Believe it or not, it is not too soon to get ready for Cosplayer of the Year 2022 (COTY 2022), an annual event held in Japan that provides an opportunity for creative cosplay artists to demonstrate their skills and showcase their talents.
The competition is stiff. Now is, therefore, the time to get ready on your own or to encourage your friends who are into cosplay to get ready to prepare their submission.
Although the 2021 competition, which was decided in October 2020, had to be conducted virtually due to the coronavirus, the plan is for COTY 2022 to be held live at a yet undisclosed location in Japan.
COTY 2021 Winners
COTY includes six separate categories with three rounds to narrow the competition. From among the winners of each of the six categories, one winner is selected as the overall winner. A few of the categories are gender-specific, while the “All Genre Grand Prix” and “Passion Grand Prix” categories are open to all.
The winners of COTY 2021 for each category were as follows:
Sweet Grand Prix (for women dressed as women)
After three rounds of competition, Ponkotu Monster beat out fellow cosplay artists to win the Sweet Grand Prix. She is now steadily gaining exposure across the country.
Ponkotsu Monster’s next public appearance will be at Nikoniko Net Chokaigi 2021 from April 24 to May 5, which was, in fact, her prize for winning in this category. She also has her own YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaXLCb8Ip4YAQMm7Gwuf-_g
Bitter Grand Prix (for women dressed as men)
Guren, which means “red lotus” in Japanese, won in the Bita category for depicting the character, Luciano, from the game, Compass.
Ponkotu Monster and Guren will make an appearance together at Nikoniko Net Chokaigi 2021.
Cherry Grand Prix (for men dressed as men)
The multi-talented Nishizuma was the winner in this category.
Nishizuma has his own YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiiifD078nj3JSb4Z47RP3w
Shiny Grand Prix (for men dressed as women)
Asu won in this category.
Asu has more than 8,000 followers on Twitter.
All Genre Grand Prix
DXMikeneko, who is 5’9″ tall, won in this category. On Twitter, he lets his fans know that he is particularly interested in making weapons and armor as well as body building.
He will be at Nikoniko Net Chokaigi 2021 as well.
Passion Grand Prix
Dakara won the Passion Grand Prix this year. Unlike the other five categories, the photos used to judge the Passion category were taken by professional photographers.
Dakara was selected from among the other five winners as the overall winner of COTY 2021. He will be at Nikoniko Net Chokaigi 2021 and Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest 2021, supported by dwango.
Time Table for 2022
While the details have yet to be announced, based upon last year’s schedule, the deadline for submitting your entry will, most likely, be in early September 2021. The winners of the first round will be determined by mid-September. Competition will narrow in the second round during the second half of September. The third round will conclude around mid-October, and the final winners will be announced by the end of October 2021.
Rules to Consider
It does not cost anything to submit your own photos and videos for a chance to win the competition. All entries must be limited to individual cosplay artists but one can only apply for a single category. There is no limit to the number of photos that can be submitted.
You must have your own, active Twitter account to apply.
There is an age restriction. You must be at least 18 years old by the entry deadline in early September. There is no upper limit for the age restriction. One caveat is that, even if you meet the age requirement, you cannot still be in high school at the time of the entry submission.
As gender lines blur, the contest organizers judge by the gender of the character. Please note that entry with characters whose gender has not been set will be excluded from the competition.
Good luck to all entrants and their fans!
Link to Japanese Source:
Now a self-declared "lifer" foreigner in Japan, Mark is the founder of the Real Gaijin Substack (https://realgaijin.substack.com/welcome). Now based in Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, Mark is currently self-employed as an independent contractor focused on management and marketing consulting in the healthcare field. He had a long career at an American medical device manufacturer based in Chicago. Mark helped to found and ultimately run its wholly owned subsidiary in Tokyo. He completed a year-long Fulbright grant at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. Mark is also a 1990 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, U.S.A. where he earned a BA in both History and the Japanese language. During college Mark was an exchange student at both Waseda University and Nichibeikaiwagakuin in Tokyo where he studied intensive Japanese. Mark speaks business level Japanese and intends to remain in Japan indefinitely where he has lived for a total of more than 20 years. He likes to write about his experiences and has been a frequent contributor to the on-line media resource Japan Insider (https://japaninsider.com/) for which he typically writes about business-related issues, the unique culture of Japan, and travel. Mark likes the outdoors and is passionate about hiking, bicycle touring and marine sports—particularly sailing and windsurfing.