*Please note: You will only need one set of costumes for the WCS USA Finals (which will become your Championship costumes in Japan). The event in Japan will require at least 3 additional costumes supplementary to your Championship costume. A 4th additional costume is recommended but not required.
While the Anime Expo Masquerade and World Cosplay Summit USA Finals are held during the same time, they are separate events with separate rules, regulations, and requirements. Due to the popularity of both events, Contestants may not enter to compete in both under any circumstance. Anyone found to have entered both events may have an opportunity to choose one if there are available slots or may be disqualified.
The World Cosplay Summit is an incredible event which pushes American cosplayers to create their best works for craft and performance. We understand the pressure, however, World Cosplay Summit USA has zero-tolerance for any form of harassment or bullying and will suspend any teams engaging in this behavior.
One team of two cosplayers will represent each country or region.
In order to participate in a preliminary round event, cosplayers must have proof of citizenship or permanent residency of the country or region holding the event. In the case of a nation where over 50% of residents are foreigners the following rules also apply entries for the preliminary event:
1) have the right of permanent residence in the country or region concerned
2) are born in the country or region concerned
Please contact the WCS USA Staff if you have any questions regarding national representation qualifications.
The WCS USA may implement restrictions on the participation of former WCS USA representatives, by prohibiting them from entering their national preliminary round from 1 to 2 years if deemed necessary. This may also apply to cosplayers who change partners. The rule is subject to change based on country and region.
For the WCS USA, Teams who have represent as WCS Team USA must wait a full calendar year before applying to participate again. The same rules apply for Judges of the WCS USA Finals held at Anime Expo. The only exemption for these rules are judges for Preliminary rounds. Their only limitation is that they may not judge a Preliminary round and participate in the WCS USA Finals of that same year.
Examples: Team USA 2020 may apply for WCS USA Finals in 2022. Judges of the WCS USA Finals in 2021 may apply for WCS USA Finals in 2023. Preliminary round judges at a 2020 Preliminary may apply to a Preliminary or directly to the WCS USA Finals in 2021.
Please note: As the WCS USA is offset by one year, teams selected in 2020 will represent in 2021.
The costumes worn during the World Cosplay Summit must be from Japanese anime, manga, tokusatsu and video games.
* Dojinshi and unique characters from live action movies or stage productions based on anime or manga are not permitted. (i.e. Dragon Ball Evolution etc.)
* When doing a costume from a video game or anime based on a comic series, the character must be of Japanese origin.
(i.e. no Disney or Star Wars characters even though the game may be made in Japan or Batman Ninja even if the animation is produced in Japan)
During the World Cosplay Summit events ( WCS Championship, Parade and media appearances), cosplay costumes should be hand-made by the contestants themselves. Commercially available cosplay costumes are not allowed in the WCS Championship costumes but may be used in the Parade and media appearances (but highly discouraged).
* It is permissible to a very limited extent for family and friends to help with costumes (but it is preferable that costumes are hand-made by the contestants themselves.)
Contestants are required to cover the costs of overweight luggage or extra suitcase costs. YOU MAY NOT SHIP ITEMS TO JAPAN AHEAD OF THE WCS CHAMPIONSHIP. All costumes must travel with you via plane to Japan. You may ship items home from Japan after the Championship concludes.
You must be able to come to Japan for up to 11 days during the World Cosplay Summit.
You should be aged 18 and over at the time of the WCS USA Finals competition.
You should cooperate in a positive manner in order to ensure the success of the World Cosplay Summit and WCS USA Finals.
Media such as TV programs, Internet homepages, newspapers, magazines, etc., may use your pictures and images of the preliminary contests prior to the World Cosplay Summit. On these occasions, compensation will not be furnished.
Image rights in all media exposure such as news from TV programs and other assorted media involved with the World Cosplay Summit, promotional activities in the print media as well as events and performances, announcements of the Cosplay Summit both prior to the Summit and during your stay in Japan, will be attributed to World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee.
After the World Cosplay Summit has finished, images/footage of cosplayers, photographs, programs broadcast, internet homepages and DVDs etc., come under the jurisdiction of World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee. Compensation will not be furnished for such images used by the media.
Please send the documents and sound file at latest one month before the date of the WCSUS USA Finals.
