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What IS the big draw of ACEN for you?

#31 User is offline   antisocialist 

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:46 PM

That's it's in Chicago and close to me.
anime central 2013
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#32 User is offline   jay41889 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:48 PM

The Ripping and Tearing
ACen 2010,11,12,13,14

#33 User is offline   Menchi 

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

Guests from Japan.

日本からのゲスト。

まあ、ほかのファン達を会えるのは楽しいし、最近日本の声優とか興味がある人たちが少ない。それは残念だと思う。

#34 User is offline   Bard-kun 

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

Loving all the responses in this thread.

My reasons for going have shifted over the years--it used to be all about the delaer's room and now I rarely buy anything, for example--but the primary ones have always stayed the same: the sense of community and the ability to totally "let my hair down." I get to see every breed of fan walking around every year and I recognize bits of myself and my friends in each of 'em, and I get to totally geek out about the cartoons I've loved since childhood for three wonderful days. It's a massive, constantly growing group of people all united for one insane weekend by one thing (a lot of related things nowadays, really): their passion for anime, their passion for games, their passion for geekery.

That and I keep hoping I'll get to meet Tiffany Grant or watch The Pillows live again. >_>
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#35 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

The first Anime Central was my first Anime Central. It's hard to believe this year is already ACen's Sweet Sixteen!

Back in the early years of the convention I attended primarily for the video rooms. This was back when, to get fansubs, you had to mail a blank VHS tape to the fansubbing groups and they would send you back a recording of the series you requested. I remember going to watch all of Vision of Escaflowne at ACen and being AMAZED that they had the last few episodes, as they were really hard to find among fansubbers. Eventually, cosplay became a huge part of my reason for going, and as I started having more spending money, the dealer's room.

In the early 2000's, one of my online friends flew up to Chicago and met me for the first time in-person at ACen. Five years later, and we were getting married; she is now my wife! :wub: So that was a big reason for going that year.

I love seeing the cosplay and there's a few guests I'd love to go see (if Kenichi Sonoda comes back, I will be the happiest person on earth), but the real draw of the convention is seeing all the cosplay. I love it! I also made my debut at Artist's Alley last year and it really gave me a look at a whole other side of the convention. It was probably the most fun I've had at ACen, and it's brought me back again this year. :)
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#36 User is offline   slrphebos 

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:40 PM

ACen is my local anime con and I don't get to travel a whole lot when it comes to cons due to work. I go to have fun and just enjoy myself. This year I get to enjoy being on staff which is something I have never done in the 10 years I been going. I want to give back to my local con and meet new people and just make new friends.
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ACen 2013-2014: Customer Service

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#37 User is offline   Bettachi 

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

My first ACen was back in 2005, the year I graduated high school. I live in Michigan, so I never had been out of the state without my parents before, this would be my first time. I found out The Pillows would be playing there after I had decided to attend, so my excitement was beyond anything I had ever felt. I went with a few good friends from work and school, and the first time I saw the Hyatt Regency O'Hare looming over the freeway, I was truly able to experience the feeling of a true vacation. Beyond that, I met and befriended so many cool and interesting people. Having the entire weekend to myself to put any worries of school, work, and personal/family issues away is something I truly value to this day. Every year since then has added to the immense feeling of nostalgia I get from the previous years I've attended. Even though several parts of my life have changed, some better and some worse, I always consider ACen as my Spring-time getaway from the monotony of everyday life.
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#38 User is offline   General_Iowa 

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

The draw for ACen is because it is Chicago.

I love Chicago and an anime convention in Chicago?

EVEN BETTER!
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#39 User is offline   YoungBirdcall 

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

For me, the big draw of ACen is feeling like I'm part of a larger community of like-minded individuals. I don't have too many friends that are interested in anime and manga, so coming to ACen with those few friends who are interested in that stuff makes me really happy. Meeting new people and making new friends on these forums and in-person at the convention has been the thing that keeps me coming back to ACen.
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#40 User is offline   Fudgi P0pZ 

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:37 PM

Ooh, I wanna comment too! :D

Whenever I think of ACen it always brings a smile to my face. Here are a few reasons:

1. It's my birthday con. If it hadn't have fallen a day shy of my 17th birthday back in 2007, I probably would have never had the opportunity to go. Thanks Dad for coming all the way from Tennessee to take me! x_x How better to celebrate my birthday than indulging in a pastime that I love for three whole days?
2. ACen is synonymous with spring in my mind. I love spring; thusly, I love ACen. :) There's something about coming off that one expressway with the Hyatt to the right. It's like you've teleported or some crap.
3. Although it's the only con I've ever been to, it's like home. No matter how big it gets, it still has such an approachable feel to it. Sure, the knowledge of being surrounded by thousands of people seems overwhelming, but I've never once felt that way. Except maybe in that line to soapbubble. ಠ_ಠ

Aside from that, in recent years, some of the things that draw me are the dealer's room, (more recently) panels, concerts and... well, that's it. Would you believe that I still haven't been to Soap Bubble, Masquerade or Synergy yet? It wasn't until 2008 that I even knew about the panels. Fail.
..::..2014 Cosplay Goals..::..
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Keeping it light this year! :)

Thanks Neskaya for the lovely avatar.

