Cosplay is divided into 4 sections: Kids, Judged Cosplay, Skits, and Interpretation. There is also a separate swimsuit competition held at a different time and place than the rest of the cosplay. Descriptions follow:

Anyone under twelve may be entered into the kids show. There are no criteria for costumes, anything from anime, Japan, or fandom is valid. The only requirement is that it makes us say "aww". This show has no real significance, and is a short lip service that will take place at the beginning of the cosplay event.

Judged Cosplay
Cosplayers in this division will sign up to be judged, and will be eligible to receive awards for your skill as a Cosplayer. Source material is limited strictly to anime. Entrants are also able to participate in skits. Those who do not participate in skits will still be able to do a brief "walk on" across the stage to show everyone their work at the cosplay event. Rules, procedures, and requirements are below.

Whether a cosplayer wishes to be judged or not, they may enter the skits portion of the show, in which they get to perform a skit on the big stage at the main cosplay event. Skit entrants do not need to be judged on their costumes, though they are able to take part in judging as well. Certain skits will be awarded prizes independently of the costume judging. More requirements to follow below.

Interpretation is a separate category not featured at many conventions, and with no connection to the rest of the contest. Rather than visually recreating a character by imitating their attire, in the Interpretation event (which is featured at the same time as the cosplay event), participants may represent any character, anime, or combination of the two through any dress or performance. This should not be confused with a skit. Examples and further requirements listed below.

General Rules
Attendance – This sort of goes without saying, but you had to have paid to get into the convention to participate in the costume contests.

Kid-safeness – Don't have anything exposed or dangling that you wouldn't want your grandma or strange uncle to see, unless you like that sort of thing, in which case you are not welcome here nor in the Kingdom of God. Repent your ways, for this is the end.

Props – Be smart; don't bring anything on stage that could cause damage to our equipment, the audience, or my face. If it hurts you, make sure it's hilarious, and in such a way that it is apparent to all that it is your own damn fault.

Content – This is the college-aged convention, and likewise there is little need to censor yourselves. Just don't go overboard. Keeping a general PG-13 rating would be a good call, though we won't hold you to it. Remember though that just because 4 letter words are ok with us, not everything you say is. It is still exactly 3 years too soon for 9-11 jokes, and some things (like rape, juvenile diabetes, and Republicans) are never funny.

Cosplay Rules
Children under twelve may be entered into the children's portion of the cosplay event by signing up at the listed cosplay signup times. There is no pre-judging for the children, awards will be given immediately following the kids event, which will be at the beginning of the cosplay event. The kids can either walk on, or perform a short skit. If they are performing a skit that requires multimedia support from the tech crew, be sure to have all materials and timing notes present at signup. Parents, guardians, older siblings, or other chaperones must be present at all parts of the child's signup and stage time. After the kids event, parents and children are welcome to remain in the cosplay for the duration of the event, but should remember that there will almost certainly be PG-13 content or above at this event.

Judged Cosplay
Anime Punch is an anime-centric convention, and with the exception of the video game room, all events and activities are to pertain directly to anime. The cosplay is no exception. All entrants into the judging and to the skits must be from an anime. Videogames, J-rock/pop, Fashion, manga, Internet memes, sci-fi, Harry Potter, or other fandoms will not be considered valid for judging, acknowledgements, or awards. As there are a limited number of entrants permitted for time reasons, non-anime costumes may not be included in the event at all this year. For additional info, see below.

To enter the judging, you must sign up on either Friday or Saturday at the approved times. These times will be listed here once they are decided upon, as well as in the program guide at the convention. Signing up on Friday allows you to choose your judgment time. There are a limited number of judgment slots available, so sign up early to ensure that you get a place. A certain number of slots will be saved for Saturday for those who do not arrive on Friday to have a fair shot at them. You do not have to be in costume at time of signup.

When you sign up, you will be given the time of your judgment slot. Please show up 15 minutes early for your judgment in full costume. Be ready to speak about how your costume was made. You will have 3 minutes to be judged, so come prepared! Delaying the judging, or taking more than your allotted time may negatively impact your judging. If you are even a minute late for your judging, your slot is forfeited.

