The following rules are for the Online Video Competition Edition of World Cosplay Summit USA and World Cosplays Summit Championships for 2021. These rules differ slightly from the World Cosplay Summit USA Finals and Championship rules. Please carefully review both the Representative Regulations and Video Competition Rules and Regulations below. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to or via Facebook.


  1. One team of two cosplayers will represent each country or region.
  2. 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 for entries in the preliminary event:
    • a.) have the right of permanent residence in the country or region concerned
    • b.) be born in the country or region concerned
    • *Please contact your WCS national organizer for any questions regarding national representation qualifications.
  3. Participants shall be aged 18 and over.
  4. The announcement of the results of the World Cosplay Video Championship is scheduled on 8 August (Sunday) from 19:00 to 20:00 JST (10:00~11:00 UTC), and participants must be available for a live connection via Zoom at that time. Additionally, they are requested to cooperate in the event of further live appearances, which would be announced and arranged in advance.
  5. The organizers of the national preliminaries of each country and region are allowed to determine the method of selection of participants, including past representatives or those already selected to participate in 2022.
  6. The two members of the team must wear costumes belonging to the same Japanese manga, anime, video game, or tokusatsu work. Also, these must be hand-made by the contestants themselves.

* Characters from dôjinshi (fanzine), anthology works, or live-action adaptations of manga, anime or video game titles are not permitted.

* When doing a costume from a game, the character must be recognizably of Japanese origin. (i.e. not a Disney or Star Wars character even though the game may be made in Japan.)

* It is permissible to a limited extent for family and friends to help with costumes however it is preferable that costumes are hand-made by the contestants themselves.

Conditions for Representatives

  1. Representatives shall cooperate in a positive manner in order to ensure the success of the World Cosplay Summit.
  2. Media such as TV programs, internet sites, newspapers, magazines, etc., may use pictures of the representatives and images of the preliminary contests prior to the World Cosplay Summit. On these occasions, compensation will not be furnished.
  3. 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 World Cosplay Summit both prior to the Summit and during the stay of the representatives in Japan, will be attributed to World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee.
  4. After the World Cosplay Summit has finished, images/footage of cosplayers, photographs, programs broadcast, internet homepages and DVDs etc., come under the jurisdiction of the World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee. Compensation will not be furnished for such images used by the media. (Representatives are required to sign on the attached acceptance form regarding this matter.)

Rights of Representatives

  1. Representatives earn the right to be considered as past representatives (WCS alumni) in the World Cosplay Summit, being able to join the alumni group managed by the Executive Office and participate in programs addressed to them.
  2. The following prizes will be awarded in the World Cosplay Video Championship. In case that the received award includes secondary prizes provided by sponsors in addition to the commemorative items, these will be sent by mail to the winners at a later date. Also, there is the possibility that prizes other than those listed below shall be added.

Total Score & Prizing for Video Championship in Japan

1st prize (Grand Champion): Trophy, certificate of merit, commemorative items

  • Secondary/Additional prize: Participation as guest judges in the “World Cosplay Summit – Cosplay Championship” to be held in 2022, including return flight tickets for transportation to Japan

2nd prize: Trophy, certificate of merit, commemorative items

3rd prize: Trophy, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 1 (Costume making category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 2 (Prop making category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 3 (Visual directing category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 4 (Sound directing category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 5 (Best actor award): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 6 (Performance award, Dramatic category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 7 (Performance award, Action category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 8 (Performance award, Comedy category): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

Special prize 9 (Category for environmental consideration in costume making or filming): Placard, certificate of merit, commemorative items