#41 User is offline   Niroz51 

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:47 AM

I go to cosplay and for the musical acts~

#42 User is offline   KusanagiRobin 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:10 AM

First I should start off by saying that ACen 2007 was not only my first ACen, it was a total catastrophe. :D Hotel room mix-up, my cosplay showing up two weeks AFTER the con, starving Saturday, nervous breakdown in the Dealer's Room...you name it.

HOWEVER. I will never forget that feeling I got when the hotel shuttle turned onto River Road. Where there was ordinary people, there were suddenly cosplayers, fellow anime-lovers, people who were perfectly comfortable with being 'weird' in public. Something entranced me, and despite all that happened, I decided to go again.

Fast forward six years later. I'm out of college, but ACen remains a wonderful connection between me and my college friends, and it serves as both a vacation and a healthy(?) hobby. I'm making my own cosplays (just started on plushies!), helping two friends who're coming this year for the first time, running a photoshoot (and being a shy person, I would've never imagined doing that a couple years ago!), and am now firmly aware that ACen is more than the Dealer's Room and long lines. So, if I had to say what the big draw is, I say it's the only thing that HASN'T changed: that feeling I get when I go down River Road. The feeling that for two days, I'm in a wonderland where I can just be my anime-loving self.
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#43 User is offline   Bard-kun 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

View PostKusanagiRobin, on 06 March 2013 - 02:10 AM, said:

I say it's the only thing that HASN'T changed: that feeling I get when I go down River Road. The feeling that for two days, I'm in a wonderland where I can just be my anime-loving self.


Well-said! I get goosebumps every year when I turn onto River Road and see cosplayers strolling around.
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#44 User is offline   YoungBirdcall 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

View PostKusanagiRobin, on 06 March 2013 - 02:10 AM, said:

So, if I had to say what the big draw is, I say it's the only thing that HASN'T changed: that feeling I get when I go down River Road. The feeling that for two days, I'm in a wonderland where I can just be my anime-loving self.


This.
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#45 User is offline   Fudgi P0pZ 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

View PostYoungBirdcall, on 06 March 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

This.


That River Road feel. Glad to know so many other people feel it, too! Hahahaaa.
..::..2014 Cosplay Goals..::..
.: Aisha ClanClan:.

Keeping it light this year! :)

Thanks Neskaya for the lovely avatar.

#46 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:17 PM

Is it bad that one of things I always see that makes me know I am close is when I see Hooters a exit or two before River Road?

#47 User is offline   YoungBirdcall 

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

View Postrondo, on 07 March 2013 - 04:17 PM, said:

Is it bad that one of things I always see that makes me know I am close is when I see Hooters a exit or two before River Road?


Haha I experience the same thing. I see that Hooter's and I'm like: "SOON."
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#48 User is offline   Fantasia 

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:53 PM

1) its local.
2) the cosplaying, being whomever you want and not get weird looks from it
3) the pictures. I am a mad photo shooter.
4) the wonderful memories it leaves.
5) a sense of belonging.
6) I can act as fangirly or derpy as I want.
7) making new friends.
8) the free hugs people.
9)The fact that there is so much to see and do.
10) it's just really mega fun.
ACen COSPLAYS 2015:

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#49 User is offline   Tiny Dangerous 

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:48 PM

The two biggest things about it for me are the people, and the relaxed atmosphere. I've never encountered someone who was rude or unkind while at ACen.

The sense of community is amazing too. Just seeing so many people running around in cosplay, happy as can be is a hard thing to top. Like many of you said, just seeing the scenery turn from 'normal' to the streets being filled with cosplayers is a great sight. It's nice to be able to wear a cosplay that you worked hard on, talk about 'geeky stuff', and not feel out of place in the least-- Everyone else is just as into it as you are.

#50 User is offline   Green Dragon 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

Anime Hell/Midnight Madness and, for many years in the past, the Masquerade were the big things that kept me coming back. After the debacle with both last year, I've had little reason to come back, apart from friends saying come for the camaraderie. If those two events could be resolved and made better, I'd reconsider this being my last ACen to attend.

Combining the two dances into one would be a big plus too. Silly con doesn't need two.