* Material for submission:
These items will be requested of teams participating in the WCS USA Finals at Anime Expo. The schedule for these items to be submitted will be sent out after teams are selected for the WCS USA Finals at Anime Expo.
*Images of the characters (wearing the same costumes to be worn in the championship)
*Information on the large props (size, dimensions, and number to be placed on stage)
*Music sound file (MP3, etc.) Background movie (MOV, AVI, WMV files only)
**please remember you must self produce the background video and any dialogue. You may not use any copy written images or footage in your background video or use the official Japanese voice actors of any anime in your dialogue.
Please send any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org ! We are happy to answer any questions that may come up.
All clothes, handheld props (including weapons) and especially stage settings should be handmade. Using commercially available items such as replica swords is, in principle, forbidden. If used, they will not be included in the “Small Props” section during the costume judging.
Take all safety precautions with stage weapons and props. Should the WCS USA Representative judge that a prop used in the performance is a danger to the audience (i.e. slip from hands and cause injury to audience members) the WCS USA Representative may prohibit the use of that prop. Please confirm with WCS USA if you have questions regarding the safety of your props or set pieces.
All equipment, costumes and props for the WCSUS USA Finals performance are limited to a maximum weight of 88.18 pounds COMBINED for both performers. Please report the weight of each item with the other material in A-13.
Each large props or set piece to be set on stage before the WCS USA Finals performance begins are limited to a maximum weight of 22 pounds. Prop dimensions are limited to 6.8 feet in height, 6.8 feet in width and 2.95 feet in depth.
All large props or set pieces to be set on stage are limited to a maximum of 3 items.
It is not permitted to directly copy original drawings, logos or graphic art to your equipment or props. Any video footage used MAY NOT be from the original Intellectual Property and must be produced and generated by the competing team.
Please prepare your own music for your performance. A performance sheet stating what you will perform is to be submitted in advance. The use of voice actor’s voices from original works in your music is prohibited. Please send your music in sound file form.
We recommend using your native language for recorded dialogue for your performance. Teams proceeding to Japan will have access to translation services before and in Japan.
It is recommended that the performance at the WCS USA Final be the same as the performance for the Championship in Japan HOWEVER it is not required. Teams who have qualified to become WCS Team USA will be required to inform the WCS USA Staff if they would like to change their Championship performance. This decision will be at the discretion of the WCS USA Staff.
Strictly adhere to the time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Stage staff will set the maximum 3 stage props or set pieces before your performance and remove them after your performance.
There will be up to 40 seconds to make the necessary changes before the next group begins.
The 3 props on stage will not be subject to evaluation by the judges.
Only the 2 members of each team and 1 assistant are permitted to enter the backstage area of the WCS USA Finals. Teams and their assistant will sign a waiver and receive credentials from WCS USA Staff or AX Masquerade staff before the day of Finals.
The organizer and WCS USA staff or any other person is not permitted to help you during your performance on stage. (Members of the stage staff will be available to help you set up props and sets on stage and remove them at the end of your performance)
It is possible to scatter things onstage during your performance, but staining, marking or damaging the stage in any way is prohibited. Anything that takes time to clean up on stage or would hinder the following performance is also not allowed. (See B-16 for what cannot be used)
It is prohibited to take your performance into the audience area.
Special effects, etc. produced using the following materials are not allowed.
The following materials are prohibited:
-Powder, small metallic confetti (Lamé)
-Fire (smoke), water
-Crackers using gunpowder.
-Paper confetti smaller than 2cm
Paper confetti larger than 2cm can be used. (Limited to a maximum of 100 pieces, includes flower petals and feathers scattered on stage)
* The WCS USA Staff will stop any performance that it deems dangerous or a hindrance to stage conversion. When planning any special stage effects please consult WCS USA Staff in advance.
Although special effects using the following items are possible, only those using WCS USA Staff approved equipment will be allowed.
PLEASE BE SURE TO CONSULT WCS USA STAFF TO BE SURE YOUR SPECIAL EFFECTS ARE ALLOWED
* Since Japanese Law restricts laser light output for safety reasons, only those machines specified by the WCS USA Staff are allowed. If you wish to use a laser light please consult with the WCS USA Staff in advance.
Performance order is decided by lottery. Every performer will be taking part in the lottery with the same chances of placement.
* Once decided by lottery, the order cannot be changed unless there is urgent medical necessity.