One of the most highly anticipated events of OtakuFair, the Cosplay Contest, is where astounding cosplayers, performances, and dance routines take place. Walk our stage and show us what you got in our fun-filled and engaging cosplay show dedicated to the excellence and wonder of costume replication and costume play!
Cosplay Rules at Otaku Fellowship Society Events:
All participants must have a membership badge for paid events, for free events see updated rules posted.
Designated check-in times will be announced before the convention. Please check-in during any of these times to be sure your slot is secured for the show and to get prejudging, rehearsal and show times. You may check with cosplay staff at those times if there are any slots available for on-site sign ups.
We will be accepting online applications from September 24th at 10:00AM CST to October 20th 11:00PM CST. There will only be 50 entry spaces available.
Signing up in advanced will guarantee your entry until we run out of space, as only very few walk-ons will be allowed to sign up on-site this year. YOU MUST CHECK IN AT THE COSPLAY TABLE TO CONFIRM YOUR ENTRY AND RECEIVE THE PRE-JUDGING TIME.
We encourage you to do this as soon as you can. IF YOU DO NOT CHECK IN WITH THE COSPLAY TABLE BEFORE PREJUDGING YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED INTO PREJUDGING. No exceptions. If you have not checked in with us by the time prejudging is over we will assume you no longer wish to participate and you will be dropped from the contest.
There will be a final call at the setup of the contest before we start the show. If you are not present at final call, you will be dropped from the contest. NO EXCEPTIONS!!
As long as slots are available, you may also sign up during the convention Friday and Saturday at the Cosplay Sign-up booth. Sign up hours will be posted below and on the schedule.
Friday: 2PM – 8PM
Saturday: 10AM – 1PM
Categories are separated into Walk-ons and Skit entries. There is an optional craftsmanship award if you elect to attend prejudging.
There is no age restrictions on entering the contest, however, contestants under the age of 12 will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times.
All costumes must abide by the rules of the OFS dress code and weapon policy. If a policy violation is discovered by any of the staff or judges, that entry will be disqualified.
Ice Skates (with or without the guards) are not allowed as either shoes OR props.
Purchased costumes will not be allowed to enter the contest. However, exceptions can be made for costumes that contain modified or altered pieces. You may even enter these costumes for prejudging, just be prepared to explain the process of how the costume was created, altered, or modified.
We follow the 70% hand-made rule. If you have any questions, please ask a member of cosplay staff as costumes can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Costumes do not have to be worn by the creator. A model may be chosen to showcase a costume but the creator of the costume MUST be present at sign-up and prejudging. Creators also must be prepared to explain the creative process behind the costume.
If the contestant elects to attend prejudging, they are highly encouraged to bring reference materials. Not all judges know all characters and so it’s in your best interest to bring in a photo (or several if possible) to show the judges.
During the performance portion of the contest, you must be able to move freely enough that you can go up and down stairs. Should you need assistance for a bulky costume, you are advised to bring an assistant to help you as OFS staff will not be able to provide contestants with a handler.
If you have any special needs, please let a member of cosplay staff know and we will see what can be done to accommodate.
Each walk-on will have 30 seconds to walk the stage. Groups will be granted some extra time so that all members can get time to shine on stage.
Group entries are allowed, limit of 6 entrants. Competing in multiple groups is NOT allowed.
All props must be approved by weapons check.
The cosplay staff and emcee are not your props, please do not interact with, touch, or engage with the staff for your walk-on. If you are found to do so without prior consent, the entrant will risk immediate disqualification.
Skits are limited to 2 minutes and 30 seconds for their performance.
Pre-recorded audio must be emailed in MP3 format to cosplay(at)otakufellowshipsociety.com by October 22nd and cut to size (2.5 minutes max).
There will be no running, jumping, or flipping on stage. Please use the stairs to enter and exit the stage as jumping off or onto the stage is absolutely prohibited and will be grounds for disqualification and ejection.
