The new year for conventions was kicked off locally by the 2017 Taiyou Con held at the Mesa Convention Center over the weekend. Attendees flowed in and out of the venue, in what was a rather jovial event to start off the year.
The three-day event boasted dozens of vendors and panels throughout, with its prime focus being on anime. Guests included popular voice actors Akemi Kanda (Negima!), Clifford Chapin (Attack on Titan), and Yuko Sanpei (Eureka Seven). Popular Youtube content creators Mega64 were also in attendance, creating a bit of a break in the anime-heavy guest roster.
Taiyou Con also hosted returning musical guests Lotus Juice and Shihoko Hirata, alongside DJ Teddyloid, a newcomer to the convention. The trio performed a concert on Friday night that showcased an interesting mix of Japanese pop, hip-hop and electronic dance music that appeared to be a hit with attendees.
The vendor hall itself was packed with a good balance of artists and merchandise purveyors this time around. Areas for concessions and taking a break seemed to be smaller, but attendees appeared to favor the outdoor greenbelt area, anime viewing, or gaming rooms for taking a load off instead. While it never seemed to be overly packed in the venue, the convention did have a good flow of people, with slight delays in registration pick up and purchases appearing on Saturday.
The musical guests and their accompanying concert were an absolute home run for it this year, but it would be nice to see more newcomers on that front for the next event. The consistent quality of the convention is still great, and it likely has a few more years to come before it outgrows its convention center space. Overall Taiyou Con remains a fun anime-driven event that is just the right amount of excitement to kick off a new year with.
Check out our slideshow of the event below: