Anime Central 2016 at Rosemont
• The biggest anime convention in the Midwest, “Anime Central 2016” took place May 20 to 22 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and neighboring Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. Since its inception in 1997 Anime Central has grown bigger, and 85,295 people came to the convention, including 31,113 cosplayers last year.
• The joy of the convention is not only wearing costumes, but also participating in concerts, shows, and parties. This year, Japanese guests of honors were Eir Aoi, singer and songwriter especially in anime music; Takahiro Baba, CEO of anime, game, and visual novel maker VisualArt’s; Shinji Orito, composer for the Key brand under VisualArt’s; Na-Ga, illustrator for Key brand; DJ Taku Takahashi; C-Show, live performer and music producer; murAta Yuzi, video producer in the underground music; and Kan Takahiko, track maker.
Cosplayers in Anime Central
• Connor Ring of Chicago was in Mario’s costume, which he made from scratch. “I did a lot of late-night work and painting, but I got job done. I feel really proud of it,” he said. He started cosplay two years ago and currently is participating in a convention at Madison, Wisconsin. “One of the funniest things around here is the people saying, ‘Hey, can you take a picture with me?’ I have a great time walking around the place,” Ring continued.
• Kaleigh Dlinkle and Alex Cerajewski made the one-hour
drive from Indiana for their first Anime Central. They said that although
there were a few conventions in Indiana, they were very small.
• Hilary Dunn of Minnesota attended Anime Central last
year and decided to return to it every year. She belongs to the Daikon
Kaleigh Dlinkle and Alex Cerajewski
Connor Ring of Chicago (L) and Will Rychlik