Mainstage Cosplay is one of the highlights of Anime Iowa. You’ll have the opportunity to present your Cosplay as a Model or as part of a Skit complete with lights and sound in front of a live audience! Read the rules below, and check the bottom of the page for sign-up! Also be sure to check out the Cosplay Board on the forums.
Mainstage Cosplay Rules
Mainstage Cosplay has two components Workmanship and Presentation. You are not required to have your entry judged for workmanship, but you may find it an interesting learning experience. However, to qualify for Overall Best in Show one must enter for craftsmanship as well as performance.
Mainstage Cosplay competition division is as follows and here are some people who fit into the category:
- Youth – Under 13
- Novice – No Cosplay awards and/or one of your first Cosplays
- Experienced – Several Cosplay presentations and/or have won a Cosplay award
- Master – Many Cosplay presentations and Cosplay awards would also include professional qualifications
- Exhibition – This class is for those who do not wish to compete but still want to show off their hard work. Any entry in this division is ineligible for awards.
The max time allowed for exhibition skits is 120 seconds. This is not a chance to get around the time limit, merely a chance to display your cosplay without the pressure of competing, or if you have a cosplay that is not made by you that you wish to display. The other rules for appearing on stage still apply to the exhibition category. You may choose a skit or a walk on piece. Walk on exhibition pieces will be of a fashion show nature. Walk on, strike a few poses, and come off. During this time, Mainstage staff will provide music for these pieces only. For skits, audio must be provided in advance!
If you are uncertain which division your entry should be in the Cosplay staff can assist you. Please note that the cosplay judges/staff can move you up or down a category at their discretion.
Please record all audio for your presentation. No live mics are available for use on stage. Spoken dialog will not be heard by the audience. Edit your music and/or audio to meet the time limit. If you need assistance with sound recording or editing contact the Cosplay staff at firstname.lastname@example.org You are to edit and record your own audio in advance. Mainstage staff may not be able to help editing at con, and we do not have audio recording equipment available. However, you are always free to ask for help, just note that our time is limited and we may not be able to solve all problems. For lack of audio there will be general music provided. This music may or may not fit the tone of your cosplay, so we encourage people to bring their own. We are only supplying entrants with music, no audio recordings will be available. Please provide music and audio in mp3 format. It is suggested to have more than one form of holding this information (IE: CD, thumb drive, SD card, ect) in case of technical difficulties. All audio must be provided to Mainstage Cosplay no later than 2pm on Saturday, otherwise we will use default audio.
There is a 90 second presentation time limit for skits and performance. The tech crew will halt the audio and bring down the lights after the time limit. In rare circumstances an entry maybe granted special permission to exceed the time limit. The maximum extension is 30 seconds. Any extension must be approved in advance by the Cosplay Director. Any help shortening or finding areas to shorten the audio can be brought to the cosplay staff at email@example.com. We will do our best to help you and will also look at content.
For Workmanship Judging in Green room:
- 30 seconds to explain your piece / what you made
- 30 seconds for the judge to look over your piece
- 60 seconds for a questioning period for the judges to understand your process
Please try and keep your speaking time under the 30 second time limit. We need our judges to be able to move quickly from contestant to contestant, and if you spend too much time talking, they wont be able to give you the proper time to look over your cosplay carefully. You are not being judged on how long you talk, rather how well you present the piece. Therefore, keeping things short and sweet can even help you!
Mainstage Cosplay Contest Rules
- NO GLOMPING at all… ever. ‘Nuff said. It’s dangerous.
- All Cosplay participants must be registered attendees of the AnimeIowa convention. This event is open to all members including staff assuming your duties allow. If you volunteer regularly, please let the person you are volunteering know when you have to be let go to participate.
- Presentations may not exceed their designated time limit. The Tech crew has explicit instructions to cut lights and sound at thirty seconds for workmanship and ninety seconds for performance. Plan ahead. If you need assistance with editing your music/sound contact the Cosplay staff prior to noon on Saturday.
- NO blatant nudity. This event is rated PG-13. Please use some discretion with your character, props and presentation content. (~A helpful hint is to use skin tone leotards and such to keep everything covered.~)
- The following may not be worn for competition: wholly purchased costumes without significant modifications, rented costumes or entries that have been previous winners at AnimeIowa. These may be entered on stage in the Exhibition Category but will not be eligible for awards.
