Contest Rules


Registration for the Anime Matsuri 2017 Cosplay Contests begins on November 1, 2016 and closes on March 4, 2017, or when all slots are filled up. All audio/video media for the Contest is due on March 4, 2017.

There will be a total of 50 entries; 40 entries will be taken via online submission and 10 entries will be reserved for at-con sign-up. Once the spots fill up online registration will close and a waiting list will be created.

Contest Rules


  • As participants in the contest are representatives of the community, positive behavior is expected. Any kind of harassment, including harassment on social media or improper conduct, will not be tolerated and will be grounds for dismissal from the convention as well as possible criminal charges.
  • The maximum number of participants allowed in a group is 8; this number includes stage ninjas or other non-competing helpers.
  • Changes to entries need to be emailed to If you wish to change the entire entry, including series and/or characters, please submit a new entry and send an email to communicating the change in entry. No changes will be accepted after March 4, 2017, midnight CST.


  • All genres of costume are allowed, however original costumes are not allowed. Each costume must have an original source (e.g. movie, tv show, manga, video game, etc.).
  • All costumes must be at least 75% made or altered by the contestants themselves. If a contestant has help or has commissioned part of their costume the person must be present during pre-judging to have that part of the costume count towards their overall score.
  • No costume can have won a major (Best of) award at any convention or recognized event prior to AM; in addition, professional or industry personnel are restricted from entering. If you have any questions about this please contact us at

Stage Presentation

  • Contestants will be given 2 minutes for stage presentation. While there is some leeway with time, if a contestant grossly disregards the time limit it will result in disqualification.
  • Performances must be PG: offensive language and/or vulgar performances are not allowed.
  • Dancing is only allowed if the choreography is completely original (no Hare Hare Yukai, Para-Para, etc.). Performances that include those dances or songs within are accepted as long as they are not the main concept.
  • Contestants must move at 3/4 speed for all combat and action sequences. Stunts must be approved by the Cosplay Staff.
  • Nothing is to be left on the stage after the performance including, but not limited to, glitter, confetti, and streamers. Liquids and pyrotechnics are not allowed.


NOTE CHANGE TO PRE-JUDGING: All pre-judging will occur Friday April 7th; there will be not be any pre-judging on Saturday.

Contestants must have their costumes with them for pre-judging. It is highly recommended that the full costume is worn, however this is not a requirement.

Pre-judging will take place during two time slots on Friday: one in the early afternoon and one in the evening. Exact times for pre-judging are TBD.  Each entry will be assigned a time of 5 minutes to meet with the judges for craftsmanship evaluation. Your time slot will be confirmed and emailed to the primary contact’s email approximately 2 weeks prior to the convention. Printed reference images and a WIP book for the judges are strongly encouraged, but is not required. If you are late or miss your assigned pre-judging time we cannot guarantee there will be another time available.

Media Requirements and Due Dates

DUE DATE: March 4, 2017, midnight CST

Required Items

  • Profile picture for the program guide and display
  • 750 x 500 pixels
  • This photo does not need to be of the costume you will compete in. We ask that you submit a picture of high quality that does not have any text overlay.
  • Backdrop for the screen on stage
  • 1920×1080 pixels minimum
  • Acceptable formats for the backdrop include MP3, avi, mp4, and jpeg.
  • You must own the licensing rights or have permission if it is copy-righted material.
  • If you are using a video you do not need to submit a backdrop.
  • Audio or Video
  • Video only: 1920×1080 pixels minimum
  • You must own the licensing rights or have permission if it is copy-righted material.
  • No longer than 2 minutes
  • Reference Picture

Naming Your Files

Replace ‘YourCosplayName’ with the pseudonym you submit with your entry.






For large files that cannot be emailed please use Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive etc. and include the link in an email. Please note that submissions from YouTube and Soundcloud are not accepted.

All materials that will be used during the contest must be submitted by the deadline; failure to do so will result in your entry being dropped from the contest. If the submitted media is not to specification, convention staff reserve the right to replace the media with appropriate ones.



The novice category is intended for cosplayers with little or no prior experience making costumes and/or people with little to no contest experience. No contestant can have won a major award (i.e. Best Craftsmanship, Best Performance, Best in category, etc.) at previous conventions and enter the novice division.


The intermediate category is intended for people with some experience making costumes and/or contest experience or having a few awards for costumes. No contestant can have won more than two major awards (i.e. Best Craftsmanship, Best Performance, Best in category, etc.) at previous conventions and enter the intermediate division.


The Advanced category is intended for people with much experience in making costumes and/or contest experience or have won three or more major awards (i.e. Best Craftsmanship, Best Performance, Best in category, etc.) for costumes; however, anyone may register for this division.


Best in Show

Second Place Overall

Best Advanced

Advanced  Second Place

Best Intermediate

Intermediate Second Place

Best Novice

Novice Second Place

Exemplary Prop

Exemplary Armor

Exemplary Sewing

Exemplary Wig

Exemplary Makeup

Exemplary Character Representation

Awards will be given through a point-based system. The scores of the highest contestants will be pulled for the top two awards, followed by the next highest scores in each division for awards #3-8. The Exemplary Awards will be given out regardless of score, but instead as a judge’s recognition of a particular element of the cosplay.

The judges will be using the following criteria to score:

  • Craftsmanship Pre-Judging:
  • Complexity: difficulty of design, materials used, and methods of construction
  • Execution: overall craftsmanship
  • Creativity: problem solving, uniqueness, details
  • Stage Presentation:
  • Physicality: embodiment of character, facial expressions, mood/feeling
  • Effectiveness: pacing/flow, theme, consistency, overall believability
  • Staging: use of space, blocking, and props/sets


If you have any questions or concerns that the rules do not answer for you, please e-mail and allow 24 hours for a response. Thank you for your efforts and good luck in the competition!

  • For a group, please fill group leader website/Facebook or group website/Facebook
  • A picture of you or group. You dont have to be in cosplay or in the costume you are competing in. For a group, it could be a collage of all or some of the group members. At least 750px x 500px please.
  • Select a time slot when you want to be prejudged. All prejudging takes place on Friday. We will do the best we can to accommodate the time slot you pick, but cannot guarantee it.
  • You must be pre-registered to submit this application
  • Paste link here
  • How you want your character to be introduced on stage
  • To be displayed on the LED Wall as a backdrop during your performance on stage. Must be 1920 by 1080 pixels image in jpg format. No text on image. IMPORTANT: name the file 'your cosplay name".jpg Example: M1 cosplay.jpg
  • Must be mp3 format and good quality. Name the file 'your cosplay name".mp3 Example: M1 cosplay.mp3
    By submitting this form, I have read and understand the rules completely, and acknowledge that violation of these rules can and will result in my immediate disqualification from the Cosplay Contest. EVERYONE REGISTERING FOR THE COSPLAY CONTEST MUST BE PRE-REGISTERED FOR THE CONVENTION. Please email cosplay(at)animematsuri(dot)com and ask for details.