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Meet anime fans in Chicago

Who is AnimeChicago?

We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization going strong for over a decade. Our programs range from small discussions to larger seminars to meet new people, learn about Japanese pop culture, and discover anime 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.

Who are you?

Our membership is comprised of adults ranging from anime newbies to seasoned veterans. Join us to meet other fans like you, get new anime and manga recommendations, dine at restaurants, and talk about the many aspects of Japanese pop culture. Whether you’ve been reading manga since kindergarten or you just heard about anime yesterday, we’re excited to meet you!

What do members get?

Member Mixers

Happy hour for anime fans! Join us every month for beer, cocktails, and discussion at a local bar or pub.

Member Lunches

We visit local restaurants to eat ramen, sushi, and other Japanese delights Chicago has to offer, every month.

Member Perks

Get invitations to our private Facebook group, and sponsor discounts at local businesses, like sushi, manga, wigs, and more!

Anime Circle

A book club for anime series and movies. Meets on the last Wednesday of every month.

Manga Circle

A book club for manga, Japanese comic books. Meets on the third Sunday of every month.

Art Circle

Gathering of artists learning and practicing their craft. Meets on the third Saturday of every month.

Gaming Circle

Japanese-inspired tabletop game sessions for all skill levels. Meets on the last Monday of every month.

Donate $12 and get VIP access for one year!

Anime Samplers

Join our potluck every three months featuring the season's hottest new anime, exclusively for 40 VIPs.

VIP Appreciation Parties

We thank our VIP members with occasional parties.

Guaranteed Seating

Get access to any standard meetup event where RSVPs are full!

10% Discount on Merch

Dress in style using a special VIP code at checkout.

Early Ticket Access

You get first dibs on tickets to our larger public events and seminars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are your events located?
Our preferred spots are within Chicago’s city limits, mostly in the Lakeview or Bucktown area. We select venues with great CTA access, ample parking, and pedestrian-friendly streets. Some are at private coworking spaces while others happen at restaurants, bars, and cafés where things are more organic.

How often do you watch anime?
We watch anime every three months at Anime Samplers and occasional movie outings. The rest of our events are focused on discussion and socializing with members.

Is AnimeChicago a convention?
No, we organize local meetups. Sometimes we’ll host an academic talk. But we love attending, promoting, and hosting panels and meetups at our favorite local conventions!

Who can join?
Meetup requires account holders be 18 years or older. Many of our members are in their 20s or 30s. Our discussions usually cover sensitive content or might contain adult material.

Can I bring my kids?
Public events like movie screenings, museum exhibits, and convention outings may be suitable, but we do not allow anyone younger than 18 years old at our monthly events. We do not offer programming for kids or teenagers at this time.

Can I bring guests?
Your guests are welcome to attend Mixers and public events like Movie Screenings. Other events have limited seating, so please do not bring guests. Invite them to sign up for a free membership at to guarantee a seat for them.

How do I prepare for an event?

  • Read the event description!
  • Prepare to socialize.
  • Contribute to the conversation.
  • Watch or read the chosen selection.
  • Update your RSVP!

What is your No Show Policy?
We have a “Three Strikes” policy to prevent vacant seats at our events. Members who fail to attend when they have RSVP’d for an event are personally notified of each Strike.

Do you meet at venues that serve alcohol?
Yes, we frequently meet at venues that serve alcohol. We balance that out with events at cafés and libraries to the best of our ability.

Let’s Get Started!

Questions? Read our member guide or contact us.