Anime Midwest 2018
Merchandise. Anime Midwest has a solid merch room. It’s very large without a ton of repetition in terms of merchandise being offered. I especially enjoy the volume of wall scrolls available and the amount of wig & cosplay sellers that appeared at this con that normally aren’t seen at Animecons.com-hosted convention. Chicago really seems to draw quality vendors to their cons.
Artist Alley. Anime Midwest maintained a decent artist alley. While I wasn’t blown away by the artists, this is typical of the midwest. Per my hypothesis in previous reviews of midwestern cons, I believe it has something to do with midwestern modesty & perfectionism that artists are known for pressing upon themselves. That said, the brave artists that chose to showcase and sell their work at anime-midwest were not subpar.
Organization. Foottraffic and lines were generally well-maintained. the Line to pick up pre-ordered badges was long but not unbearable compared to other conventions. While signage could have been better, I think Anime Midwest by no means is on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of general organization.
Panels & Guests. Holy wow, I had the privilege of attending some amazing panels. Among the standouts were definitely those hosted by Japanese Guests. Hiroaki Inoue gave an excellent panel about his experience working with GAINAX in addition to his general presence in the anime industry of Japan, and how it has evolved over the years. While Anime Midwest’s translator for this panel seemed a little nervous and had a few mistranslations, we’ve provided the audio file on this page for you to listen. We will also provide a translated transcript of the panel in our archives.
The second standout panel was not long after, featuring Terumi Nishii - a key animator known for their work on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable. Fans were able to get valuable insight about working as an animator in Japan, as well as to how the legendary Jojo characters were brought to life.
Venue. The convention center and Hyatt in Rosemont IL are known as the standard hosts for large conventions in the Chicago area. Overall a very good venue that is great to accomodate cons of all sizes, in addition to being walking distance from the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, many other hotels, and a few restaurants.
Rave. Anime Midwest probably has one of the strongest raves offered by con’s in the Midwest alongside Anime Milwaukee and Anime Central. This is presumably because attendance is higher than the average midwestern con. While it may not be quite at the level of conventions in Atlanta, Tampa, and other convention hubs, it was definitely worthwhile!
Overall rating: 7.8/10 - definitely check this con out if you’ve been on the fence about going the last few years