Are You Ready for the World Cosplay Summit 2021? Join Us From Wherever You Are!

Cosplay — the art of dressing up as characters from anime, manga, video games, TV shows, or any other media — has become a global phenomenon over the years.

Once dressed in their Cosplay, Cosplayers can attend conventions to take photos, enter competitions, or perform theatrical routines. They can also gather with other Cosplayers while walking down the typical Japanese streets. The World Cosplay Summit is a perfect occasion to do all of this at the same time in Nagoya!

WCS 20219 Spain Team
World Cosplay Summit 2019 – Team Spain

Being a Cosplayer requires money, time, and skills. Many Cosplayers spend hours designing and creating their costumes. Some will buy a premade Cosplay outfit online. This needs accurate research about the seller’s credibility as well as the quality of the costume they’re selling. 

Those making their Cosplay outfit from scratch will most likely spend anywhere from hours to months (or even years) researching, drafting, and sewing the actual costume and creating the props.

Why has Cosplay become so popular? 
One of the reasons why Cosplay is so popular is that Cosplayers are looking for a means to escape from everyday life. Dressing up as anime, manga, or video games characters enables them to express themselves more freely.
Let us know in the comments what it is that you love about Cosplay.

Providing Settings for a Community Formed by People Who Share the Same Interests

World Cosplay Summit 2019 - Meiji Mura
World Cosplay Summit 2019 – Meiji Mura Cosplay

From the United States to Europe and Asia, Cosplay conventions and events are held worldwide. 

The World Cosplay Summit, also known as WCS, is one of the biggest Cosplay events in Japan. It is actually the largest Cosplay festival in the world. Every year the best Cosplayers from more than 40 countries gather in Nagoya to compete for the title of Best Cosplay Performance Team in the World. 

During this 9-day event, not only Aichi* but also other prefectures of Japan such as Mie and Tokyo become places where creativity and art converge to praise Japanese anime, manga, and video games culture.
*Nagoya is located in the western part of the Aichi prefecture.

2021: The First-Ever Hybrid Edition of the World Cosplay Summit (WCS)

Although last year (2020) the World Cosplay Summit took place entirely online, this year allows for some physical events to take place as well. It goes without saying that everyone will adhere to measurements against the spread of COVID-19.

Located in the heart of Nagoya, you will find the main venue of the World Cosplay Summit: Oasis 21. It has become a famous photo spot for Cosplayers and looks stunning, during both day and night (with illumination!). This year, photo shootings and stage events will take place right here.

Another and brand new venue since this year, located only 10 minutes by foot from Oasis 21 is the RAYARD Hisaya-odori Park.

Specialties of Nagoya food tour banner
Next to Oasis 21, you can find the starting point of this amazingly delicious food tour!

WCS 2021 Edition: We Can Start Again!!

The World Cosplay Championship will still partially take place online. During this competition, the Best Cosplay Performance Team in the World of that year is decided. Previously, the finalists would go through regional and national preliminary rounds before participating in the actual finals in Nagoya to represent their country. These preliminary rounds used to take place at other big Cosplay events such as Anime Expo (USA) and Manga Barcelona (Spain).

WCS 2021 Vietnam Team
World Cosplay Summit 2021 – Team Vietnam Performing Dr.Gray-man
WCS 2021 Australia Team
World Cosplay Summit 2021 – Team Australia Performing Pop Team Epic

Click here to see the complete list of this year’s national Cosplay representatives.

Just like last year, you can join the entire event from anywhere in the world by watching the live stream. Join from the comfort of your home on YouTube, Twitch, Niconico, Lopico, or Facebook Live (Day 1 on August 7. and Day 2 on August 8.). 

Don’t Miss a Single Thing About the World Cosplay Summit 2021

Nagoya is not boring will announce further updates and information on Instagram and Facebook.

Are you also eager to see what the World Cosplay Summit will be like this year? Check out the trailer below:

In addition to the World Cosplay Summit, you can join even more Cosplay, manga and anime related events during the Aichi Pop Culture Festival. Explore the Pop Culture scenery that Aichi has to offer by participating in a Stamp Rally and admiring amateurs’ art works at the Exhibition. Experience what it is like to be a Mangaka (Manga Artist) or Voice Actor. at the MIRAI Tower. This festival will also take place at several locations, including Oasis 21 and the Hisaya-odori Park.

More Than 17 Years of Creating Unforgettable Moments and Creating Friendships Beyond Borders

WCS 2003
World Cosplay Summit 2003 via World Cosplay Summit (WCS) YouTube channel

The first World Cosplay Summit was held in October 2003. It was a small event with only five Cosplayers from Germany, France, and Italy. The event consisted of a panel discussion, a photo session, and a mixer event with Cosplayers from Japan. 

In 2004, the USA joined as well and eight Cosplayers met up for the first time in Nagoya. This year’s edition still consisted of a mixer event and also included its first Cosplay parade through the famous commercial district of Osu (Nagoya) with around 100 participants.

