Overload NZ

Overload Cosplay Competition

Skit Competition & Construction Competition

UPDATE: Registration for 2023 is not yet open, however Entry Eligibility & Guidelines remain the same. You’re welcome to start working on your entry!

UPDATE: Registration for the 2024 Overload Cosplay Competition has closed.

Please look forward to contestants appearing on the
Overload stage 
in Shed 10, Saturday 20 April from 4:30pm!

Welcome to the Overload Cosplay Competition! A competition for cosplayers who love to make their cosplay (and perform for those entering the Skit variation!). We cannot wait to showcase your incredible work!

The Construction Competition pays homage to New Zealand cosplayers’ long tradition in the art of cosplay making. Judging will focus on your costumes – so prepare to get your seams flipped and your foam welds inspected!

The Skit Competition celebrates both the costuming and PLAY aspects of cosplay – act out a romantic interlude between two characters, present a dramatic monologue or soliloquy, a hilarious comedy skit, or show off your daring martial arts prowess. As long as it is PG and in keeping with your character the only limitation is your imagination!

Getting up on stage can be daunting – whether it be for cosplay construction or for a skit. In order to help you get the most out of your stage time, all entrants into the Skit Competition will also be entered into the Construction Competition.

♥ Skit entries may be SOLO or DUOS (groups of two) – so grab your cosplay soulmate and get creating!


Sponsored by Overload and NZ Daisuki

Construction Competition

  • 1st Place: $300 cash 
  • 2nd Place: $200 cash
  • 3rd Place: $100 cash

Skit Competition

  • Winner $400 cash

Bonus prize

  • NOVICE AWARD: $50 cash
    (both categories qualify)

♠ Please note that you may enter as a solo entrant or as a duo, but all prizes are per entry not per person – so if you enter the Skit Competition as a duo and win, you will need to share your prize.

Entry Eligibility

Who can enter?
Anybody currently residing within New Zealand can enter this competition.

If you are under the age of 16 we require you to fill out a Guardian Consent Form, providing your guardian’s contact information.

Costume Eligibility
You may enter any costume from any Asian media i.e.: anime, manga, manhwa, manhua, donghua, live action TV shows, video games, phone games, etc. Your costume must be made entirely by you.

If you are unsure whether your costume qualifies, please do not hesitate to contact us.

More information can be found below in the Guidelines FAQ below

Submission Deadline

Online Registration will close 11:59pm Sunday 07 April 2024

The competition will take place at the Overload Stage in Shed10 on Saturday 20 April 2024, time yet to be confirmed.

All reference images, registration forms, guardian consent forms, and audio/video files MUST be submitted before this deadline. No exceptions. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Interested? Excited? Read the information below and register online:


Submission Guidelines

What information do I need to provide in my submission?

You will need to fill out the online registration form above, which will cover contact details (and your partners if applying for the Skit Competition). 

Towards the end of the online registration form, you will be able to upload all other required material in the form of a single zipped folder. This could include:

Note: The Photo Progression Log is a collage of photo documentation highlighting details of your construction processes, specifically things that will not be seen on the finished costume. Use as many images as you like, provided they fit into 10 pages maximum. You do not need to supply a build log detailing every step of your process. [View example HERE]

For character reference images, we would appreciate that your source images contain at least ONE high quality image, with the rest of the reference images grouped together on a single image sheet (as opposed to say, 10 individual image files). [View example HERE]

Image files can be submitted in JPEG, PNG or PDF format. Judges will have a copy of your submission on judging day.   

Do I need to complete my costume before I submit my form?

No, you do not. We understand that A LOT can be completed in the last 2 weeks before the event.

If this is not my first costume, do I need to show images of previous costumes?

Yes! We would love to get to know you as a cosplayer by looking at what you have made in the past. You can submit up to 5 images (no text necessary) depicting some of your favourite costume creations. These previous costumes will not be included in the final judging. 

How will I know if my entry form has been received / accepted?

You will receive an automatic email saying that we have received your entry, and then notification after entries have closed as to whether your entry has been accepted or not.


We endeavour to get back to you 2 days after the entry submission deadline, but please allow for circumstances that may not allow us to stick to that timeline.


If your entry has been accepted, you will be sent an email detailing your judging time and how the competition day will work. Overload will open at 10am but you will be allowed to enter the venue from 9.00am to drop off your props and any set pieces backstage.

Costume Guidelines

What restrictions are there on costumes?
  • When selecting your character/costume, keep in mind your mobility. If you are doing a skit, you will need to be able to MOVE. Even if you are only entering the Construction competition, you will need to be able to climb stairs to get on stage.*

    While we will of course do our best to get you on stage regardless, it’s always easier to move in your Gundam if you give yourself working knees.
  • Overload NZ Anime & Manga Convention is a family event, and your costume should reflect this.
  • Please make sure that all body paint is sealed (in fact we recommend using coloured tights or body suits where possible).
  • Excessive nudity and gore is not allowed.
  • While fantasy military or military costumes are allowed, official uniforms of current military, police, or medical professions should not be worn.

If you are unsure please email the cosplay organisers for guidance: [email protected]

*Access to stage due to disability or mobility needs will be accommodated.

What props are allowed?

Props are allowed and encouraged! Props show off extra construction skills (and give you something to do with your hands while posing or during your skit).


We ask that all props be made so that they will not harm or cause risk to those around you.