* Prizes are expected to be shipped within 2021

■ Important Points Regarding Participation

  1. Besides respecting the Competition and Judging rules, the following points shall also be taken into consideration.
    • Participants are required to act in accordance with the measures for the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus established in each country or region while making their costumes, filming the footage for their entry, and producing the deliverables.
    • The measures established by national or regional authorities may be different depending on the concrete country or region, and therefore cannot be subject to comparative evaluation.
    • Participants are required to make their best efforts for the preservation of the filming environment.
    • In the case of filming on premises other than the private property of the members of the team, filming cannot be done without obtaining the corresponding permissions and authorizations. In case that evidence of the obtaining of such permissions exists, it shall be provided.
    • Additionally, any filming set or props must be properly dismantled and removed, avoiding any lasting damage to filming locations. In case that evidence of such cleaning work exists, it shall be provided.
    • The submission of this evidence, or lack thereof, shall not affect the overall earning of points however it can be used as a basis of judgment for the special prize of environmental consideration and the judging will take place amongst those teams which have submitted their evidence.
  2. As specified in the Competition and Judging rules, dangerous actions and ethically dubious content are not allowed. Additionally, the following deadlines for the submission of each of the deliverables must be respected.*
    • 23 June: Script, direction information, profile, costume information
    • 30 June: Character report, video explanation of the production of the costumes
    • 7 July: Entry for judging at the Championship, video resources, audio resources, list of persons cooperating in the production, introduction video
    • NOTE: The format and the contents of the aforementioned documents and other deliverables must conform to the formats provided by the Executive Office. Representatives are requested to cooperate in case that the submission of further documents other than those above is required, which would be announced from the Executive Office in advance.


  • The representatives of each country and region must be selected before 20 June, but in case that it is not possible to meet this deadline, it is permitted to select the representatives at a later date, provided that all the required deliverables are submitted before 12 July, the delay period counting from 7 July after which judging score would become zero. *
    • *Participants for the WCS USA will be selected after 20 June and arrangements have been made with WCS Inc. to collect the information of the winning team before 12 July.
  • It is assumed that the Executive Office can freely use the whole of the submitted data, such as costume construction reports and video recordings.


Basic Concept

  1. This shall be a competition of cosplay prowess in the spirit of the World Cosplay Summit, in which aspects such as the reproduction of the costumes of the characters are evaluated.
  2. Even in such cases in which performances include a high amount of original elements and reformulation from a subjective perspective, performances shall demonstrate respect for the original work, without departing from its original setting or disdaining it by means of an inconsiderate interpretation.
  3. The project shall be based on creative inspiration, and the judgment of the characters and the video entries should reflect high production values.

Judging Criteria

  1. Character Judging (50 points): Points are awarded according to the following three criteria related to the production of the main elements that express the character (costumes, hand props, etc.):
    • a.) Level of precision in the costumes (30 points): The costumes are evaluated by comparing the actual costumes with the design of the costumes in the original work. If the actual costumes are completely identical to the costumes in the original work, the full 30 points are awarded. If completely different, the lowest score of 0 points is given. In addition, in cases where there is an unknown party in a costume that appears in the original work, as long as the costume for judging is true to the spirit of the character and the atmosphere of the original work, design construction and choice of color are left up to the discretion of cosplayers, and differences between it and the image submitted of the costume in the original work will not affect scoring. (Ex: In black and white manga, it is not possible to know the correct color of costumes)
    • b.) Costume Quality (10 points): The costumes are evaluated according to multiple factors, such as how well the costume is combined, how well it suits the contestant*, how beautifully it is designed/sewn, etc. (*This is a judgment of how well the costume is fitted to the contestant, not a judgment of the body type of a contestant.)
    • c.) Technique (10 points): Evaluation of costume-making skills. Costumes that have been made by utilizing a variety of challenging techniques are scored more highly than those using a few basic skills. These criteria look more at the level of quality rather than the number of techniques employed. If any special techniques such as transformation or other mechanisms are used, the concepts will be evaluated here.
  1. Video Judging (100 points) Points are awarded for the produced video footage according to the following three criteria:
    • a.) Conception (45 points): The efficiency with which the representatives use the 2:30 minutes to create and edit the video scene. Does it utilize effective story composition which easily appeals to the viewers? Lastly, the quality of the scene composition and scene arrangement techniques utilized.
    • b.) Acting (45 points): An evaluation of the general impression of the movie, including the degree of accomplishment of singing, dancing, or other action elements in the performance and how well-rehearsed they appear, of the expressiveness of performers in scenes with simple or no action, or the delivery of dialogue.
    • c.) X factor (10 points): An additional evaluation from the individual viewpoint of each member of the jury regarding elements that cannot be measured within the criteria of points 1) and 2), such as how much the video features imaginative and original ideas that provide appeal and entertainment value, or how much it achieves in immersing the viewer in the story.

