Welcome Cosplayer!

Interested in competing with the best of the best costumers at Kawaii Kon? You’ve come to the right place!

Cosplay Contest Rules 

Entry Requirements

  • Characters being cosplayed must have been created and illustrated by a 3rd party. Original characters are not allowed, unless created by a notable artist that is not yourself.
  • To enter the competition, your Cosplay must fall into one of these two categories
    • Majority of your costume was created by you
    • Your costume was assembled from at least 3 different sources of pre-made pieces, and you must have created at least one aspect or piece
  • Reworking and modifying ready-made parts (such as boots, wigs, and gloves) into your costume are acceptable for the contest.
  • Nudity or the showing of nipples, regardless of gender, is not allowed.  This is a family friendly show. If you are in doubt, please put some fabric on it.
  • Costumes entered in previous Cosplay Showcases cannot be entered in this contest. You may not enter with a costume you wore in any previous year.
  • Live Animals, Flash Power, Fireworks, Lasers, Electrical Flashes, Smoke Machines, and Aerosol Cans such as Paint, Hair Dye and/or Silly String, and Weapons not cleared by Security are prohibited from use.
  • Any type of vehicle is not allowed, this included, but not limited to: Bicycles, Rollerblades, Skateboards, Healies, Rip Sticks etc.  These are not permitted at the Hawaii Convention Center nor in our contest.
  • All participants under 16 require a parent or guardian at prejudging and check-in at the Contest (see more info below).
  • Participants must select a category to compete in from the following:
    • Youth Category – aged 14 and below
    • Novice Category – 15 years or older, and never won any cosplay award at any show
    • Journeyman Category – Won 1-2 previous cosplay awards at any show
    • Masters Category – Won 3+ cosplay awards at any show
  • All participants in any group must be in good standing with Kawaii Kon.
  • Reference material is REQUIRED for entry.  Please bring any and all reference material with you at the time of judging, the more the better.  Reference material can be from any source, either digital / online, color prints, or in printed materials such as books or magazines.  Reference images should prominently show the character and any salient details your cosplay work is based on and will be used during judging.  No matter how popular your character or series may be, do not assume the judges will be familiar with any particular series or character – bring reference material.  
    • Your entry form must include a digital submission: the bigger, the better. We will be projecting reference images while contestants walk across the stage, so make sure your image is as large and crisp as possible. Please don’t alter the aspect ratio or stretch your image.
    • For prejudging, please also bring any additional reference material you feel is required to inform the judges on the character you are cosplaying or details you would like to relay to them.  Any form of media is allowed (art books, color print-outs, manga, magazines, digital images on laptops/phones, etc).  
  • The showcase is limited to the first 60 entrants, so please submit your online entry forms early as entries will be on a first come, first served basis. Groups are considered as 1 entrant. You are considered an ‘official’ entrant once you receive a confirmation email along with an order number.


  • Contestants must adhere to all Kawaii Kon rules of conduct. This applies to costumes, contestants, parents / guardians, and performances.  Any infraction of our rules of conduct are grounds for removal from the event, forfeiture of badge, and removal from the convention center.  The following are some examples that fall outside of the Rules of Conduct:
    • All contestants must be respectful and careful of each other, their costumes and their props at all times. Willful damage of costumes and/or props as well as inappropriate behavior towards other contestants will not be tolerated.
    • The Kawaii Kon Cosplay Contest is a family-oriented event. If it is not appropriate for a PG-13 rating, do not wear it, and/or do not perform it.
    • Nudity or the showing of nipples, regardless of gender, is not allowed.  
    • Weapons may be unsheathed for display, but may not be swung around.
    • You are not allowed to act in a manner that may cause risk to yourself and / or any other person.  Contestants are prohibited from jumping or running off stage.

Post Entry

  • Once your online submission has been received, you will receive your judging time one week before the convention. If you plan on entering at the show, you will be judged in the order of arrival and as time permits.
  • Please show up 15 minutes before your time slot to allow for early judging flexibility. You will receive a text message the morning of prejudging to verify your participation: please respond to this message to insure your slot.
  • The Cosplay Contest will have a mandatory rehearsal 1 hour before the Cosplay Contest in Main Events (4th Floor, Ballroom A). Please arrive at least 15 minutes before this time to make sure you are in the correct order and are ready to go.
  • If you would like to participate as a walk-on entry (be on stage, but not be judged or considered for an award) you can fill out a walk-on form that is available during the cosplay judging event.  Please note, walk-ons at the contest are on a first come, first served, and as time permits basis: there is no guarantee that you will be able to participate.  
  • Entrants must show up to the prejudging at the beginning of the event. You will be required to check in with a staff member. Please note: failure to show up at the start time may result in your disqualification.
  • During the Cosplay showcase presentation, you will have about 60 seconds on stage to pose for the cameras/show off. If you exceed your time you will be asked to leave the stage. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the competition.
  • All performances must be self-contained within the group. No physical interaction with the audience or MC is allowed.

Award Categories

  • Prizes may be awarded in the following categories listed below. Please note that some categories may not be awarded at the discretion of the judges and/or by Kawaii Kon.  
    • Judges Choice – Award medal
    • Best in Youth – Trophy and $100
    • Best Novice – Trophy and $200
    • Best Journeyman – Trophy and $300
    • Best Master – Trophy and $400

Final Thoughts

  • Kawaii Kon is the final arbiter for all rules, circumstances, and disputes, and may change rules at any time as necessary to fit the overall integrity and intent of the Cosplay Contest.