Getting older means you get more forgetful! Unfortunately I left out these shops from my original Japan in London shopping guide. I wasn’t sure if I should retrospectively add them to the old post or make a new one. This new post covers just two shops but still hopefully still useful.
Forbidden Planet – 179 Shaftsbury Avenue WC2H 8JR
This Forbidden Planet store is easily one of the biggest I’ve been to. It’s actually separated with merchandise and figures on the ground floor and books in the labyrinthine basement.
Most of the merchandise on the ground floor is from TV series like Dr. Who or films such as Star Wars and the Marvel series. When I visited Star Wars took at least a full third of the store. You won’t find much anime merchandise here, other than Zelda type gear which is popular. Also if your into collecting Funkopop figures this is the place to be.
The basement is really where it’s at for manga, I’ve never actually seen so much in one place in the UK. You’ll find all the most popular series here; Attack On Titan, Blue Exorcist and they even had the Stiens; Gate series. You’ll also find related books here like the ‘how to draw manga’ series and artwork books for Studio Ghibli. Surprisingly there was also a light novel section, not something I’d seen before and all books were in English.
Another surprise to me was that you can also find a small selection of BL, Yaoi and Yuri titles here including my favourite; Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi or Worlds Greatest First Love. All of these are sealed to prevent minors from accessing it but it also means another person hasn’t flicked through it first, a plus or negative depending on your view.
They also have quite an extensive DVD and BluRay section with new titles added regularly but prices vary widely depending on the series. You could find both anime and live action movie adaptions here.
Orbital Comics – 8 Great Newport Street WC2H 7JA
If your a fan of western comics then you’ll love Orbital, they stock single issue comics from a wide variety of publishers alongside complications. They’re all the classics like Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman you get the idea. They also have a smaller room off to the side for independently published comics which have an ‘off beat’ indie flavour, you’ll also find a selection of very well illustrated children’s books in here too.
They have a couple of bookshelves of popular manga titles that are most likely to sell well to the type of customer that shops here. They veer towards the Shonen style so Death Note, Dragon Ball and alike.
What’s most interesting about this shop is the small display case of merchandise they have – a lot of it quite well priced. Most of this is gatcha machine prices and also figures from older series, these are all obviously second hand. They also have some vintage Godzilla figures from various eras if that’s your thing. Also included in this section are imported PS2 games which is unusual since you’d have to both be fluent in Japanese to play them and have a Japanese PS2. They’re mostly JRPG titles that I guess people are looking to sell on second hand.