The World Cosplay Summit 2023 has finally landed in Nagoya, Japan for another weekend of festivities, competitions, activities, and of course, cosplay! While attendees braved the blistering Japanese summer heat, that didn’t stop the massive crowds of attendees and competitors alike, and we were able to dive right into this year’s action!
We had the pleasure of being joined by beloved author and streamer Kaho Shibuya as we interviewed members of each country competing to win, in addition to many of the different guests and cosplayers we saw throughout the event!
Just like in previous years, the World Cosplay Summit this year was held in Nagoya. With its rich cultural heritage and love for all things anime, the city serves as the perfect backdrop for the event, taking advantage of its stunning landmarks like Nagoya Castle and Mirai Tower to provide an enchanting backdrop to the colorful and eccentric world of cosplay. The event itself was also mainly condensed to the city’s Oasis 21, a gorgeous park and tower area with a unique design, three levels with different surroundings, and a variety of shops on the lower floor.
The heart of the summit, cosplay competitions, showcased some of the most mind-blowing costumes and performances from 33 countries represented by teams of two. From intricate armor to elaborate props, cosplayers brought their A-game to the stage, which relied on both the quality of the cosplay and the performance done by the cosplayers. The atmosphere was electric, and the talent on display was awe-inspiring, with winners in several categories announced at the event’s end.
For those looking to up their cosplay game, the summit offered a variety of workshops and panels, not to mention concerts, merchant booths, and various photoshoot areas. Experts shared their tips and tricks on costume crafting, makeup application, and wig styling, with cosplay repair stations at the ready for cosplay emergencies that might occur.
The three-day event begins with what’s called the Red Carpet event, where a big red carpet is rolled out on the first night and each representative team comes out for attendees to take photos of and speak with the competing countries present at the event.
The first day also kicks off the festivities with an exclusive cosplay concert, with different themes every year and a different anime at the center. This year’s theme focused on Attack on Titan, with a symphony orchestra taking place and the performers on stage dawning cosplay from the series. The World Cosplay Summit was also welcomed in with an appearance from Nagoya’s mayor himself, dressed in cosplay as well!
One of the highlights was the dazzling cosplay parade through Nagoya’s streets, which happens on the third and final day of the event. Thousands of cosplayers marched in full force, transforming the city into a living, breathing anime world. The parade itself allowed anybody to join, so everybody from children to adults and professionals to casual cosplayers took part in the parade.
World Cosplay Summit 2023 boasted an impressive lineup of special guests, including renowned cosplayers and industry professionals. Fans had the chance to meet their idols and gain insights into the world of cosplay, and across all three days, a variety of performances, photoshoots, and casual chats can be had with big names in the Japanese pop-culture world.
Many attendees came to the event as their first trip to Japan as well. When asked about how they’re enjoying their first time ever in Japan, Team Australia told us, “The people here are really nice! Also, the alcohol is really cheap!.”
Part of the fun of the event is that competitors can choose the series they represent, so just about every representative of the competing countries is incredibly passionate about the cosplay they’re wearing. Team Thailand, who dressed as Kaido and Luffy from One Piece, told us “We read the manga every week it comes out, and then immediately discuss it when we see each other!”
While most events in Japan end around 4-5pm, the World Cosplay Summit went quite into the night, ending each day around 10pm or later. This gave attendees the opportunity to get the perfect shot, whether its in the daylight or with the darkness of the night, and let fans unwind and get a brief respite from the daytime heat.
The World Cosplay Summit 2023 in Nagoya was more than just a competition, it was a celebration of passion, creativity, and the boundless love for anime and Japanese pop-culture. Whether you’re a seasoned cosplayer or a newbie taking your first steps into this colorful universe, the summit had something for everyone, with every competitor going home a winner and preparations in motion for next year’s World Cosplay Summit!
You can see our full coverage video, including interviews with competing countries, here!