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Cosplay Contest Glossary

Altered (vs. Made) Cosplay
Altered items are elements of your cosplay that have been purchased or fabricated by someone other than the contestant and modified in some way, such as repainted, or embellished. This is not the same as elements of your costume that have been made, or fabricated by the contestant. Please note altered costumes will generally score lower on craftsmanship than made costumes in the cosplay contest.
Your rank within a contest based on the number of awards you have received: Beginner, Intermediate and Masters. Each contest and convention has different ratings, so please make sure you read the information carefully.
Participant(s) registered in any of the cosplay contests. May include more than one person.
Cosplays that have characterization rooted in existing, licensed characters, but have been reworked artistically. This includes reworks of licensed characters and licensed character interpretations (e.g., Pokemon gijinka, your interpretation of a podcast character etc.) Fanart also includes mashups of licensed characters (e.g., Kingdom Hearts style Sailor Moon).
This term is in reference to how closely your costume and/or stage presence matches your character and/or reference images in terms of color, choices and overall character essence. If you deviated from the reference, is the deviation sensible? Areas NOT considered for accuracy include: race, age, ethnicity, height, size, use of mobility items, corrective vision or lack thereof, socioeconomic status, and other health, cultural or religious identities that the cosplayer has that may differ between yourself and the character
Green Room
Pre-show meeting place in Ballroom C. This is usually an hour before your actual stage walk. This is an opportunity to make sure everyone is present, organized and ready to go.
Juried Competition
This is a pre-pre judging selection process whereby all entries to the Mainstage Cosplay Contest will be evaluated for meeting the eligibility requirements, competitiveness amongst the other entries into the show, and closeness to completion at the time of entry. This is to prevent entrants from rushing to fill out the registration form for a more equitable entry process into the cosplay contest.
Main Stage Cosplay Contests
These are the judged elements of the Saturday cosplay contest that takes place on stage. At Naka-Kon, the Main Stage Contest areas are: Craftsmanship, Runway, and Skit, with awards in each category.
Major Award
This is an award that has won a first place class or area award at other conventions or Naka-Kon, such as Best Beginner, Best Intermediate Craftsmanship, Best Master Runway, etc. This does not include a Judge’s Choice award or a runner up award.
Minor Award
Awards that are not category-specific, or are not the top awards in the class/category. Examples would include a Judge’s Choice award, a runner up award, best prop award, etc.
Offensive Cosplays
“Offense” is a somewhat subjective term, but we are functioning with the following definition: cosplays that incite violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, ageism, and bigotry. This includes race-facing (e.g. Blackface/Brownface) as well as costumes that replicate historic or current international or national tragedies. The goal is to make sure our attendees feel safe, included, and appreciated, so cosplays should reflect this intent.
Original Characters
Characters that are not licensed characters. For the Main Stage Contests, you may only enter characters that are from licensed materials. Original Characters are allowed in the Cos-Parade or the Hallway Cosplay Contest.
PG Rating
No nudity or coarse language. Simulated violence and thematic situations are okay.
Progress book
A book documenting your progress to showcase the elements you made, as well as highlight anything particularly interesting/difficult about your costume.
A script is a general description of your stage blocking and complete dialogue. No specific format is required, but we do need to have a good idea of what it is that you will be doing/what your recorded dialogue will project to the audience.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the Cosplay Directors at