For the sake of our judge's speed and sanity, please bring a reference photo of your character with you to judging. You can leave the photo with your registration form at cosplay signup, or bring it with you directly to the judging. Art-books, screen caps, scans, figurines, or even plushies (if sufficiently detailed) can serve as references. Remember, just because you know what your character should look like doesn't mean the judges will!

You will be judged on overall effect, as well as craftsmanship, persona, and attitude. We are not simply looking to see that you are a dexterous tailor/seamstress, we are looking to see how well you can become your character, or how well your character becomes a part of you. In short, don't just make an costume and put it on, WEAR the outfit, and wear it well! Dazzle us.

If you did not make your costume, don't be afraid to tell us during judging. Give credit where credit is due. While we will take a look at the technical skill, it is only one of many areas we look at during cosplay judging. If we give an award, we want to make sure the proper parties get the credit due to them just as much as you will.

After your 3 minute judging period, you will be photographed by our photographer for our own internal reference. These photos may be displayed on the convention website or in other promotional materials at the conventions discretion. These photos will be available for purchase.

After the convention, you will have the option to receive additional feedback on your costume by emailing with your name and (if possible) number.

There are no pre-defined awards. We are not looking to assign "First", "Second", and "Third" places to art; rather, we are going to highlight cosplays that we thought were especially outstanding or exceptional.

Unless told otherwise, cosplayers should show up to main programming during the cosplay setup for lineup, instructions, and possibly a brief run-through.

If a skit entrant is not signing up for judging, they will be able to sign up for skits at the cosplay signup period. Signup times will be listed on the website closer to the convention, and in the program guide.

Any skit entrants also participating in the judging should follow the judging procedures up until the event itself.

If skit entrant is not participating in the judging, they simply need to show up at the cosplay setup period in full costume.

Costumes are required to be directly from anime.

If audio is to be used in the skit, it must be provided on a standard format CD at the time of signup.

In-jokes that no one will get are forbidden. If we suspect that you have made an in joke be ready for the wrath of our scathing tongues!

Spoilers are also strictly forbidden. L's real name is a spoiler. Belldandy being a goddess is not.

There is no time limit on skits, but if it is going on too long, or if it feels like it's going on forever we'll kick you off stage. Save yourself the embarrassment by making sure that the length of your skit corresponds with the interestingness of your skit.

On that note, make sure all your skits are A) a proper skit, and B) entertaining. Comedy is good, monologues are not. Standup routines, regardless of impact, are not a skit. Be original and go outside the borders of recreating the fight between Rock Lee and Gaara. The skit competition is not there to provide you with an open mic.

If your costume is large or bulky, make sure that you can move around in it well enough to get on and off stage without hurting yourself or the children.
Think of the children.

Should you feel passionately about a character, a scene, an anime, or the interaction of any of the prior this is your chance to shine! Rather than dressing up like a character to pay homage to our Japanese gods, you can represent any aspect of any anime through any means! The parameters are left intentionally vague to give you the widest range of options. Some examples of an interpretation would be dancing the spirit of Dead Leaves, by wearing the silent rage in Sasuke's heart, or by pantomiming the thoughts of a viewer watching End of Evangelion.

The interpretation should not be confused with a skit. If you're not sure what the difference is, please email

To sign up for interpretation, show up at the normal cosplay signup and fill out the form. Show up during the cosplay setup to check in.

We take this seriously, and you should, too. This is not the time for a silly joke, but the time for serious artists to display their feelings and thoughts on a show or character through unconventional means.

Final Disclaimer
In the beginning, there was a word, and the word was ARMAGEDDICON. We have final say on everything! If we disqualify you, you're disqualified. If someone else wins an award, and you think it was unfair… tough. We have the right to change any and all the rules as it suits our petty, fickle whims. The ARMAGEDDICON is infallible, and you are a big heaping pile of wrong.


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