ACEN is back again this year! What is ACEN you ask? ACEN stands for Anime Central, the largest anime and manga convention in the Midwest area.
The event will be held in Rosemont, some thirty minutes away south of downtown Chicago from May 16-18.
For those unfamiliar with the art form, anime and manga are animated movies, shorts and literature that center on Japanese popular culture.
While some might just call it cartoons, serious anime and manga far exceed the quality and sophistication seen on American television.
If you are familiar with Dragon Ball Z or Pokémon then you’ve seen anime and, at least, are familiar with its style.
So what is ACEN’s mission? To unite all fans in one big community to celebrate the anime art form, and showcase upcoming productions and releases.
There are plenty of events and tutorial’s they have to offer, as well as a market place to buy fan made products of your favorite anime or manga.
In addition to the conference’s activities, there are special guests that come to the convention to graciously offer their time and meet their fans to show their appreciation.
Well known international and American voice actors and actresses attend each year, such as Bryn Apprill, who you may recognize from the live theater version of Sweeny Todd as Johanna.
In addition, she lends her vocal talents to several FUNimation Entertainment features including Attack on Titian and Fairy Tail.
Often, fans get the opportunity to meet-and-greet their favorite anime voice actors, and many show appreciation to their fans by signing autographs and taking pictures.
Surprisingly, even with so many choices, there’s more that ACEN has to offer! The band Wake Up Girls!, and the Final Fantasy soundtrack musicians are scheduled to give live performances, and live DJs will host a dance rave on Friday and Saturday night.
The raves are named Synergy and the Soap Bubble and both are routinely very loud and super fun!
What more could you ask for in one convention? If artist using chalks to create far-out and creative illustrations come to mind, then ACEN has that covered too!
Performance artist, Eric Marusack, who appears at conventions like these across the United States, has been creating giant chalk murals, often on the floor in the vendor’s room or the market place.
It’s an event one must attend to fully appreciate, and I encourage you to check it out yourself and see what you think! Visit their website at www.acen.org. Sign up there to buy a weekend badge or just show up and get in line for a one day badge.