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Anime Central
Anime Central (logo).png
Status Active
Venue Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Location Rosemont, Illinois
Country United States
First held 1998
Organizer Midwest Animation Promotion Society (MAPS)
Filing status 501(c)(3)
Attendance 32,653 in 2018
Official website www.acen.org

Anime Central (ACen) is an annual three-day anime convention held during May at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare & Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The convention is organized by the Midwest Animation Promotion Society (MAPS).

Programming

The convention typically offers anime viewing rooms, artist alley, autograph sessions, concerts, dances/rave, dealer's room, gaming (arcade, role play, table top, trading card, video) formal ball, karaoke, masquerade, panels, and Q&As.

History

Anime Central was formed in 1998 due to the lack of anime gatherings in the Central United States. During the 2001 convention, construction was occurring at the hotel while the event was underway. Guest Robert DeJesus got married by guest Jan Scott-Frazier, an ordained minister, during the convention. At the 2003 convention, the weekend lines to register for the convention ranged from 90 minutes for pre-registered attendees to 3 hours for others. In 2004 several scheduling problems occurred and opening ceremonies were delayed an hour due to audio-visual problems. The convention experienced problems with its registration system in 2008 resulting in extremely long lines. Two cosplay weddings were held at the convention in 2012, along with the Hyatt needing to be evacuated due to a fire alarm. Anime Central hosted the 2014 US Finals for the World Cosplay Summit. Anime Central 2020 and 2021 were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event history

