Proudly stated as one of the largest anime, manga and Japanese culture conventions in the Midwest, Anime Central or ACEN had reached an impressive number of attendees in 2018, reaching 91,609 cosplayers and congers alike. With a number of attractions, activities, and live events, the convention is known for bringing in an outstanding crowd. Much like the success in past years, ACEN 2018 was another crowdpleaser.
Besides attending the convention to meet voice talent or to stock up on merchandise, ACEN is popular for those who go to spend the weekend with their friends or to meet those with a common interest. For most, it’s their main priority.
Rae Stawiarski, otherwise known as Instagram user @theresnomoontonight reported that this was “a good con for her” because she was able to see friends old and new and cosplay with them while at the event. The best part of ACEN 2018, for her, was hosting small meetups throughout the con and having the ability to meet so many new people. In addition, Instagram user @neoncaffeine had said something quite similar and enjoyed the energy everyone that was there as well as seeing her friends throughout the weekend.
Michael Chen, an attendee at ACEN 2018, said he was very fond of his “Russell” cosplay bring the Pixar movie UP. He loved that people were “happy and giddy” to see him, which boosted his confidence. “[The] overall experience [of the con],” Instagram user @buddachen said, “was great as usual. I got to bring some new cosplays which were well received. This was when Fortnight and PUBG were very popular, so I brought out a PUBG look with a pan. From the vendor’s hall to the raves at night, everything was fun and worth my time because of how much energy people brought with them to have fun.”
ACEN will return to Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., this May 17th to May 19th, 2019.