Greetings fellow geeks! Railgunfan75 here! This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Anime Central at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The convention is one of the country’s largest anime conventions and the largest in the midwest. The main focus of the con is of course anime though there is content for those who enjoy such things as science fiction, video games, and comic books. The convention also offers game rooms as well.
Myself and my traveling companions attended the con for all three days of the event. The convention has a lot to offer so spending the weekend was vital to taking in as much as possible. We had the best of both worlds during our stay. We found an affordable hotel nearby but not tied to the convention. This made it easy to stay the entire weekend. Also because we weren’t directly connected to the convention center, we didn’t have to deal with the late night noise and parties that the hotels hosting the convention had during the weekend.
The center point of Anime Central or ACEN like many other conventions was the exhibit hall. All of the major anime companies were there such as Funimation and Aniplex. These companies had items for sale and free items for con attendees. The figure maker Good Smile was there as well selling some of their high quality line of products. It was cool to see such a presence from the big companies at the convention.
Along with the big companies, anime and comic retailers from across the country were there selling their goods as well. Many had similar items for sale from the popular series such as Sword Art Online and Fairy Tail. One could find a wide range of items though the most common items were collectible figures and statues. While many vendors had similar inventory, on occasion one could find a hard to find piece for their collection. This is where I had the most fun. On a couple of occasions, I found the rare item that I was searching for and had the pleasure of snagging it for a good price. Alongside the figures, one could find other things such as manga, anime, wigs, hats, etc.
There were plenty of other fun options to do at the convention. Over the course of the weekend as is custom for me, I checked out the video rooms to see if any new anime series would interest me. I checked out the series Level E and Hellsing. I found both to be quite entertaining and plan to watch these series more in the future. The convention also offered opportunities for both tabletop and video gaming as well. As was the case with the rest of the convention, those rooms were full of activity with tournaments going on throughout the weekend.
One of the major draws of ACEN is the large amounts of people in cosplay. The convention had many cosplayers walking around the whole weekend (I got involved myself) and had cosplay photo shoots throughout the weekend. The major series represented this year were Kill la Kill, Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Madoka Magica, and Sword Art Online. It was fun to see so many people get into the spirit of the convention.
My overall convention experience was a great one. I was a little nervous about going back to the con this year, because the convention last year was kind of a mess. This year however, the convention was well organized and the large crowds were handled well. It was easy to do what you wanted when you wanted to do it. Anime Central is an excellent convention and a go to con to anyone who lives in the Midwest.
So that concludes my experiences at Anime Central 2014! If you attended the con and have any comments please leave them below. For future posts, I intend to finally review the controversial Sword Art Online before the new season starts this summer. I am also looking at reviewing other anime such as Steins;Gate in the future as well. If you have any suggestions for anime I should check out and possibly review please comment below. Until next time this is Railgunfan75 singing off! See ya next time!