Anime NYC loves cosplay! Whether you pulled a Team Instinct cap from your closet or spent months making your Yuri!!! On Ice free skate costume perfect, we want to shine a spotlight on you!

On Saturday night at Anime NYC, cosplay takes over our Main Stage with the Anime NYC Masquerade! Compete for craftsmanship prizes as a walk-on – or an individual or group skit for the chance to win prizes for craftsmanship, showmanship, and of course fame, honor, and glory!

Or want to be a Judge? See here for our Judge Application!


The Anime NYC Masquerade will take place at 9 PM on Saturday, November 19 on our Main Stage. ALL MASQUERADE ENTRANTS MUST PRE-REGISTER.


Costumes spanning the worlds of anime, manga, video games, musicals, books, and even comics and movies are all eligible for entry (original characters, too), but please note costumes must comply with Anime NYC’s Cosplay and Weapons Policies.

There are two ways to compete…

  • CRAFTSMANSHIP ONLY – If competing as a Craftsmanship only contestant, contestants will go on stage individually or in their group, exhibit two to three poses as our emcee reads the entrant’s costume description, and then exit. If competing in a group, awards will be given to the group, not individuals. (Note: you must attend pre-judging in order to compete in this entry type.)

  • PERFORMANCE – You may also compete for a Craftsmanship award in the Performance category if your costume matches the Craftsmanship award requirements listed in the Awards section below. (Note: Performance entries do not need to be part of Craftsmanship judging, but can be should you wish.)


The competition is split into four categories…

  • Beginner – Anyone who has never won a major costume contest award.
  • Intermediate – Anyone who has won between one to three major awards.
  • Advanced – Anyone who has won four or more major awards.
  • Kids – Contestants must be 11 – 15 years of age or older to compete.

You are welcome to compete at a higher level should you want to. Professional costumers may only compete at the Advanced level. If entering as a group, your category is determined by the most experienced member of your group. Adults may not enter in a group in the Kids category; however, kids may enter with adults in a group in another category if they wish, but this means they will be judged for that groups’ skill category. If you have questions or concerns about what category you should enter, feel free to email us at

Please note that group entries are judged as a group overall. Individuals in the group are not judged on an individual basis.

Please note cosplays and performers must comply with Anime NYC’s Anti Harassment Policy. This means no profanity, hate speech, religious, political, or otherwise inflammatory messages are allowed.


Best Craftsmanship and Runners Up will be awarded for each of the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced categories – as well as personal Judges’ Awards, Best Performance, Best Dance, and an overall Best In Show. Special Kids Prizes will also be awarded.

Any costume is eligible to compete on stage in performance, but only costumes that are at least 75% created by the wearer are eligible for Craftsmanship awards – with Craftsmanship Judging taking place prior to the Masquerade.

If you are taking part in Craftsmanship Judging, you must attend prejudging before the contest during which time our judges will meet with you to review your costume and ask you questions about its creation. Please note a build book will be required as a part of Craftsmanship judging. Time slots will be shared in advance of the convention for contestants to pick their prejudging time on Friday or Saturday.

Please note, any costume entered into the Craftsmanship competition that has won a comparable award at another competition is not allowed and will be disqualified from the Anime NYC Masquerade. If your cosplay has won an award previously at a smaller convention, you may still enter. Please email us at with any questions about this rule.


Anime NYC provides free admission to all cosplayers participating in our Masquerade! All Masquerade participants must have badges to Anime NYC. If you are accepted into the Anime NYC Masquerade, your badge price will be refunded as a thank you for your time and effort on stage. If you do not yet have a badge, one will be assigned to you if you are accepted into the Masquerade. (Please note this refunded admission is for cosplayers competing in the Masquerade. Only applying for the Masquerade does not guarantee free admission.)


All participants are encouraged to attend an optional rehearsal on Friday evening. Attendance is recommended but not required. Full costumes are not needed for the rehearsal, but if you have a very large costume that restricts mobility, please bring it to ensure you can enter and exit the stage.

When on stage, please keep the following guidelines in mind for time. We will be strictly enforcing this.

  • Craftsmanship Only – 30 seconds
  • Performance (1-2 people) – Up to 90 seconds
  • Performance (3-5 people) – Up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds
  • Performance (6+ people) – Up to 3 minutes

All music/backing tracks for performances must be submitted digitally in MP3 format and in advance. No music for performances will be accepted the day of the show. You will receive additional information on submitting your music/backing tracks in your acceptance email.

When planning your time on stage, please keep in mind that there will be children in the audience. Please keep your costume and/or performance equivalent to a PG-13-rated film. No explicit sexual references, gestures, or language will be allowed. Any presentation that violates this rule will be disqualified and may be asked to leave the stage during their performance. Usage of any foul or abusive language is grounds for instant disqualification and removal from the Masquerade.

And here are some other things to keep in mind…

  • Don’t jump off the stage. The audience is also not allowed to approach the stage.
  • No projectiles are to be thrown on to the stage and don’t throw anything from the stage.
  • There is no adult-related content allowed on stage. Keep all performances respectful and appropriate for general audiences.
  • All props, setups, and scenery must be taken down after your performance. Do not leave any items behind that can hinder the contestants after you. Don’t make a mess.
  • You must be able to walk on/off stage and maneuver freely in your costume without assistance.


You must sign-up in advance to take part in Anime NYC’s Masquerade. There is no registration onsite available for performance contestants.

To sign-up, complete our online registration form by October 20th, 2022. Groups only need to fill out ONE entry form for the entire group. Please note, there are a limited number of spots in our Masquerade and applications are reviewed before selection. We look to accommodate as many cosplayers as we can, but we can’t guarantee all applicants will be accepted to compete. All applicants will hear back from us by October 27th, 2022, and if you’re selected to take part, you’ll then be emailed check-in information and additional contest details. Once we reach capacity we may close applications early, but will communicate this in advance.

You can apply as many times as you would like with as many costumes as you would like, but please note that only one costume can be accepted into the competition per person.

If selected to participate in the Anime NYC’s Masquerade, you agree to allow us to share photos you provide for marketing purposes and promotion as well as future events and will be asked to sign a release form if your application is accepted.

Have any questions? Please reach out to

Got it? Good! Pick up some thread, duct tape, and a hot glue gun, and we’ll see you at the Anime NYC Masquerade!