We connect and educate Chicagoans through their shared love of Japanese pop culture.

As a registered nonprofit in Illinois, we’re committed to bringing new and exciting anime experiences to all Chicagoans. Our members range from anime newbies to seasoned veterans, and everything in between.

Our programs include small discussions and larger seminars to meet new people, learn about Japan, and discover anime and manga titles that make us think critically. We also collaborate with Chicago’s art community-at-large and promote knowledge-sharing with other Japanese culture organizations.

If it’s related to Japanese pop culture and adjacent material – anime, manga, light novels, web comics, video games, vtubers, cosplayers, artists, directors, translators, academics – we love to talk about it!

Are you an anime convention?

Are you an anime convention? No, we’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community that hosts meetups, publishes articles, and runs several recurring programs. We are not affiliated with local anime conventions, though we do present panels regularly. We’ve had academic panels at our Symposium Series, but our time is best spent hosting small local events.

Where do donations go?

Where do donations go? Our annual budget is allocated to Meetup.com fees, marketing materials, legal registration fees, and supplies for our events. No one gets paid for organizing or hosting AnimeChicago activities. We try to supply all of our guest speakers with a modest honorarium for their time and expertise. As a nonprofit, we do not grant refunds for tax-exempt donations or ticket sales under $5.


Want to add to our story?

We’re open to collaborative pitches, big and small.

Our story since 2006…

November 2006

Launched AnimeChicago.com

This whole endeavor started as a simple news website to make Chicago’s anime communities more visible and connected.

May 2012

Started an Organization

Maintaining a website for six years was a passion project, and we needed more help. After asking around for potential authors and editors, there were enough people saying they wanted to join a club. So we started one.

January 2014

Joined Meetup

The stars aligned when AnimeChicago had a large enough team and we wanted to grow bigger. We joined Meetup to reach more anime fans who valued in-person meetups and socializing on the regular.

April 2014

Formed our Nonprofit

After eight years of personally funding the organization’s bills, we decided to incorporate and truly bring our mission of educating Chicagoland on Japanese pop culture to a bigger stage.

May 2016

Explored Japan

A group of us planned our first long-distance trip! We absorbed all the cuisine, entertainment, nature, and history that Japan had to offer in 10 days.

November 2016

10 Years and Counting!

It’s been a wild ride! AnimeChicago has faced many challenges in the previous decade, but each one has made us evolved and grown stronger.

October 2017

A Thousand Members

Our humble little club hit 1,000 members and we couldn’t be prouder.