Cosplay Contest Rules
Anime Blast Chattanooga wants to honor the dedication fans put into bringing their favorite characters to life with our 2017 Costume Contest. We accept all genres of fandom from anime, movies, TV, video games, etc. both of eastern and western origins.
Times and Location
- Application may be submitted online until November 8th at the following link:
- The weekend of the Convention applications must be submitted in person starting Saturday at 10am and continue till 2:30 pm outside the judging room. Space is limited and is on a strictly first come first served basis.
- Judging is between is 11am Saturday morning until 3:00pm Saturday afternoon. When you submit your application, you will be assigned a time slot. You must arrive on time for judging or risk being dropped as a contestant. You must have your paperwork with you.
- The costume showcase is at 6:30pm Saturday evening. You must arrive at 6pm outside the Main Events room for line-up.
- To be eligible for an award you must participate in the showcase.
- Everyone participating in Anime Blast Chattanooga Costume Contest must have a badge.
- Costumes and props must adhere to Anime Blast’s rules and weapons policy.
- Contestants who wish to compete must have made a 60% or more of their costume. It is acceptable for contestants at Novice and Journeyman Levels to include some bought items, but it is expected that they be altered significantly from their original state. Contestants competing at Masters Level should strive for 80% or more of their costume being handcrafted.
- The Closet Cosplay category is for anyone who has bought, commissioned or made less than 60% of their costume. They will be judged on the overall look of their costume, how closely they resemble their character, and not on craftsmanship. Limited to one entry per contestant in this category. Also, the contestant is not eligible to compete in any other category. Contestants must also fill out the application form and submit a reference photo either online or on Saturday during the registration time.
- A contestant may have another person model their costume, but the contestant must be present for judging.
- Contestants who have large or complicated costumes or who are children are allowed to have one handler/parent backstage and onstage. No one else will be allowed backstage without prior approval.
- Anyone who is found cheating or misrepresenting work they claim to be their own will be disqualified.
- Contestants who have previously won a major award for a costume may not re-enter it unless pre-approved by the Cosplay Contest Director. Example: the contestant has won Best Novice at another convention and wishes to enter the Journeyman category at Anime Blast.
- This is not a skit competition. Contestants will not be allowed to act or say anything on stage. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Participants who are unruly will also be disqualified. Contestants will be briefed on appropriate stage etiquette during lineup.
- Areas the judges will be considering (but not limited to): accuracy, construction, choice and quality of materials, durability, and properly fitted/tailored garments. Please be prepared to have the judges examine and touch your costume and/or props.
- The judges reserve the right to move a Novice or Journeyman up a level at their discretion. They also reserve the right to move a contestant out of a group/duo and give that contestant an individual award or to give a group/duo one of the individual awards.
- Reference pictures are required. Work in progress pictures are not required but strongly recommended. The reference pictures cannot be of fan art unless you are competing in the Fan Art category. Original Design contestants do not have to bring a reference photo but progress pictures are strongly recommended.
- A contestant who wants to compete in one costume but wear another costume as Exhibition during the showcase may do so as long as they have notified the Cosplay Contest Staff prior to 12pm on the day of the contest.
- Any special accommodations or requests should be directed to the Cosplay Contest Director. If possible, accommodations will be made for those who need it.
Awards and Categories:
- The Exhibition category is for people who have purchased or commissioned their costume. Participants will be allowed to walk on stage in the showcase but will not be eligible for an award.
- Closet Cosplay category is for participants who have either created less than 60% of their costume or have purchased/commissioned it.
- There is a first, second and third prize available for contestants in this category.
- Areas the judges will be considering (but not limited to): attention to detail (hair style, makeup, clothing choice etc.), how in character the contestant is, and the overall quality of the contestant costume/props.
- For children under the age of 15. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- There are craftsmanship and not-craftsmanship awards available for all children who enter.
Fan Art or Original Design
- This award is for contestants of all skill levels who have created a costume for their character that is not canonical to the series or is of their own original design.
- Examples of Fan Art: formal wear version of a character’s costume, crossover designs, and pre-existing fan art designs created by another person/third party.
- Examples of Original Design: fantasy, sci-fi, and steam punk inspired creations.
- Participants in this category must still adhere to the 60% rule.
Prop or Armor
- The Best Prop or Armor will be award to a contestant who exhibits superior craftsmanship in prop and/or armor making.
- The rest of the costume must still abide by the 60% rule (some leniency will be given here since prop making is a different set of skill from sewing.)
- Must be the corresponding costume for the prop.
- The Group/Pair award is intended for two or more contestants of any skill level. The costumes must be from the same fandom.
- This award is for contestants who have shown exceptional skill in wig styling and/or makeup & special effects makeup
- Each judge will award a contestant that is their personal favorite.
- The Novice award is intended for costumers with little to no prior experience making costumes.
- Must not have won “Best Novice” or a title of that same caliber or above at any other costume competition.
- The Journeyman award is intended for people with some experience making costumes or who have a few awards for costumes.
- Must not have won “Best Journeyman” or a title of that same caliber or above at any other costume competition more than 3 times.
- The Master award is intended for skilled costumers with lots of experience and several awards.
- Anyone who wishes to join this level may do so.