30 Brewer Street,
London W1F 0SS
020 7437 5238
Situated in Brewer Street, Soho, Adanami Shobo is a shop with it’s window display pasted with various manga & anime posters which have yellowed and which quality has been degraded through either sun exposure and simply time. At first glance, the shop’s sign is absolutely misleading, it is in fact still the sign of the ex-tenants or owners of the shop who were apparently dry-cleaners; the sign has been there well over many years.
As one steps foot into the store, it feels as if you’ve stepped back into time, most probably the 90s or even the 80s and you’re greeted with an interior piled top to bottom with manga and novels. The majority of the manga are classic titles such as Detective Conan and Hajime no Ippo. There’s a specific area for 2nd hand-books with quite a variety of manga as well, and if recalled correctly, there were some selling at a pound!
There is however,a small variety of recent mainstream manga titles such as Bleach and One piece stocked next to an odd selection of manga published in English, but almost no more than 10 copies available. Nana and Cat Street can also be spotted peeking on the piles of shrink-wrapped bundles of other titles, all tagged with a more affordable price than a single book buy. If you’re looking for DVDs of Anime there are a couple of rows on the shelf dedicated to various titles but once again, popular titles such as Naruto and other mainstream series dominate.
Apart from manga there is also a big selection of other Japanese novels, old magazines and art books available for purchase and browsing. No space in the shop is spared, the high ceilings also provided large poster space which is hung with again, classic manga and anime title illustrations. Shelves near the shop counter is a handful of games for some gaming consoles like PlayStation 2 along with a small collection of music. The amount of music CDs available was quite a significant range with classical and Japanese orchestra besides some other Japanese artists.
One of the real mysteries of the shop is probably the Japanese Karaoke box called Karaoke Epoc, tucked deep within the shop. Friends can enjoy serenading in the authentic Japanese karaoke style, just ask an assistant in the shop and they’ll be happy to help you. They charge a fixed hourly amount and if you would like hours of non-stop singing, it is advised that you make a reservation.
The shop mainly caters for the Japanese language speaking population and it’s a good place to find bargains and if you’re looking for manga that is no longer in print, do check out Adanami Shobo.
A 10-15 minute walk from the Piccadily Circus Underground Station. It’s down the same road from the now-closed Japan Centre Bookshop. It’s opposite an adult shop.