Nearly 20 years ago, I attended my first convention. It was a small convention in Iowa, and I was immediately hooked. Since then, I’ve attended countless conventions all across the country, but one in particular has captured my heart: Anime Midwest. And it’s my own convention!
There are so many reasons why I’m most excited for Anime Midwest. First of all, the guests are incredible. This year, we have some of the biggest names in the industry, including the Japanese singers and composers from shows like The Promised Neverland and games like Street Fighter. These guests are the heart and soul of the convention, and they always bring a unique energy and enthusiasm that you can’t find anywhere else.
The US voice actor guests are also more than just voice actors; the ones we invite are great people with a great sense of community. Kiba Walker does drag shows and puts on incredible performances for people. Greg Ayres has been signing autographs for anime fans for free for decades. He also plays incredible music at the nightly rave dances. Gareth West is a pillar of the convention community, giving advice to newbies and teaching everything he’s learned about acting. These are just a few of the incredible voice actors who will be attending this year.
Music is also a huge part of the show, with concerts by Epic Rap Battles of History, Diana Garnett, and Who-ya Extended. These musical performances can’t be found together anywhere else in the world. It’s the perfect combination of awesome performers. We also have incredible nightly dances with some epic music played by our DJs.
But it’s not just the guests that make Anime Midwest so special. It’s also the sense of community that comes with attending. From the moment you walk in the door, you’re surrounded by people who share your love of anime and manga. You can strike up a conversation with anyone and feel like you’re talking to an old friend. It’s an incredible feeling, and it’s something that keeps me coming back year after year.
Watch: We go to Japan to coordinate Japanese guests. This time we visit a Monkey Park instead.
We do a lot to make that community feeling real. That’s why we offer a variety of fun events and amenities, such as karaoke, a Discord server, and a ConSweet.
Karaoke is a great way to meet new people and show off your singing skills. It’s always a popular event at Anime Midwest, and we have a wide selection of songs to choose from. Whether you’re a seasoned karaoke pro or just looking to have some fun, there’s something for everyone.
Our Discord server is another way to connect with fellow fans and stay up-to-date on convention news. It’s a great place to chat with others about your favorite anime and manga, find out about upcoming events, and make new friends.
And of course, we can’t forget about the ConSweet. This is a special area where attendees can enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the convention. It’s a great place to take a break, recharge, and socialize with other fans.
All of these events and amenities are designed to create a sense of community and make everyone feel welcome at Anime Midwest. We believe that conventions should be a place where fans can come together, celebrate their love of anime and pop culture, and make lifelong connections with like-minded individuals.
Of course, there are also plenty of events and activities to keep you busy. Whether you want to attend a panel, participate in a cosplay contest, or just wander the vendor hall, there’s always something to see and do. But what I love most about Anime Midwest is that it never feels overwhelming. It’s big enough to offer a wide variety of events, but small enough that you never feel lost or alone.
Cosplay is another big part of the convention. Attendees come from all over the country to show off their creativity and skills, often spending months or even years working on their costumes. From elaborate armored suits to stunning ballgowns, the level of detail and craftsmanship on display is truly impressive.
We also have a Cosplay World Crown competition where the winner can go to Japan!
And let’s not forget about the food. The convention center is surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the city, offering everything from curry to poke bowls to steak to sushi to ramen to pizza. Chicago pizza at Giordano’s is my favorite pizza in the world. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite in between events or to sit down for a full meal with friends.
But of course if you don’t have time to leave, thanks to all the events, you can grab some instant ramen and soda from the ConSweet for free.
As we look toward the future, I have big dreams for Anime Midwest. We hope to continue expanding our lineup of guests, bringing in even more influential figures from the anime industry. We’re also exploring ways to incorporate more interactive experiences, such as virtual reality demonstrations and game tournaments. Our ultimate goal is to create an immersive, unforgettable experience that every anime fan can enjoy. I want to see Anime Midwest rival the very biggest anime events in the world, because that’s what I think our community deserves.
Overall, I’m most excited for Anime Midwest because it’s a place where anime fans like me can be yourself and connect with others who share the same passions. It’s a place where you can learn new things, meet new people, and have a great time doing it. If you haven’t attended Anime Midwest before, I highly recommend it. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
In conclusion, Anime Midwest isn’t just another anime convention – it’s a vibrant community of fans and creators. It’s a place where you can let your inner otaku shine, make lasting friendships, and revel in the joy that anime and manga bring to our lives. I am deeply grateful for everyone who has attended and supported Anime Midwest over the years, and I am excited about the amazing things we have planned for the future. If you’ve never attended, consider this your personal invitation to join us for a convention experience you won’t forget. There’s always room in our Anime Midwest family for more fans and we’d love to share this incredible experience with you. Hope to see you at this year’s Anime Midwest!