Dates Location Atten. Guests
April 3–5, 1998 Holiday Inn International O'Hare
Rosemont, Illinois
1,203 Juliet Cesario, Robert DeJesus, Jason Gray-Stanford, Fumio Iida, Tsukasa Kotobuki, Trish Ledoux, Steve Pearl, Jan Scott-Frazier, Scott Simpson, Kenichi Sonoda, Amanda Winn-Lee, and Toshifumi Yoshida.
April 23–25, 1999 Ramada Plaza Hotel O'Hare
Rosemont, Illinois
1,640 Crispin Freeman, Rachael Lillis, Yuji Moriyama, Lisa Ortiz, and Jan Scott-Frazier.
May 12–14, 2000 Sheraton Arlington Park
Arlington Heights, Illinois
2,117 Kara Dennison, Crispin Freeman, Amy Howard-Wilson, Jan Scott-Frazier, and Brett Weaver.
May 11–13, 2001 Sheraton Arlington Park
Arlington Heights, Illinois
3,232 yoshitoshi ABe, Mika Akitaka, Kia Asamiya, Robert DeJesus, Kara Dennison, Scott McNeil, Range Murata, Jan Scott-Frazier, SWEK, and Brett Weaver.
April 19–21, 2002 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Rosemont, Illinois
4,520 Ken Akamatsu, Tetsuya Aoki, Steve Bennett, Jessica Calvello, Robert DeJesus, Crispin Freeman, Tiffany Grant, Hilary Haag, Amy Howard-Wilson, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Bruce Lewis, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Jan Scott-Frazier, Brad Swaile, SWEK, and J. Torres.
May 16–18, 2003 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Rosemont, Illinois
6,190 Satoru Akahori, Laura Bailey, Richard Ian Cox, Robert DeJesus, Duel Jewel, Fred Gallagher, Hiroaki Gohda, Tiffany Grant, Takeshi Honda, Yasunori Ide, Yoko Ishida, Kazuyoshi Katayama, Bruce Lewis, Hidenori Matsubara, Maya Okamoto, Chris Patton, Monica Rial, Jan Scott-Frazier, SWEK, Kazuko Tadano, Kōhei Tanaka, and Brett Weaver.
May 14–16, 2004 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Rosemont, Illinois
7,406 Greg Ayres, Kelli Cousins, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Fred Gallagher, Masashi Ishihama, Satoshi Ishino, Taku Iwasaki, Noriyuki Jinguji, Yasuhisa Kato, Hideyuki Kurata, Bruce Lewis, Koji Masunari, Scott McNeil, Vic Mignogna, Yuji Moriyama, Tomonori Ochikoshi, Chris Patton, Monica Rial, Chiwa Saito, SID, SWEK, Taraku Uon, Shinichi Watanabe, and Brett Weaver.
May 13–15, 2005 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
10,434 Greg Ayres, Chris Bevins, Beau Billingslea, Steve Blum, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Fred Gallagher, Caitlin Glass, Clarine Harp, You Higuri, Hiroaki Inoue, Kumiko Kato, Bruce Lewis, Hiromi Matsushita, Vic Mignogna, Chris Patton, The Penny Lane All Stars, The Pillows, Jan Scott-Frazier, Rikki Simons, Doug Smith, Sally Suzuki, SWEK, Kazuko Tadano, Yusuke Wakamisho, Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons, and Yutaka Yoshizawa.
May 5–7, 2006 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
11,866 Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Troy Baker, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Quinton Flynn, Fred Gallagher, Brittney Karbowski, Bruce Lewis, Mike McFarland, Junko Mizuno, Jeff Nimoy, Chris Patton, Monica Rial, Jan Scott-Frazier, Rikki Simons, Doug Smith, TsuShiMaMiRe, and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons.
May 11–13, 2007 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
12,769 Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Steve Bennett, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Patrick Drazen, David Fleming, Lisa Furukawa, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, Mohammad "Hawk" Haque, Kyle Hebert, High and Mighty Color, Noriyuki Jinguji, Brittney Karbowski, Sunao Katabuchi, Hiroshi Koujina, Trish Ledoux, Bruce Lewis, Masao Maruyama, Mike McFarland, Jamie McGonnigal, Yūko Minaguchi, Jeff Moy, Philip Moy, Yasuhiro Nightow, Ananth Panagariya, Chris Patton, PLID, Xero Reynolds, Jan Scott-Frazier, Rikki Simons, Doug Smith, Spike Spencer, Spiral Spiders, Michael "Mookie" Terracciano, Kirk Thornton, Voices For, Kari Wahlgren, Shinichi Watanabe, Brett Weaver, Greg Weisman, Travis Willingham, Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons, and Toshifumi Yoshida.
May 16–18, 2008 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
13,900 Yamila Abraham, Hannah Alcorn, Karan Ashley, DM Ashura, Robert Axelrod, Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Laura Bailey, Steve Cardenas, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Aaron Dismuke, Josh Elder, Quinton Flynn, Jason David Frank, Caitlin Glass, August Hahn, Halcali, DJ HeavyGrinder, Mari Iijima, Russell Lissau, Vic Mignogna, Yuji Moriyama, Carli Mosier, Jeff Moy, Philip Moy, Jeff Nimoy, Daniela Orrù, Peelander-Z, Daniela Serri, Shuzilow.HA, Kenichi Sonoda, The Spoony Bards, Hiroshi Tada, Voices For, Travis Willingham, Ono Yoichiro, Mamoru Yokota, and Steve Yun.
May 8–10, 2009 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
17,249 Yamila Abraham, J.L. Anderson, Matt Boyd, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Emily DeJesus, Robert DeJesus, Josh Elder, Kerry Freedman, Caitlin Glass, Tiffany Grant, Matt Greenfield, August Hahn, Mark Hildreth, Carl Gustav Horn, Aoi Kidokoro, Bruce Lewis, Russell Lissau, Ian McConville, Vic Mignogna, Misako Rocks!, Move, Fred Perry, Rhea Silvan, The Slants, The Spoony Bards, Chiaki Takahashi, Shinichi Watanabe, and Steve Yun.
