Anime Midwest

Things to do, Conventions
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Photograph: Richard Drew
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Photograph: Richard Drew
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Photograph: Richard Drew
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Photograph: Richard Drew
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Photograph: Richard Drew

Time Out says

Anime fans unite at this one-of-a-kind convention in Chicago.

There's no denying that anime is back in a big way, and this summer, fans will gather in Chicago for the ultimate celebration: Anime Midwest. Hosted July 5–7, the event takes over the Hyatt Regency O'Hare and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for a weekend packed with celebrities, concerts, autographs and—perhaps most importantly—free ramen noodles and rice for all.

Throughout the three-day convention, anime fans will mix and mingle while meeting stars from notable shows like Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z and Naruto. And don't worry about forking over your paycheck for an autograph—attendees are treated to free signatures from their favorite celebrities.

Aside from the Exhibit Hall—which is stocked with comic books, merch and nerd paraphernalia—Anime Midwest tickets include access to WAX: The World Anisong Exhibition, with hip-swaying performances from artists like Aurelio Voltaire, Steam Powered Giraffe, V is for Villains, Lia, Zwei and Fuki. Unlike other conventions, you don't have to pay extra to rock out at these shows.

The freebies don't stop there. Guests can also immerse themselves in the experience in the arcade, which is outfitted with dozens of authentic games straight from Japan that are set to free play all weekend long. When hunger strikes, hit up ConSweet, a gratis snack lounge that's stocked with ramen, rice and soda to keep you on your toes. Toss in rave dances, a formal cosplay ball and a lineup of amazing fan-run panels, and it's easy to see why there's never a dull moment at Anime Midwest.

An impressive 15,000 fans are expected to converge at this one-of-a-kind event this summer. Will you be one of them? Anime Midwest takes over Rosemont July 5–7, and tickets are on sale now—score weekend passes for $70 at the door or snag day passes for $40–$50 a piece. Kakatte koi yo!

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