Discussion Circles

Small group meetups for anime, manga, and more. No experience required!


What can Ghost in the Shell teach us about Japan’s political climate? Does Ping Pong’s style help or hinder the story? These are just some of the questions we try to answer. Some folks gush and help the conversation along, while others primarily listen and share a few tidbits. Both are great! We invite you to participate at your own pace.

Anime Circle

Third Sundays at 2pm

Anime Circle watches a chosen Topic solo, then examines it from various angles in an open and inclusive environment. You will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of anime.

Manga Circle

Second Sundays at 2pm

Manga Circle guides you through the unbelievably vast world of Japanese comics. Attendees read the Topic beforehand and discuss the art, story, and motivation behind the work together.

Art Circle

Every Wednesday at 7pm

Art Circle is a hangout for artistic collaboration. We’re mostly beginners improving our craft, discussing art and anime, and sharing feedback. All skill levels welcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a “Circle?”
Circles are small-group meetups hosted by a moderator who guides the conversation along and ensures everyone has an opportunity to speak. There’s usually a selected Topic and some prepared questions, but the conversation is ultimately up to you, the attendee. We try to keep the conversation to one speaker at a time to make sure everyone is heard. Please enjoy the selected Topic beforehand – we don’t watch or read anything during the event due to time constraints.

How do you select Topics?

  1. Discussion-worthy: We select material that could win (or already have won) Crunchyroll’s Anime of the Year Award or an Eisner. Sometimes, we’ll dig up some critically-acclaimed oldie that folks might have missed. Occasionally, we’ll discuss a well-received fan-favorite. All the time, we look for material that keeps the conversation lively for a few hours.
  2. Approachable: Most of our selections are shorter in nature so that more people have the opportunity to enjoy it and be involved. Long-running series are not available due to the length of the time it takes to enjoy – but self-contained arcs or spinoffs of a longer work are allowed.
  3. Accessible: We can’t really discuss something hard to find or too expensive to enjoy.

Got a topic you’d love to talk about?
Let us know! With all the great content out there to discuss, we very rarely revisit a previously discussed work. But we’ll consider any suggestion.

Where are you hosting Circles during COVID?
During the pandemic, we’re hosting all of our Meetups online at our Discord server. You must be a member of our Meetup.com group to gain access to the AnimeChicago Discord.

Where do you typically meet?
Circles are typically held at cafes and bars, sometimes at meeting spaces, and sometimes online. We usually select venues with small, intimate spaces, like separate rooms at cafes and bars, to enhance the atmosphere. While there might be a bit of background noise, we try to keep the discussions as private as we can. Please be respectful of our venues and other patrons.

Our preferred venues are within Chicago’s city limits, mostly in the Lakeview or Bucktown area. We select relaxed and budget-friendly venues with CTA access, ample parking, and pedestrian-friendly streets. We generally switch between well-known establishments and newly-opened shops. Some events are hosted at private co-working spaces, while others happen at restaurants, bars, and cafes where things are more organic.

Who can join?
Meetup requires account holders to be 18 years or older. Many of our members are in their 20s or 30s. Our activities might include sensitive content or more adult material.

Can I bring my kids?
We do not offer programming for kids or teens 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 Meetup.com to guarantee a seat for them.

How do I prepare for an event?

  • Read the event description!
  • Bring cash to cover entry, meals, or other needs.
  • Prepare to socialize.
  • Update your RSVP!

What is your RSVP Policy?
Please update your RSVP as soon as possible if you cannot attend an event. Having an exact headcount makes it select the right location and reserve the right number of seats. We have a “Three Strikes” policy to prevent vacant seats at our events.

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

Past Anime Circles

#TitleDate
74FLCL (Season 2)Aug 29, 2018
73Silver Spoon (Seasons 1&2)Jul 25, 2018
72Porco RossoJun 27, 2018
71Made in AbyssMay 30, 2018
70Shouwa Genroku ShinjuApr 25, 2018
69KaibaMar 28, 2018
68Kill la KillFeb 28, 2018
67PaprikaJan 31, 2018
66your name.Dec 20, 2017
65Kiki’s Delivery ServiceNov 29, 2017
64MononokeOct 25, 2017
63Ouran High School Host ClubSep 27, 2017
62Wandering SonAug 30, 2017
61Summer WarsJul 26, 2017
60Samurai ChamplooJun 21, 2017
59The AnimatrixJun 7, 2017
58Patema InvertedApr 26, 2017
57OrangeMar 29, 2017
56Yuri!!! on ICEMar 1, 2017
55Mob Psycho 100Jan 25, 2017
54Rurouni Kenshin Trust & BetrayalNov 30, 2016
53Miss HokusaiOct 26, 2016
52Neon Genesis Evanagelion & End of EvangelionSep 28, 2016
51Hajime no Ippo Rising (Episodes 22-25)Sep 7, 2016
50ErasedJul 27, 2016
49Free!Jun 29, 2016
48AkiraMay 25, 2016
47One Punch ManApr 20, 2016
46Only YesterdayMar 30, 2016
45My Love Story!!Mar 2, 2016
44Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie (Parts I, II, and III)Jan 27, 2016
43Tokyo GodfathersDec 16, 2015
42Mind GameNov 18, 2015
41Tiger and BunnyOct 28, 2015
40Paranoia AgentSep 30, 2015
39Kaiji Ulitmate SurvivorAug 26, 2015
38The Girl Who Leapt Through TimeJul 29, 2015
37Death ParadeJun 24, 2015
36Psycho-Pass (Season 1)May 27, 2015
35Ping-Pong the AnimationApr 29, 2015
34TekkonkinkreetMar 25, 2015
33Ghost in the Shell: Arise 1 & 2Feb 28, 2015
32Cowboy BebopJan 28, 2015
31The Tale of the Princess KaguyaDec 28, 2014
30Terror in ResonanceNov 19, 2014
29Patlabor the Mobile Police – The Original OVA SeriesOct 29, 2014
28Knights of SidoniaSep 24, 2014
27Michiko to NatchinAug 27, 2014
26Wings of HonneamiseJul 30, 2014
25Space DandyJun 25, 2014
24Humanity Has DeclinedMay 28, 2014
23Now and Then, Here and ThereApr 30, 2014
22The Wind RisesMar 26, 2014
21Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of UtenaFeb 26, 2014
20TrigunJan 29, 2014
19GenshikenDec 11, 2013
18From the New WorldOct 30, 2013
17The Woman Called Fujiko MineSep 25, 2013
16Kino’s JourneyAug 28, 2013
15The Flowers of EvilJul 24, 2013
14The Best of Ghibli OutingJul 14, 2013
13Time of EveJun 26, 2013
125 Centimeters Per SecondMay 29, 2013
11Serial Experiments LainApr 24, 2013
10Kids on the SlopeMar 20, 2013
9CFeb 27, 2013
8Eden of the EastJan 30, 2013
7MushishiDec 19, 2012
6Puella Magi Madoka MagicaNov 28, 2012
5Baccano!Oct 24, 2012
4Haibane RenmeiSep 26, 2012
3Satoshi Kon RetrospectiveAug 22, 2012
2Summer WarsJul 25, 2012
1FLCLJun 27, 2012