Cosplay Contest Rules

Check back for possible revisions for 2014

Anime Blast Chattanooga wants to honor the dedication fans put into bringing their favorite characters to life with our 2013 Costume Contest. We accept all genres of fandom from anime, movies, TV, video games, etc. both from eastern and western origins.

Applications must be submitted in person. They may be picked up at registration all day Friday and submitted Saturday starting at 9am. They will be available between the hours of 9am-12:30pm Saturday outside the judging room. Space is limited and is on a strictly first come first served basis.

Judging is between 10am-1pm Saturday. 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 from 5pm-6pm Saturday. You must arrive at 4:30pm outside the Main Events room for line-up.

Everyone participating in Anime Blast Chattanooga Costume Contest must have a badge. Their costumes and props must adhere to Anime Blast’s rules and weapons policy. To be eligible for an award you must participate in the showcase.

Anyone who is found cheating or misrepresenting work they claim to be their own will be disqualified. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Participants who are unruly will also be disqualified.

A contestant may have another person model their costume, but the contestant must be present for judging. 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 have made 90% or more of their costume.

This is a craftsmanship competition. Areas the judges will be considering (but not limited to): accuracy, craftsmanship, quality of materials and durability.  The judges reserve the right to move a Novice or Journeyman up a level at their discretion.

The Fan Art category has been specifically created to farther celebrate the diversity of our cosplayers. It is for contestants who have created a costume for their characters that is not necessarily cannon to their characters series, but nevertheless worthy of acknowledgement for all the hard work that goes into crafting of it. Examples of this category are: fem version of a male character or vice versa, humanized versions of an animal character, formal wear version of a character’s costume, crossover designs, and pre-existing fan art designs created by another person/third party. Participants in this category must still adhere to the 60% rule.

We are adding a new category this year for contestants who have not sewn 60% of their own costume. We want to acknowledge the work and dedication that fans take to embody their favorite character and for that reason we are adding the “Lookalike” category. Contestants must still fill out the application form and bring a reference photo. They will not have to participate in the judging. Instead when they drop off their paperwork and a staff member will take a photograph of the contestant in costume. They will be judged on the overall look of their costume and not on craftsmanship. Limited to one entry per contestant in this category, and the contestant is not eligible to compete in any other category. Space for this category is limited.

Another new category we are adding this year is Original Design. The category is for lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, steam punk etc. who have created 60% or more of their costume. While a participant’s costume may not necessarily be of a pre-existing character, no less effort, time and skill go into creating these costumes and we want to acknowledge that.

Reference pictures are required. Work in progress pictures are not required but strongly recommended. If you are competing in Lookalike, Group/Pair, Novice, Journeyman or Masters, the reference pictures cannot be of fan art. If you are competing in the Fan Art category, you will need an official picture of the character (this is to help the judges if they are not familiar with your character), along with your fan art reference. Original Design contestants do not have to bring a reference photo but progress pictures are strongly recommended.

Contestants who have large or complicated costumes are allowed to have one handler backstage and/or onstage, but no one else will be allowed backstage without prior approval.


  • Exhibition
    • The Exhibition category is intended 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.
  • Lookalike
    • Lookalike category is for participants who have either created less than 60% of their costume or have purchased/commissioned it.
  • Fan Art
    • Fan Art category is for contestants of all skill levels who out have created a costume for their characters that is not cannon to the series.
  • Original Design
    • The Original Design category is intended for contestants of all skill levels who have created a costume that is of their own original creation and is not of an existing character.
  • Group/Pair
    • The Group/Pair category is intended for two or more contestants of any skill level. The costumes must be from the same fandom.
  • Novice
    • The Novice category 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.
  • Journeyman
    • The Journeyman category 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.
  • Master
    • The Master category is intended for skilled costumers with lots of experience and several awards.
    • Anyone who wishes to join this level may do so.

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