Laying Down Judgment: Another Perspective of a Competitive Cosplay

Hello all,

We’re about two weeks removed from Cos-Losseum, where I made my second cosplay guest appearance. Below are some of the highlights as well as some take-aways at the bottom:

Here’s a picture of the booth setup this time.  I put the Monado and Wing up in the front so people can take pictures with it, touch, and encourage more interaction.  The setup worked great, I had the opportunity to engage in some deep conversation with people’s cosplay plans, exchanged knowledge, and just shoot the breeze.


I spoke on a panel along with a slew of talented cosplayers on “The Passion of Cosplay.”  Basically it was a Q&A where we answered anyone’s cosplay questions.  We shared what motivates us to keep going, some of our great and not-so-great moments in cosplay, and any messages we would like to relay to all aspiring cosplayers.


In a nutshell, my spiel basically advocated a community of collaboration and sharing.  We all make great things, and it’s our duty to the cosplay community to facilitate eachother.  I’ve learned a lot of techniques and made a lot of mistakes in the craft, and I want to make it easier for the next person to create the next big thing.

IMG_6924I took on a new role this con: being a judge at the cosplay contest.


All the contestants were great, they showed poise and confidence, and all emanated confidence, which made the whole experience enjoyable for them, the audience, and the judges.

Being a judge was definitely an experience, however, it solidified that for the time being, I am happier being a competitor.  However, this experience gave me another perspective of the competitive cosplay which I hope to utilize.  I boiled down the keys to success to three things:

Originality.  Epic cosplays like Gundams or Transformer may look like surefire wins in a contest.  However, if you put them next to a bunch of Gundams and Transformers, they start to become drowned in a sea of clones.  Conversely, if in the same cosplay contest there is someone dressed up as say, Kirby (simple ball shape), then that cosplayer, despite it’s simplicity, becomes the things that sticks out.  The judges are watching upwards of 50+ cosplayers, the ones that have done something different have the eyes drawn onto them.

Flash.  Once the originality get the eyes on you, its time then to show off your main attraction.  It could come in different forms.  It could be the prop.  It could be the sheer size of your cosplay.  It could be the use of LED’s to make your cosplay literally flash.  Essentially it is the focal point or part of the cosplay that everyone will be talking about.  “I really liked that sword,…” “The wings that moved were epic…” these are things that judges are saying amongst themselves when they were deliberating. From the judges perspective, they see upwards of 50+ cosplays walking through the stage, only a few are going to really stick in their minds.  The goal then, is to be the image that gets burnt into the judges memory when they deliberate.

Confidence.  This shows in different ways.  Confidence can be seen getting on stage and striking a pose.  If timidity exists, typically movement becomes stiff, shaky, and not fully articulate.  One of the keys to success in the cosplay contest to convince everyone that you are the character, not just a person wearing a costume.  Get out there and believe you are the character.  Think of what would excite you if you saw it on stage and do it.  Fire yourself up, get amped, get excited!  When you’re having fun, we’re all having fun!

When you combine originality, flash, and confidence, you’re always a contender.  From the judges perspeective, it’s similiar to reading a pile of resumes.  Everyone is talented and qualified, but now it’s about who really stuck out of the pile.

Hope this is insightful, and hope this helps in getting you on the big stage.  #makegreatness