Costume Contests




Are you a passionate fan and want to show off your devotion to your favorite characters? Has your thespian heart been yearning for a moment in the limelight after being stuck at home for so long? Ready to debut that one-of-a-kind costume you've been working on for months? Register for one of our costume contests for a chance to earn some recognition and sweet prizes in the process!


All contestants must have a valid Weekend Pass or one day pass for each of the days they are participating in cosplay events. Contestants may pre-register online before the convention or register at the convention on a first-come, first-served basis. Cosplayers are highly encouraged to pre-register to guarantee a spot in a contest! Cosplayers must check in before each contest’s specified deadline. Registration and check in are done at the Cosplay Desk.


Located on the Main Events Stage

Saturday Craftsmanship Competition

If you are a talented seamstress or fabricator aching to show off your latest build, this is the contest for you! Our Saturday Craftsmanship competition is intended for cosplayers of all skill levels to enter their handmade costumes. From ballgowns to armors, fursuits to mechas, cosplayers of all stripes from all genres are celebrated on this stage! Sign up for the Craftsmanship contest here!

All contestants must enter with a costume that is majority self-made to be eligible to win. Official, fanmade, found-item, and original designs are all eligible for entry. Store-bought and commissioned costumes are strictly prohibited, however they are welcome in our Sunday Runway Madness show. There will be a limit of 60 contestants. 40 spots are open for pre-registration.


Check in and Prejudging: Check in is all day Friday and Saturday before 4:00 PM. Contestants will be assigned a prejudging time upon check in. Contestants must check in and complete prejudging to participate.

  • Prejudging will occur between 10AM and 4PM Saturday, November 11th.
  • Contestants must bring at least one reference image of the character being portrayed.
  • Printed images are highly preferred, however digital media will also be accepted.
  • Contestants must bring at least one photo or video showing them working on the costume.
  • Contestants may have a model wear the costume, but the creator must be present at prejudging and be present to receive awards.

Judging Categories: During prejudging judges will evaluate each entry according to skill level and group size. Judges will ask contestants questions about the construction Judges reserve the right to place a contestant up or down skill categories during pre-judging.

  • Youth: Contestant is 13 years of age and under. The child must be the primary designer and creator of the costume. Parents are required to accompany children during the contest.
  • Novice: Contestant has never won any craftsmanship awards. Entry must be at least 60% selfmade to be eligible for a craftsmanship award.
  • Journeyman: Contestant has either (1) won Best in Show once, (2) won up to 3 minor craftsmanship awards, or (3) demonstrated a significant degree of skill. Entry must be at least 75% selfmade to be eligible for a craftsmanship award.
  • Master: Contestant has either (1) won Best in Show twice, (2) won 4 or more minor craftsmanship awards, or (3) demonstrated mastery of their skills. Must be at least 90% selfmade to be eligible for a craftsmanship award.
  • Groups will be placed in the category of the most advanced member.

Awards & Prizes: Contestants may win craftsmanship awards for the following categories:

  • Best in Show
  • Nicholas Gargaro Memorial Award
  • Best Master
  • Best Journeyman
  • Best Novice
  • Best Group
  • Best Youth
  • Best Prop
  • Judges awards

All Cosplay entries will receive a badge ribbon. Additional awards may be available!

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

Don't forget to check out our Cosplay judges on our Guest Page


Sunday Runway Madness Show

Crave a chance to walk the stage and strut your stuff? Come and show us your best catwalk and strike your most dramatic Jojo poses on the runway! This costume will run in two parts. The first half will consist of all our contestants each strutting down the runway for a chance to charm the crowd. In the second half, the top 16 entries will be chosen by the judges based on audience reactions and placed into brackets to compete head to head. Each round will have a unique challenge for contestants to perform (i.e. taunts, victory poses, dancing etc.) and crowd reaction will determine the victor. Can you capture your audience’s hearts? Be cute, be cool and be memorable. Get the crowd interested as they are your key to victory!

This event is open to all costumes! Individual and duo entries only. Groups larger than 2 will not be permitted. There will be a limit of 30 contestants. 20 spots will be open for pre-registration. Sign in here!

Check in: Check in is Sunday up to one hour before the contest. No pre-screening, no prejudging.

Awards & Prizes: This year's prizes are still being determined,



Failure to comply with the following restrictions may result in disqualification from any and all contests at this year’s Anime Iwai.
  1. Props must comply with Anime Iwai’s weapons policy.
  2. Costumes and performances must be in good taste. No nudity or offensive language will be permitted.
  3. No unruly behavior is permitted 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.
  4. The use of fire, 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.
  5. We ask that all contestants display good sportsmanship to each other and the judges.
This year we not only have contests but Group photoshoot spots for you to schedule! Want to let other cosplayers get in a big Bleach Photo with you?  Or see the latest Final Fantasy cosplays all in one place?  Maybe a pokemon gathering or Demon Slayer your choices are the limit! We've picked 5 fantastic locations for large groups to get together and pose! Check out our official group photo shoot locations. Sign up here today to reserve your day and time frame.. Locations will be assigned according to time.