No doubt about it, summer is coming to an end. Summer breaks are wrapping up, and students are returning to high school or college. But before fall gets into full swing, Chicagoland has one last anime-con hurrah: Anime World Expos is August 28-30 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, IL (right next to Yorktown Mall).
Some of you may be thinking, “wait, wasn’t there an AnimeWorld Chicago a couple years ago?” There was – as well as an AnimeWorld Indianapolis. Anime World Expos (or AWX) is the reorganized successor to that company, which went on hiatus after its third event in 2012. Established by members of the original AnimeWorld’s core staff, the new company is aiming to improve on their previous events by expanding the con’s programming range and offering more interactive activities.
So what can we expect from the all-new AWX? In addition to the usual anime-convention trappings such as fan panels, masquerade, vendors, artists and game tournaments, AWX is offering a formal ball (with dance lessons beforehand); a specialized programming track for writers and creative artists; a Japanese culture track including hands-on workshops to learn tea ceremony, mizuhiki, origami, and martial arts; a cosplay track including sewing and wig-styling workshops; and three live concerts. There’s also Sailor Man’s Drag Race, an audience-participation game show filled with music, dancing, and comedy, and two Japanese literature readings (complete with cultural notes).
Guests this year include bestselling author Laura VanArendonk Baugh, martial arts masters Samurai Dan and Jillian, cosplay rock band Eien Strife, voice actress Nicki Rapp (The Sims), and stage and TV actor Jason Narvy (Power Rangers).
The con might have been on hiatus for a couple of years, but it definitely shows signs of being awesome again. Pre-registration is open at Register online and save $5 of the at-door price. Single-day passes are also available on the website.
Special thanks to Alena Van Arendonk for the extra information and clarifying some details for me.

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