COSPLAY is a portmanteau term coined from the English words of COSTUME & PLAY, written as コスプレ in Japanese. The meaning of COSPLAY in an Asian context is the use of costume, accessories, props and makeup to recreate and re-enact, with absolute accuracy, characters from any works of comics/manga, games and animation. Those who are involved in this act of COSPLAY are generally labelled as COSPLAYERS.
Over the last decade alone, Cosplay has seen a drastic rise in population of active enthusiasts worldwide. This is especially so for China, where the current number of cosplayers stand at a little over 10 million people: almost 1 in every 10 high-schoolers in Chinese cities today are cosplayers.
The 'China Cosplay Super Show’, or CCSS in short, is one of the key important events held as part of the China International Cartoon & Animation Festival (CICAF) in the ancient capital of Hangzhou, 2 hours from Shanghai, China. CICAF is China's largest commercial trade expo for the cartoon and animation industry, with substantial exhibiting partners from Japan to Hollywood, and grossing over 2 million unique event attendees every year.
The Cosplay Awards by CICAF is said to be the largest competitive Cosplay championship in China with an unbreakable record of the most number of participants from the most expansive regions of China. Last year, a total of 37,000 cosplayers participated in the local preliminaries for the 'Domestic Awards' held in over 20 cities and provinces throughout China, namely: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Changchun, Shenyang, Zhengzhou, Tianlian, Wuhan, Haikou, Changjiang, Guangzhou, Nanking, Hangzhou, Jiaxi, Taizhou etc.
Under the new directive of Ye Ming, the Vice-Mayor of Hangzhou, founder of CCSS itself, COSPLAY has become a highly recognized quality sport of China. The CCSS is funded and supported by the official authorities of China, and as such, is recognized by influential parties in the commercial comic/animation industry both within and beyond China.
At the 2013 edition of the CCSS a new 'International Awards’ category was introduced, held separate from the 'Domestic Awards' and is a competition only between representatives from invited countries and the winning team of China. Denmark is the first non-asian country to be given an invitation to join in the CCSS. From 2014 and onwards, cosplayers from all Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden & Norway) are eligible to enter and a chance to win the Scandinavian qualification round!
In Chinese cosplay, it is not uncommon to see cosplayers forming massive teams of 40-100 members: of which all members contribute to crafting props and costumes together, and have only a handful of representative cosplayers dorn the full costume and performing in place of the entire team.
Chinese Cosplay prefers superb accuracy to character (e.g in acting, fighting actions, posing, looks, makeup, costume movement, original storyline etc.) with a skit accurate to the reference, far more than an entertaining stage act. Though it is not a requirement that costumes, props, accessories and makeup are self-done/self-made/self-applied to be considered a cosplayer, high regard are given to those who can craft their own and still perform their characters as accurately.
CICAF, short for China International Cartoon and Animation Festival, is an event held annually in Hangzhou, China. The festival is massive in its size with more than 2 million visitors attending in 2012.
The CCSS, abbreviated from the China Cosplay Super Show, is an international cosplay event held annually during CICAF.
The preliminary round (Denmark, Sweden & Norway) for the CCSS is held at the annual convention for Japanese pop-culture, J-Popcon, located in central Copenhagen. In 2016 the qualification round was moved to Copenhagen Comic Con, which took place in September. It was still J-Popcon who was in charge of the show at Comic Con, and thereby the qualification round.
The CCSS finals are held in the end of April to the start of May. The full program runs over the duration of about a week.
What separates the CCSS from the rest of our DCC categories is the focus of the competition. A giant and fancy costume and tons of special effects and bling, while perhaps impressive in itself, is not what will get you maximum points here. In fact, you do not even have to construct your own costumes all by yourselves for this competition!
The CCSS focuses on precise, accurate and faithful portrayal of characters and costumes, not only in acting but also down to the last palette on the dress and touch of make-up worn.
2017 Miyuki Ishizaki & Hong-Hanh Phan
2015 Mie Roesgaard & Kami Renee
2014 Lea Olsen & Josefine Hansen
2013 Lea Olsen & Sabine Larsen (Winners of CCSS 2013!)
So far, information in english is quite scarce. The english version of the official site is not fully operational yet so the only thing we can link you at this moment is the main website of CICAF:
If you have any further questions regarding CCSS and/or the preliminary round, please send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with CCSS included as the first word in the subject line.