Have a ‘Dragon Ball’ at ConAltDelete


Courtesy Yasmin Alesia

Dragon Ball Cake Pops

By Arts & Culture Reporter

The Japanese culture and anime convention ConAltDelete will hold its third incarnation at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., in Rosemont, Illinois, Dec. 18–20.

According to Amanda Atkins, division head of live events with AnimeCon, the event has grown from about 1,000 attendees in its first year to an anticipated 4,000 this year.

The convention features a wide array of programming, ranging from traditional Q&A panels and events to  concerts and interactive social events. 

Atkins added that the desire for this diversity in programming stemmed from her experience at other conventions. The longtime anime and Japanese culture fan saw the need for interactive events to allow anime lovers to meet and form relationships—as Atkins did with the vice president of AnimeCon, the organization behind ConAltDelete.

Atkins said convention highlights will include concerts featuring such groups as electronic industrial band V is for Villains and venues such as a “maid cafe” at which cosplayers dress in maid garb and serve patrons.

Atkins added that the most popular event is “Whose Line Is It Anime?” an anime-centric spin-off of popular improv show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

“We write skits and prompts,” Atkins said. “The cast doesn’t get those beforehand…. [The host] will give them a prompt and they’ll just go from there. Sometimes it does get out of hand, but it’s so funny.”

Atkins added that another popular event is the “Winter Celebration Ball,” an “anime prom” of sorts.

“A lot of the kids are younger and haven’t gone to prom yet…. You dress up and dance to anime and nerd music. It’s actually really fun,” Atkins said.

She added that before the ball, the convention hosts dance lessons so attendees who may be nervous or struggle with social anxiety can easily meet others.

One panelist, whose panel will break the mold of the traditional Q&A, is Yasmin Alesia, an anime lover whose food blog Geek Grubs posts recipes for foods based on video games and anime.

For her panel, titled “Food in Anime and Video Games,” Alesia will include tips and tricks on how to make treats from popular anime.

“Japan has really cool food, so I thought that would be really great to cover,” Alesia said.

She added that as a food blogger, she saw the need to help anime lovers with tricks on how to successfully replicate the dishes depicted in their favorite games.

As a long-time anime fan, Atkins said the convention is an approachable and flexible way to be involved with a niche culture.

“The convention is its own little pocket,” Atkins said. “You don’t have to worry because everybody there likes something you like.”

ConAltDelete takes place Dec. 18–20 in Rosemont, Illinois. Tickets are $50 for all three days, and single day tickets range from $30–$40. A full schedule, ticket and lodging information can be found at ConAltDelete.com.