Next Club Meeting: February 18, 2023, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

ANIME CENTRAL 2019 - by Justin Pineda

I return for my 5th year at my hometown con of Anime Central! This is a special CMV as this the 50th Cosplay Music Video released for my channel! Thank you to all of the cosplayers who I worked with throughout the years! I never thought I would reach 50 CMVs! It's your support and feedback that helped me get to where I am today! 
-  Justin Pineda
REPORT: Anime Central is a large 3-day convention held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. This large-size convention welcomes over 30,000 fans all over the nation. It’s part of the top 10 largest anime conventions in North America and the largest anime convention in the Midwest. This was my fifth year attending ACen, and a lot has changed over the years. Compared to my first year in 2015, ACen has grown to newer heights and is an anime convention that holds a special place in my heart. Anime Central is once again home to the largest Dealers Room the Midwest con scene has to offer. You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars roaming around the endless aisles of this massive vendor hall. And it’s even better than ever that more industry booths normally scene at cons like Anime Expo make their first debut. The most notable addition was the Fate/Grand Order USA tour. It’s also once again home to the voice acting auditions from Bang Zoom! Entertainment. Plenty of aspiring voice actors flocked this area for a chance to show off their skills. New to ACen this year was their Entertainment Hall. This is a similar layout to the Entertainment Hall found at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. This is home to an even larger video game room flooded with all the video and arcade games you can think of and dozens of video game tournaments all weekend. Hardcore competitive gamers will have a lot to love here. Also in the Entertainment Hall held photoshoots with plenty of backdrops available as well as autographs. While the lighting could use some work, I felt the Entertainment Hall was a worthy new addition to ACen and I can't wait to see it grow in the coming years. ACen is also known for their killer guest lineup. This year, we saw plenty of English voice actors including the cast of the new Fruits Basket dub, Sailor Moon, and more as well as plenty of Japanese seiyu’s and DJ’s from overseas. This was one of my favorite guest lineups compared to past years and I really hope ACen continues inviting even more industry guests that fans really hope to meet one day. As for negatives, I had very few negatives for this year. The biggest negative revolved around the infamous autograph ticketing system that was enforced from last year for better crowd control for the autograph sessions. While I felt it it was an improvement over the previous year, the ticket distribution could use some work. I was in line waiting for a Friday afternoon ticket, and getting into the line was a huge burden. People were pushing, shoving, and getting squished together to get into the line. Luckily from my experience, I didn't have any problems getting tickets. From the two ticket distributions sessions I attended, I was able to do 3 rounds of obtaining a ticket and none of the tickets sold out. But the way they passed out the tickets could definitely be handled a lot better. Overall, ACen in 2019 was one of their best years yet. They once again showed that despite being one of the most established cons in the Midwest con scene, that there's always room for the con to continue to grow. From an amazing guest lineup, to an even bigger Dealers Hall, and the newly established Entertainment Hall, you got yourself an amazing weekend for all anime fans at ACen.

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