This post has been edited by Green Dragon: 26 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

Anime Central Cosplay History

* ACen '04, '05, '06: Nicholas D. Wolfwood - ACen '07: Gendo Ikari / Bryan Fury
* ACen '08: Gendo Ikari / Capt. Aizen Sousuke - ACen '09: Gendo Ikari / Daisuke Jigen
* ACen '11: Tom Baker, Fourth Doctor - ACen '12: Fourth Doctor / Capt. Aizen Sousuke
* ACen '13: Capt. Kyouraku Shunsui - ACen '14: Kiba (Wolf's Rain) / Ninth Doctor

#51 User is offline   Sir Gibby 

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 08:56 PM

For me, it's turned into a bit of a ritual. Once January hits the process of per-registering, procuring the hotel room, and gathering supplies for costumes begin. he group gets together and talks about what we're looking forward to and what costumes we'll be doing, who's driving, and our schedule for the weekend. Once the con is over, we get our post-con meal and discus what we saw. I think I get more excited for the lead-up to the convention than anything; I've always loved the anticipation of vacation and packing up the car for the trip.

Dressing up is always a big thing for me, more so at ACen because instead of Halloween or a party that is only for a few hours, ACen is several days! I hardly wear normal clothes while I'm there! I love showing off what I've put together to see what people think, and to see other people's costumes to see what they've come up with, and also so I can draw some inspiration from them.

The dealer's room is great too. I have a hearty collection of action figures and stuff, but knowing that something came from ACen makes it feel more like a treasure than just something I picked up at the mall.

Can't forget about the viewing rooms! I love poking my head in and checking out what's playing. You never know which room has your favorite new anime behind it's door!
My life is watching anime, playing video games, and eating Taco Bell with reckless abandonment with my lady!

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#52 User is offline   Kaay-chan 

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:24 AM

For me, it's always been about having that one weekend where I could immerse myself in the fandom. No matter how ostracized I was the rest of the year for liking anime, no matter how many looks I got or jokes were made at my expense, I had the knowledge that for at least one weekend, I was in a place where people like me were in the majority and the people getting the looks were the normal people in the business attire. While this has lessened as I have gotten older and had a chance to meet more anime fans in my day-to-day life (it rocks going to a nerdy college), that feeling of belonging is still strong.

Besides that, I've always loved the dealer's room. I'm the kind of person who loves a good bargain (my mother has trained me well <3) and I love looking through the dealer's room trying to find the best price on that anime I'm looking for or this out-of-print manga I'm one volume away from completing. Every year I have a mental shopping list of what I'm looking for; I never stick to it. The dealer's room has so many things that you wouldn't even think to look for, and then you see it, and you MUST have it. clearly, I might have some impulse control issues when it comes to shopping and may or may not possibly need to think about maybe finding myself an accountability buddy :unsure:

I've always loved the masquerade. Yeah, the skits can be funny and entertaining and that was the reason why I originally started going (thanks to stuff I had seen on Youtube), but I'm an artist who comes from a family of artists. I'm also one of those gamers who would probably craft all of her gear ever if that was a feasible thing to do. So when I saw these remarkable cosplays in person, and came to appreciate just how much work was put into them, it just added a whole new level to it for me.

I've been going to ACen since my freshman year of high school (this will be my 8th year), so there's also the personal aspect for me. Back in high school, it was something my friends and I went to together, and now it's a way for us to reconnect and hang out and stuff.
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Cosplay 2013: Ryougi Shiki (Kara no Kyoukai) I didn't have my camera; please send me pictures! ;A;


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#53 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:56 PM

ACen has a different feeling associated with it than any other con I have been too. There's just something magical about ACen that I haven't experienced at other cons. I think it's a combination of the location, the memories I've made at past ACens, and things unique to ACen like the Soap Bubble and the awesome dealer's hall/artist alley. There's something about driving through downtown Chicago to get to the con that really hypes me up! Plus ACen always means trips to Mitsuwa and Giordano's too, which I really look forward to.

I'm starting to lose interest in cons as I get older, but I still want to go to ACen. For a while wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go this year and I was really upset about it. Thankfully I will be there!
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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:24 AM

Cosplaying, Taking Picture of other people cosplaying, going crazy buying in the dealers room, having fun with other otaku like myself, and meeting new friends
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FRIDAY - Dynasty Warriors l SATURDAY - Lightning Returns l SUNDAY - Naruto
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2013 - Final Fantasy XIII, Fairy Tail, One Piece l 2012 - Bleach , DGrayman, InuYasha l 2011 - Final Fantasy XI, One Piece, Code Geass l 2010 - Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy X, Naruto
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#55 User is offline   Restive 

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:32 PM

Doing a light amount of precon drinking and seeing the cosplay is a blast for me. The merchandise is also a big factor. The game room is cool, as well as just chillin with my buddies without any of them being insecure about talking about anime and gaming like they usually are at a bar. Although, walking around the merchandise mart with your buddy dressed as kratos got kinda annoying since we where stopped literally ever 20 steps.

