Costume Contests

Rise Craftsmanship Contest Winners

Costume Contests at Anime Iwai: Orbit

Already planning on wearing your hand-made Donyatsu/Tokyo Ghoul crossplay mashup costume to Anime Iwai: Rise? Register for one of our costume contests for a chance to earn some recognition and sweet prizes in the process!

Saturday Craftsmanship Competition


All contestants must have a valid Saturday or Weekend Pass to compete.

The costume contest is limited to 80 contestants!

  • 50 openings will be reserved for those who preregister online using the button below.
  • An additional 30 openings will be available at the con and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Competitors are encouraged to preregister online in order to guarantee a spot in the contest.


Contestants will be assigned a prejudging time when they check in at the Cosplay Desk. Online and on-site entries may check in Friday or by 2:00 PM on Saturday and must complete pre-judging to be eligible for the contest.

During the pre-judging portion of the event, judges will inspect each costume and inquire as to how they were designed and created.

Costumes from all genres (video game, comic book, anime, movies, television, etc.) are permitted entry. Mashups and original designs are also allowed. The majority of your costume must be homemade, although found item costumes and modified items are acceptable. However, all costumes (homemade and store bought) are welcome in our Sunday Runway Madness Show.

Contestants must bring a reference photo of the character they are portraying. Printed or digital (phone/tablet) is acceptable. You must also provide progress pictures of you making the costume to be eligible for craftsmanship awards. You may have a model wear your costume, but the creator must be present at prejudging.

Pre-judging will occur between 9AM and 3PM Saturday, November 10.


Props must comply with Anime Iwai’s weapons policy.

Costumes and actions on stage must be in good taste. No nudity, offensive language, or unruly behavior is permitted.

While on stage, jumping, flipping, running, throwing items into the audience or any movements that could compromise the safety of any contestants or spectators is prohibited. Any of these actions will result in automatic disqualification from the contest.

The use of fire, glitter, liquids, or any other objects that will cause a mess are prohibited. Leaving any portion of a costume on stage will result in automatic disqualification from the contest.

We ask that all contestants display good sportsmanship to each other and the judges.

Judging Categories

Youth - individual or group consisting of children 13 years of age and under. The designer and the primary constructor of the costume must be 13 years of age or younger. Parents are required to accompany children during the contest.

Novice: No craftsmanship awards.

Journeyman: 1 to 3 craftsmanship awards

Master: 4 or more craftsmanship awards.

Groups will be placed in the category of the most advanced member


Athel Artistry

When not a full-time seamstress, Athel enjoys the finer things in life--like cosplay and dad jokes. Her journey began at Otakon 2003, and though her parents assumed it was a high school phase....15 years of making nerdy costumes has invited many wonderful opportunities.

Athel's resume includes: judging for World Cosplay Summit USA in 2015, multiple publications in the Japanese cosplay magazine CosMode, and finalist in the Her Universe Fashion Show at San Diego Comic Con in 2016 and 2018. 

Follow Athel on Instagram: @athel_artistry.

9 Lives Armory

Videogame addict turned fabricator bringing her favorite characters to life!

Michelle is a self taught fabricator with a knack for biting off more than she can chew.  Specialties lie in armor, props and kitty smushing.  Best known for her Kayle from League of Legends, featured in Tribeca Games 'The Craft and the Creative of League of Legends'.


A Computer Animation Major from Kent State, Nara started cosplaying by having a focus on prop building in 2006. Since then, she has invested and taught herself in the arts of sewing, leather working, LED lighting, special effects makeup, embroidery, casting, and armor sculpting to further her skills in costuming.

She has taken awards at Colossalcon, Ohayocon, WizardWorld Columbus, and last year was Anime Iwai: Rise's "Best in Show". Currently based out of Orlando, her portfolio work notably includes doing alterations for Paramount Pictures to making Storm Troopers and Sith Lords for the opening of Disney Shanghai in Hong Kong, China.


This year's prizes are still being determined, but they will be provided by our glorious sponsors.


  • Best in Show: A Sparmax Airbrush prize package including everything you need to upgrade your costuming tool kit, including paints!

The following awards will also receive various prizes form our sponsors:

  • Best Master
  • Best Journeyman
  • Best Novice
  • Best Group
  • Best Youth
  • Best Prop
  • Best Look-a-Like
  • Fan Favorite
  • Chairman’s Award


Runway Madness Winners

Sunday Runway Madness Show

Who can compete?

All contestants must have a valid Sunday or Weekend Pass to compete.

Participation is limited to only 30 spots! Make sure to sign up online (20 spots are available in advance) or on site Friday or Saturday at the cosplay desk. Participation is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This event is open to all costumes. Handmade and store bought are both accepted.

Individual and pair entries only: no groups are permitted in this contest.

What to expect:

This is a runway style contest, which means no prejudging. Everyone must show up to check in 30 minutes before the event to participate.

All contestants will have a chance to walk the stage and make an impression. Our judges will pick the top 16 based on audience reaction to continue to finals. Be cute, be cool and be memorable. Get the crowd interested, they are your key to victory!

The 16 finalists will be placed randomly into brackets and compete head to head. Each round will have a unique challenge to perform. (i.e. taunts, victory poses, dancing etc.) and crowd reaction will determine the victor.


Best in Show and First Runner Up will be determined by the audience.

Three additional contestants will win a judges favorite award.