World Cosplay Summit

World Cosplay Summit

World Cosplay Summit Official Website

The World Cosplay Summit (WCS) is an annual cosplay event promoting friendly international exchange through Japanese pop culture. Starting in 2003 with only a handful of countries, it has since grown to include countries from all over the word.

Otakuthon brought the WCS to Canada in 2014 with its winners participating as an observer nation in 2015. Canada was then promoted to full participating nation status in 2016. The winners of the WCS Canadian preliminary at Otakuthon 2023 will go on to represent Canadian cosplay and compete against cosplayer teams from around the world for the chance at the title of Grand Champion at the 2024 WCS Championship in Japan!

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General rules


Note: All times in Eastern Time


To participate in the competition, your team must complete the 2023 WCS Canadian Preliminary Application Form during the registration period as specified above. In the form you will be asked for the following:

Rules of the competition


  1. Each team member must be a registered attendee of Otakuthon. You will be asked to present proof of purchase of your badge (or proof of registration) if you're accepted to participate in the Canadian Preliminary.
  2. Each team member must be at least 18 years of age on August 1, 2023.
  3. Each team member must either be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada possessing proof of citizenship (ex. passport, citizenship card) or permanent resident card.
  4. Each team member must be eligible to travel to Japan during the months of July and August 2024, and must possess a valid passport or willing and able to acquire one for that period of time.
  5. No team member may have participated in another country's preliminaries nor finals for the 2024 WCS Championship in Japan.
  6. No team member may have judged another country's preliminaries nor finals for the 2024 WCS Championship in Japan.
  7. No team member may have been a member of Team Canada in the previous year.
  8. No team member may have been a member of a Representative Team of a country other than Canada in the previous five years. (If you were a representative of any country other than Canada in 2020 or later, you cannot compete at the Otakuthon 2023 event.)

Costumes and costume sources

  1. Teams must abide by the Otakuthon Convention Rules and Weapon Policy.
  2. Costumes worn by the team must be for characters from the same source material.
  3. The costume source must be from a Japanese anime, manga, video game, or tokusatsu. The following sources are not allowed:
    1. coterie/theater works, fan art, doujinshi, and live-action movies based on manga, anime, or games
    2. non-Japanese source material, even if the source may have been made in Japan (ex. costumes from the "Cyberpunk: Edgerunners" anime, the "Genshin Impact" anime, of Disney characters, etc. are not allowed.)
    3. any work unfit to be sold to persons under the age of 18 years
  4. When in doubt, contact to confirm the acceptability of the costumes in question.
  5. Costumes are to be constructed by the team members.
  6. Assembling a costume from store-bought pieces is not permitted. (ex. Buying a premade costume, upgrading a pre-made costume, or assembling the majority of a costume from purchased items is not permitted.) But purchasing wigs, shoes and small costume items as a base is permitted.
  7. Use of technologies that require data input such as embroidery machines, fabric printing, laser cutters, and 3D printing is permitted, provided that the team members were involved in some aspect of production of the final piece.

Please note that while the WCS Canadian Preliminary will allow all Ghibli films as costume sources this year, if a team wins with a film based on an story of non-Japanese origin (e.g. "Howl's Moving Castle", "Tales from Earthsea", "Arrietty", "When Marnie Was There", "Earwig and the Witch"), they may be asked to change it for the 2024 WCS Championship.


  1. A maximum of 3 stage props are allowed. Each item should weigh under 10 kg and measure no more than 210 cm in height, 210 cm in width, and 90 cm in depth.
  2. Items other than the stage props that need to be set on or at the side of the stage before the performance are to be set by the representatives.
  3. All props need to be self-contained. Items which require external power sources are not permitted. The use of any convention property as a prop will also not be permitted.
  4. It is not permitted to use trademarked illustrations or logos on equipment or props.
  5. All costumes, wigs, props, and equipment for both team members combined is limited to a maximum of 40 kilograms.
  6. Teams are required to attend a large prop drop off and stage prop set up on Saturday, August 12, 2023. If you do not attend, there will not be time available to assemble your stage props.


  1. The performance time limit is 2 minutes 30 seconds.
  2. A description of the presentation must be submitted with the application form.
  3. Only the two team members are allowed on stage during the presentation. Stage ninjas are NOT allowed to participate in any way during the performance.
  4. Stage ninjas will be available to place the stage props on the stage prior to the presentation and remove them from the stage after the presentation. Setup and/or removal should take at most 40 seconds.
  5. It is prohibited to enter the audience area as part of the presentation.
  6. The use of fire, water, lasers, strobe devices, and smoke-related special effects is prohibited.
  7. The act of staining, marking, or damaging the stage, the props or costumes of other competitors is prohibited.


