Cosplay Contest

Let your Cosplay star shine bright with Daisho Con’s annual Cosplay Contest!

Quick Facts

Time: 6 PM – 8 PM Saturday
Location: Main Programming

Time 1: 4 PM – 8 PM Friday
Time 2: 8 AM – 12 PM Saturday
Location: Cosplay Island

Chibi & Beginner: 8 AM – 12 PM Saturday
Advanced & Master: 10 AM – 2 PM Saturday
Location: Pre-Judging Room (Bamboo)

Green Room
Open: 5 PM Saturday
Final Call: 5:15 PM Saturday
Location: Cosplay Island


Daisho Con’s Cosplay Contest is one of the best times to show of your hard work and ham it up to the waiting audience. All cosplays and cosplayers are welcome! Not to mention, you’ll be in the running to win some great prizes. Be sure to register on Friday from 4-8 pm or Saturday 8am-12pm. Spots fill up quickly, so get there early! We look forward to seeing all of the stellar cosplays this year!
  1. On-site registration will be open from 4pm to 8pm on November 16th and 8am to 12pm on November 17th at the Cosplay Desk, located in Cosplay Island, across from the panel rooms.
  2. All contestants (individual and group) that entering the Cosplay Contest must be present to complete registration forms. Group members will not be allowed to save spots for absent group members; all group members must be present at time of registration. This gives all cosplayers equal opportunity to register.
  3. You will enter as an Individual Entry or Group Entry.
  4. Individual Entries will be judged on their own merit.
  5. Group Entries will be judged on the whole entry.
    **NOTE** Groups consist of 3 or more cosplayers competing together.
  1. Your costume must be appropriate for a public setting.
  2. Your costume must conform to any active regulations enforced by either Daisho Con Staff or Hotel Security.
  3. You are required to make/modify at least 50% of your costume (main cosplay and accessories); no more than half your costume is to be store bought. If your costume is over 50% bought, you will not be eligible to win prizes.
    • As always, it is up to the judges’ discretion, but a portion of the main part of the main cosplay (pants, shirts, dresses, vests, unitards, fur suits, etc) must be either made from scratch or modified other than adjusting the fit.
    • Modifications can include (but are not limited to) bleaching, dying, adding pockets, embroidery, adding corset backs to dresses, etc. Inadequate modifications include hemming and cut-offs.
      **Note: You are allowed to modify the cosplay with intent to fit, such as hemming pants or sleeves, but these modifications will not count towards the 50% requirement for the cosplay.
    • As well as the main cosplay, a portion of the accessories (including weapons/props, jewelry, bags, belts, shoes, glasses or contacts, wigs, complex makeup, etc) must be either made from scratch or modified other than adjusting the fit.
    • Modifications can include (but are not limited to) changing the color of bags by dying or bleaching, adding material to shoes to create boots, dying or bleaching shoes, adding items to belts or vambraces, bleaching, dying, combining, weaving, or otherwise complex styling of wigs, etc. Inadequate modifications include adjusting the length of jewelry pieces, adding belt holes to adjust fit of belts/straps, styling a wig simply such as ponytails, simple braiding, basic curling, etc.**Note: You are allowed to modify the cosplay’s accessories to suit the cosplay, such as adjusting the length of jewelry pieces, adding belt holes to adjust fit of belts/straps, or styling a wig simply, but these modifications will not count towards the 50% accessory requirement for the cosplay.
  4. Please keep in mind that the stage is raised as well. If your costume is ungainly or hard to walk in, we will have staff present to help you up and down the stairs/ramp. If this is still not enough please notify staff if you need extra assistance, we will organize a different way for you to present your costume.

Your prop must conform to any active regulations enforced by either Daisho Con Staff or Hotel Security:

