You’ve already heard about Black Butler’s Ciel Phantomhive, Cecilia Alcott from Infinite Stratos, and Hellsing’s Sir Integra. These three names are just some of the best British anime characters that anime lovers worldwide admire. But did you know that even with countless British anime characters, anime popularity in the UK still needs more push?

Unlike in Asian countries and the US, anime isn’t as prominent in the UK. However, the industry has been gaining recognition, especially with the younger generation. It’s “recognized” and needs more effort to beat the slow growth. The solution to making anime even more far-reaching? Anime translation from Japanese into English!

Key Takeaways:

  • Many factors, such as licensing, cultural differences, and lack of sources, contribute to anime’s slow growth in the UK.
  • Anime popularity in the UK began in the mid-80s. The 2016 movie Your Name also pushed it further with a proper release in UK cinemas.
  • Popular anime in England include Attack On Titan and anime with British characters.
  • Professional anime translation from Japanese into English allows anime fans to understand anime better and promote anime in the UK.

Table of Content:

  • Entertainment Scene in the UK
  • The Beginning of Anime Popularity in the UK
  • Most Popular Anime in the UK
  • CCCI – Professional Anime Translation and Subtitling Company

Entertainment Scene in the UK

Many markets are thriving in the UK as people are more attracted to the entertainment industry. From films to television series, British people have a wide range of options regarding leisure time activities. However, as mentioned earlier, anime isn’t on the top list yet. As anime producers or companies who want to enter the UK market, knowing what communities like could give hints on how to reach them.

Showbars and Casinos

Two of the most popular UK entertainment themes are definitely showbars and casinos. People love to hang out, dance, relax, and live luxuriously!

International Cuisine

Another thing that people in the UK love? Food. International cuisines, to be exact! From Italian and French dishes to Asian-inspired recipes, UK citizens will surely find something they love.


It’s not just blockbusters that people in the UK love to watch in cinemas. They also catch opera and ballet shows and watch musicals!

Museums and Galleries

Lastly, UK citizens are also very fond of visiting museums and galleries. From The National Gallery to the Tate Modern, there’s something for everyone in the UK.

Anime shows that involve showbars, casinos, food, and everything people from the UK love could spark anime popularity. But why isn’t anime part of the “popular UK entertainment themes?” There are several reasons, and some of them include the following:

Licensing issues

Unlike in other countries, anime isn’t as popular in the UK due to licensing issues. Anime production companies must go through the long and tedious process of obtaining the necessary distributor permissions before anime shows can air in the country.

Very Few Dedicated Anime Sources

Anime DVDs, blogs, and websites are hard to come by. As anime production companies need to go through a lot to enter the market, there are also only limited anime sources.

Cultural Difference

Perhaps the most important reason is the cultural difference. Anime originated in Japan, and anime characters are often created with Japanese culture in mind. Some people believe anime is childish, making them skip anime shows altogether.

Note: There are still stereotypes among anime viewers in the UK. Most parents have never watched anime, leading to not letting kids watch anime because they see it as sexualized cartoons. It’s only true for some, but since it’s part of the culture, anime production companies should consider it when planning to market anime in the UK.

Anime producers are still working hard to gain a bigger anime audience, and popularity in the UK is starting to make its mark. Despite the challenges, anime slowly gained recognition in the country as anime fans worldwide shared anime recommendations and news.

The Beginning of Anime Popularity in the UK

According to Leah Holmes in “Anime in the UK: The History, Cultural Context, and Evolution of UK Anime Fandom – MPhil Thesis,” organized anime fandom in the UK is relatively young. The spark originated in the early ’90s with the first recorded anime screening program at a convention and the success of Ōtomo Katsuhiro’s Akira in 1988. There was also the success of the launch of Manga Video.

Before, British people thought of anime as stereotypes such as “for kids” or “not safe for kids.” As said by RadioTimes:

“Japanese anime movies and TV shows have been sliding into the mainstream in the UK over the last few years. Having first arrived in the mid-80s with Studio Ghibli movies like My Neighbour Totoro, anime has attracted a dedicated British audience for decades – but until recently it was a decidedly niche interest. Now something is changing.”

2016 movie phenomenon Your Name made waves with a proper release in UK cinemas. And because British people love cinemas, their exposure to anime increased. After that, anime gained traction in the UK. New and legal ways of watching anime also helped more shows and movies to become popular.

Pro tip: Professional translation for subtitling or dubbing anime series is essential for anime popularity. A professional anime translator helps anime producers ensure that English subtitles and dubbing are accurate so anime episodes are more enjoyable for anime fans.

To the UK audience, anime’s fresh storytelling, unique ideas, and exciting visuals are captivating. Because anime is an art form with many applications rooted in a deep and rich history, many have found it a refreshing form of entertainment. People are also beginning to have an eye on Japanese culture. To UK anime lovers, anime isn’t “childish” but actually involves serious topics and relatable characters.

The introduction to eccentric tropes and visuals in anime fascinates young generations. Though there’s still much work to further its popularity in the UK, anime is already making its way into the culture.

Most Popular Anime in the UK

If you bump into anime fans in the UK, you can talk to them about various anime you also love. Some of the most-watched and popular anime in England include the following:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Death Note
  • Naruto
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • One Piece
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Attack On Titan
  • Seven Deadly Sins
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

Introduce them to anime with iconic British characters to make things even more interesting! Some of the best that fans need to know are the following:

  • Ciel Phantomhive (Black Butler)
  • Cecilia Alcott (Infinite Stratos)
  • Sherlock Holmes (Kabukichou Sherlock)
  • Sir Integra (Hellsing)
  • Jonathan Joestar (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
  • Mari Makinami Illustrius (Rebuild of Evangelion)
  • Lawliet (Death Note)
  • Allen Walker (D. Gray Man)
  • Seras Victoria (Hellsing)
  • Alice Cartelet (Kiniro Mosaic)
  • Hugh Anthony Disward (The Mystic Archives of Dantalian)
  • Emma (Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma)
  • Yomiko Readman (Read Or Die)
  • Sir Isaac Cavendish (Ginyuu Mokushiroku Meine Liebe)
  • November 11 (Darker Than Black)
  • Lelouch vi Britannia (Code Geass)
  • Dio Brando (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
  • Arturia Pendragon (Fate)
  • Diana Cavendish (Little Witch Academia)

Anime production companies are now taking anime outside Japan to make anime more accessible and cater to non-Japanese audiences. And while anime isn’t anime if it isn’t in Japanese, there are many ways to win against cultural and language barriers.

Translation and localization have been essential in anime growth. Anime adaptation companies rely on translating anime into English and other languages and creating dubs with local actors and actresses. This effort has enabled anime to reach more audiences and gain more recognition. In the UK, it’s also the best way. And CCCI is here to help anime fans in the UK and other countries to enjoy anime easier.