Scoring System

  1. The final placement result by the total score is decided on a scale of 150 points (total of 1. Costume Judging and 2. Video Judging). It is recommended to use the same system as a reference in the preliminary/qualifying rounds of each country and region as well.
  2. For the Costume Judging, organizers from each country or region will judge the costumes of the representative cosplayers from countries or regions other than their own. Each team's average (A) score for the Costume Judging (determined by the organizers) will be calculated without taking the maximum and minimum scores into account, and [(A) x number of video judges] will be added to the total score for the Video Judging.
  3. Should the final score for the Costume Judging and the Video Judging result in a tie, the ranking will be determined at the discretion of the judges of the Video Judging.

Judging Method

  1. Character (Costume, props, etc.) Judging
    • a.) In the Costume Judging, each judge evaluates the excellence of the representative cosplayer's handmade costume creation technique, design, or overall atmosphere. The more high-scoring results emerge during the judging, the more the judges will score by employing the 'score-adding method,' in calculating points.
    • b.) In order to enable the judging of the constituent elements that express the character (as explained in the Judging Criteria section), Costume Judging will take place with the contestants wearing/carrying all items - costumes, makeup, wigs, hand props, and other relevant materials. Props used as part of the background or items created with techniques such as animation or CG which are intended for the purpose of establishing a scene and improving the performance shall not be included in the costume judging.
    • c.) The character report, whose content must conform with the competition rules and be written in Japanese or English, as well as a presentation video explaining the costumes with a recommended duration of about 5 minutes and a maximum duration of 8 minutes, are to be submitted prior to the indicated submission deadline. There are no restrictions regarding the language used in the costume presentation video, but it must include subtitles in Japanese or English, or in both languages. In case the subtitles are only in Japanese or only in English, the Executive Office will add the subtitles in the other language, and therefore it is required to leave enough space for the insertion of those subtitles.
    • d.) The judges shall be the organizers of each country or region, although the participation of alumni from the own country shall be allowed as long as information managed can be controlled properly. They are to carry out the judgment based on the evaluation of the documents specified in point c.) received in due date from the representative cosplayers of each team except their own one.
      • Regarding the documents submitted according to point c.), the character reports written in English will be provided to the judges without Japanese translation, whereas the characters reports written in Japanese will be provided together with an English translation. Also, as mentioned in c.), the costume presentation videos will be provided with subtitles in both Japanese and English.
    • e.) While there shall be no particular order for judgment, the Executive Office will gradually disclose the documents to the organizers of each country and region in order of reception and confirmation that they are not defective. The evaluation is to be completed before 240 hours from the submission deadline (within 10 days).
      • In case that documents are received after the submission deadline, a 10% deduction of the score in Costume Judging will be applied for every 24 hours of delay in submission, and a score of 0 points will be awarded without judgment in the case that the delay exceeds 120 hours. (delay exceeding 24 hours: 10%, delay exceeding 48 hours: 20%, and so on).
      • Additionally, in case that the Executive Office requests the correction of documents determined to be defective, it is required to resend a corrected version of the documents addressing the defects indicated from the Executive Office within 24 hours from the communication of the request. In this case, as well, a 10% deduction of the score in Costume Judging will be applied for every 24 hours of delay, and a score of 0 points will be awarded without judgment in the case that the delay exceeds 72 hours.
      • In case that there is a delay in both the submission deadline and resubmission, the penalties are to be applied cumulatively (delay exceeding 24 hours from the submission deadline: 10% + delay exceeding 24 hours in resubmission: 10%, for a total deduction of 20% of the score in Costume Judging).
  1. Video Judging
    • a.) In the Video Judging, each judge is to evaluate the representative cosplayers' movement, expressiveness, the composition of the story, entertainment value, and other overarching impressions through a video with a maximum length of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The more high-scoring results that emerge during the judging, the more the judges will score by employing the "score-adding method" in calculating points.
      • For entries exceeding the limit of 2:30 minutes, a 10% deduction of the score in Video Judging will be applied for an overage of every 5 seconds, and the score will be 0 for videos over 2:46 minutes.
    • b.) In accordance with the competition rules, participants must submit a script and details on the production, together with the reference images for the costumes or information about the characters in advance to the Executive Office. A change of the original work or major changes to the information submitted to the Executive Office will not be allowed. In case that the Executive Office determines that the contents depart from the competition rules, the addition of corrections or the suppression of concrete points may be requested. In addition to the completed entry video, the resources of objects such as effects, animations, and pictures, as well as the resources of music and sound effects used in the edition of the video shall be submitted within the due date. Whenever third persons other than the representatives have been involved in the production of the video, either their cosplayer name or nickname or their real name shall be provided as well.
    • c.) The Championship judges will be appointed by the Executive Office, including the champions of the World Cosplay Championship in 2019, and will judge all the participating teams.
    • d.) The order of judging will be decided beforehand through a fair lottery with all teams.

