Cosplay competition

Cosplay competition



The cosplay competition will take place on Sunday the 23rd of September. Exact time to be announced!


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 9th, 2018 (23:59 (GMT+3)).

Note: The deadline is again 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 and provide a video of your performance.

  • We ask you to edit your background sounds (music and/or dialogue) to the form and length suited for you, save it as a single MP3 file, and add it to a Google Drive media folder (see the application). It is not possible to use microphones on stage and special requests regarding lighting etc are limited.
  • We ask you to upload the video of your performance either to Youtube (as a private video) or to a cloud service (Dropbox, Google Drive etc). In case you don’t have the video done by the time you apply or you don’t have a Google account to modify the application later, please send us a link to your video no later than September 2nd, 2018 (23:59 GMT+3) to As the subject of the email please put “AniMatsuri 2018 cosplay competition video – yourstagename” and in the email please mention your full name, stage name and the name of the performance. The quality of the video does not matter, but we have to be able to see what you plan on doing on stage. Please also note that the video does not have to be the latest version of what you are about to do on stage unless there is a drastic change (in which case you have to inform our cosplay team the latest by 20.09.18 kell 23.59 (GMT+3)).

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!


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! Video games? 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.

If you’re still unsure if your character is official enough or you have any questions about costume guidelines, contact us at


  1. All persons within the festival venue must follow a dress style that is appropriate for a public place.
  2. Consider that visitors include underage children so the clothing cannot be too revealing. Your clothes must cover at least your groin, buttocks, and the chest region.
  3. For men, the minimal allowed costume is a sleeveless shirt and shorts. For women, the top part of bikinis and shorts/short skirt. Visual guide:

If your planned costume happens to be more revealing than allowed by the festival rules, we ask you to find a way to cover the parts in question for the duration of your presence on stage. The jury will be informed about this and will take it into account when assessing the accuracy of the costume.

Stage performance

  1. It is forbidden to use obscenity, profanities, gestures encouraging violence, and pornography. Performances going against cultural and/or social norms will not be let on stage. Please make sure your performances are ethic and aesthetic. Things that break easily and pyrotechnics are not allowed.
  2. If there are major/important changes in your performance after submitting the video, the cosplay staff must be informed by 20th of September at 23:59 (GMT+3). The video is necessary for us to see the idea of the performance. There is no need to wear a finished cosplay in the video.

On stage

  1. On stage it is forbidden to use glitter, liquids, or other substances hard to remove (anything that takes more than 1 minute to clean and cannot be swept with a brush). If you want to throw something into the audience, you must be careful.
  2. All props used on stage must be safe and cannot be used to cause bodily harm (blunt blades and plastic marking on weapons*). Additionally, all organizers reserve the right to confiscate any knives, knife-like objects and other cutting utensils that can cause bodily harm.

* Weapons are all items that are regulated by the Republic of Estonia Weapons Act (firearms, gas weapons, pneumatic weapons, throwing weapons, cut-and-thrust weapons, and electroshock weapons).


If you’re still unsure if your character is official enough or you have any questions about costume guidelines, contact us at

Regardless of the size of the group, every performer and group can bring 1 assistant to backstage. If needed, the cosplay staff can also help you.

As organizers 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 and video) 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 Duo (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
The Nordic Cosplay Championship (NCC) Costume quality and choreography Solo 90 or 120 seconds No 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* No
Audience Favorite Fanservice! (But keep it within the festival rules) Whatever category you entered in Whatever category you entered in Yes Yes

* Detailed info below

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.


1. Défilé: This is mainly about your costume and your ability to present it on stage as well as you can within approximately 1 minute. The performance must be between 50-70 seconds. You can perform solo or as a duo.

2. EuroCosplay: You get to represent the AniMatsuri festival and Estonia at the MCM London Comic Con in late October! The costs will be covered by MCM Expo Group, the organizer of Comic Con.

  • The Rules:
  • The costume of the EuroCosplay contestant must be self-made (not purchased from a store, also applies to separate elements). It must also be based on an official source – no original characters or 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 2018 (22nd of September 2018), and must be able and ready to go to London on 26th-28th of October.
  • 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 about your choreography and/or the story you tell on stage, but don’t forget your costume! 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. The Nordic Cosplay Championship (NCC): The winner will travel to Sweden to NärCon 2019!

  • The costume and all props must be self-made (not purchased from a store), the exception being wigs, footwear and tights, underwear, electronics (it can be a completed kit, you don’t have to program and assemble it yourself). The contestant must be prepared to give an overview how the various parts of their cosplay were made.
  • The costume must be based on an official source (no original characters or costumes based on fan art allowed).
  • Both the costume and the stage performance will be judged.
  • The costume may have participated in other costume competitions (except previous NCC).
  • 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 2018 (22nd of September 2018), and must be able and ready to go to Sweden at the last week of July 2019 (5 days total).
  • Since we are participating in NCC for the first time, in 2019 we will be spectators – the contestant can go on stage, perform, and learn their scores, but are not applicable to any prizes decided by the judges. However, they will be in the running for Audience’s Favorite.
  • The contestant can be a member of the staff of AniMatsuri but cannot be associated with organizing the cosplay competition (organizer or volunteer).

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 Paris to attend Japan Expo! The prize is presented by AniMatsuri together with 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 2018 (22nd of September 2018).
  • 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 of Japan Expo 2019 (exact dates to be determined, but July 2019) so the winner must be available to travel on these dates.
  • The prize includes a two-way plane ticket from Tallinn/Riga/Vilnius to Paris, 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.

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. An exception will be made in case of a tie.

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


What we count as your private data: your name, email, phone number, citizenship/place of residence and age) as well as photos and videos of you.

Data provided during registration

  • The only people with the access to your private data are the Head Organizers and cosplay competition organizers (“Organizers” from now on).
  • Categories for which your private data will not be provided to third party: défilé, stage show, public favourite and judges favourites
  • Categories for which your private data will be shared to third parties: EuroCosplay (EC), Nordic Cosplay Competition (NCC) ja AniMatsuri Grand Prix
    • For EC and NCC, the organizers of the trip will be from AniMatsuri, but we will be sharing your name and contact information with the organizers of EC and NCC
    • Travel arrangements (travel and accommodation) for AniMatsuri Grand Prix will be managed by Estravel so we will be providing them with your name, contact information and citizenship/place of residence).
  • Private data (as well as you stage name) provided in the application will be held to a maximum of 10 years after which it will be deleted.
  • The data you provide will be used only for the cosplay competition this year, however during the time we have the information of you, you might be contacted in regards to other events or promotion. Only the Organizers will be contacting you and your data will not be shared to a third party without your consent.

During and after the festival

  • Either while walking around the festival or being on stage, you might be captured in a photo or video in regards to AniMatsuri. By a private person, a company or the festival itself.
  • The official photos and videos from AniMatsuri will be uploaded to the festival’s social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), Youtube and photo gallery (Flickr).
  • Official photos will also be used on AniMatsuri’s website and social media to introduce what is going on at the festival.
  • Official photos and videos might also be used for advertisement/promotion (social media, the press, television etc).
    • In the registration form you will have the chance to opt out from your photo/video being used in advertisements/promotion. Please note however that this will only apply you yourself or you with a small group of people are in shot. This does not count for general festival crowd shots. If you leave the field blank, we will take it as confirmation that you are OK with us using photos or videos of you.