There will be no use of fire, glitter, liquids, projectiles of any sort, or any other objects that will cause a mess. What goes on the stage must come off the stage.
There will not be any microphones provided to the contestants.
We ask that all contestants display good sportsmanship to each other and the judges.
Real weapons are not allowed! No metal swords, knives, bayonets, cane-swords, and/or other objects made of metal, which have a sharp point or sharpened edge. No real or replica guns of any kind permitted. (e.g. No Pellet guns, Air Guns, Mini or Pistol crossbows, Stun guns, dart, or blowguns.)
Exceptions regarding toy guns: Easily identifiable toy plastic guns with no moving parts and that have a clearly visible non-removable brightly colored tip will be permitted. Resin models will be permitted as long as they are marked with clearly visible non-removable brightly colored tip. All triggers must be zip-tied back. Nunchakus are not permitted. Nunchaku made out of craft materials for cosplay purposes will be permitted within the confines of the cosplay contest. There are to be no explosives or chemicals of any kind (e.g. smoke powder, sparklers, fireworks, etc.)
Prop weapons that are permitted include: wooden staves, wooden walking sticks, wood bokken and other wooden swords. Prop or made-up weaponry (example: made of wood, plastic, foam, plaster of Paris, cloth etc) are permitted if they are safe and not dangerous to the other con-goers around you. If you have a question about a prop, please do not assume it is legal; ask an OFS staff member! Misuse of any prop-weapon, such as swinging it in a public area or causing hazards to passerby, will get your membership badge revoked immediately. If we deem a weapon to be unsafe for an event, we will ask you to store the unsafe weapon in your car. If there is a repeat offense, or if the weapon is illegal, SAPD will be summoned.
Dress Code Policy
Clothing must be worn at all times. All attendees must wear shirts (including vests, tank tops and/or coats), shoes (inside), and pants or skirts/dresses.
Note: Shirts must cover the sides and bottoms of the breasts as well as the nipple area on Men and Women. Mesh shirts and the like do not count as sufficient cover. Bikini swimsuit tops will suffice as long as no ‘underboob’ or side-boob’ is visible (we know that there are many different body types out there, so when in doubt, ask a staff member.)
Short skirts, kilts, etc. must be accompanied by proper underwear/shorts. Ineffective underwear or a lack thereof constitutes indecent exposure. Underwear, or the fact that no underwear is present, should not be visible. Offenders will be turned over to SAPD.
No lingerie costumes allowed.
Nudity, or the illusion of such, is strictly forbidden both at OFS events and during Cosplay. Please do not wear clothing with distasteful messages or words. This holds true for signs that are held or messages/words written on shirts. PG-13 only please!
All costumes must follow weapons policy.
Costumes should not extend far enough from the wearer to impede foot traffic or present an impact risk to other attendees.
Proper footwear is required at all times. An exception to this rule is for cosplayers during the cosplay contest only. Ice Skates (with or without the guards) are not allowed as either shoes OR props.
No Rollerblades, roller-skates, or wheeled shoes. An exception to this rule is for cosplayers during the cosplay contest. Please no skateboard or scooter use.
OFS staff have final say on any Dress Code violations. Arguing with convention staff about dress code decisions will result in your badge being confiscated with no refund and you will be escorted off of the premises.
Make sure to stay cool, well hydrated, and eat proper meals!
There will be numerous prizes as decided by the judges.
There will be a Best in Show, Best Walk On, Best Skit, and Judges Awards. There may be more awards at the discretion of the judges.
While we don’t foresee any changes to these rules, certain circumstances may require the rules to change. These rules and any changes will be posted at the cosplay sign-up booth for viewing at any time.
If you have any questions or concerns about the cosplay contest, please notify a member of cosplay staff. If you have any questions before the convention starts, you can email the cosplay staff head at cosplay(at)otakufellowshipsociety.com.
If you have read, understand, and agree to the rules above, please use this form to sign-up for this year’s cosplay contest.