Contest Rules

  1. Confirm eligibility for participation.
    • Please make sure to check the Important points regarding participation (Found in the World Cosplay Summit/World Cosplay Summit USA National - Regional Representative Regulations section above) in addition to these Judging and Competition rules.
  1. Costume Judging:
    • a.) Items that are assessed in the Costume Judging are only those items that are necessary to express the character -- the costumes, wigs, and hand props, make-up. Specifically, these are limited to i.) and ii.) below:
      • i.) "Costumes" refers to what the cosplayers are wearing.
      • ii.) "Hand props" refers to objects that can be carried by the cosplayers without assistance, such as weapons or items held by characters during scenes in the performance.
      • iii.) This category refers to objects not included in A) and B). (These are not assessed in the character judging).
        • Objects appearing in the video which are not worn or used by the cosplayers at least once during the performance fall under the C) category and are not included in the Costume Judging.
        • Special effects drawn by contestants as animation or CG are considered to fall under the C) category and are not included in the Costume Judging.
    • b.) All items that are judged should all be made by 2 representatives. A proportion of 75% or more of the items shall be handmade. If friends or family members have assisted in the creation process, this should be clearly presented in the character report. If it is determined that 25% or more of an item is not made by hand, the item will not be included in the judging.
    • c.) Shop-purchased items that are included or used will not be eligible for judging.
    • d.) If details of the original are changed (i.e. parts added for augmented purposes), this must be clearly presented in the character report and also explained during the character judging.
    • e.) In cases in which it is difficult to make a decision, these cases will be discussed and judged by the Advisory Committee.
  1. Video Judging
    • a.) In order to ensure the safety of competitors, the use of dangerous weapons such as shop-purchased imitation swords, katana, or similar items with processed metal edges, blunt instruments, and firearms is prohibited. Additionally, performances in which actual fire is lit, or in which dangerous substances that require special care in handling, are also prohibited.*If you are unsure of the safety of a substance or have a question about a weapon, please contact your regional Organizer to confirm.
    • b.) Contents that violate the guidelines of the streaming platforms, like those detailed in points i)~v), referring to aspects such as contents subject to age-rating in the video, will be prohibited. The following points are just a partial extract of platform guidelines, and participants shall refer to their full text for the details. (Ex:YouTube Please use YouTube as a resource as it utilizes some of the most stringent community guidelines.)
      • i) The use of official illustrations or logos from the WCS or official logos, images edited into the video, animation, copywritten special effects, copywritten sound effects, and copywritten music from other original works or violating someone’s copyright.
      • ii) Excessive sexual expression or narration.
      • iii) Detestable violence expressions such as the immoderate description of blood or vomit, assault, torture.
      • iv)Contents instigating hate speech, suicide, bullying.
      • v) Video challenges that can cause serious injury or encourage the possibility of it.
    • c.) Rules for the use of background music and videos are as follows:
      • i) Music used in the video must be played or created by representatives if it is music that would otherwise be subject to rights management by JASRAC, or it must be copyright-free music and sound clips. Organizers should confirm no sound sources used in representative’s video is copyright infringement.