  1. No Live Steel (Metal weapons of any kind, especially not sharp ones.)
  2. No Real Firearms, Realistic Facsimile Firearms, or Strung Bows.
  3. You must be able to safely carry your prop around the con-space without risk of any kind of injury to you or others- this is doubly enforced when it comes to walking on stage.
  4. If you are unsure of your prop, go to the Control Room and request a staff member inside to clear or veto the prop.
  5. Daisho Con Staff reserves the right to confiscate any weapon or prop deemed hazardous to congoers or staff at any time.
  6. Be responsible with your props.**This includes your presentation on stage during the contest. If a contestant throws or shoots anything at the crowd, judges, or emcees, they will be disqualified immediately.
  1. There are four separate categories for the Individual, Group, and Performance Entry:
    • Chibi – You will compete here if you are 10 years old and younger. There will be 5 available slots for this category.
    • Beginner – You will compete here if you are new to Cosplay Contests or have won few (1-2) awards when competing. There will be 35 available slots for this category.
    • Advanced – You will compete here if you are experienced in Cosplay Contests and have won 3 or more awards when competing. There will be 20 available slots for this category.
    • Master – You will compete here if you are highly experienced in Cosplay Contests and have won 3 or more awards when competing. If you have ever won Best in Show at Daisho Con in previous years, you have to compete in the Master Category. There will be 10 available slots for this category.**Please Note**
      For the Master Category, the Creativity Section will be judged at a heavier scale. It will be worth more points because it is assumed that you entered the Master Category with experience at hand, aware of what category you have entered, or you have won other awards and cannot compete in other categories.
  2. Performances can be 2 – 3 minutes long. If you have a longer performance, please contact the Cosplay Staff so we can handle it on a case-by-case basis. There will be 15 available slots for this category.
  3. The Daisho Con Contest cap is 85 cosplay entries. *Note: a group counts as one entry.
    • 5 Chibi
    • 35 Beginners
    • 20 Advanced
    • 10 Master
    • 15 Performances
    • If categories don’t fill up, then we won’t have 85 entries for the contest. Even if cosplayers do not show up for their prejudging slot, we will not be opening up that slot for other cosplayers. Therefore: if you sign up to be prejudged, please show up to your prejudging time to prevent the waste of a spot that could have been filled by someone else. If you do not know if you can make it to your prejudging time, wait to sign up until you know your schedule.
  1. You will be judged on the following categories:
    • Difficulty
    • Presentation
    • Craftmanship
    • Creativity
      **Please Note**
      Remember to bring a reference pictures for your Cosplay: printed pictures, phones, laptops, anything in which the judges can use to judge the accuracy of your costume. If you fail to bring reference material, this will result in losing ¼ of your points from your total score.
      **If you are entering as an Original Character, please provide reference material for what inspired the character and what look you were trying to go for.
  2. Please arrive 10 minutes (at least) before your scheduled pre-judging time so we can get you checked in and lined up. (If we are running behind, we will notify you and give you an estimate on when to return. We appreciate your patience if this happens).
  3. Each prejudging slot should take a total of 5 minutes. Keeping it at this time will move prejudging along at a pace that will prevent backed up lines and long waiting time. We will do our best to keep each prejudging session at this time requirement.
  4. Do not linger around or crowd the prejudging area after your prejudging session has finished. Cosplay staff and Contest Judges are doing their best to make prejudging run smoothly and quickly. Unnecessary loitering or crowding will push back prejudging times and block/crowd the hallway thus causing safety concerns. Daisho Con Staff reserves the right to remove any congoers and/or contestants from the prejudging area at any time. Refusing to comply with directions given from Daisho Con Staff will result in disqualification or expulsion from the convention space.
  5. To ease crowding and confusion in the pre-judging room and keep prejudging on schedule, we have organized times at which different categories will be prejudged. These prejudging time slots for each category are non-negotiable:
    • Chibi and Beginner: 8am-12pm
    • Performances: 10am-12pm
    • Advanced and Master: 10am-2pm
  6. No unnecessary staff/congoers are allowed in the Judging Room.
  7. If you have audio, you must turn in your music to the cosplay sound technician immediately after you are pre-judged. There will be a table inside the pre-judging room. (See rule 6.C and D for more details.)
  8. On stage, you will be judged on the following Performance Categories:
    • Stage Presence – Comfort level on stage, delivery of lines.
    • Crowd Reaction – How much did the audience like your performance?
      *Even if you are not doing a skit, you will still be judged on stage presence and crowd reaction and this will be totaled into your final score.*
