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When many of us left school, we found ourselves searching for the close-knit community of nerds we left behind (but, you know, a little more mature). When we couldn’t find it, we made it ourselves. If that sounds like something you want, then we want you. Becoming a member is simple – just sign up on our Meetup page. Whether you’ve been reading manga since kindergarten, or you just heard about anime yesterday, we’re excited to get to know you.

Membership is Free!

All members receive these benefits.

Our programs range from small discussion events to larger seminars  to cover important topics in Japanese pop culture and promote knowledge-sharing between subcultures within the larger Chicago community. Whether you’re new to the scene or a seasoned veteran, these events are a great way to meet people, learn stuff, and discover new anime.

What to Know

  • All events are located within Chicagoland.
  • Our regular venues are accessible by CTA.
  • Most venues have ample street or lot parking.
  • We frequently meet at venues that serve alcohol.
  • Some events may cover sensitive content.
  • requires members be at least 18 years old.

Member Mixers

Zero-pressure social night. Every other month at a one of Chicago's great barcades.

Social Outings

Lunches, film screenings, and cultural events happen at least once a month.

Chat Room

Invitation to our private Facebook group.

Sponsor Perks

Discounts at local businesses, like sushi, manga, wigs, and more!

Round Table

Monthly book-club-style discussion group for anime, on the last Wednesday of every month.

Manga Jam

Monthly book-club-style discussion group for manga, on the third Sunday of every month.

Light Reads

Monthly discussion group on light novels on the second Sunday of the month.

Gaming Table

Japanese-inspired tabletop game sessions for all skill levels.

Art Circle

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

Get VIP Access for $12!

Support 1 year of AnimeChicago programming and get these exclusives.

We're a non-profit organization sustained by member donations such as that with our new VIP Access program. Your dues help us cover our Meetup organizer subscription, maintain web hosting, produce promotional materials, buy party supplies, cover the legal paperwork, and plan amazing events for you! Be one of our core contributors and get these extra perks.

We're still hammering out the fine details, so stay tuned for updates and our official program launch date!

Seasonal Anime Samplers

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

10% Discount on Merch

Dress in style using a special VIP code at checkout.

Halloween Party

You've got automatic entry to our annual cosplay event!

VIP Appreciation Party

We thank our members with an annual VIP-only party.

Guaranteed Seating

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

Early Ticket Access

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Paid Attendee Dues? is updating their website services and has eliminated our old membership system. The VIP Access program is our new method of year-round fundraising. The majority of our events are now freely available for all AnimeChicago Meetup members to attend – no payment necessary!

I paid Attendee Dues less than a year ago. What happens now?

Thanks for supporting AnimeChicago! We’re converting your Attendee Dues into a VIP membership so you’ll get the VIP benefits listed above until your Attendee Dues expire. Please message us with any questions or concerns and we’ll be happy to chat.