Final Fantasy XV was popular as ever, with this Noct reeling in a catch.

Taiyou Con 2018 in photos

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Final Fantasy XV cosplayers listen to Robbie Daymond discuss playing Prompto in the game.

Taiyou Con 2018 took place over the weekend at the Mesa Convention Center, officially kicking off the convention schedule in Arizona. The event saw various anime voice actors and Youtube celebrities in attendance, but appeared to be far more relaxed in comparison to years past.

Noted anime and video game voice actors such as Toshio Furukawa, , Robbie Daymond, Shino Kakinuma, and many more were in attendance over the three-day weekend. The popular Youtube video-game/comedy group Mega64 also made an appearance, hosting a panel and interacting with fans at the convention.

Vendors had a lot of space in comparison to the artist alley aisles.

The event lacked notable musical guests this time around, and there were no concerts on the agenda. However, various variety dancing shows, masquerades, lounges, and creative panels such as “Bob Ross Mario Paint” managed to fill in the gaps fairly easily. Attendees also frequented the AZHP Gaming room over the weekend in between scheduled entertainment.

Numerous artists populated the vendor hall this year, which seems fairly close to needing a space upgrade. While offerings were plentiful, the aisles were cramped for the artist alley in particular. If Taiyou Con is to remain in the Mesa Convention Center for another year, it could benefit greatly from expanding or reorganizing the vendor space to allow for better aisle flow.

A welcome addition to the event was the presence of food trucks, which added far more choice for attendees outside of the on-site cafe offerings. Ramen and boba tea were particularly smart choices for featured trucks, since they furthered the feel and spirit of the Taiyou convention.

Overall Taiyou Con was a very calm beginning to the new year. While it was more subdued this time around, attendees appeared to be in good spirits and enjoyed the much more intimate nature of the event. Hopefully Taiyou Con comes back strong in 2019, especially with musical guests that were missed this year.

Check out our photos below from the event and see if we captured you!

Here and there ...

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Christen Bejar
Christen Bejar is a freelance gaming writer who started the local blog The Pause Button while studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For Nerdvana, Bejar reviews video games and also previews, recaps and photographs many local events from a gamer's perspective.