Going on the basis of one that loves anime, it was refreshing to be in the same hotel with other like-minded people. AnimeWorld Chicago took place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare (Rosemont) on August 3rd – 5th, 2012. I have never been to a con before, so this was my first one. I can say that I did enjoy myself, but not because of the anime-related events going on, but for the type of people. I found myself surrounded by those who love anime, a lot. That is the main reason one might have to attend AnimeWorld.
The con was organized well-enough to keep it from falling apart, and the layout of events, game room, vendors, etc. was well-thought out. The events, in turn, were entertaining if you are still in high school… which made up the majority of attendees; so understandable. There were a few guest ranging from Samurai Dan to Monica Rial, (a voice actor of many years) and you could have them sign something, but that is all you get. I would think having people with years of industry experience in some of our favorite anime that we could press time with a Q&A, but sadly no.
Events felt like they were scheduled on top of each other. I know you have a set time limit but I feel they shouldn’t have ended so early. I mean 10am- 6pm on Saturday? Now, I was happy to see in the video rooms a variety of anime playing, not just Bleach on repeat. They gave 3-4 episodes per showing, just enough to get you wanting more and discovering a new show you might not have given a chance before.
Vendors: I was on the fence when first entering, thinking it’d be way over-priced, but I was wrong and actually found things that were way cheaper than one might find on the internet. Sadly, after walking through the vendor room after 20 mins, I saw everything. The lack of merchandise was bittersweet. Gaming rooms did have arcade-style and every console on hand, and the tournaments did bring a smile to my face when the losing side would yell “that’s not fair.”
Now this was a small con, so do not expect to have events going on all the day and all night… for a con like this, you go for the people and cosplay. A lot of the cosplay was very well done and so fun to see! People are super-friendly, no drama was started, and it was easy to strike up a chat with someone. For those looking to go to a con for the first time; AnimeWorld might get you a glimpse at what might happen at larger cons.