November 2nd - 5th 2017 in Downtown Detroit
Cobo Center & Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Let the battle begin! Ten contestants with powerful voices have been chosen and will battle against each other in a contest of vocals to be the YoumaIdol! Come on in and watch these talented performers give it their all to claim victory. Show the contestants your support as you watch them battle through two grueling rounds to claim the title. Who will be the next YoumaCon Idol?


ONLINE Auditions open August 1st.


Contest Rules

*Songs must be in Japanese (or non-English anime-related song) and less than six minutes in length. Audition songs may be in another language.

*Printed lyrics may not be used. Vulgar lyrics are not permitted.

The background music must be a karaoke version, without main vocals. You may create your own karaoke version with a vocal remover in a program like Audacity or Adobe Audition if necessary, but must be okayed by Kojika first.

*Deadline is September 25th.

*All auditions should be uploaded onto an outside server (ie, ShareFile, Dropbox, or even your own private web server) and e-mailed to Kojika (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Do NOT send your audition as an attachment! DO NOT SEND YOUTUBE LINKS.

*Singers may audition as duet, but will be counted as one contestant. Only up to 3 duets will be accepted into the contest, so please consider wisely.

*IMPORTANT! With your audition, please include your name, your nickname (if preferred), the song title and artist/series, AND your age. If the e-mail you send it from is not the e-mail you wish to be contacted at, please also include the desired e-mail. If you are over 18, you may put 18+ for age.


(anyone who fails to abide by contest rules is subject to disqualification)


In late September, ten entrants will be chosen to perform in the exhibition at Youmacon, as well as five runner-ups. Contestants chosen to perform at the event should have two songs prepared to sing. Audition songs may be used as an entry. Further information will be requested of contestants in the notification e-mail. You can also follow us here


At the convention, contestants must be checked in by half an hour prior to the contest. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. All contestants will perform in an initial round, then the judges will choose five finalists for a final round. The final round will determine the first, second, and third place contestants.


Limited at-con auditions will be accepted as space and time allows.



*Number of entrants and rounds subject to changed based on initial auditions"


  • No metal weapons, real firearms, or props loaded with high velocity projectiles are allowed. Realistic weapon props may be peace bonded at the discretion of security or Masquerade staff.
  • Props should be carried and posed with in a way that does not inconvenience or risk injury to other attendees.
  • Costumes must be tasteful and cover appropriate areas of the body. Shoes must be worn in public areas of the convention for your own safety.
  • What is illegal outside the convention is still illegal inside the convention.


  • All the general cosplay rules above apply.
  • Costumes from both Japanese and western media are welcome in the competitions. This includes anime, games, comic books, manga or other media such as Korean media, sentai, music, J-rock, etc
  • Original designs based on established media, such as Pokemon gijinka-type designs or fanart alternative designs are permitted in competition, but specific reference images must be provided. Original characters regardless of media are not permitted.
  • Entrants must be registered attendees of Youmacon and present a badge.
  • Participants must fill out a cosplay registration form with legitimate information for award purposes.
  • Participants’ costumes and props must be able to traverse the 6’ wide backstage hallway.
  • Skits must be “PG-13”
  • Groups may not exceed 8 people.
  • No jumping onto or off of the stage or acrobatics.
  • No throwing items off of the stage.
  • Clean up after yourself. Do not leave anything behind on the stage.
  • Stage combat will be allowed only if approved by the judges after a demonstration during skit approval.
  • No special effects. Electronic flashes are permitted only if okayed by Masquerade staff. An announcement will be made to attendees at the start of your skit.
  • Karaoke is not a skit. Please save it for the karaoke.
  • No surprises.
  • Costumes or skits that have won a major award at other events are ineligible to win another award at the same rank.


Youmacon features scheduled gatherings for cosplayers from the same series to meet up and get photos. These gatherings will take place in the Winter Garden, located in the RenCen, as well as various other locations that will be mentioned in the program guide. Check the schedule in the back of this guide for times.

Cosplay Competitions


The Masquerade is a Saturday evening Main Event comprised of skit performances and craftsmanship presentation. Skits can enter for performance, craftsmanship, or both, but only those entering both categories are eligible to win Best in Show. You can also model your costume in front of an audience by entering as a walk-on for craftsmanship judging.

  • The Best in Show winners (those who excel in BOTH craftsmanship AND presentation) will win FREE ADMISSION to Youmacon 2018 plus a fabulous trophy. Those who win the best in their respective categories will also receive a fabulous trophy.
  • Masquerade participants should be at the Green Room (Mackinac Ballroom) at 6PM with their badges for check-in.
  • While waiting for the Masquerade to start, drinks and snacks will be provided. Once the Masquerade begins, participants will be guided to the stage for their walk-on or performance. Once they are finished on stage, they will return to the Green Room to await awards.
  • Awards for both Hall Cosplay and the Masquerade will be given out at the end of the Masquerade.


