Cosplay competition

Cosplay competition



Just like every year, this AniMatsuri will also feature a cosplay competition! To register, fill in the application and submit it no later than September 3rd, 2017 (23:59 (GMT+3)).

Note: The deadline is earlier than usual this year! Please take the deadline seriously!

In addition to the application, it is important to add the selected background music as an MP3 file.

You can cosplay any characters from an official published source of entertainment. It can be anime or manga, but it doesn’t have to be! Videogames? Marvel/DC/other comics? Disney characters? Science fiction and fantasy movies or TV shows? Established webcomics or art books like Sakizou? All good! The only limitations are: it has to be an established and official source – no fan fiction, no original characters you developed.

While choosing a costume, please be aware of our festival’s costume guidelines which you can find HERE. If you’re still unsure if your character is official enough or you have any questions about costume guidelines, contact us at

Last year, we got twice as many performances as the year before! We’re very happy with this growth and we expect that with the new exciting prize structure, there will be even more competitors. Given that, we reserve the right to restrict the number of performances. We are aiming for up to 50 performances in total. If the number of submissions is much higher than this, we reserve the right to use the information in your submissions, especially your work-in-progress photos, to choose who gets to go on stage. However, AniMatsuri still prides itself on letting cosplayers of all experience levels participate and we will only use this option as a last resort!

This year, we have our traditional cosplay categories, but also some new and really exciting ones!

Category name Mostly about… Maximum people Maximum length Open to non-Estonia residents? Open to AniMatsuri volunteers and crew?
Défilé (1st, 2nd, 3rd place) Costume quality Unlimited (but usually solo) 50-70 seconds Yes Yes
Stage show (1st, 2nd, 3rd place) Choreography and your original creativity Unlimited (try to keep it no more than 5 – our stage is small) 5 minutes Yes Yes
EuroCosplay Costume quality Solo 60 seconds No No
AnimeCon Choreography and your original creativity Duo 150 seconds Yes (Baltic States) Yes
AniMatsuri Grand Prix Leaving one hell of an impression One person out of everyone who’s been on stage Whatever category you entered in Yes (Baltic States) No
Audience Favorite Fanservice! (But keep it school-decent.) Whatever category you entered in Whatever category you entered in Yes Yes


Note: In general, AniMatsuri’s Cosplay Competition likes to have as many winners as we can. This means that you cannot win in two categories. (But you can win one category and take 3rd place in another!) For example, you cannot win both EuroCosplay and Défilé, even if you’ve signed up for both. (But if you didn’t win EuroCosplay, you can still win Défilé – that’s what happened in 2016!)

Our international guest jury will judge all categories except the audience favorite one. The judges will also have the opportunity to award special prizes at their own discretion.

More about the categories!

1. Défilé: This is mainly about your costume and your ability to present it on stage as well as you can over approximately one minute. The performance must be between 50-70 seconds. The participation of multiple people is allowed.

2. EuroCosplay: You get to visit the European Cosplay Championship, at the MCM London Comic Con in late October! The costs will be covered by AniMatsuri.

  • The Rules:
  • The costume of the EuroCosplay contestant must be self-made (not purchased from an online store, also applies to separate props). It must also be based on an official source – no fan art allowed!
  • The contestant must perform alone (max. one technical helper is allowed).
  • The contestant must be a citizen or permanent resident of Estonia (have an Estonian ID and personal identification code), must be of legal age by AniMatsuri 2017 (23rd of September 2017), and must be able and ready to go to London.
  • The EuroCosplay category winner will be selected by a panel of international judges – themselves some of the world’s best cosplayers!

3. Stage show: This is both about your costume and your choreography and/or the story you tell on stage. Here you can use your imagination and creativity to craft a short performance or a dance routine based on your fandom. You can perform either alone or with someone and the whole performance must be no more than around 5 minutes.

4. AnimeCon: The winners will travel to the Netherlands to AnimeCon 2018!

  • This category is restricted to duos – groups of two cosplayers. Both costumes must be from the same fandom. Only official fandoms are allowed – no OCs, no fan art.
  • Both cosplayers must be citizens or permanent residents of Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania (have an Estonian, Latvian, or Lithuanian ID and personal identification code), must be of legal age by AniMatsuri 2017 (23rd of September 2017), and must be able and ready to go to the Netherlands for AnimeCon in June 2018. Note this if you are still in school/university!
  • Make sure to read the AnimeCon house rules and bags, props, and consumables regulations! AnimeCon does not allow carrying any weapons (real, replica, or model weapons), and strict rules apply to cosplay props.

5. AniMatsuri Grand Prix: this is a special prize rather than a special category. The judges will select one cosplayer who truly stood out and wowed them the most – from any performance – to receive AniMatsuri’s greatest prize: a trip to Japan to attend AnimeJapan! The prize is presented by AniMatsuri in cooperation with the Japanese-English Language School and UniCon. The trip organizing is assisted by Estravel.

  • The competitor must be a citizen of Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania.
  • The competitor must be of legal age by AniMatsuri 2017 (23rd of September 2017).
  • For costumes, standard AniMatsuri costume rules apply (read more HERE).
  • The exact date of the prize trip will be decided alongside the winner but the trip must cover the dates 24th-25th of March 2018 so the winner must be available to travel on these dates.
  • The prize includes a two-way plane ticket from Tallinn/Riga/Vilnius to Tokyo, accommodation, and tickets for the event.
  • The organization of the prize trip is in cooperation with Estravel travel agency between the winner of the prize and the travel agency.
  • If the performers belong to a cosplay group (two or more people), it is possible to state which members of the group wish to compete for AniMatsuri Grand Prix.
  • Definitely make sure to read all the rules HERE.
  • The competitor cannot be a staff member of AniMatsuri or UniCon or an employee at the Japanese-English Language School.

6. Additionally, there will be an audience favorite special prize which will be selected by the festival’s visitors through a secret vote. The audience favorite’s voting is not divided by categories. Note: as of 2017, the one-win-only rule does not apply to Audience Favorite! The winner will be the one with most votes, even if they’ve already won something else.

Competing in multiple categories is allowed, but the winner of a more high-profile category (EC, AnimeCon, GP) cannot win in any other category.

We love early registration! This way you will have time for improving your ideas and costumes. If you register before the deadline but can only show a work-in-progress costume and a lot of enthusiasm, that’s wonderful! Experienced cosplayers among the organizers and winners of the festival are happy to give you advice. What’s important is that everything is more or less ready by the deadline. Everyone polishes their performance till the last moment, after all.

Every year we have festival visitors who do not dare to take part in the competition but walk around, clad in fantastic costumes. Gather up your courage and register – in reality, you have done a great job and your costume is epic!