book under the sun, covering everything from graphic arts to superheroes. Their selection of Manga is particularly impressive, incorporating LGBTQ+ issues, shoujo and josei as well as a whole array of brand new titles. They also host regular events at Forbidden Planet, so keep your eyes peeled for Manga and Anime specific ones.
You’ll find Forbidden Planet at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
2. Gosh! Comics
This tiny little place is the place to come if you’re looking to buy some comics, and they also offer up a whole range of Manga and Anime for you to read too. With over 30 years’ under their belts, the friendly team at Gosh! Comics certainly know their stuff, and it’s easy to while away your time here browsing at the various different magazines on offer. Their 20th Century Boys collection is certainly popular, but they also offer up a whole range of other titles including Akira, Black Butler and Black Clover.
You’ll find Gosh! Comics at 1 Berwick St, London, W1F 0DR. Nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
3. Japan Centre
This cherished spot has been serving up fantastic Japanese food ever since it opened its doors in 1976, but they also sell a whole range of Manga here too along with all the sushi. The café is a great spot to grab a piping hot cup of green tea while you’re reading your Manga, and the Manga on offer ranges from Hana to Yume, Ribbon and Shueisha V Jump. The Japan Centre is open until 10pm on the weekends, and you’re also just a stone’s throw from Leicester Square and the bars and restaurants of Soho and Chinatown.
You’ll find Japan Centre at 35a Panton Street, SW1Y 4EA. Nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
4. Japan House
Situated right off High Street Kensington, Japan House is a cultural hub designed to bring authentic Japanese culture all the way to London. Spread over three floors, there’s everything here from classic Japanese cuisine at the AKIRA restaurant to an exhibition on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but they also sell some pretty fantastic Manga here. They’ve run an exhibition in the past dedicated solely to LGBTQ+ Manga – which was designed to show how manga culture has helped to challenge stereotypes and social norms in Japan – and there’s a whole selection you can purchase in the store.
You’ll find Japan House at 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA. Nearest station is High Street Kensington.
5. Japan Craft
Situated in Camden’s famous Stables Market, Japan Craft is certainly popular and offers floor-to-ceiling shelves which are stacked full of Anime figures, plush toys and countless magazines of Japanese Manga. The choice here is undeniable, and they also sell a range of delicious sweets so you can treat yourself to a crunchy pocky stick or a matcha-flavoured treat as you decide what to buy. As well as Manga, they’ve also got figurines, toys, anime merchandise and t-shirts on sale, so if you’re looking for a slice of real authentic Japan, then this is the place to come.
You’ll find Japan Craft at Unit 62, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London, NW1 8AH. Nearest stations are Chalk Farm or Camden Town.
This legendary bookstore was once dubbed the world’s largest bookshop in terms of shelf length by the Guinness Book of Records, and there’s a hell of a lot of choice here. Their selection of Manga is pretty impressive, and their flagship store on Charing Cross Road has pretty much every kind of Manga and Anime that you could imagine. There are also six floors at Foyles, so you could easily spend a whole afternoon here rifling through various different titles – in fact why don’t you?!
You’ll find Foyles at 107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DT. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
This specialist comic book shop in Richmond stocks a humongous variety of different comics, from obscure Manga titles to beloved Marvel classics and everything in between. The staff at Raygun are also super welcoming and will be happy to give you recommendations on everything and anything Manga or Anime related. You’re also not far from Richmond Park, so why not make a day of it and tie in a visit with a lovely walk and a slice of cake at the fairytale-esque Hollyhock Café?
You’ll find Raygun at 26 Red Lion St, Richmond, TW9 1RW. Nearest station is Richmond.
8. Mega City Comics
Rounding off this list of the best Manga shops in London is Mega City Comics, a neat little spot which is also in Camden Town. First established in the early 80s, this particular manga store is now something of an establishment, and as well as manga you can also get a whole host of limited edition comics and graphic novels here. The staff also really know their stuff here, and they’ll be more than happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
You’ll find Mega City Comics at 18 Inverness St, London NW1 7HJ. Nearest station is Camden Town.