World Cosplay Summit

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World Cosplay Summit
Status Active
Venue Oasis 21 (2006-2013)
Aichi Arts Center (2014-)
Osu Shopping District
Location(s) Sakae, Nagoya, Aichi
Country Japan
Inaugurated 2003
Attendance 18,000 in 2012[1]
2008 World Cosplay Summit

The World Cosplay Summit (世界コスプレサミット Sekai Kosupure Samitto?), also known as WCS, is an annual international cosplay event that promotes friendly international exchange through Japanese pop culture.[2][3] In 2012 the WCS was incorporated as a company and until that year was organized by the events division of TV Aichi. It is supported by city organizations, businesses and the WCS student volunteer organization 'Omotenashi'. The parade and championship are held in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan with several related events being held in the Kanto, Kansai and Tokai areas. A cosplay stage performance competition called the 'Cosplay Championship' was first held at Aichi Expo in 2005 and selection of national representatives for the event comes from preliminary and regional rounds held at partnering anime/manga events the respective countries of the participants. With keen interest in Japanese youth culture from abroad, as of 2008 three ministries of the Japanese government have given support to the event; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Japanese embassy representatives often attend preliminaries at events in different countries as well. The WCS has grown from a weekend event in 2003 and is currently held over a one-week period where the representatives visit different parts of Japan, including Akihabara, Kyoto and Sendai, in promotion of Japanese youth culture and its ability to connect internationally. The parade and championship have been held on the Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend of August since 2006.


Expo Dome, the venue for the 2005 Cosplay Championship.
Oasis 21, current venue for the Cosplay Championship.
Aichi Arts Center, the venue for the 2014 and future Cosplay Championships.

The first WCS was held in 2003 to highlight the international popularity of Japanese anime and manga through cosplay,[4] and to brighten up Expo 2005 in Nagoya.[5] The event has grown year by year and has come to include 20 countries with 40 cosplay representatives and encompasses several events including the Osu Cosplay Parade and Cosplay Championship.

2003-2012: The first 10 years[edit]


The first event was held on October 12 at Rose Court Hotel in Nagoya. 5 cosplayers were invited from Germany, France and Italy; events included a panel-discussion, photograph session, and mixer event. An event review dealing with the contemporary situation of anime and manga in Frankfurt (Germany), Paris (France) and Rome (Italy) was produced called "International Common Language" (MANGAは世界の共通語?). The program was broadcast on November 24.


Held on August 1 at Ōsu shopping district in Naka-ku, Nagoya. 8 cosplayers were invited from Germany, France, Italy and the United States. This year marked the introduction of the Osu Cosplay Parade, which featured about 100 participants.


In 2005 the WCS transferred from an invitational based system to a system where preliminaries events were held around the world to select cosplay participants. This was also the first year to hold the Cosplay Championship. Single and group teams came to represent each country with 4 cosplayers from each nation. Along with supporting activities the event took place in 2 main locations: the Cosplayer Parade was held in Osu on July 31 and the Cosplay Championship was held at the Expo Dome on August 7 during Expo 2005. 40 people from seven countries participated in the first Cosplay Championship, France won the group category, Italy won the individual category and the overall contest winner was Italy.[6] The initial goal of the event was to bring a part of Japanese youth culture to Expo 2005 and the event enjoyed the support of the Expo organizing committee — the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition.


The next year the event moved to the venue for the Cosplay Championship to where it is currently held (as of 2013) at Oasis 21 in Sakae, Nagoya. 9 countries competed (Italy, Germany, France, Spain, China, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan.) with a total of 22 cosplayers participated.

This year the WCS gained the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT). Over 5,000 people attended the Cosplay Championship stage event and several thousand more attended the Cosplay Parade.

TV Aichi broadcast another TV documentary special, "World Cosplay Summit 2006: New Challengers".


The venue for the Cosplay Championship at Oasis 21 in Higashi-ku, Nagoya. Denmark, Mexico and South Korea joined the event this year to bring the number of participation nations to 12 with a total of 28 participating cosplayers. About 10,000 people attended the Cosplay Championship.

On the evening of the championship, "World Cosplay Summit 2007: Giza-suge yatsura ga yattekita Z!"(World Cosplay Summit 2007: The Super Cool Have Arrived!) was televised. This year the event became a part of the 2007 "Visit Japan" campaign of the MLIT.


With growing recognition of the global economic benefits of Japan's Otaku culture the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) began to support the event. About 300 cosplayers participated in the parade.

13 countries with a total of 28 representative cosplayers performed in the Championship in front of 12,000 visitors. TV Aichi broadcast a TV documentary special "World Cosplay Summit 2008 - Everyone's Heroes Get Together!"


