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Who is AnimeChicago?

We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization going strong for over a decade. Our membership is comprised of adults ranging from veteran experts to anime newbies.

Two key things here: 1) We appreciate good anime. 2) We’re not ashamed of our anime club. In fact, we absolutely enjoy crushing those stale otaku stereotypes. We hope you do, too.

Who are you?

Have you been reading manga since kindergarten? Or did you just hear about anime yesterday? Either way, we want to meet you!

If you’re looking to socialize with great people who enjoy Japanese pop culture, or dine at some of the best bars and restaurants in the city, or critically discuss manga with some wicked smart people, hit that button below!

What do members get?

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.


We meet socially in local bars, cafes, and restaurants. Eat the best ramen, sushi, and other Japanese delights with us!​


We meet socially in local bars, cafes, and restaurants. Eat the best ramen, sushi, and other Japanese delights with us!​

Anime Samplers​

Check out the new season of anime with great food and new friends.​

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.

Gaming Table

Japanese-inspired tabletop game sessions for all skill levels. You don’t have to trust in the heart of the cards to have a good time at this Meetup for tabletop gamers.

Art Circle

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

Outings & Chat Room

Get invitations to our private Facebook group and for meetups at local conventions and screenings.

Sponsor Perks

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

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.

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

Is AnimeChicago a convention?
No. We’ve had academic panels at our Symposium Series, but our time is best spent hosting small local events.

Where are your events?
Our events happen in Chicago city limits, mostly in the Lakeview or Bucktown area. We stick to venues that are close to public transit, with ample parking and walk-friendly sidewalks. Some of our events are in private meeting rooms within coworking spaces. Other events happen at restaurants, bars, and cafes where things are a little more organic.

Who can join?
Meetup requires account holders be 18 years or older. Many of our members are in their 20s or 30s our discussions may contain adult material. We do not offer any programming for kids or teenagers.

Can I bring guests?
Your guests are welcome to attend Mixers and Movie Screenings. Other events have limited seating so we’ll have to turn them away. Invite them to sign up for our 60-day free trial instead.

Can I bring my kids?
Sorry, we do not allow anyone younger than 18 years old at our events.

How do I prepare to attend an event?


  • Read the event description!
  • Prepare to socialize and contribute to the conversation.
  • Watch or read the chosen selection before any discussion group.
  • Update your RSVP!

Where do attendee dues go?
Our budget is allocated to fees, marketing materials, legal registration fees, and supplies for our events. No one gets paid for organizing or hosting AnimeChicago activities.

How long is my free trial?
All new members get a 60-day free trial to RSVP and attend any event they want.

Can I get a refund?
Sorry, we do not offer refunds for any reason.

How can I volunteer?
Message us for details!