Lenee and I (Jensen), aka the Men Who Stare at Suits, are back yet again hosting and judging the hall contest as part of our cosplay staff-ly duties! We are very pleased that the contest is growing in its popularity, as we always have such a great time judging it. This contest is meant to exist as a way for costumes that would perform poorly in the main stage show (whether due to a subtle design and craftsmanship that is better appreciated up close, or not quite making the main stage construction requirement) to be given their time to shine, and to provide a competition outlet for those who don’t have the time or inclination to perform on stage in order to compete.
There are three main categories for competition, as follows:
Categories for Competition
Judges your ability to source costume items and to create a screen accurate costume. There is no construction requirement for this category, you will be instead judged on the research that went into finding the items for your costume, and faithfulness to the original in terms of brand, pattern, fit, cut, etc.
Judges your craftsmanship, and your ability to create an accurate replica of a costume. Construction requirement in this category is 75%. Shoes and wigs do not count against your construction percentage, but can be judged if requested. You will be judged on faithfulness to the source material in terms such as materials, seam placement, and screen accuracy, and on the techniques used and the quality of the craftsmanship.
Costumes which meet the criteria for the yearly theme will be automatically be considered to win in this additional award category. Costumes which do not meet the theme will not be considered for this category, but are still fully eligible to win any award within the other two categories. Costumes which meet the theme category are also eligible to win those awards, so long as they are not chosen to win an award within the theme category. The theme category award is intended to be more of an incentive to costume within the theme.
This year’s theme, in accordance with the San Japan X theme of “RPG/Adventure” will be “Swords and Sorcery” meaning costumes from media which either takes place in a Fantasy or RPG setting.
Entering the contest:
In order to enter your costume, you must come to the Hall Cosplay Contest table (TENTATIVE LOCATION: Room 208, HBG Convention Center), either wearing the costume you wish to enter, or carrying it with you. If you choose not to wear your costume to enter, please bring photos of it being worn for the judges to see. You will fill out an entry form specifying which category you are entering, the series and character you are cosplaying from, etc. You will be judged on-site, the judges will take a photo of your costume for their records, your badge will be marked with you entry number for verification purposes in the event of a win, the judges will talk with you for 5-10 minutes about your costume, and you will be sent on your way to enjoy the rest of the convention.
If you happen to win an award, you will be notified by text message to the number you provide on your entry form (so make sure it’s a phone you are going to have on you, and ensure your handwriting is legible! c: ), and be told the details of when you will be presented your award.
If you happen to win an award, you will be notified by text message to the number you provide on your entry form (so make sure it’s a phone you are going to have on you, and ensure your handwriting is legible!), and be told the details of when you will be presented your award.
It is not required, but it is incredibly helpful to our judges if you bring reference images with you to judging so we can fairly assess your costume. While the judges are experienced cosplayers themselves, and know characters from a wide range of series, we do not have every costume ever used in a show or movie committed to memory in great detail.
Awards will be sorted into four genres which are as follows-
Anime/Manga- All costumes depicting characters from an anime, manga, or similarly related J-media (anime style advertisement characters, web series, etc).
Examples: Attack on Titan, Kuragehime, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Kill La Kill, Naruto, Bleach, Hellsing, and so on and so forth.
Video Game- All costumes depicting characters from some sort of video game, from any platform or country of origin. This includes CGI movies based on video games.
Examples: Bioshock, Final Fantasy, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Street Fighter, League of Legends, Megaman, & the like.
Live Action- All costumes depicting characters from source media with live actors, whether it be a movie, TV show, stage play, mini-series or web series, and regardless of country of origin.
Examples: Labyrinth, Star Wars films, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Phantom of the Opera, Downton Abbey, Kamen Rider, and so on.
Western Comic/Animation- All costumes depicting characters from Western source media that is drawn or animated and is not a video game, such as comic series, web series, animated tv show and animated feature films.
Examples: Hellblazer, Justice League, My Little Pony, Homestuck, Frozen, Adventure Time, Over The Garden Wall, Star Wars: Clone Wars, etc.
There will be two awards for each genre, based on the category in which the competitor entered—Representation or Craftsmanship.
Other awards outside of the genres will be as follows-
Judges Awards- Given to the costume chosen by each judge as their personal pick. There will be two (2) judges awards.
Best themed costume- Awarded to the costume from either the Craftsmanship or Character Representation category which not only best meets all the criteria set forth within its category, but also meets the criteria for the yearly theme.
Best In Hall- The best costume from any category or genre entered in the Hall Contest.