ROSEMONT, Ill. (CBS) — Anime Central returned to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont.
This was the event’s first run since 2019 – the year before the whole world shut down.
Every year, fans of animation, video games, and all things “geek culture” join forces and take over the northwest suburban village. Some 33,000 unique fans attended the convention – the biggest of its kind in the Midwest.
There was no shortage of cosplayers – people who dress up in costume to show their admiration for characters. Even a giant Pikachu came out to have fun.
Meanwhile, the infamous 24-hour gaming hall allows attendees to play nearly any video game that has ever been released, hundreds of flat screen and CRT televisions lined the tables connected to gaming consoles. Staff onsite managed a video game borrowing service so anyone could try any game they’ve been itching to play.
For those who wanted less noise and distraction, there was a tabletop gaming center with all kinds of board and card games for all ages. Surely some intense Dungeons and Dragons campaigns were had.
There was even a group who was playing mahjong.
And who could forget about the merchandise? You could find anything your geeky heart desires – plushies, books, artwork – much of it created by artists who travel from convention to convention selling their work.
The fun continues next year, same place, the weekend of May 19.
Anime Central has been in operation since 1998.