  1. All audio used in the presentation must be recorded in advance of the competition. Speaking on the stage is not allowed.
  2. Audio must be submitted as an mp3.
  3. Original voice tracks from the source material are NOT allowed.
  4. Audio must be submitted by Friday, August 4, 2023.
  5. Teams are expected to bring a backup copy to the event on a USB drive.

Please note that while the WCS Canadian Preliminary does not require that any audio or sound clips used in the performance be royalty-free, it is a requirement of the 2023 WCS Championship and will likely remain a requirement in 2024 and beyond.


All cancellations must be made at least 72 hours prior to the competition. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from the following year's competition.

< p. ex.eptions may be made in the case of a medical or family emergency.


The following judging rubric will be used to help decide the winner of the WCS Canadian Preliminary. Scores will not be released to the public nor to any of the participating teams. The judges may also request input from the director(s) of WCS Canada during their deliberations.

Presentation (40 points)

  1. Performance (20 points)
    Evaluation of aspects such as the quality and degree of accomplishment of the performance, the manner in which the story is conveyed, the usage of props, the respect to the original work, and the overall entertainment value.
  2. Acting · Stage proficiency (8 points)
    Evaluation of the expressiveness on the stage, including aspects such as the degree of accomplishment of singing, dancing, or other active elements in the performance and how well-rehearsed they appear, the expressiveness of performers in scenes with simple or no action, and the delivery of dialogue.
  3. Costume stage presence (8 points)
    Evaluation of the impression caused by the costumes on the stage, such as the values that are first perceived when the costume appears on stage. Aspects such as the use of gimmicks to change the appearance or the structure of the costumes during the performance are also taken into consideration.
  4. X Factor (4 points)
    The additional evaluation of points that exceed expectations and results which are particularly moving or exciting, or the realization of new ideas that had not been seen before in the competition.

Costume (40 points)

  1. Level of precision in the costumes (16 points)
    The costumes are evaluated by comparing the costumes with the design of the costumes in the original work.
  2. Costume quality (16 points)
    The costumes are evaluated according to multiple factors, such as how well the costume is combined, how well it suits the contestant, how beautifully it is painted/sewn, etc.
  3. Technique (8 points)
    Evaluation of costume making skills. Costumes that have been made by utilizing a variety of challenging techniques are scored more highly than those using a few basic skills. These criteria look more at the level of quality rather than the number of techniques employed.

For costume construction judging, teams will have a total of ten (10) minutes. Teams will have five (5) minutes to present their costumes to the judges. The judges will then have five (5) minutes to ask questions.

NOTE: Because teams are required to prepare PowerPoint presentations with progress photos for the WCS Championship in Japan, teams participating in the WCS Canadian Preliminary are also required to do so. This costume report should include photos that show the production process, to help the team explain the features, quality, precision, and the techniques that have been applied to the costumes.


In addition to the costume and performance components, there will be a short interview portion as part of the WCS Canadian Preliminary. While WCS is a cosplay competition, Team Canada, like all other participating teams, will also be acting as national cosplay ambassadors who may meet important members of Japanese corporations and government, as well as be interviewed by Japanese and other participating nations' media.

Participating teams in the WCS Canadian Preliminary will be provided with a complete list of possible questions in advance of the convention. At the convention during the scheduled interview slot, the teams will be asked a few of these questions to evaluate how the team responds.

NOTE: Because the official languages of the WCS Championship in Japan are English and Japanese, the interviews will be performed in English. That said, the level of English fluency is not a factor, only how the teams present themselves.

Media rules

  1. Application information, such as team information, cosplay names/alias, submitted photos, etc., may be used for press releases and on the Otakuthon and WCS Canada social media accounts. Real/legal names and personal contact information will be kept private. If you want to use your real name for the press, please note this in your submission.
  2. Media such as TV programs, websites, newspapers, magazines, etc., may use photos and images of the WCS Canadian Preliminary. By submitting your application, you agree that no compensation will be provided should your likeness be used.
  3. After the World Cosplay Summit Canadian Preliminary, all media, including but not limited to images, photographs, video footage, programs broadcast, DVDs, etc., of the contestants will become the property of the WCS Canada organizational team and Otakuthon. No compensation will be provided should your likeness be used.

If you have any questions about the rules or anything else, please email