  9. Daisho Con prides itself in running an honest and fair contest. If a cosplay contestant is caught being dishonest about their costume or craftmanship level in any way, that contestant will be disqualified from the contest for the current year and the following year. If the same contestant is caught again after they are allowed back into the contest, they will be disqualified from all further Daisho Con Cosplay Contests. Daisho Con Cosplay Staff reserves the right to disqualify any contestants suspected of dishonesty. No exceptions.Dishonesty includes:
    • The origin/creator of the costume or props (including taking credit for someone else’s work or buying parts of the costume and claiming they were handmade)
    • Lying about winning previous awards from Daisho Con’s Cosplay Contests or about craftsmanship level (ex. Registering as Beginner when at Master level)
    • Lying about creating original skits/compositions in the performance category
    • Using an identity other than your own (not including using an alias for your stage name-this means taking another person’s identity and using it for your own)
  1. We are a PG rated con, therefore our contest is also PG rated. In other words, we are family friendly! Please remember these requirements as you sign up to participate in our contest:
    • Appropriate dress, performance, and attitude are required.
    • Judges reserve the right to request more clothing, a change to a skit, or otherwise decree a cosplay/cosplayers to be inappropriate to participate in the contest.
    • Cosplay costumes must cover “private bits” at a bare minimum. If it is not acceptable in the con space, it is not acceptable in the contest (see Con Rules and Security Guidelines for additional reference).
    • Inappropriate Behaviors on stage will not be tolerated. These behaviors include:
      • Twerking
      • Pelvic Thrusting
      • Obscene Gestures (such as flipping the bird)
      • Nudity
      • Foul Language (If you wouldn’t hear it in a Disney movie, we don’t want to hear it here)
  2. Please be respectful to the judges, the cosplay staff and volunteers, the con staff, and your fellow cosplayers and congoers. Daisho Con reserves the right to disqualify cosplayers for inappropriate behaviors, dress, and language. We do not tolerate rude cosplayers in our contest.**Note: This includes after the contest has ended as well. Harassing the fellow contestants, the con staff, or the judges will not be tolerated for any reason. If you are found to be harassing or have harassed someone, you will be disqualified from the next year’s contest and referred to Daisho Con’s security for misconduct.
  3. If you have music or an audio file you will be using for your performance, we will have a member of staff that will download the file for your stage. Please Note: Only .mp3 formats can be used in our contest. They must be easy to use and readily available when you show up for prejudging. What this means is that you must have your music or performance on a thumb-drive or on a CD so that we can access it using our computers.**Note: We encourage all performances to have their speaking audio pre-recorded. It’s not required, but that may change in the future.
  4. Do not bring iPods or iPhones because we cannot pull music off either of these devices without special software or equipment. Remember: .mp3 only.
  5. Our tech staff reserves the right to edit or cut portions of your presented audio with or without your notice. Please clearly define start and stop times on all music files. If you are unable to edit them yourself, you must provide a clearly typed document with the editing times and bring it with you to your judging time. Handwritten notes will not be accepted. If you are unable to provide a note, play will begin from the beginning of the first available track or file presented. Our tech staff will provide basic cutting only! Advanced editing must be done on your own time as there will not be time during judging.
  6. If you are or were a member of Daisho Con Staff for the 2018 Conference Year, you cannot enter the contest. If you have made costumes for other people who might be competing, they can enter the contest, but they cannot win any awards.
  7. Cosplayers cannot win the same award 2 years in a row. If half or more of the currently competing group has won Best in Show the year before, the group cannot win Best in Show for the current year, but they are able to win in any other category.
  8. The Judges reserve the right to bump you up or down a Craftsmanship level if they feel it is necessary.
  9. Registration for judging stops at 12pm on Saturday or when all the judging slots are filled, no exceptions.
  10. Pre-judging starts at 8:00am and stops at 2:00pm on Saturday the 17th, no exceptions. It will be held in the Bamboo Room, past Daisho Con registration in first part of the hallway that leads to the Kalahari’s main lobby. There will be signs to guide you.
  11. The Green Room for the contest this year will be held in Cosplay Island, the same place where you registered for the contest. The Green Room will be open at 5pm but all cosplayers participating in the contest must be in the Green Room by 5:15pm. After 5:30pm, you are not allowed to leave except for emergency purposes. The cosplay staff will guide you to where you need to be and when you need to be there. We would like to make this as seamless as possible.
  12. If you are not a cosplayer that is participating in the Contest, you are not allowed to loiter outside or be in the Green Room. Please take care of any business you may have with the contestants outside of this area before 5:30pm. To make this run smoothly, we need the Green Room to be organized and free of unnecessary persons.

Stay tuned for our 2019 theme and prizes