Zenkaikon Anime Convention, Lancaster, PA

April 25-27, 2014, Lancaster County Convention Center

Hall Cosplay Contest

The Hall Cosplay Contest is about craftsmanship – a participant’s ability to accurately recreate a character. Participants do not have to act “in character”. Judges will only be interested in knowing how well the costume is made. They will be looking for items like clean seams and straight hems, wig styling, accessory and prop creation, and the various crafting skills used. Judges may ask questions about how costume parts were made, but the participant should be ready to explain the how, what, and why of their costume’s construction.

This is a separate cosplay event from performing a skit in the Masquerade.

All costumes and props are subject to the Zenkaikon Convention Policies.

Hall Cosplay Contest judging is a closed event. Only the participants -- designers and models, parents/guardians of participating minors (under the age of 13), and others deemed acceptable by Zenkaikon Cosplay staff, may be present for judging.

Judging will be on a first come basis until judging times end or enough participants are lined up for judging to fill the remaining time.

There will be judging on both Friday and Saturday of the convention.

All Saturday participants are required to participate in a “Fashion Show” walk-on at the Masquerade on Saturday evening to show off their handiwork. The “Fashion Show” is optional for Friday participants. Friday participants should mark on the entry form if they will be participating in the “Fashion Show”. Participating in the "Fashion Show" requires attending the Masquerade and being seated in the audience.

Any participant who does not follow the rules of the competition, misses line up times, or does not follow the instructions of cosplay staff during the event, may be disqualified at the discretion of the Head of Cosplay



  1. Participants may not enter a costume in the Hall Cosplay Contest that they did not make. It is expected that participants are the primary creator of the costume and make at least 75% of it. Youth participants can be expected to have received help with their costumes, however, the youth participant must have had a hand in its construction. If the major part that makes it a costume is purchased (e.g. You are Edward Elric and you made the pants, shirt, and wig, but purchased your cloak, or have created a costume from a “kit”), it cannot be entered.
  2. If the costume has ever won a “Best of” award or placed (ie. 1st, 2nd, 3rd), at any convention, it may not be entered in our competition.
  3. Reference material is required. Even if a character is popular or well-known, reference material is needed in order to judge for accuracy. Lack of reference will greatly affect scoring, as not every judge has knowledge of every detail of every character. Quality printouts of screencaps and official images of characters, and artbook images are acceptable. Please include images that show front, back, and sides to demonstrate details of your costume. Not every character will have such images available, but the more shown to the judges, the better they can analyze the costume. Progress pictures of construction work may also help, but remember that judging time is very limited and the judges do not have the time to look through pages upon pages of reference.
  4. All costumes and props are subject to the Zenkaikon Convention Policies.
  5. Participants may have models to display their costumes. However, the primary creator must be present to explain their creations, and only the creator will be eligible for any awards for those costumes. No more than five (5) models/costumes may be presented.
  6. Groups are welcome to be judged together but no more than five (5) participants may be in any given group.
  7. Staged falls, as well as smoke, pyrotechnics, glitter, or other special effects that will leave a mess behind are prohibited. This rule also applies to the “Fashion Show” and Masquerade, for the safety of all entrants.
  8. Craftsmanship entries must be from official asian and sci-fi sources such as anime and other sci-fi and fantasy animation, manga, artbooks, comic books, video games and live-action sources (e.g. Star Wars, Serenity, and Battlestar Galactica).
  9. Original character entries from sources such as role-playing campaigns, unpublished manga, fanart, or original art (ie. ginjinka designs) are not permitted. Other original characters/designs/costumes are more than welcome to participate in the Masquerade skit, but cannot be entered for craftsmanship judging.
  10. Participants’ costumes must allow them freedom of movement. Cosplay staff will be unable to assist entrants with their costumes. For the “Fashion Show”, entrants must be able to navigate stairs and move across the stage unassisted.
  11. The number and types of awards presented are at the discretion of Zenkaikon Cosplay Staff and the Head of Cosplay.

Entrants will be judged according to Skill Level. The skill levels for judging are as follows:


  • This is the category for those under 13 years old. Participants in this category will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This includes groups that are majority youth.
  • Though it is expected that youth entries will have assistance, it is assumed that the work entered is still mostly created by the youth entrant. If the work is wholly created by a parent/guardian, a relative, or an older sibling, the entry should be entered in the appropriate Skill Level under the actual creater.


  • Professional costumers may not enter in the Novice division.
  • A contestant who has competed and won in any division other than Novice may not enter as a Novice.
  • A contestant who has won 3 or more major awards in the Novice division must enter in a higher division.


  • Professional costumers may not enter in the Journeyman division.
  • A contestant who has competed and won in the Craftsman division may not enter as a Journeyman.
  • A contestant who has won 3 or more major awards in the Journeyman division must enter in the Craftsman division.


  • Any contestant may enter the Craftsman division.


  • Professional costumer is defined as someone who makes over 50% of their income through costume making or commissions.
  • Major awards are defined as “Best in Show”, “Best of Division”, “Best of Day” or placement (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
  • Minor awards are defined as those such as Honorable Mention, Judge’s Awards, and those not covered under Major awards. They do not affect skill level placement.


If, after reading the above, you are still uncertain about what level you belong to, or if you have any questions, please use the contact form and select “Cosplay” as the category.