As to ring in the New Year of 2020 for anime and pop culture fans alike, TaiyouCon 2020 was what brought in the new year. And with every anime convention come an array of unique and interesting costumes. What is TaiyouCon? It is an anime convention held in Mesa, Az at the Mesa Convention Center that caters to primarily anything anime, video games, manga, and other aspects of Japanese culture, and also pop culture as well.
TaiyouCon is a small convention that is held on the first (or second) weekend of January since 2010, making this the 10th year anniversary of the convention’s lifetime. TaiyouCon brings all sorts of people together with a mission to being anime fans together to enjoy themselves for an anime packed weekend with games, food, panels and all sorts of fun with friends.
TaiyouCon also brings out the creativiness of cosplayers that have honed their cosplay craftsmanship to the extreme, such as those that participated in the Masquerade under three different categories, (Novice, Journeyman and Master) in order to show off their amazing level of craftsmanship. For all of the 24 participants that were in the Masquerade, Sam and Lina of ThermoCosplay along with Jinx Cosplay won Best Performancer in the Master category of the contest. There were a handful of helpful panels such as the Wonderful World of Worbla ran by Schrei205, told her panel-goers the ins and outs of working with worbla. And lots of informative panels such as PiggyNukka’s panel on How to Use Your Art Degree. PiggyNukka explained how she work in all sorts of different aspects of her degree along with giving helpful tips of how to put yourself out there in the real world with your art degree and along with the cons of it.
Taiyou Con also brought in Guests of Honor from all over the anime industry such as Kira Buckland, Kyle McCarley, Marie Miyake, REI Matsuzaki and much more for fans to get to know them and their autographs.
Special events were also open throughout the weekend that the attendantees got to enjoy such as Maid Cafes, and their own unique swap-meet ups called Sunspot Bazaar that congoers can enjoy themselves and shop at discounted prices of anything anime related. We can’t forget about the Vendor’s Hall were the congoers could go to shop around to their
favorite vendors and get cool anime related merchandise. Artists alley was also included in the Vendor’s Hall so those same congoers could also grab their favorite anime related fanart from their favorite artists.
And one of the many things that makes up TaiyouCon as well is the chance to get your picture taken with professional photographers that appear to the photoshoots that cosplayers set up or are in the con schedule. Or just getting stopped in the hallway for a quick shot of someone’s cosplay because they are dressed up as your favorite character or from a favorite anime series.
In conclusion, TaiyouCon had so much packed in such a small amount of time for three days, but it was packed full of anime nerdiness and lots of good, clean, anime fun.
-Carl Rodriguez of Kamen Duelist Cosplay