      • ii) It is allowed to use the mother tongue of the participants, whereas dubbing in unrecognizable Japanese will be rejected.
      • iii) The use of copywritten background music or the voices of voice actors from original works and the copying or tracing of scenes or images appearing in original works for use in the background videos, and sources, where the copyright holder is someone other than the representative team, is not permitted. In addition, the basic video editing must be done by the representatives, however, adding CG or visual effects done by someone other than the representatives is allowed with credit to them.
        • ※ Basic video editing means the editing of the video and ensuring the finished length of the video is no longer than 2:30 minutes.
      • iv) Shooting without permission in public places or private places which are not the property of the team, as well as ‘guerrilla-style, unpermitted shooting is prohibited.
      • v) It is allowed to feature persons other than the members of the team participating as extras, as well as creating characters by means of techniques such as animation or CG, but the two representatives shall be clearly performing as such. Also, in the case of creating characters, these shall not be produced copying or tracing original designs, as specified in section 2).
      • vi) It is allowed for the representatives to perform as multiple characters, but in the case of characters such as those performed by extras, these are excluded from Character Judging and judging criteria b) Acting in Video Judging. Since there are no limitations in the use of extras, as well as with the use of backgrounds or computer graphics, the use of commercially available costumes for the extras is also allowed. However, in any case, these resources shall be exclusively used as support to the entry, and the total time during which both of the representative cosplayers do not appear simultaneously in the frame is limited to a maximum of 15 seconds in the entire video.
        • When this time limit is exceeded, Video Judging points will be deducted as follows
          • 15.1 ~ 16 seconds: 5 point deduction
          • 16.1 ~ 17 seconds: 5 point deduction
          • Hereafter, 5 point deduction for every second in excess
          • For an excess time of 20 seconds or more, an unconditional score of zero will apply.
      • vii) Japanese and English subtitles will be displayed on the upper fourth part of the display for any lines spoken during the performance. The Executive Office is to arrange the subtitles, and therefore it is not necessary to add them to the video in advance. It is recommended to use the native language of the representatives for speaking lines. The subtitles will be shown in accordance with the timing of lines that have been included in the storyboard in Japanese or English.
      • viii) Sound: Full Stereo at least 192kbps Image: 1920×1080 pixels, Screen resolution 1080p, Aspect ratio 16:9 If using a background video, submit it as a video file mixed with the sound clip in one of the following file formats: MOV, AVI, or WMV.
    • d.) The Executive Office may request a modification of the video in case that its contents are deemed to be dangerous or problematic with regard to age ratings.
      • i) In the case of planning to use special expression methods not listed in the rules, consult with the Organizers of your country or region in advance, sending some documents with information about the planned expression method, and include the details in the script.
      • ii) There must be a consideration for safety at filming locations, and filming shall be done in accordance with national and local regulations.

Other Matters

The performance at the Championship can be the same as, or different from the performance given in the preliminary round. However, if it is the same, your performance should be enhanced to a level appropriate for the Championship.