- All participants must have an Anime USA (AUSA) member badge (this includes Associate, Dealer, Press, and other specialty badges). Members of AUSA staff are ineligible to compete in the Cosplay Masquerade.
- All performance skits must register in order to participate:
- Pre-registration will be available online
- At-con registration, available on Friday and early Saturday will be limited to remaining slots available for Masquerade.
- All slots are first come, first serve.
- Any contact information, such as names, emails, and phone numbers will be kept in confidence and not be shared beyond Masquerade Staff.
- Each participate may only appear in one skit. You cannot prop or stage ninja for other skits.
- Skits have a limit of 10 people on stage.
- All pre-registered groups must check in at Cosplay Ops during check-in times to confirm your entry and appointments. Failure to do so will result in forfeiting your spot for rehearsal and the performing at the Masquerade.
- Any group that has made their own costumes are allowed to participate in Craftsmanship Judging for Masquerade. Please see rules below.
- Those judging for Craftsmanship at the Masquerade may not compete for Saturday Hall Cosplay, but may judge for Friday Hall Cosplay.
Skit Performance Requirements
All skit presenters must fill the following requirements in order to participate in the Anime USA Masquerade:
- Pre-recorded audio in the form of an MP3 to be delivered via online submission before con, OR on a USB stick during check-in.
- USB Note: We will be holding onto any USB stick given at check-in until the end of rehearsal
- Note: Some songs have been banned from use at the Anime USA Masquerade. You will be notified if you attempt to use one and will be asked to change it.
- Microphones will no longer be provided at the Masquerade for attendees to use in their skits. All audio MUST be pre-recorded. No exceptions.
- Time Limits are as follows:
- 1-2 People: 3 Minutes Max
- 3-5 People: 5 Minutes Max
- 6+ People: 6 Minutes Max
- Skits that have won a previous award at another convention or event are ineligible to compete.
- Skits that have performed at another convention or event that have yet to win an award are eligible to compete. However, any skit performed more than 3 times is considered ‘trolling’ and is incredibly frowned upon by the Anime USA Cosplay staff.
- Saturday rehearsal is mandatory for all entries. Missing rehearsal results in immediate forfeit and the skit will be removed from the Masquerade docket. Skit participants are not required to be in costume for rehearsal, and requires only half of the available group.
- At least one member of group must be in costume during performance. Anime USA accepts all genres of cosplay for our Cosplay Masquerade. This includes western animation and live-action series (examples include Dr. Who, DC Comics, and Marvel) as well as the traditional form of eastern animation (Japanese anime, j-pop, manga, video games… etc.) Original characters either based off a series or from an original story do not count towards this rule. If you are unsure if your character is allowed, please contact email@example.com.
- Performances and costumes must be at a PG-13 level due to young children and families in the audience. No explicit sexual gestures, nudity, or explicit swearing will be allowed.
- No live steel or firearms. All weapons and props must follow the Anime USA guidelines as well as local state laws. If you are unsure, please bring it to Cosplay Ops or a Convention Safety staffer.
- No fireworks, pyrotechnics, or anything that involves live fire.
- No electrical outlets or extension cords will be provided. Anything that runs off of electricity must be battery powered.
- What goes on stage must come off. This means no leftover materials such as toilet paper, tissues, rice, water, flower petals, confetti, etc will be allowed.
- No advanced stage acrobatics or intense martial arts. The stage is portable and cannot take heavy abuse via high jumps or stomps. Your safety and the safety of others is paramount over ‘flare’ that could be performed on a more stable stage.
Any group found breaking any limitation rule during rehearsal will be removed from the Masquerade docket and not be allowed to perform.
- Craftsmanship Judging is done by appointment before Masquerade. Appointments are made during check-in.
- Any group who have one or more members that has made more than 70% of the costume can participate in craftsmanship judging.
- Costumes that have won any major awards at any convention for craftsmanship are not eligible for craftsmanship judging.
- All entries are strongly encouraged to bring reference material for their costume(s). While we will not turn away entries that do not bring reference material, the absence of reference material could greatly affect your final score. Not all judges know all characters, so it is in everyone’s best interest to bring a color picture (or several) if at all possible. The reference should depict the details of the costume you are presenting.
- Craftsmanship entry is mandatory in order to qualify for ‘Best in Show.’
Entries are separated into these categories:
- A contestant who has yet to compete.
- A contestant who has 0-2 major awards* for craftsmanship or performance in the Novice Division.
- Minor awards** for craftsmanship or performance may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer.
- The following people cannot enter Novice Division:
- Professional costumers
- A contestant who won a major award* in Journeyman or Master Class
- A Novice who has won ‘Best Overall Novice’, ‘Best in Show’, or ‘Best of Weekend’ at another competition
- A contestant who has won at least three major awards* for craftsmanship or performance in the Novice Division.
- A contestant who has won at least one major award* for craftsmanship or performance in the Journeyman Category.
- The following people cannot enter Journeyman Division
- Professional costumers
- A contestant who won a major award* for craftsmanship or performance in Master Class
- A Journeyman who has won ‘Best Overall Journeyman’, ‘Best in Show’ or ‘Best of Weekend’ at another competition.
- A contestant who has won at five or more major awards* for craftsmanship or performance in Novice or Journeyman.
- A contestant who has won one or more major award* for craftsmanship or performance in the Master’s Category.
- The following people cannot enter Master Division
- Professional costumers.
*Major Awards include: Best Overall, Best of Division, Best in Show, First Place, Second Place, Third Place, etc
**Minor Awards include: Judge’s Choice, Honorable Mention, etc.
Contestants are allowed to jump up classes if they believe they are capable of competing at that level. A novice with no awards under their belt can compete as Masters if they wish. However: Once you have placed at a higher level, you can no longer go down.
Group entries’ appropriate category is determined by the participant with the highest ranked award
- Example: A group of three consists of a novice participant with zero major awards, another novice participant with two major awards in novice, and a journeyman participant with one major award in journeyman. The group will be registered as Journeyman class.
- Example: A group of four consists of two novice participants with zero major awards, a journeyman participant with two major awards in journeyman, and a master participant with one major award in masters. The group will be registered as Master class.
Anime USA believes that performance skill does not inherently reflect craftsmanship skill and vise versa. Therefore, we separate our divisions for those participating in both Performance and Craftsmanship judging, and allow groups to hold different competition divisions for the Masquerade.
- Performance only rewards relate to performance division.
- Craftsmanship only awards (including Hall Cosplay) only relate to craftsmanship division.
- Combined awards, such as Best of Show or Best Overall Class, relate to both craftsmanship and performance divisions.
- The Cosplay Department Coordinator and the Cosplay Department Co-Coordinator has the full authority to request a change to a costume for any reason. Refusal to make the requested change will disqualify the person or group from the competition.
- The Cosplay Department Coordinator and the Cosplay Department Co-Coordinator has the full authority to remove a contestant and their entry for any reason. Those who challenge this decision may face blacklisting from future Anime USA cosplay competitions.
- All decisions of the Cosplay Department Coordinator and the Cosplay Department Co-Coordinator are final.
Ready to Participate?
Once you’ve read all the rules and regulations above, click the button below to start your application.