The World Cosplay Summit (WCS) is one of the most important cosplay events around the world, held in Nagoya. Every year the best cosplayers from more than 35 countries and regions gather and compete for the best cosplay in the world. During the 9 days that takes the event, Aichi becomes a fantasy and colorful world, in which creativity and art come together to pay tribute to Japan anime, manga and video-game culture.
The World Cosplay Summit hosts various events such as photo sessions in idyllic and romantic places, cultural visits to emblematic Aichi buildings, night parties and street parades. The World Cosplay Championship puts the final icing on this great event.
A brief history
The first World Cosplay Summit was held in October 2003, as a small event where several cosplayers from different countries (Germany, France and Italy) were invited. This first event consisted on a talk and photo session and several other small events. In 2005, the World Cosplay Summit included in its program the parade through the famous commercial district, Osu (Nagoya).
With the Expo of 2005, the World Cosplay Summit changed its course to how it is known today. Stepping from being a mere costume event to becoming an international cosplay contest with regional preliminaries in each respective countries and where Nagoya (Japan) would held the championship.
Thanks to the fact that that year coincided with the World Expo in Aichi, the event was also sponsored by the Japan Exhibition Association.
It is since 2006 when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) became the official sponsors of the event.
Every year the contest gained more popularity. It went from hosting 12 countries in 2008 to hosting 20 countries in 2012 competing in the finals. This same year the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) became also an official sponsor of the event. In 2014, around 200,000 spectators attended this event.
In 2016 the number of competitors increased to 30 countries and in 2017 Nagoya was officially declared as “The headquarters of cosplay”.
Participant countries, regions and rules for the 2018 World Cosplay Summit
With the slogan “Cosplay everywhere” the World Cosplay Summit aims to promote culture, tourism and international friendship.
The 36 countries and regions that will represent this year 2018 in the World Cosplay Summit are the following:
Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria (New addition!), Canada, China, Chile, Costa Rica (New addition!), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa (New addition!), South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam.
The rules for participate in the championship are simple. These are the four most important:
1. Two participants per team
2. The costumes have to be handmade by the representatives of each country or region
3. At least 3 costumes per participant
4. The theme is free but it has to be based on Japanese anime, manga or videogames.
You can read the full competition Rules and Guidelines here.
Events and activities
The WCS covers multiple places, with various ceremonies, parades, performances and other activities. The most outstanding events for this year 2018 are:
– RaguCosu: Held in Laguna Ten Bosch (Gamagori), this party put the start point to the cosplay week. This party begins with the opening ceremony and continue with a party that lasts until the next day, with performances, light shows, DJ session, etc …
– Meiji Mura cosplay: A visit to the “Meiji Village”, one of the most picturesque outdoor museums in Japan, located in Inuyama city. It shows more than sixty buildings from the Meiji Period (1868-1912) with a strong influence of Western architecture.
– Party and photo session at the wedding hall Bleu Leman: Cosplayers gathering with an special photo shoot session at this wedding hall and chapel. The party includes also a wedding buffet.
– Sakae Parade: Not only the participants of the contest but also any cosplayer can participate in this parade located in the underground shopping center the Nagoya downtown.
– Performances and cosplay at Oasis 21: Two full days to enjoy the cosplay, photographing, or be photographed with the cosplayers and watching the live performances.
– Osu Parade: This is the most important parade with more than 1000 participants, walking through the Osu commercial streets.
– The championship: This without doubt the culminating event of this 9 days where the cosplayers representing each country and region competing for the first place. Here it will be decided the team with the best costume and performance.
If you plan to attend the events that will take place before and during the final, I recommend you to buy tickets online as soon as possible because they sell out very quickly.
The World Cosplay Summit has different locations for each event. For more information, check the official website.
From the end of July to the beginning of August.
Prices and tickets
Check the official website to see the prices of each event.