In April 2009, the "World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee" was created to support the development and expansion of the WCS. The Osu Parade has grown to 500 people and 30 representative cosplayers from 15 countries performed in the Cosplay Championship in front of 12,000 visitors.

The first international symposium was held at Nagoya University entitled "Outward Minded: Worldwide Impact of Cosplay and Interpretations in Japan".


SKE48 Team KII performing at the World Cosplay Summit 2010.

The symposium was moved to the Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers.


This year the Netherlands and Malaysia joined the participating nations to bring the total to 17.[7]

This was the first year that the 'Special Tour' was held. After the last day of activities all cosplay representatives and organizers went on a tour of the Central Japan region staying that evening at a traditional hot springs hotel in the Chita Peninsula area.


This year the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Russia joined the event. Being the 10th anniversary of the WCS, the event was spread out over 12 days. Official visits were paid to Gifu, Mie, Tottori and Aichi Prefectural offices and there were 2 parades held, one in Ichinomiya during the Tanabata Festival and the annual parade in Osu, Nagoya. The order of the parade and championship were switched with the championship held on the Saturday and the parade on Sunday. This was also the first year that countries and regions could participate under Observer Status and with Hong Kong and Taiwan taking part in this manner the total number of participating countries came to 22.


Vietnam and the Philippines joined as Observer Nations this year bringing the number of participating countries and regions to 24. The event has been held with the help of local and international volunteers since 2009 however this year saw the beginning of the 'Omotenashi' student volunteer group. This was the first year of the event as an independent company after 10 years where it was organized through the Events Department of Aichi TV.


Portugal have been selected to join, Also Kuwait joins the WCS as the first nation from the Middle East, Which brings the total number of participating nations/regions to 26.


With the inclusion of Canada and Sweden as Observer Nations, the number of participating nations/regions now total 28.[8]

World Cosplay Championship rules and regulations[edit]

In 2008, performance by cosplayers, the Grand Champion of the year.


Regulations of the preliminaries for each country are decided by the event in which the respective preliminaries takes place. The following are participation regulations of the World Cosplay Summit finals in Japan [9][10]

Participant regulations (for WCS 2012)[edit]

1. Each country will be represented by one team of two cosplayers.

2. The costumes must be from Japanese anime, manga, video games and tokusatsu.

  • Dojinshi and unique characters from live actor movies based on anime or manga are not permitted. (i.e. Dragonball Evolution etc.)
  • When doing a costume from a game, the character must be recognizably Japanese. (i.e. not a Disney or Star Wars character even though the game may be made in Japan.)

3. Cosplay costumes are to be hand-made.

  • It is permissible for family and friends to help with costumes, but the contestants should be actively involved in the construction process.

4. Prospective entrants must be able to travel to Japan for about one week from the end of July to early August for the World Cosplay Summit Championship.

5. Participating minors must have consent of a guardian. (Rules may vary depending on the preliminary rules in different countries)

6. Contestants must participate in a positive manner in order to ensure the success of the World Cosplay Summit.

7. Legal Documents (i.e. passport application, official documentation, etc...) must be prepared and submitted as quickly as possible at the request of the WCS sponsor (TV Aichi).

8. Media such as TV programs, internet homepages, newspapers, magazines, etc., may use photos and images of the preliminary contests prior to the World Cosplay Summit. On these occasions, compensation will not be furnished.

9. All image rights in all media exposure, such as news from TV programs and other assorted media involved with the World Cosplay Summit, promotional activities in print media as well as events and performances, and announcements of the Cosplay Summit both prior and during the event, will be attributed to TV Aichi.

10. After the World Cosplay Summit, images, photographs, footage, programs broadcast, internet homepages and DVDs etc. of the contestants will come under the jurisdiction of TV Aichi. Compensation will not be furnished for such images used by the media.

Preparation: rules and considerations[edit]

1. A minimum of three costumes must be brought to Japan: one for the parade, one for the championship, and one for media appearances.

2. In the Cosplay Championship, the costumes of the characters must be from the same Japanese manga, anime, video game or tokusatsu series.

  • It is not necessary to coordinate costumes for the parade or otherwise.

3. All equipment, costumes and props for the Cosplay Championship performance are limited to a maximum weight of 40 kilograms combined for both performers.

4. All large props set on stage before the Cosplay Championship performance begins are limited to a maximum weight of 10 kilograms. Prop dimensions are limited to 2100 millimeters in height, 2100 millimeters in width and 900 millimeters in depth.

5. All large props set on stage are limited to a maximum of 3 items. Dimensions of hand held props carried onto the stage must be relayed to WCS head office in written form and accompanied by photographs.

6. It is not permitted to directly copy original drawings or logos to your equipment or props.

7. You are required to bear the cost of any overweight luggage charges when shipping costumes and other items. It is not possible to send them to Japan by air or ship beforehand.

8. Please prepare your own music for your performance. A performance sheet stating what you will perform is to be submitted in advance. The use of voice actors voices from original works in your music is prohibited.

9. Please send the documents and sound file at latest one month before the date of the Cosplay Championship.


The Championship judges are a panel of usually 5 guest judges from the anime, manga and cosplay community.

Judging criteria[edit]

Each judge of the cosplay championship can award 10 points for costume, 10 points for performance, and 5 points for faithfulness to the original work, for a maximum total of 25 points.

1. Performance (10 points): level of performance, inventiveness, entertainment.

2. Costume (10 points): design, faithfulness to the original characters costume.

3. Fidelity to Original (5 points): level of faithfulness of the performance towards the original story and characters.

List of guest judges[edit]

Year Judges
2005 Leiji Matsumoto
Hironobu Kageyama
Ippongi Bang
Akifumi Takayanagi (TV Aichi)
Shin Nagai (Tokyo Mode Gakuin)
2006 Go Nagai
Hiroshi Kitadani
Essai Ushijima (Cosplay critic)
Yuji Tokita (MOFA)
2007 Monkey Punch
Ichirou Mizuki
Essai Ushijima (Cosplay critic)
Yuji Tokita (MOFA)
Ken Nagata (MLIT)
2008 Yumiko Igarashi
Rica Matsumoto
10 general judge
2009 Tōru Furuya
Go Nagai
Ichirou Mizuki
Hamada Britney
2010 Tōru Furuya
Hironobu Kageyama
Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Sengoku Basara)
Nobuyuki Takahashi (Inventor of the word cosplay)
2011 Tōru Furuya
JAM Project (Hironobu Kageyama, Masaaki Endo, Hiroshi Kitadani, Masami Okui and Yoshiki Fukuyama)
Takaaki Kitani (President, Bushiroad)
Inui Tatsumi (Site administrator of Cure)
Masaaki Nagase (Editor-in-chief, Tokai Walker)
2012 Tōru Furuya
Go Nagai
Inui Tatsumi (Site administrator of Cure)
Rica Matsumoto
2013 Tōru Furuya
Tomokazu Sugita
Inui Tatsumi (Site administrator of Cure)
Mel Kishida (illustrator)
Ikenotani Ken (ACOS Producer)
2014 Tōru Furuya
Mika Kanai
Mel Kishida (illustrator)
Inui Tatsumi (Site administrator of Cure)
Andrea Vesnaver (WCS 2013 Champion Italy Representative)
Dr.Oh (Bushiroad Producer)
Azuma Fukashi(TV Tokyo Producer)

Attending countries[edit]

  Attending countries to the World Cosplay Summit (as of 2013)
  Japan, host country of the World Cosplay Summit

Attending countries in bold indicate first attendance for that year:

Year # Attending countries Guest commentator/s Date Venue
2003 4  Germany,  France,  Italy,  Japan October 12 Rose Court Hotel
2004 5  Germany,  France,  Italy,  Japan,  United States August 1 Ōsu shopping area
2005 7  China (PRC),  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,  Spain,  United States Tōru Furuya
Tomoe Shinohara
July 31 Ōsu shopping area
August 7 Expo Dome
2006 9  Brazil,  China (PRC),  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,  Singapore,  Spain,  Thailand Tōru Furuya August 5 Ōsu shopping area
August 6 Oasis 21
2007 12  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,  South Korea,  Mexico,
 Singapore,  Spain,  Thailand
Tōru Furuya
Shoko Nakagawa
August 4 Ōsu shopping area
August 5 Oasis 21
2008 13  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,  South Korea,  Mexico,
 Singapore,  Spain,  Thailand,  United States[3]
Tōru Furuya
Natsuki Katō
August 2 Ōsu shopping area
August 3 Oasis 21
2009 15  Australia,  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,
 South Korea,  Mexico,  Singapore,  Spain,  Thailand,  United States[3]
August 1 Ōsu shopping area
August 2 Oasis 21
2010 15  Australia,  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,
 South Korea,  Mexico,  Singapore,  Spain,  Thailand,  United States
July 31 Ōsu shopping area
August 1 Oasis 21
2011 17  Australia,  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,
 South Korea,  Malaysia,  Mexico,  Netherlands,  Singapore,  Spain,  Thailand,  United States
August 6 Ōsu shopping area
August 7 Oasis 21
2012 22  Australia,  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Hong Kong (Observer),  Indonesia,  Italy,
 Japan,  South Korea,  Malaysia,  Mexico,  Netherlands,  Russia,  Singapore,  Spain,  Taiwan (Observer),  Thailand,
 United Kingdom,  United States
August 4 Oasis 21
August 5 Ōsu shopping area
2013 24  Australia,  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Hong Kong (Observer),  Indonesia,
 Italy,  Japan,  South Korea,  Malaysia,  Mexico,  Netherlands,  Philippines (Observer),  Russia,  Singapore,
 Spain,  Taiwan (Observer),  Thailand,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vietnam (Observer)
August 3 Oasis 21
August 2 Ōsu shopping area
2014 26  Australia,  Brazil,  China (PRC),  Denmark,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Hong Kong,  Indonesia,
 Italy,  Japan,  Kuwait (Observer),  Portugal (Observer),  South Korea,  Malaysia,  Mexico,  Netherlands,  Philippines (Observer),
 Russia,  Singapore,  Spain,  Taiwan,  Thailand,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vietnam (Observer)
August 2 Aichi Arts Center
August 3 Ōsu shopping area