- Youth participants must be accompanied by a responsible paid adult member at all times.
- Your entry must be finished before you get to the Green Room. No sewing, gluing, spray painting, welding, or other construction work is allowed back stage. However, final assembly of large pieces and/or props and unexpected repairs will be allowed. There will wig workshop spaces for hair malfunctions, however the AnimeIowa staff are not always able to help. Also, participants cannot show up in Cosplay central to create a cosplay entirely out of our supplies. The supplies are limited and we would like to be able to provide them for all attendees.
- Cosplay Central does have some emergency repair supplies and the Cosplay Staff may be available to help with emergencies or damage repair. AnimeIowa does not supply participants with any of the following: makeup, makeup applicators and/or removers, paint, etc. Please come to the convention with everything you need to complete and/or assemble your cosplay.
- Participants will be required to sign a liability release and a limited release for use of video and photo images. This will be posted later, and we will inform you of when this is available.
- For safety reasons, the following are not allowed:
- Live animals
- Substances which might damage or soil
- Aerosol sprays
- No pyrotechnics will be allowed including but not limited to: fire, flash powder, explosives, smoke bombs or fireworks.
- Entries that could potentially damage the Convention Center facilities, other participants or the wearer will not be allowed.
- Illegal weapons of any kind are not allowed.
Legal real or prop weapons used as part of the costume are allowed with restrictions. You are expected to act responsibly with your weapon. The Green Room is not the place to practice your presentation’s sword play! You may be asked to check your weapon in to our Props Master prior to the start of the Cosplay if we deem the weapon potentially dangerous to your fellow participants. If you decide to carry a weapon, by signing your registration form, you accept any legal and financial responsibility for damage your weapon may cause to persons or property. Normal AnimeIowa Weapons Policy rules apply. Don’t be a Dink!
Entries with electric power requirements need to be self-contained. There will be no access to electrical outlets on stage.
Participants who want to use special effects in their presentations (i.e. strobe lights, fog, etc.) must notify the Cosplay Director no later than 2 pm Saturday. The Cosplay Director has the right to deny requests for special effects due to safety concerns and building regulations. Do not plan your presentation around unapproved special effects!
Surprise the audience, not the Cosplay staff. If you are planning something completely different, let us know well in advance. All information will be held in the strictest confidence.
- Smoking is not allowed in the Convention Center. Contestants who leave the building for a smoke break may lose their turn to appear on stage. You will be kept up to date on when you are up to go on stage, so plan accordingly.
- All judge’s decisions are final.
- The Cosplay Director has the right to eliminate any entry from the competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience, building or yourself. Violation of any of the above rules, or any other reason deemed sufficient.
We have never had to eliminate anyone yet, so let’s keep it that way!
- There will be a required meeting for all groups. As many people should be able to attend but AT LEAST one person per group MUST attend in order to be able to enter. The time of this panel will be determined and posted at a later time. If no one in your group absolutely CANNOT make it to one of two available panels, then you must talk to the staff by 2pm on Saturday to get that information so you are not out of the loop. During this panel, there will be information on how things will be run during the show, rules and guidelines for being in the green room, and other pertinent information. After going through the important information, there may be time to ask the cosplay staff questions, or get advice on your piece be your fellow cosplayers or the cosplay staff! It is highly recommended if we have time to get your questions answered or ask our advice, as the group who won Best Skit in 2012 used our advice!
- Any large set pieces like tables and chairs can be requested and to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have descriptions because we would like to help you in any way possible. However, requests such as these must be made BEFORE con. We cannot take last minute requests of this nature at con. We thank you for understanding.
If there is anything that isn’t covered in this please don’t hesitate to message myself or email email@example.com. Hope to see you there!
To qualify for Best in Show, you have to enter both performance AND craftsmanship! You cant very well be overall if you aren’t competing in all are you?
There will be two informational panels. You or at least one person in your group MUST enter one. Times of the panels will be announced soon
Other than that, things will be mostly run how they have been in previous years. However, craftsmanship judging will take place DURING the competition. This is in an effort to streamline the process and keep things short and sweet.