Friday, January 31, 2014

World Cosplay Summit Part 1: How it Works

It's incredibly hard to get good info on World Cosplay Summit because it's spread all over and buried in places.  Most of the world information is in foreign languages, and most of the US information is buried on facebook in posts that (thanks to facebook's screwy algorithms) bury themselves over time, show sometimes and don't show other times, and are just plain crazy.  I'm trying to demystify the process a bit for myself and Milo, and you guys get to come along for the ride!


First, how it works.  WCS is a tiered system.  You compete at a Regional Qualifier.  If you win first place you get a free, paid trip to the convention hosting the National Qualifier.  If you win second place you can compete at the National Qualifier but have to pay your own way there.  First place at the National Qualifier wins a trip to Japan to compete at the World Cosplay Summit.

This year there were four Regional Qualifiers in the United States:

San Japan, Texas
Nan Desu Kan, Colorado
Katsucon, Maryland
Anime St. Louis, Illinois

The National Qualifier will be held at ACen in Chicago.


There are tons of rules to this contest.  Some are standard and some are strange.  Here's a link to the whole list if you want to look it over.  Here are some things that stuck out to me:

Teams are two people and only two people.  Not one, not three, just two.

Professionals not allowed (boo!)

Costumes must debut at Regionals, and should not change between Regionals and Nationals or WCS.

"Judges are permitted to take poor conduct into consideration during evaluation."

Limit 30 entries per competition (I think this is just cya, there are usually 5-8 although Katsucon this year has 13!!!).

"The costumes are limited to Japanese created manga, anime, games, and tokusatsu", no Hentai sources (even if the skit is pg), other various rules on what you can and can't source from.

Skit time limit is 2:30.  WHOA THAT IS A LONG TIME WHEN YOU'RE USED TO 60 SEC!!

"All equipment, costumes, hand props and stage props for all of the performance rounds are limited to a maximum weight of 40 kilograms (roughly 88 lbs) combined for both performers.I guess this makes sense when you think that someone has to pay to ship it to Japan, but it's funny to see.

"All large props or backdrops set on stage before the performance begins are limited to a maximum combined weight of 10 kilograms (roughly 22 lbs) Of the overall 4-0 Kilogram (roughly 88 lbs) limit.  Prop dimensions are limited to 2100 millimeters (approx 6.8 ft) in height, 2100 millimeters (approx 6.8 ft) in width and 900 millimeters (approx 2.95 ft) in depth."

Limit 3 set pieces/stage props.

Judging is split into Craftsmanship and Performance.  "Each judge can award 10 points for costume, 10 points for performance, 5 points for fidelity, 5 points for professionalism, and 5 points for stage impact."


WCS Team USA 2013