The Greatest Cosplay In The World

Last weekend, cosplayers from around the world flocked to the Wold Cosplay Summit. This is more than simply the Olympics of posing and priming in character costumes. Cosplayers perform on stage, giving the competition an air of theatrics.

Held since 2003 and supported by the Japanese government, the World Cosplay Summit invites cosplayers from across the globe to face off. The first day of the competition is the cosplayer parade; the second date is the stage competition. The WCS began way before the Tokyo Game Show began trying to showcase foreign cosplayers.

What makes the WCS competition somewhat unique, and one reason why it garners governmental support, is that the costumes must be handmade, and more importantly, must be of a Japanese video game, anime, or manga character.

Judges include some very famous individuals, such as famed manga artists Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato) and Go Nagai (Cutie Honey).

Japan has only won the World Cosplay Summit once, while France has won it once, Italy has won it twice, and Brazil's won it three time, including this year, with costumes of Balthier and Ultima from Final Fantasy XII. The winners, Maurício Somenzari and Mônica Somenzari, also won for Brazil back in 2006. The grand prize winners won round-trip plane tickets to Japan and the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs Award.

This year, Italy came in second place with characters from Sugar Sugar Rune, while China was third, cosplaying as characters from hack-and-slash game Dynasty Warriors 7. Second place winners got a complete set of Bushiroad trading cards, while third place got an array of Nagoya snacks and treats. (More info on Yokoso News.)

Photographer Achim Runnebaum of Albas Photography attended this year's World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya and provided Kotaku with photos of the cosplayer's parade and stage competition. Be sure to check out the dazzling costumes and pics in the gallery.

Cosplay is part of Japanese pop culture. But it's become international — it global geek culture. And one of the best things about the WCS is that it's helped in destroying the notion that only Japanese people are good at cosplay — so not true!


    I think someone cosplayed Zhang He (Dynasty Warriors style)...

    Hand made cosplay outfits? Too hard core for me. Then again, so is cosplaying generally :P

      If you know someone with some experience in sewing, it's not that hard. I've been learning slowly myself. I've gone from something simple (Konata and kagami, from Lucky star, each on a different day)to something moderate (Taokaka from blazblue), to something a little more complex (Madoka from puella magi madoka magica).

      As for these guys, it's insane. And people say I'm bad with attention to detail.

    Well, it looks like they're having fun. I wish them all the best. I might find cosplay to be slightly crazy, but then again, is it really any more insane than anything else people do?

    hah this is awesome, luvin' the asian chick doing 'Ace' and the guys doing bathier and jiraya

    How anorexic is that dude in the third photo

    Doesn't matter how obscure X hobby is in your hometown, if you're representing your country in it, you're going to be pretty damn good.

    My problem is how they even prove the cosplayers were the ones who made the costumes. Couldn't anyone get a tailor to make some ultra-ridiculous detailed costume and put it on a model with cosmetic-surgery for likeness?

    These people are mentally ill and need help.

    The Australian team won the best costume award this year, actually. (The overall winners are judged on a combination of costume and performance)

    O wow Zhang He! Wonder if the dude can perform similar acrobatic manoeuvre XD

    The Australian Team was composed of Tessa Beattie and Jessica Allie, both from my home state of Tasmania. I've worked with them in various japanese culture events down here and know that they deserve all the praise they deserve.

    Great to see Kotaku Australia failing to mention our own esteemed cosplayers.

      Wow, go Australia! Good to see countries from literally all across the world participating too. Makes me want to learn to sew...

      Maybe you should click on the "Tip the editors" link and let them know.

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