Concerts, Special Guests, Cosplay, and More!
Anime Midwest is an Illinois convention that intends to immerse you in anime and manga! From formal dances, fan-run panels, and karaoke, there’s so much to do outside of just buying merchandise or watching screenings of your favorite shows. This is a con that cares for its fans as evidenced by their free ConSweet, a place attendees can get free refreshments such as ramen noodles, rice, and soda. As if that’s not enough, let’s examine what else makes Anime Midwest a summer con to look forward to!
Hyatt Regency O'Hare and Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.
|Length of Event||Three days, this year July 5th–7th 2019|
|Cost|| Pre-registration prices right now are $57 for the weekend and at the door will rise to $70.|
Friday and Sunday 1 day badges are $40 and 1 day Saturday badges are $50.
|Hotels & Transportation|| The host hotel is the Hyatt Regency O'Hare and Stephens Convention Center and is located right near the Blue Line Subway route. It’s about 25 minutes from the airport. Parking is $16 a day which is the discounted rate, so it’s great the rooms themselves are discounted for attendees at $140-150 a night.|
Overflow hotels include Embassy Suites, DoubleTree, Aloft, and Comfort Inn ranging in price from $170-$110 a night, so choose the one with the best parking and food options for your needs!
What to Expect
Expect to be overwhelmed with all of the different types of events and the huge number of vendors and artists. There’s a good balance between old and new guests for fans to look forward to or learn about. Events and activities are chosen not only for their relevance in anime but their cultural significance which is a fun and educational touch. Definitely check out the ConSweet. It’s a place for attendees to get rice, ramen, and drinks including sodas for free. No worries about forgetting snacks back at the hotel or accidentally running out of money. Don’t compromise your health and make sure to pop in for some fuel should you find yourself running low! While panels can end up crowded, they’re enough room to actually walk around and breathe in the common areas. If you’d prefer less socially-inclined activities, there’s an arcade and a video game room where you can play solo or enter contests!
Whether you want to sit down and enjoy a wide range of cosplay or you want to show off your best work and entertain an audience, then Anime Midwest Masquerade should be on your list of things to check out. Wanting to show off your cosplay but not wanting to compete? Join the Exhibition section and don’t worry about craftsmanship or performing. There are no awards so it’s a relaxed way to show your cosplays.
Pachinko is a game somewhat like pinball where you can win prizes and combine your love of arcade games and gambling! It’s pretty addicting, and Anime Midwest seems to have fallen under pachinko’s spell with their 14 different machines ranging in age from 58 to 9 years old. Expect a bit of a history lesson when you step inside!
Another event that one can’t so commonly find in the states is the maid café. Patrons can come to eat food and be served by cute maids whose job is to make your day a little brighter.
With incredible DJ guests such as Ravepulse, Greg Ayres, and DJ Oso among others, it’s a great way to relax and party. Nonstop music and great guests performing!
Formal Fantasy Cosplay Ball
If you fancy a formal atmosphere with your anime, look no further than the formal ball. Semi-formal and up clothing or cosplay is required, so you can get creative with your characters! If you don’t know how to dance, never fear as there’s a dance lesson before the ball that will give you the skills you need to traverse the dance floor.
With a mix of electronic and rap, these girls will get you energized with their aggressive lyrics and incredible confidence combined with catchy beats. Their dances are sexy and almost android-like as they go from twerking to sharp, isolated movements. The gained great popularity with their song “FxxK Boys, Get Money” and continue to gain fame in Japan, Britain, and America. FEMM is signed with Avex, a company known for other great acts like Ayumi Hamasaki, GACKT, and i☆Ris. Make sure to check out RiRi and LuLa and their ever-changing looks!
Consisting of vocalist Ayumu and bassist Megu, this pop-rock two-person band from Mages, a studio known for its numerous anime and games. Zwei has attended many anime events as guest performers so they’re sure to put on a great show! Their name comes from the German word for two, referring to both their lineup and their styles of music. Notable accomplishments include having collaborated with Ito Kanako and providing the ending theme to Steins;Gate 0, “Last Game”.
Fuki commands attention with her powerful vocals. Backed by heavy metal tracts and rock songs, she brings power and passion to her many songs. She has a number of game and anime songs under her belt including “Tsuki ga Machiru Mae ni” from Ikemen Revolution: Love and Magic in Wonderland, “Kamisama ga Kitto” from W”z, and “Kagayaku Yoru e Yokoso” from MYSTERIOUS JOKER.
Greg Ayers is no stranger to Anime Midwest, having attended for 6 years already. He’s always got something new to share with attendees be it new roles in upcoming anime or new beats to lay down during the rave dances as one of the official DJs. He’s voiced characters in almost every anime genre from MonoKuma in Danganronpa, Clear in Dramatical Murder, Doug in Gangsta, Yu Nishinoya in Haikyu, Zenji Marui in Food Wars, and Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland.
The voice of Spike Spiegel himself will make his appearance at Anime Midwest. As if that’s not enough, Steve Blum has voiced hundreds of characters including Tank Dempsey from Call of Duty, Killer Croc from Arkham Asylum, Oghren from DragonAge, Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII, and Leeron from Guren Lagann. He’s the voice of TOM, the host of Toonami on Adult Swim.
Another prolific voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal has a number of roles from shows such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Criminal Minds, Alias, and Hawaii Five-O and video games including Marvel’s Spider-Man, Dragon Age, Prince of Persia, Sunset Overdrive, Persona, and Saints Row. More than just a voice, Yuri is an accomplished actor and producer having worked on Shelf Life and Con Artists along with fellow voice actor Tara Platt.
What to Bring in Order to Enjoy Oneself
Formal wear – You won’t be allowed in the formal ball without the proper attire. That can be semi-formal clothing or even cosplay, so dress up to make sure you can enjoy a fancy evening!
Rave outfits – It’ll get hot dancing so make sure to wear something you feel comfortable in!
Camera – From cosplay to special guests, you’ll want to have your camera ready to record it all.
Comfortable shoes – Lines may be long, and there will be plenty of different events to catch, so make sure you’re taking care of your feet.
Money – With so many vendors and over 200 artists providing everything from clothes, mugs, plushies, and snacks, you’ll want to come prepared.
Anime Midwest really seems to run with the fans in mind. There are so many options in entertainment to help include everyone from young anime lovers wanting some fun to competitive to older otaku wanting to show off their skills and knowledge. Paying for parking might add up, but the benefit of staying at the host hotel while getting free rice, ramen, and soda at the ConSweet definitely makes up for it.