ToshoCON Convention held in West JordanOct 12, 2023 03:09PM ● By Peri Kinder
Hundreds of teens attended the two-day ToshoCON event at the Viridian Event Center to celebrate anime culture. (City Journals)
Hundreds of teen anime fans descended on the West Jordan Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 West) on Sept. 15 and 16 to participate in the 11th ToshoCON event. The convention is a realm where passionate fans bring their favorite characters to life through intricate cosplay and gaming.
Hosted by the Salt Lake County Library, ToshoCON featured teen-led panel discussions, vendors, teen-owned businesses, K-pop random dances, food trucks, anime music videos, comic and art contests. Nearly 1,000 teens attended the free convention to engage with fellow anime enthusiasts through karaoke, comedy improv and scavenger hunts.
“We want to create a welcoming environment where kids can be themselves,” said Marissa Hodges, public relations coordinator for the Salt Lake County Library. “This is a chance for them to interact with other fans…Teens who don’t even know each other are now interacting because they see similar characters, so they interact with each other because they recognize the other character, otherwise, they would have never spoken to that other teen. It gives them a chance to really connect.”
In July, the library made a call for submissions for the art, comic cosplay and anime music video contest. Teams worked all summer long to present their creations at ToshoCON. The following winners were announced during the awards ceremony at the convention. For teen privacy, names have been limited to initials/preferred names.
Art category. Black and White Beginner, Childhood Wonder by E.M.; Black and White Intermediate, Hobie Brown by clickerbee; Color Beginner, They Grow Up So Fast by E.W.; Color Intermediate, Joestar Locker by Z.B.; Mixed Beginner, Sofie’s Painting by Yuki_Rie#8414; Mixed Intermediate, Don’t Cry Homura by Koala Guy.
The winner for best anime video was The Legend of Zelda by M.N. and the comic winner was Piper and the Pest by A.I. The beginner cosplay award went to Taylor as “The Voidfish aka Fisher” and the intermediate cosplay prize went to Lori for “Xie Lian.”
Best cosplay skit was awarded to Dex for “Gumi.” Cosplay People’s Choice went to BreeAsha as “Ranboo” and Deborah & Evelyn were given the cosplay craftsmanship award for “The Drop Twins.”
To see the award-winning entries, visit slcolibrary.org/toshocon/contest-winners.
Sam Lemley, 18, attended the event for the first time this year. Her friends convinced her to join them and she had a great time.
“I love interacting with others who like similar things,” Lemley said. “I love hanging out with my friends and cosplaying with them, and it’s just fun.” λ