This Friday at the Mesa Convention Center, Taiyou Con kicks off the 2016 convention year. Anime is growing in popularity in Arizona and Taiyou Con is providing fans access to some of the most popular names in the industry. You have to have been living under a rock for the past decade to not of heard of Dragon Ball Z, one of the most successful and long running anime series world wide. Attending the con are two of the voice actors of the American dub, Sean Schemmel (who voices Goku) and Christopher Sabat (who voices Vegeta and Piccolo). Dragon Ball Z still has a huge following and these are two guests that are sure to draw a crowd. The third big guest for Taiyou goes by the name of Kappei Yamaguchi and is a Japanese voice actor who has voiced many iconic characters in different anime series such as Inuyasha and Ranma. It’s one of his few American appearances and his first to Arizona. More guests are appearing this weekend that represent cosplay, music, and voice acting. For a smaller con, Taiyou has a pretty big guest lineup.

– Programming offers a little something for everyone plenty of fan panels covering a wide array of anime, cosplay, and video game topics. Besides the main panels featuring the guests, the highlights of the programming schedule is the concert series vol. 2 featuring Japanese artist Lotus Juice, along with Mega Ran and Banshee Beat as well as the masquerade which will feature some of the top cosplay in the state. For the full programming schedule, you can check it out here.

– Taiyou Con features the normal exhibit hall but whats a little unique to this one is that it is made up of mostly out of state vendors. You’ll see a few familiar vendors you see at other local cons but this is a chance to find some merchandise you don’t see here in town very often.

– I wrote up a food guide for Comic and Media Expo, which was held at the same location, and it still applies here. If food a is major part of you con experience, you can find out what is close with this guide.

– Speaking of other cons that are held in the same building, almost all of them have registration in the same spot. Taiyou has its registration in the back of the convention center, near the walk way between the Marriott and the convention center so keep that in mind when arriving. On a side note about the Marriott, programming is held at the hotel as well.

I’ll be around most of the weekend so feel free to tweet me if you want to say hi at the con. See you guys this weekend and enjoy Taiyou!