#ACEN2018 – “Oh, what a time…”

Last week I had the wonderful pleasure of attending Anime Central 2018 (ACEN), one of the largest Anime conventions in the Midwest. It was the first convention of SBR’s con season and it was a blast.

With an attendance of over 30,000 people all stuffed into the Rosemont Convention Center, to say that the convention was bustling wouldn’t exactly do it justice.

One of the biggest improvements to the convention this year is the use of space. For those that have never been to ACEN, it is typically very crowded. From the Dealer room, to the Artist Alley, to the Game Room, you are used to being close to each other.

Like, someone’s Homestuck body paint that wasn’t sealed properly rubbing up against your white wedding dress and crying in anger when you got to your hotel room. That close.

But no more! Now you can run about the Con with significantly less worry and an even smaller chance of getting the Con-Crud (Sorry Mr. Gamer’s Wife….)

Another feather in ACEN’s cap is how well the mobile app, Guidebook, worked this year. It may seem like a small thing, but you don’t realize how important it is to have your Con schedule on hand when you are and deep in cosplay and can’t exactly get to your large…paper map…that didn’t have last night’s drinks spill all over it…. You only have about 36 hours of con to enjoy and they made sure you can enjoy it down to the last minute.

Now you come to SBR for the gaming news and I am proud to say that the Game Room had a significant upgrade this year, first and foremost, the lighting…

Last year’s game room was large but stuffy. This time around it was brighter, and you could truly see all of the games that ACEN had to offer, from DDR to Smash Bros to DragonBall Fighter Z to Jubeat. And no, that last one was not the name of Jay-Z’s new hit single.

I was even able to see the developers of Text Quest and Stacks on Stacks on Stacks at ACEN! I had first covered their games at IndyPop 2017. I am so happy to see that they got to Chicago so that more people got a chance to try their games.

Now ACEN isn’t 100% anime and ONLY anime. They have a variety of panels for the cosplayers, the fan-fic writers, and the aspiring voice over artists which was one of my focuses this year. I was able to speak with some professionals in the field and you’ll probably be subjected to auditions reel(s).

There were just so many cosplays this year so below are the best of the best from the pictures that I’ve taken this year.

This year’s ACEN was amazing experience for me and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year.


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