Cosplay Events at JAFAX 2020

For several years now, JAFAX has welcomed a diverse array of cosplayers to the event, and hosted a Cosplay Contest to award creativity and performance. If you've ever thought you'd love to dress up as your favorite character from animé, games, or manga, we'd love to see your fandom brought to life!

JAFAX Cosplay Weapons Policy

To keep the event safe and fun for all whom attend, please follow the rules below. Note that these rules are enforced by JAFAX Staff and Convention Security. Unapproved items may be confiscated. This policy applies both to attendees and vendors at all times during the event:

  1. BB, cork, airsoft guns, or any weapon that operates based on gas, spring, or are NOT allowed under any circumstances (even unloaded).
  2. Plastic toy guns that shoot foam projectiles (such as Nerf guns) are allowed, but must be brought to our IRT staff to be peace-bonded.
  3. All prop guns must have orange-painted tips and/or otherwise be clearly marked and identified as fake. There must not be any confusion that the prop might be considered real by others (especially the Grand Rapids Police).
  4. Metal blades or anything sharp (edged or pointed) are NOT allowed. This includes apparel such as ice skates. Even if the blade isn't sharpened. All prop melee weapons must be wooden, foam, or any soft material. Example: A Kunai from Naruto.
  5. If you are purchasing a blade from the Dealers Room, you must have the blade boxed, tied closed, and the purchase must be taken immediately to your car or hotel room for the duration of the convention.
  6. Completely wooden implements are allowed. This includes canes, staffs, wands, or practice swords such as bokken and shinai.
  7. Firearms and explosives of any kind (including fireworks) are NOT allowed, this includes weapons that were real at one point (eg: the firing mechanism was removed).

JAFAX Cosplay Crafting Competion

If you wish to prove your skill at crafting costumes, why not sign up for our Cosplay Crafting Competiion below?

JAFAX Cosplay Crafting Competiion Rules and Information

Day of Show: Sunday
Time of Show: late afternoon
Location: Grand Gallery, A-C


This contest is solely based on craftsmanship. All costumes must be at least 70% handmade/crafted by the costume artist. This includes props, wigs, and clothing. Store-bought costumes are not allowed to participate. If you are entering a commissioned costume, the original creator of the costume will receive the award, not the model.

We, the judges, reserve the right to turn down any applicants who do not meet these requirements.

Costumes that are allowed to participate must fall into one of these categories:

Because this is a Japanese Oriented Expo/Convention, we are limiting eligible costumes to media of Japanese origin.

Outfits not eligible are: Japanese fashion, Fan-made characters, Original Characters, American Animation/Comics, or On Ice.

You must provide reference of the character/person you are cosplaying as. Pictures should be in color, and provide a good view of the character you are representing. Official art/Screencaps only – no personal design sketches or fan art are allowed.

All images should be copies/printouts on 8.5”x11” paper (or smaller), so that we can keep it with us to judge you. Don’t bring in books or figures, as useful as they are, we can’t hold onto them after all entrants have been interviewed.

If you do not have a reference image, we cannot judge you.

Pictures of your creation process are also encouraged, but not required.

All costumes will be judged prior to the masquerade, according to a specific set of guidelines (see below). Judging will be by appointment only, and if you are unable to make your appointment, we cannot judge you! If you are excessively late, you risk being disqualified. Please contact us if you have any scheduling problems!

Registration will begin online, closing June 5th. Whatever spots are left open at the time of the convention will be available for “at convention” registration. An “at convention” registration spot is NOT GUARANTEED.


Judging scores will be determined by the following 5 categories, all judged on a 1-5 rubric (with 1 being “not at all” and 5 being “Very well”), along with any other notes the judges may want to write down:

Award Levels

This year there will be 3 level of awards available (each level will have a 1st place, and a Runner-Up) plus 3 judge's choice awards.

Your level is determined by the amount of costuming experience you have. Be as honest as possible.

  1. Novice – 0 to 3 completed costumes
  2. Journeyman – 4 – 6 completed costumes
  3. Master – 7+ completed costumes, or professional training/work (Do you make costumes for other people or events? Do you take classes on costuming/sewing?)

Please be prepared to answer any of the judges’ questions. Good luck and happy creating!

If you wish to enter, fill out and submit this form: