Presented by

Pictured: Chicken 65, @doctorfunkbeat, @skypurinpan, @luvmaker123, @spikeloid, @starsplat, @lytecos, and Stella Chu

Day: TBD | Time: TBD | Main Stage

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!

During the Masquerade, cosplay takes over our Main Stage with the Anime NYC Masquerade, presented by Arisu Anime! 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!

Sponsors & Partners

Prizing for our winners is being provided thanks to the generosity of these sponsors & partners.


Best in Show Trophies designed by Plexi Cosplay and Hoku Props

New this year! We’re excited to partner with Plexi Cosplay and Hoku Props in the design and production of our coveted Best in Show trophy. Cosplay awards created by respected professional cosplayers in the space? That’s what our cosplay community is all about. Stay tuned for pictures of these epic pieces when we’re ready to show them off!


The Anime NYC Masquerade will take place during the weekend of AnimeNYC on our Main Stage. The date and time are not yet finalized, so the masquerade may be held on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday – with prejudging potentially happening in the preceding hours or the day before the contest. The masquerade staff will let all applicants know via email as soon as the date and time is finalized. 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 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 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 group’s 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.


Best Awards Runners Up Minor Awards
Best in Show Judge’s Choice
Best Advanced Craftsmanship/Performance Advanced Craftsmanship/Performance Runner Up Superlatives, if given
Best Intermediate Craftsmanship/Performance Intermediate Craftsmanship/Performance Runner Up
Best Beginner Craftsmanship/Performance Beginner Craftsmanship/Performance Runner Up
Best Kid’s Cosplay

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. If you have further questions, please review the Cosplay Contest FAQ.


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 will be issued a badge as a thank you for your time and effort on stage. (Only applying for the Masquerade does not guarantee free admission.) 



All participants are encouraged to attend a rehearsal, time TBA. Attendance is required for performances and is recommended but not required for craftsmanship only participants. 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 (mp3 only), slideshows (PDF only), or videos for performances must be submitted digitally and in advance. No music for performances will be accepted on 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. 

Sign-ups will open on August 15th, 2023 and close on October 18th, 2023.


  • Contestants must review Cosplay Contest Competitor Guidelines document. Contestants must adhere to and abide by these guidelines.
  • Contestants must be 11 years of age or older to compete.
  • Craftsmanship only competitors are required to make costumes. Sorry, but store-bought costumes cannot be entered into the competition! The costume must be of original construction or show significant modification to the original materials. At least 75% of your costume must not have been purchased.
  • All Cosplay Competition competitors must be AnimeNYC attendees, and badges will be checked before competing. Approved competitors will receive a comp 3-day badge to AnimeNYC.
  • If your cosplay has previously won in competition at AnimeNYC’s Masquerade or a major award in another cosplay or costume contest, it cannot be re-entered. Please email us at if you are unsure about entering your cosplay.
  • 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 all applicants will not be accepted to compete. All applicants will hear back from us by the end of the day on October 27th, 2023, and if you’re selected to take part, you’ll then be emailed check-in information and additional contest details.
  • 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.
  • For more information, please see our Cosplay Contest FAQ.

Have any questions? Please reach out to

Keep in mind the following when applying and creating your cosplay!

  • Please note that we do not consider applications on a first come, first served basis. All cosplays will be reviewed after the deadline passes, so please submit your application when you feel ready – getting it submitted early will not help your chances of being accepted. Likewise, submitting it on the day of the deadline will not hurt your chances either.
  • 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. The show director will notify you which cosplay is accepted.
  • In the application, you will be asked for facts about your cosplay that will be used to create a description to be read aloud. This may describe the details of the cosplay or provide a story about the character being portrayed. You may offer details about the construction process, materials, number of work hours, or anything that might impress the judges and fans. We reserve the right to edit introduction material for time and content.
  • In the application, you will be asked to provide photos of your cosplay. In-progress images are okay, but please remember that the quality of this image is a part of how we judge your application! A good quality image can absolutely help your application to be approved. Any applications without any photos of the cosplay will not be considered.
  • You must also submit a reference color photo of the character you are portraying if you wish for accuracy to be taken into account during your judging if the judges are not familiar with the character.
  • You are responsible for all expenses incurred in order to compete in AnimeNYC’s Masquerade
  • Please note cosplays and performers must comply with AnimeNYC’s Policies, including the Anti Harassment Policy, and the Cosplay Contest Guidelines. This means no profanity, hate speech, religious, political, or otherwise inflammatory messages are allowed.

Have any questions? Please reach out to