Jamie · · Updates

6 reasons Anime Sampler is worth your time

159 anime titles premiere this Spring 2022. They certainly aren’t all winners. But how can you be the most informed fan if you haven’t watched all 50 shows, OVAs, and movies airing this week? And the week after that? Until the literal end of time?

It’s incredibly challenging to stay current every anime season. I gave up in 2017 because even after hours of independent research, my watchlist was bloated with boring 5-hour sequels to franchises I never cared about. All that wasted time and energy was exhausting.

Now I attend four Anime Samplers annually, follow only high-quality titles I enjoy, and never feel I’m missing out. And you can, too!

What is Anime Sampler?


Anime Sampler is our seasonal watch party showcasing the most promising titles of the season. We do all the legwork. What started as a potluck (ahem… “Sampler”) really took off on Discord. You tune in for a few hours, praise or dunk on premiere episodes with fellow watchers, and note whatever thrills you. Come and go as you please. It’s a very chill Saturday afternoon.

Why Bother Attending?


Never Miss the Good Stuff

The primary mission of Anime Sampler is to help you discover and prioritize the most exciting anime. Maybe you aren’t jazzed by your watch list. Perhaps you missed some big hits last year due to information overload. Instead of wading through garbage, let us shine a light on titles worth your attention.

Save Time

Dedicated watchers scan “The List,” translate titles, examine PVs, assess animation quality, cross-reference studios, consider voice actors, and more before committing. Who possibly has the time to be Anime Sherlock every three months?

We do! Our team curates every Sampler using AniChart data, Anime Feminist reviews, and member suggestions. We skip continuations and prequels, so you can enjoy our showcase without any prior knowledge.

Stay Current

Building your Watch list – and your Ignore list – early in the season improves your anime experience in two key ways.

First, you’re protected from all the random memes and oversharers hellbent on spoiling this week’s huge reveals.

Second, you’re more invested in the journey and less devastated when a show goes off-rails midseason. Our teammate Jae flagged Wonder Egg Priority as a sleeper hit. Everyone loved Ep 1, but the final OVA tanked so hard. Whatever! We still celebrated and commiserated over that train wreck together.

Try Something New

Anime Samplers are like a buffet. There’s a little of something for everyone, and trying a new flavor might lead to a significant discovery! For example, I avoid idol genres. But I would have missed the action-packed cyborg war Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song if I skipped last Summer’s Sampler.

Learn About Production

Our experts have vast knowledge across many genres. We announce the studios behind each anime and what they previously created. Members drop interesting facts while we watch like low-tech Pop-up Video. Last season, I learned that Rust-Eater Bisco (Sabikui Bisco) is a collaboration between Studios OZ and NAZ. These two production houses finally created their own anime, and I’m looking forward to their next release!

Have Fun!

Anime Sampler has proven that watching with like-minded fans turns a seasonal chore into a delightful adventure. These four hours are packed with top-notch jokes, memes, and zingers. We also prioritize respectful material and try our best to flag disturbing content, so you’re not blindsided during your good time.

Join Samplers on 3rd Saturdays every season


Seasonal research is not flawless. Sometimes a very promising season means skipping some titles due to time constraints. But when you attend, you’re guaranteed to leave with more wins than you’d expect!

RSVP for our upcoming Anime Sampler on Meetup.com, then tune in on Discord for the show. You’ll save time, prioritize great titles on your watch list, maybe find some new studios or genres that resonate with you, and have a blast with relatable fans.

Please extend the invite to any fellow fans who might enjoy this event! And if you have your own club or anime clique, message us. We would be thrilled to share how you can kickstart your own Anime Sampler.

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AnimeChicago is a nonprofit educating and celebrating Japanese pop culture in Chicagoland. Make a tax-exempt donation today, and join us at future events!