I always really appreciate Taiyou Con being so close to the beginning of the year. It gives the weekend a refreshing, rejuvenated vibe throughout the convention, and this year was no different! It was easy to tell everyone was working hard behind the scenes to make sure the attendees were enjoying themselves and that the convention ran smoothly. Another year well done!
Getting my badge was a breeze and I was in very quickly after that. Taiyou also does a very good job with selecting panels and creating a schedule to ensure there’s always something interesting for attendees to pop into. One of my favorite panels was The Ghibli Alternative, which showcased other Japanese animated movies that weren’t from Studio Ghibli. Thanks to the cry-o-meter they included, I know which movies I want to try and how many boxes of tissue I should have on hand.
I also had time to go to the Sumuji maid café and as always, all the maids and butlers were so sunny and happy. I felt relaxed and content being there while they played games with us and as the maids did some adorable dances. I enjoyed the free to sit style they had this time instead of having to get tickets ahead of time. I think that alone helped made the environment more inviting.
The Nikko style festival was also very welcoming as well. Every attendee receiving currency to play games with their badge really sealed the deal on having an open environment. There was also a stage to where you could sign up for a dance in advance, but there was always some sort of entertainment to keep the event lively. Even if someone or a group didn’t sign up in advance, whoever was on stage wanted crowd interaction and you could tell the people not on stage were having just as much fun as the people on stage. The food trucks throughout the whole weekend were wonderful as well. I ended up using food from the takoyaki and donut trucks as props in my cosplay photo shoots. Delicious props are better than none!
I boasted last year about how well run the masquerade was, but this year I think was even better than the year before. Good growth shows that time and effort is put to keep this going and improving. While waiting in line to be seated and even with the rain coming, staff kept us up to date about the seating situation and when we could be let in. Not only that, the staff was constantly thanking us for our patience and you could tell they were being genuine rather than saying it just to say it.
The seating arrangements for both the attendees and the contestants were vastly improved from the previous year as well. Having all the information for each masquerade entry like last year was such a nice touch. Also, playing Chocolate Covered Cosplay’s documentary while we waited for their masquerade decisions along with Team Fuu was a great way to pass the time. This really showcased their mission statement for cosplay. They also explain their reasoning when they gave out some of their awards as well.
Immediately following the masquerade came the Dobutsu Lounge which was Marvel vs. Capcom themed this year. The person who sat next to me got lucky and won one of the raffle prizes which was the poster of the event with the all the girls’ signatures on it. I love the art so much and I was jealous! The costumes the girls and guys wore were great. That along with lots of entertainment provided by the staff, you could tell everyone was working hard to put on a good time for us. The time flew by and I couldn’t believe it was over when it ended, it felt like it was just starting!
I look forward to seeing how Taiyou will grow next year since it will be its ten year anniversary. I still can’t believe it’s already been around that long. I’m excited to see all the changes and additions in the coming year. Maybe more gachapon machines in the vendor hall again, not that my wallet needs that. Congratulations on another year well done, Taiyou Con!