  • No real weapons.
  • Any firearm-looking weapons, including fantasy or futuristic weapons must have orange safety tips (you can apply orange tape to your completed prop). NO realistic guns or firearms are allowed. If you are unsure as to whether your firearm would be accepted, please email for approval. Please keep in mind that the safety of everyone is more important than a prop.
  • No metal bladed weapons. Blades are to be made of foam, pine, MDF, plastic, balsa, or other such materials. Bladed weapons should not be heavier than the bearer can carry safely.
  • No projectile weapons of any kind. You may use water pistols or Nerf guns as a base, but they must be made permanently non-functioning. You document proof of how you have made the base non-functioning in your construction portfolio. Simply not loading projectiles is not good enough.
  • All props, including stage props, cannot be longer or wider than 2m or weigh more than 10kg.

If you have any queries as to whether your prop would be accepted, please email us. It is better to find out before you make the prop then be told on the day that you cannot compete with it.


The safety of others is the most important thing.

Can I enter a bought costume?

No, sorry. Both competitions are construction-based. 

How much of my costume do I need to make?

The costume needs to be 75% hand-made by the wearer. While we don’t expect you to cobble your shoes or craft your wefts from scratch, all of your components should be made or altered by you.


This is a construction-based competition. The more you make, the more we have to judge!

Can I enter one of my old costumes that I previously competed in another competition in?

Any costume that has won ANY prize in New Zealand or Australia cosplay or costume competitions is ineligible to enter.

If you have entered a costume in a competition before but it DID NOT win a prize (this includes placing, judges choice, special mentions etc) you are welcome to enter it in the Overload Cosplay Competition. 

You will need to state on the entry form whether the costume you are entering into Overload has been entered into other competitions, and any alterations or additions that you have made. Do some revisions, add some trim, dabble in embroidery, make it the best costume that you can and enter!

Skit Specifics

Time length

Your skit must be minimum 1 minute, and maximum 2 and a half minutes long.

  • Please make sure all standalone audio is submitted in mp3 format.
  • Please make sure all video with audio is submitted in mp4 format. Your video should be in 16:9 aspect ratio (or 1080p resolution).
  • Be sure to normalise all audio before submission. You can use free software such as Audacity to do this.
USB back-up

On the day please bring a back-up on a USB drive. Your skit audio/video should be the only file on your drive. Failure to comply may result in your skit not having audio.

Skit safety

Getting on stage is nerve wracking enough without putting yourself or your fellow competitors at risk.

  • No mess is to be left on stage after your skit.
  • No explosives OR incendiary devices.
  • No smoke effects.
  • No throwing anything on the stage or at the audience. This includes but is not limited to: confetti and glitter of any sort, food items, liquids, etc. 

If your skit includes any kind of dance or fight choreography including flips and jumps please confirm with the judges that it will be safe for you to do this. Please keep the safety of yourself and those around you in mind.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us.

What music/dialogue is accepted?

Any music/dialogue that does not contain profanities, abuse, sexual themes or harassment is accepted. This is a family event, please keep that in mind.

Am I allowed props on stage?

Yes! We highly encourage it! However, you must be able to get your props on and off stage in under 1 minute. If you need help from friends or family to get your props on and off stage, due to H&S restrictions, you will need to fill out their contact details in your registration form (maximum of 2 helpers).

Please remember that all stage props/set pieces cannot exceed 2m in any dimension or weigh more than 10kg.

Note: Stage props can be stored near the stage after judging. Please let our coordinator know when you are emailed your judging timeslot. 

Can I do live vocals on stage?

No, sorry. All audio must be pre-recorded and submitted before the deadline.

What kind of screen do you have for me to present my video on?

The stage has a large format LED screen as a backdrop upon which your video will be displayed. You may like to take this into consideration when creating your video. 

Screen dimensions are 5m (w) x 3.5m (h)

What size is the stage?

The stage will be 6 meters wide by 3 meters deep, and will be located in SHED 10.


Be specific, how do you go about judging costume construction?

Let’s ask one of your judges: Sparky Cosplays?

OOooo boy, I’m glad you asked. All of your judges are lovers of cosplay with various awards won in cosplay competitions over the years. We love cosplay, we BREATHE cosplay, so please believe that you are in safe hands here.

Your judges will read over your entry form and form specific questions before your judging time slot. When you enter, we will go over your costume with a fine-tooth comb. Honestly, we are looking for flaws. We are looking for shabby hems, things that are falling apart, blatant globs of hot glue. 

Once we have hunted for flaws and simply can’t find any because you are just too amazing, we will go over some of the things you are proud of and why, the things you don’t like and why, things that you found challenging, the new things you had to learn to make this costume, the tailoring and under structure if you have any, how close your costume matches your references.

We will always ask for consent when touching your costume and it is completely alright if you say no. To wrap up, our three main criteria when judging your costume is: Accuracy to source material, Details and application, Construction and fit.

How does the skit get judged?

Skits will be based on their entertainment value, crowd reaction and the ease with which the story can be understood. (This last bit is very important if you are performing from an obscure or unknown series).

How important is the skit aspect of the Skit Competition?

Very! The final mark for the Skit Competition will be 50% costume and 50% skit. Be sure to practice and block out your skit at the same time you start crafting!

What makes a "good" skit?

A “good” skit is something that can be understood by anybody who is watching it, regardless of whether they have seen the source material or not.

Your skit should have different energy – high moments filled with energy! Low moments filled with stillness! And a whole range of emotion in between.

Try to keep something of interest on stage or screen the whole time. 2 and a half seconds seems like a very small amount of time, but dead stage time can make sixty seconds last foooorrrrr eeeeevvvvvveeeerrrrrr.

If you get stuck, search online for skit competitions with a similar format, including past rounds of MNCC hosted at Overload and World Cosplay Summit skits, to help you decide what kind of skit you want to perform.


2023 Cosplay Competition Winners