#56 User is offline   manga1 

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:54 PM

The draw for me is the size, and I have family in chicago's burbs where my dad can hang out with my cousins and get good italian food, and for me the thought that maybe one of these times I might win something in the masqurade for my performance, would be nice, its the big time afterall and you face pros and heavy guns of the midwest, in cosplay sometimes, like sewing is half the battle, or someone like sailor moon man, or stripper vash.
Sewing is half the battle though is a group of down to earth nice people, and do a good job with their cosplay, not to mention Jon, the husband of one of the groups members is the one that runs the masquerade, so he is someone I know a little from the last couple of years I have done the cosplay skits. also the fact that I am performing in front of thousands and even more as its streamed online usually,but I have to say the draw is the huge number of cosplayers to try to photograph, like catching pokemon, and the pretty girls hehe ;),

ok well the last one might be creapy but, really there are people from all over I meet there like england and canada as well as all over the states, and I like the sheer number of guests, they usually have unlike <this Year where they have very few voice actors.>

oh and I can let out my inner actor and carry around a huge wooden prop like a badass, and the huge dances with thousands. Too bad it gets over in three days but I can only take off soo much work.

#57 User is offline   dr_essex 

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:42 PM

I don't know how many other cons people attend each year but ACen has everything most cons have and more. However, its such a large non for profit con and completely fan driven, and this lends itself to much more passion and energy towards anime/Japanese pop culture that's nowhere near as prevalent in any of the other cons I go to/have been to. Speaking for myself and at the risk of sounding a little cliche, there's a certain atmosphere that I have yet to find anywhere else and look forward to each year.

#58 User is offline   OneWing 

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

My past desires differ from my current desires. When I first heard about ACen, the whole thing in general was completely new, and I just plain wanted to experience it. Born in a Chicago suburb, living in Wisconsin at the time, I just wanted to go to Chicago for something that was geared around all of my interests. I had trouble with friends growing up and thought a great bonus of the convention would be perhaps meeting a friend or two, maybe even a group, that had respect for hobbies that were out of the ordinary, and the people that partook in those hobbies.

I was instantly won over, of course :) and since 2005 I've only missed one year (2006) and very regrettably. Since my first ACen my desire for going can be expressed in basically one idea:

I go 1) to cosplay, enjoy other people's cosplay, 2) the overall environment of being surrounded by a live representation of all the things I have come to love and that have contributed to making me who I am, 3) the nostalgia of past cons, like things that I used to be into and haven't had time to devote to, like Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, etc.

My expectations of each con are for things that will never change. I will say I have felt like the con gets easily overrun by whatever is most popular, even if it has nothing to do with what the con is about, like My Little Pony and Homestuck. I am not personally into these two things but from what I do know, they are not Japanese or Korean, and my understanding is ACen is meant specifically for things of Japanese and Korean origin, and the forefront of that for the con, is anime. It doesn't bother me enough to stop going, because frankly, the con is still clearly an anime and Japanese culture convention.

Going along with that, things like the masquerade, panels, guests, and things that absolutely change from year to year, are a flat out bonus. I will never say "the guests sucked." Some people expect at least one or a few awesome guests each year, and because the desire in specifics will greatly vary from person to person, I don't believe it's fair to judge a con based on those factors, nor is it worthwhile to expect a con to consistently deliver to your individual desires every single year, with things that change from year to year. When it comes to the over all con experience, ACen does nothing but improve whatever they can and whatever the people speak out about.

A fantastic example of this is their panel Cosplay =/= Consent. They took a position on it, handled it well, and offered resources to the people. Because quite simply, the con quality is largely based, reliant, and influenced by the people.
I am "flowin' with life in a warrior type manner." || Forgive and forget. :) || Proud Member of the Shy Otaku Syndicate <3
Previous cosplay: '05: Cloud from FFVII:AC '07: Thu+Fri: Kakashi | Fri Masq Ball: Reno (FFVII:AC) | Sat: Cloud (FFVII:AC) | Sun: Uriel (Angel Sanctuary)
Cosplay for '08: Thurs: Casual Kenashi-Sama[/u] | Fri: Cloud FFVIIAC (surprise saved for '09) | Sat: Solid Snake + Z.O.E. box - MGS1 version FOR MASQ
Cosplay for '09: Locke - Final Fantasy VI || Vamp - MGS4 || Cosplay for '10: Kuja ;3
//Thank you so much to the people who like my cosplay, it means a lot - and glomps to the people who freaking knew my Z.O.E. box for Snake!\\
ACen 2008 Walk-Ons: My Solid Snake: http://www.acparadise.com/acp/vid/3737 || My wonderful friends as Malice Mizer (<3 Kami): http://www.acparadise.com/acp/vid/3718

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