You won’t have to wait long to attend your first con of 2017 as Taiyou Con brings the gift of anime to the new year. This guide should hopefully cover every important topic about attending the 7th annual anime convention.
When and Where: January 6 – 8 at the Mesa Convention Center. Taiyou Con plans on bringing three days of anime, music, and Japanese pop culture to Downtown Mesa.
Registration: Full event badges are currently available right here for $45 until Jan 1st. Other badge options include the Premier Fan Badge which includes a host of perks and priority access to signings and events, this option is $250 and only a very small amount will be made available. Single day badges will only be available at the door (Friday – $35, Saturday – $35, Sunday – $30).
Guests: Taiyou Con is bringing a well rounded list of guests this year which include voice actors/seiyu such as Cliff Chapin (Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Fairy Tale, Black Butler), and Yuko Sanpei (Eureka Seven, IDOLM@STER series, Baruto: Naruto the Movie). Japanese performers including returning artists Lotus Juice and Shihoko Hirata who have both provided music to the Persona series. Joining them this year is Teddyloid has provided music to several anime and is one of the hottest guests in the anime con scene right now. More guests can be found at taiyoucon.com including the uber popular Mega64. Most guests will also be doing daily autograph signings and that schedule can be found here.
Vendor Hall: The vendor hall hosts vendors, artists, and even a cosplay set that can be enjoyed by all. The hours of the vendor hall for Friday are 2 PM – 8 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM, and Sunday 10 AM -4 PM.
Masquerade: The big event for Saturday is the annual masquerade where cosplayers compete in several different experience tiers for various awards such as the “Best In Show”. The event will actually be hosted by Mega64 who will also be participating in the intermission. Again, this is free with a Saturday or full event badge and starts at 7 PM.
Panels: Taiyou Con offers a wide range of panels put on by fans that encompass both the Mesa Convention Center and the neighboring Marriott Hotel. Panels will run late into the night and feature topics such cosplay, Final Fantasy XV, anime moms, and so much more. For the panel schedule grid, head on over here.
Concert: Friday night at Taiyou Con will be the place to be as Lotus Juice, Shihoko Hirata, and Teddyloid bring you what is sure to be an amazing concert. The concert is FREE with a Friday or full event badge. The doors for the event open at 6 PM Friday night with the concert kicking off at 6:45 PM.
Programming: VIP parties, gaming, maid cafes, game shows, and more will be taking place all weekend. Taiyou Con might not be the biggest con in town but they really offer a lot if you’re a fan of anime or Japanese pop culture. The previously linked panel schedule also includes all the special events taking place. For events such as cosplay gatherings, you can click here or the sunspot bazaar, click here.
Parking and Transportation: The Mesa Convention Center offers plenty of parking and best of all, it is FREE. The Metro Valley light rail also stops just a few down the street from the convention and it is within walking distance.
Food: You can find several food options this year which includes a sports bar just behind the convention center, a restaurant at the Marriott that will be open to only Taiyou attendees as well as a few food trucks that should be at the convention center through out the weekend.