If you're a major fan of anime (a.k.a. Japanese animation), you probably were at Taiyou Con out in Mesa this past weekend. Ditto for anyone who happens to be into manga, shonen, imported video games, J-pop, or otaku culture, as such things are the focus of the annual convention out in Mesa.
That said, Taiyou Con tends to attract a significant number of geeks of every stripe each year, regardless of what their particular fandom might be. It's why you'll see a smattering of Stormtroopers and Time Lords mixing in with the usual assortment of Gokus, Pikachus, and Afro Samurais.
See also: Taiyou Con 2015 in Photos
As with any anime event (or geek gathering in general) cosplay is most definitely king at Taiyou Con with a majority of the attendees dressed as some of their favorite characters. Like the event itself, a large part of the cosplay was inspired by anime, manga, video games, or similar ephemera, although there was plenty of gaijin culture represented by those in costume.
We paid a visit to this year's Taiyou Con, its biggest to date, checked out some of the costuming on display, and assembled a visual rundown of some of our favorite cosplayers.
And carry a big chainsaw
It wouldn't be an anime convention without at least one Sailor Moon in attendance.
Vega from Street Fighter II keeps his friends close.
Under the Sea
SpongeBob SquarePants superheroes Barnacle Boy and Mermaid Man make an appearance at Taiyou Con.
...for giving Michael Warlick of Phoenix the inspiration for his mashup of Sora from Kingdom Hearts with the POTUS.
Snake! Snake! Snakes!
Metal Gear's Big Boss (a.k.a. Old Snake) and his progeny.
Cody Geno of Chandler as Luigi and Shannon Murphy as Mario.
She definitely nailed her rendition of the Warhammer of Zillyhoo from the web comic Homestuck.
South (Park) by Southwest
Guess someone killed Kenny (you bastard!)
The Lizard Queen
Lady Charizard visits Taiyou Con.
Made in the Shades
Geek meets chic.
Yup, Tokyo Ghoul is kind of an eerie character.
Hugh Know It
Chandler resident Mason Reiter mashed up two of Hugh Jackman's most famous roles -- Wolverine and Jean Valjean -- to create this amusing mashup.
They're armed to the teeth.
Mermaid to Order
This version of Ariel came with her own transportation.
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Uh-oh...looks like Mario's got some competition.