With the World Expo of 2005 also being held in the Aichi Prefecture, the World Cosplay Summit changed its course and became what it is today. Stepping up from being a mere costume event to becoming an international Cosplay event. This was mainly thanks to the Japan Exhibition Association sponsoring the World Cosplay Summit that year.

The first World Cosplay Championship was held this year (2005) in the Expo Dome at the World Expo. 40 participants from seven different countries competed over the title of Grand Champion. Italy was the first country ever to receive it.

Street Food Walking Tour of Osu tour banner
Besides admiring the cosplay masterpieces, you can indulge in traditional Japanese street food on this tour!

With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) becoming official sponsors of the event in 2006, the World Cosplay Summit grew even bigger. This year’s championship was moved to Oasis 21.

The first preliminary rounds were held in 2007 in 12 different countries. Every year the contest gained more popularity. In 2012, 20 countries competed in the finals. That same year the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) also became an official sponsor of the World Coplay Summit. 

In 2014, around 200,000 spectators attended the World Coplay Summit, and in 2016, the number of competitors increased to 30 countries.  2017 was the year Nagoya was officially declared “The headquarters of Cosplay.”

In the 2018 edition of the WCS, there were a total of 36 countries and regions. New countries had joined including Bulgaria, Costa Rica, and South Africa. The 2019 edition continued growing with even more countries and regions like Austria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

New Venues and Regulations During the WCS 2019

The World Cosplay Summit 2019 had some additions including a new venue: World Cosplay Summit Tokyo, which hosted the opening ceremony.

This new venue witnessed qualifiers from 40 different countries and regions taking part in a series of shows and parades as well as an international preliminary round heading to Nagoya to compete for the World Cosplay Championship title.

Once the representatives of each country arrived in Nagoya, they participated in different events. These included the Meiji Mura Cosplay, Osu Parade, parties and photo sessions at the Wedding Hall Bleu Leman, and Central Park Underground Parade.

WCS 2019 Japan Team at the Wedding Hall Bleu Leman
World Cosplay Summit 2019 – Team Japan during the Party and Photo Session at the Wedding Hall Bleu Leman

The eighth day of the 2019 edition comprised of the semifinals and a unique Cosplay contest called One Piece Grand Prix, based on the popular manga and anime “One Piece.” This contest was a special one-time event to celebrate its TV anime 20th anniversary.

WCS 2019 One Piece Grand Prix
World Cosplay Summit 2019 -_During the One Piece Grand Prix

Looking Back at the 2019 Edition of the WCS

After eight days of spectacular stage events, beautiful parades, thousands of memorable pictures, the climax was finally reached.

On the last day, the Championship was held to determine the world’s best Cosplayers. This day was, without doubt, the culmination of a hard-fought 9 days competition, where the high-skilled Cosplayers competed for first place. 

The Australian Team (@wcsaustralia) took first place with an amazing performance from the fantasy-themed video game “Monster Hunter World.”

WCS 2019 1st place winners Australia Team
Team Australia – Winners of the World Cosplay Summit 2019

The second place went to the American Team (@worldcosplaysummitusa) performing the action game “Bloodborne,” and third place to Team France (@wcsfrance) performing the Wii U best-selling video game “Hyrule Warriors.”

WCS 2019 2nd place winners USA Team
Team USA receiving the 2nd Place of the World Cosplay Summit 2019
WCS 2019 3rd place winners France Team
Team France receiving the 3rd Place of the World Cosplay Summit 2019

Besides the desired title of best Cosplayer Team in the world, there are some aditional awards as well. The AirAsia Award went to the Chinese Team performing the action-adventure video game “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice”. Team Chile (@worldcosplaysummitCL) won the Futaba Award performing the role-playing video game “Chrono Trigger”. The American Team was (also) awarded with the Bioré Award, and the German Team (@wcsgermany) claimed the Brother Award performing the animation film “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.”

World Cosplay Summit 2019
World Cosplay Summit 2019 with all teams

A New Format: The Online World Cosplay Summit 2020

The World Cosplay Summit was supposed to start in Nagoya on July 25 and continue until August 2, 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the event’s organizers have announced that they would cancel the World Cosplay Summit for that year. They even published an official statement of the cancellation online.

However, while the physical event was canceled, the organizers announced an online event happening instead, a so-called “Stay Home Edition.” It took place on August 1st and 2nd, 2020, and was streamed worldwide.

This post has last been updated in July 2021
Although we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, please note that changes may occur nonetheless. Therefore, we recommend you confirm any relevant information such as event cancelations or changes, opening hours, or possible restrictions using a direct source. Please keep in mind that these sources might be in Japanese only.


Did you enjoy this article?

Which country do you think will become the winners of WCS 2021? What do you think about this year’s hybrid edition? We are looking forward to hearing from you in the comments!

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About the author

Web and Graphic designer living in Aichi Prefecture for more than 10 years. Trying to do the things that she loves and living the life with passion. She is also a travel-food lover and dance lover: her great passion.

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