The IRC server to connect to is: IRC.WorldIRC.Org and the channel is #animenewsnetwork.
WorldIRC provides a Nickname Services feature much like nickserv on other networks, but its syntax might be slightely different than what you are used to:
Registering your nickname/phpBB username with WorldIRC:
You can use WorldIRC's nickserv to register and protect your username. This is not necessarry unless you are a chanel moderator, however you may prefer to know that your preferred nickname will always be available to you. Information on how to use WorldIRC's nickserv services can be found here.
In the event that the above chat link fails, you may also try connecting through WorldIRC's World IRC's webchat page, by typing /join #animenewsnetwork after connecting.