Masquerade Info

Information on the times and locations of cosplay registration and judging will be available as the convention date draws near.

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE A BADGE: Samuraicon requires that all participants have a valid badge prior to cosplay registration or check-in.

General Information

For those of you who have never competed in a cosplay contest before, you may be wondering how this is done. You will be going on stage to show off your costume, or going on stage to perform a skit for the audience. You are not required to perform a skit, but you are required to go on stage! Exceptions can be made, but please notify cosplay staff in advance.

Walk On: You will be going on stage for a few brief seconds, posing, and showing off your costume to the judges and audience. It’s a low-stress and fun way to participate in a cosplay contest. Think of it like a J-culture themed fashion runway show!

Performance (skits): You will be going up to do some sort of performance for the audience, whether you are acting or doing a choreographed dance. These take some time and planning to do, but they are a great experience! For more specifics on skits and performance rules, please check the skit rules! All skit audio MUST BE SUBMITTED prior to the convention!

When you register for the cosplay, you will be given a chance to choose how you will be going on stage!

ABOUT DIVISIONS

Everyone entering the cosplay contest is required to choose a division. A division is simply your placement and competition level. Here’s what each division entails:

NON-COMPETITION DIVISION

Exhibition: This division is intended only for people who wish to show off their costume on stage for fun but is not interested in competing for awards. Costumes for the Exhibition division include commissioned, store bought (such as eBay), rented, and/or borrowed costumes or closet cosplay (costumes made up of entirely existing/found parts with little to no modification).

In the Exhibition division, you will not be receiving any awards. Nor will your costume be judged for craftsmanship.

There will be a limited amount of slots available for this division.

Juniors (Ages 12 and under): This category is for those who are 12 and under. Any help you receive from friends or family to complete your costume is allowed!

COMPETITION DIVISIONS

The following divisions are for those who want to compete for awards with their costumes and/or performances.

Note: The Cosplay Staff has the right to place a competitor in an appropriate division at their discretion.

In order to compete at Samuraicon, your costumes must adhere to the following criteria:

Costumes must be of Japanese or East-Asian Origin, unless you are competing in the Western Division.
All costumes must have been made from scratch by the costume creator (Shoes and wigs do not need to be made from scratch, but we encourage modifying these items to fit your character!).
Commissioned costumes cannot be entered in the competition divisions. (You may enter in the Exhibition division instead)
No fanart costumes will be permitted. All costumes must be derived from the original source material/artist/creator.
Western Division: This division is intended for those who are competing in a non-Japanese/East-Asian costume. These costumes may include western video games, comic books, TV shows, webcomics such as Halo, Marvel/DC, Sherlock, Supernatural, Homestuck, Avatar: The Last Airbender, etc. PLEASE NO FANART! Only one award will be given in this category: Best Western Craftsmanship.

There will be a limited amount of slots available for this division.

Novice Division: This division is intended for those new to making their own costumes or performing on stage and has not competed much, if at all.

Criteria for Novice Division

No more than 1 major award won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best Of” awards and placed (2nd, 3rd) awards. Judges’ award and Honorable Mentions do not count as a major award.
Journeyman Division: This division is intended for those who are more experienced with creating their own costumes or performing on stage.

Criteria for Journeyman Division

No more than 2 major award won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best Of” awards and placed (2nd, 3rd) awards. Judges’ award and Honorable Mentions do not count as a major award.
Master Division: This division is intended for those who have adequate experience with creating their own costumes or performing on stage.

Criteria for Master Division

More than 3 major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best Of” awards and placed (2nd, 3rd) awards. Judges’ award and Honorable Mentions do not count as a major award.
AWARDS

Western:

Best Western Craftsmanship
The Cosplay Staff reserved the right to modify the award system at their discretion based on overall attendance.
Novice:

Best of Novice, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place in Craftsmanship and Performance will be awarded.
The Cosplay Staff reserves the right to modify the award system at their discretion based on overall attendance.
Journeyman:

Best of Journeyman, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place in Craftsmanship and Performance will be awarded.
The Cosplay Staff reserves the right to modify the award system at their discretion based on overall attendance.
Master:

Best of Master, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place in Craftsmanship and Performance will be awarded.
The Cosplay Staff reserves the right to modify the award system at their discretion based on overall attendance.
Best Overall Craftsmanship: This award will be given to the entrant(s) with the best craftsmanship. Best Overall Craftsmanship is considered to be a major award. Novice, Journeyman, and Master divisions are eligible for this award.