May 14–16, 2010 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
19,511 Aural Vampire, Zach Bolton, DJ Chucky, Daniel Coglan, Da/Le, Steve Downes, Josh Elder, Kerry Freedman, Fred Gallagher, Guhroovy, Todd Haberkorn, August Hahn, Yoshiki Hayashi, Steve Horton, DJ Jeffito, Masazumi Kato, Yumiko Kobayashi, Russell Lissau, M-Project, Vic Mignogna, Misako Rocks!, Trevor A. Mueller, Kaori Nazuka, Dominic Nguyen, No+Chin, Brina Palencia, Wendy Powell, DJ Sharpnel, Stephanie Sheh, DJ Shimamura, The Spoony Bards, Narumi Takahira, J. Michael Tatum, Koki Uchiyama, and Steve Yun.
May 20–22, 2011 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
23,353 DJ 100mado, Chris Cason, DJ Chucky, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, Josh Elder, Flow, Guhroovy, Darrel Guilbeau, August Hahn, Yoshiki Hayashi, Naoto Hirooka, Steve Horton, Koji Ide, DJ Jeffito, Russell Lissau, M-Project, Trevor A. Mueller, No+Chin, Mika Nomura, Raveman, Kosuke Saito, Saki, Stephanie Sheh, Bob Shinohata, Mike Sinterniklaas, Sixh., Hideko Tamura Snider, Spike Spencer, SWEK, J. Michael Tatum, Ugimi Umahara, Cristina Vee, and Steve Yun.
April 27–29, 2012 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
24,316 Asuka, John Bivens, Johnny Yong Bosch, Christine Marie Cabanos, Chris Cason, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, Eyeshine, Gashicon, Todd Haberkorn, Masashi Hamauzu, Steve Horton, Imeruat, Yasuhiro Koshi, Cassandra Lee, Russell Lissau, LM.C, Maki, Jamie Marchi, Eric Maruscak, Joel McDonald, Mike McFarland, Vic Mignogna, Trevor A. Mueller, Brina Palencia, RinRin, Iruma Rioka, Chris Sabat, Ian Sinclair, Sixh.IBI, Cristina Vee, Video Game Orchestra, Shinichi Watanabe, and Travis Willingham.
May 17–19, 2013 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
28,692 Yuu Asakawa, Christopher Ayres, John Bivens, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, Gashicon, Clarine Harp, Steve Horton, Taliesin Jaffe, Catherine Jones, Kalafina, Fumiko Kawamura, Sarah Lindholm, Russell Lissau, Helen McCarthy, Mint, Trevor A. Mueller, Sonny Strait, Brad Swaile, and Yukino.
May 16–18, 2014 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
29,674 Yoshitoshi ABe, Angela, Bryn Apprill, Christopher Ayres, Laura Bailey, Tia Ballard, Josh Elder, Crispin Freeman, Josh Grelle, Naoto Hirooka, Emily Neves, Helen McCarthy, Joel McDonald, Trevor A. Mueller, Arnie Roth, Sixh., Nobuo Uematsu, Travis Willingham, and Yutaka Yamamoto.
May 15–17, 2015 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
31,113 Bryn Apprill, Akitaroh Daichi, Richard Epcar, Sandy Fox, Roland Kelts, Cherami Leigh, Helen McCarthy, Amanda Celine Miller, Tony Oliver, Ryukishi07, Scandal, Stephanie Sheh, Micah Solusod, Alexis Tipton, Cristina Vee, and Lisle Wilkerson.
May 20–22, 2016 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
31,469 Eir Aoi, Takahiro Baba, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, DJ HeavyGrinder, Erica Lindbeck, Eric Maruscak, Kyle McCarley, Erica Mendez, Mint, Max Mittelman, Na-Ga, Shinji Orito, Monica Rial, and Patrick Seitz.
May 19–21, 2017 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
30,221 DJ Amaya, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, Crispin Freeman, Toru Furuya, Gacharic Spin, DJ HeavyGrinder, Imeruat, Eric Maruscak, May'n, Helen McCarthy, Emily Neves, A New World, Tony Oliver, Putumayo, Micah Solusod, John Swasey, TeddyLoid, Alexis Tipton, Shinichi Watanabe, Lisle Wilkerson, and Mamoru Yokota.
May 18–20, 2018 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
32,653 Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, Fhána, Josh Grelle, Kyle Hebert, Kikuko Inoue, Mitsuo Iso, Jerry Jewell, Jinsei Kataoka, Kazuma Kondou, Lauren Landa, Cherami Leigh, Eric Maruscak, Erica Mendez, Vic Mignogna, A New World, Takeshi Nogami, Tony Oliver, Brina Palencia, Bryce Papenbrook, Rosuuri, Shuzilow.HA, Micah Solusod, Kenichi Sonoda, J. Michael Tatum, VOfan, Mamoru Yokota, Takahiro Yoshimatsu, and Marco d'Ambrosio.
May 17-19, 2019 Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois
33,084 Asaka, Jillian Coglan, Samurai Dan Coglan, Justin Cook, Sandy Fox, Crispin Freeman, Caitlin Glass, Jerry Jewell, Brittney Karbowski, Masayuki Kojima, Lex Lang, Eric Maruscak, Helen McCarthy, Muneki Ogasawara, Tony Oliver, Openworld, Kevin Penkin, Hiroyuki Saita, Sayaka Sasaki, Stephanie Sheh, Shuzilow.HA, Kenichi Sonoda, Aya Suzaki, Natsumi Takamori, Kaiji Tang, Shiori Tani, Jason Thompson, True, Eric Vale, Christopher Wehkamp, and Zaq. venue = Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
location = Rosemont, Illinois attendance = guests =

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Anime Central Aftershock!

Anime Central Aftershock! was a programming track offered at the Chicago Comic-Con on August 6–9, 2009. Programming included anime showings, artist appearances, contests, cosplay, and panel events.

Otaquest Connect

Anime Central partnered with Otaquest to hold an online anime convention on August 15–16, 2020 after their planned convention was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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