Menu Close

Hall Cosplay


Have you ever wanted to compete in the Mainstage Cosplay contest but you get shy in front of an audience and want to run away?  Invest lots of time and money into a cosplay you are very proud of and want to show it off? Then this contest is made just for you! The newest addition to AnimeIowa’s cosplay competition line-up, our Hall Cosplay contest is based solely on your craftsmanship abilities.

Participants need only arrive at our Hall Cosplay panel on Friday evening in costume and with references in hand. Judging will take place on a first come, first serve basis, so be sure to come early. If we have many participants, late arrivals may not be judged before the end of the contest.

The winners will be announced during the Mainstage Cosplay awards ceremony. Cannot attend the Mainstage Cosplay on Saturday and you won? No problem! You can pick up your award on Sunday in Cosplay Central!

Class Divisions

Youth – All participants under the age of 13 will compete here.  All youth participants must be accompanied by a registered adult at all times.

Novice –  Participants with minimal or no cosplay experience will compete here.  This includes participants who have won 0 major awards and 0-3 minor awards.

Journeyman –  Participants with moderate cosplay experience will compete here.  This includes participants who have won 1-3 major awards or 4 or more minor awards.

Master – Participants with extensive cosplay experience will compete here.  This includes participants who have won 4 or more major awards and all participants with professional qualifications (ie: professional seamstresses).

*Major awards: Best in Class (Novice, Journeyman, Master), Best Workmanship, Best in Show

*Minor awards: Judges’ Choice, Best Prop, Best Wig, Runner-up, Best Performance, etc.

*Groups must compete in the division appropriate for their most experienced member.

*Any entry may be moved to another division at the discretion of the Judges or Cosplay Head.

*If you are uncertain which division to enter, the Cosplay staff can assist you.  Please contact us by emailing or speak with us at the contest.

Cosplay Qualifications

The following may not be worn for craftsmanship competition: wholly purchased costumes without significant modifications, rented costumes, commissioned costumes entered by the purchaser without the creator, or costumes that have already won at AnimeIowa in previous years.

*Commissions may be entered by the creator with the purchaser as a model.  However, the creator must be present at craftsmanship judging and any craftsmanship awards will go to the creator, not the model.

*If your costume has won awards at other conventions, it may be entered at AnimeIowa in the next highest division.  If it was awarded Best Master, Best Craftsmanship, or Best in Show, it may only be reentered in the Master division with significant modifications.

*Costumes entered in the Mainstage Cosplay or Cosplay Photo contests are not allowed in the Hall Cosplay contest.


During your judging slot, please explain key points regarding your costume and prop construction, materials choice, wig styling, etc.  The judges will then ask any additional questions they feel necessary to understand your work.  Please remember to bring any reference and/or progress photos you need.  We will not be able to look them up for you during your judging.

*Groups will be judged as one singular entry regardless of how many members they have.

General Contest Rules

  1. All Cosplay participants must be registered attendees of the AnimeIowa convention.
  2. Participation in this event is open to all attendees, including staff assuming their duties allow. Cosplay staff is not permitted to compete.
  3. Youth participants must be accompanied by a responsible, registered adult at all times.
  4. All AnimeIowa Weapons Policy and General Convention rules apply.
  5. All judges’ decisions are final.