Best Overall Performance: This award will be given to the entrant(s) with the best performance. Best Overall Performance is considered to be a major award. Novice, Journeyman, and Master divisions are eligible for this award.

Judges Awards: All of the judges will be giving awards away to whomever they would like based on their own personal criteria. This is considered a minor award.

There will be no Best in Show. Participants may enter in both craftsmanship and performance and if the judges see that a group has both excellent craftsmanship and an excellent performance, they are eligible to win both Best Overall Craftsmanship and Performance.

ALL ABOUT COSTUME JUDGING

Remember that in order to have your costume judged for craftsmanship, you must enter for one of the competition divisions: Novice, Journeyman, or Master! We invite Juniors to enter the craftsmanship judging as well. It also must meet the criteria listed above!

Scheduling an appointment will be done via pre-reg. Cosplay Staff will request competitors to choose 3 preferred time slots on a first-come, first-serve basis. If all judging slots are filled prior to Samuraicon 2017, there will be no at-con registration.

Bring reference!: A reference is a picture of the character that you are cosplaying. Without a reference, we cannot accurately judge your costume for craftsmanship. It would be beneficial to your score to bring as much reference as possible, preferably as a color printout, but bringing figures, tablets, manga, books, laptops, etc., will also be accepted.
Be prepared to talk about your costume: Come in knowing what you want to say. Tell the judges everything about how you made your costume. Things you should talk about include fabric, construction methods, or any special methods you used to get around a problem in designing the costume. The judges will be there to help guide you in your costume judging.
The judges will look at your costume up close!: Judges will be inspecting the costume craftsmanship up close, if you feel at all uncomfortable at any time, please feel free to let the judges know!
Judging Appointments: There will be 72 judging appointments available. They will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis! We will give each entrant 5 minutes for the judging process as a guideline, but if you pass it, don’t worry. Generally, the time is spent half discussing your costume, and half looking at your costume up close.

SKIT/PERFORMANCE

All performance entries are subject to the following rules. Disregarding these rules may result in disqualification and/or you could be asked to leave the event.

Costumes and skits must be PG-13. If it’s appropriate for a PG-13 movie, it’s appropriate for the competition, but please keep in mind that there will be children in the audience. If you are unsure whether your skit is appropriate, please feel free to email the Cosplay Coordinators for feedback.
Skits must be no longer than 3 minutes in length. Skits that run on longer than 3 minutes (within reason) will be disqualified from any awards. For this reason, we encourage you to pre-record your skits unless it absolutely must be performed live (such as playing an instrument). You will be given 30 seconds in which to enter and set up, as well as 30 seconds to clean up and leave the stage.
No surprises! What you present to us during your pre-screening session is what we will see when you go on stage during the event. Any significant deviation from pre-screening to the live performance will result in immediate disqualification.
Objects and activities not permitted on stage: No live steel and firearms, incendiary devices (such as sparklers, firecrackers or smoke bombs). No throwing of objects will be permitted. If you hit the equipment or judges with thrown objects (ie, Pokeballs) you will be disqualified.
Reckless Behavior resulting in falling off stage, or breaking/damaging equipment (or nearly doing so) will result in disqualification. If you break something, you buy it. So please keep this in mind.
Member Limit: Your group can be as large as you’d like it to be, but no more than 5 people should be on stage at a time. If your group involves staged fighting, no more than 3 people should be on stage at any given time.
What goes on stage with you MUST come off stage as you leave.
MANDATORY PRE-SCREENING SESSIONS

Pre-screening will occur a couple of hours before the event is set to begin where a run-through will be given to all skit performances to allow tech crew a chance to learn your cues and to allow cosplay staff to evaluate your skit content, subject matter, and general length. Information on the time for pre-screening will be given as the convention date draws near.