Year Grand Champion Runner-up Special award from "brother"
1, 2
Italy Giorgia Vecchini
Francesca Dani
Emilia Fata Livia
Japan Nakamura-han
Brazil Maurício Somenzari L Olivas (Mah Psylocke)
Mônica Somenzari L Olivas (Kawaii Aeris)
Japan Mariko
Japan Goldi
2007 France Damien Ratte
Isabelle Jeudy
Japan Kikiwan
Naoki Shigure
Mexico Linaloe Rodriguez Rivera (Linamoon)
Alejandra Rodriguez Rivera (Yunnale)
2008 Brazil Jéssica Moreira Rocha Campos (Pandy)
Gabriel Niemietz Braz (Hyoga)
China Zhao Chin
Zhang Li
Japan Yui
2009 Japan YuRi
Spain Bereniç Serrano Vidal (Piruletosa)
Laura Fernández Ramos (Madoka)
United States Elizabeth Licata (fatwetdog)
India Davis (Dia)
2010 Italy Luca Buzzi
Giancarlo Di Pierro


Gabrielle Christine Valerio
Gabriel Niemietz Braz (Hyoga)

Orawan Aggavinate (Alexis Seiz)
Patawikorn Uttisen (Pat)

Thailand Orawan Aggavinate (Alexis Seiz)
Patawikorn Uttisen (Pat)
2011 Brazil Maurício Somenzari Leite Olivas
Mônica Somenzari Leite Olivas
Italy Marika Roncon
Daniela Maiorana
Australia Tessa Beattie
Jessica L. Allie
2012 Japan Yukari Shimotsuki
Singapore Frank Koh (Raistlin03)
Valerie Seng (ayatenshi)
Singapore Frank Koh (Raistlin03)
Valerie Seng (ayatenshi)
2013 Italy Andrea Vesnaver
Massimo Barbera
United States Cassandra May (Breathlessaire)
Tiffany Tezna (Starlighthoney)
United States Cassandra May (Breathlessaire)
Tiffany Tezna (Starlighthoney)
2014 Russia Nek (Neko-tin)
Italy NadiaSK
Denmark Shinji
  • ^1 Group Champion:  France (Pauline Mesa, Laurence Guermond Wendy Roeltgen)
  • ^2 Individual Champion: Italy Giorgia Vecchini
  • ^3 3rd:  Italy (Alessandro Leuti, Alessia de Magistris)

Partner organizations or events[edit]

The following organizations have held the preliminary contests to select the representative of the country for the Cosplay championship since 2005.

Former partner organizations or events[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 世界コスプレサミット2012 チャンピオンシップ結果速報 (in Japanese). World Cosplay Summit 2012 official website. 2013-01-26. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  2. ^ "World Cosplay Championship regulation: Article 8.". World Cosplay Summit 2008 official website. 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c Associated Press (July 7, 2008). "Japan hosts government-sponsored costume contest as diplomatic tool to promote culture". Mainichi Daily News. Retrieved 2008-07-31. [dead link]
  4. ^ "What's WCS?". World Cosplay Summit 2008 official website. 2008. 
  5. ^ "World Cosplay Summit 2003 official website" (in Japanese). World Cosplay Summit 2003 official website. 2003. 
  6. ^ "World Cosply Summit Ends in Aichi". Anime News Network. August 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d "Anime News Network". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  9. ^ "FanimeCon - 2010 Regulations". 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  10. ^ "Australia Animania - 2010 Regulations". 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  11. ^ "Indonesia Cosplay Grand Prix website". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Philippines @ WCS". Retrieved 2013-12-21. 
  13. ^ "FanimeCon 2010 Forums". 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  14. ^ "Anime News Network". 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 

External links[edit]