The Hall Cosplay contest gives cosplayers a chance to get their craftsmanship judged without the pressures of an audience. This is also a chance to get additional costumes judged. Hall cosplay is craftsmanship only, and competitors DO NOT appear on stage during the Masquerade.

  • Registration form(s) for Hall cosplay must be submitted in order to obtain a judging time slot. Please see the Craftsmanship rules below; the same apply to the Hall competition.
  • Costumes in the Hall Cosplay contest must be able to traverse the Youmacon hallways.
  • Hall Cosplay awards will be announced at the end of the Masquerade.
  • Hall Cosplay participants may watch the Masquerade from the Green Room (Mackinac Ballroom) if they wish. Those who do not wish to watch the Masquerade may check in with us in the Green Room periodically to find out when awards will be announced. You may also watch the Masquerade from the audience.


All attendees who wish to enter their costume in a contest require a judging appointment. Entrants will submit a form for a craftsmanship judging time, a skit approval time, or both. You may enter either or both Friday and Saturday Hall Cosplay contests, and/or the Masquerade, provided that you have a different costume for each. Again, ONLY Masquerade entrants will appear on stage during the Masquerade.

You can sign up either at con or in advance. To allow for the maximum number of entrants, we will only be accepting Pre-Reg signups for HALF of the available spots. Online signups will close at midnight the Sunday prior to the convention, or when we reach that number. An announcement will be made if we close online signups early due to capacity.

If you chose to sign up in advance, please follow the links below to the forms for the Craftsmanship, Performance and Hall competitions. By signing up in advance, this means you will not have to sign up for a slot at con.





We will use these forms to assign judging times. A confirmation email will be sent out to each entrant with their assigned time slot. IF YOU SUBMIT AN ONLINE REGISTRATION, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO CHECK-IN WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE CONVENTION. Please report to the Cosplay Registration booth on Level 4 on Friday night during the hours listed below. Failure to check in will result in your spot being forfeit and made available for at-con signups.

Any remaining spots will be available at the convention.

There will be a sign-up table in the Cosplay Registration booth on Level 4. There you can find the required forms, as well as the list of available appointment times.


Both signups and check-in begin Friday afternoon. Registration will not be available on Thursday evening. In order to streamline the online process in its first year, we WILL NOT be allowing pre-reg check in on Thursday or Saturday. If this poses an issue, please contact the staff prior to the convention (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Friday 6PM—9PM

(For both HALL and MASQUERADE)
Friday 3PM—9PM
Saturday 9AM—2PM

Friday 7PM—11PM
Saturday 10AM—3PM

Friday 7PM—11PM
Saturday 11AM—3PM

Friday 7PM—11PM
Saturday 10AM—3PM

The Masquerade is held at 7PM on Saturday in the Main Events Hall. Competitors are required to report at 6PM to the Mackinac Ballroom on Level 5 for staging and prep. No spectators are allowed in Mackinac during setup.


During craftsmanship judging, our judges will evaluate the quality and accuracy of the costume(s).

  • Costumes CANNOT be judged for craftsmanship if they were primarily store-bought or commissioned. Children 12 and under are exempt from this rule. If modeling someone else's work, the person who constructed the costume MUST be present.
  • You must provide a reference for your costume. A picture, a figure, whatever. (We prefer paper references that we can keep.) While smartphones and tablets are great, please do NOT rely on these as your primary sources for reference photos. The judges are not familiar with every series or video game. References are needed to check accuracy. Lack of a reference will hurt your chances at winning higher awards.
  • The judges WILL inspect your costume up close. Be prepared to have your costume touched and be asked to show specific details.
  • Entrants will only have 5 minutes per judging session (up to 10 minutes for larger groups). So, if you have something special that you wish to highlight to the judges, make sure to point it out whether they ask you about it or not.
  • The judges will ask you questions about your costume. Be prepared to answer truthfully and accurately.
  • You DO NOT have to be in character while being judged. That wastes time and is unnecessary. Save it for the stage.
  • BE CONFIDENT. Please don’t tell the judges what you did wrong. They want to know all the wonderful things you did right. Remember, don’t be shy! They want to hear about all your hard work!
  • Be sure to show up to judging a few minutes early in your costume. If you miss your appointment, you may be rescheduled, time permitting, no guarantees.
  • Remember to try your best, be courteous, and have fun!

Everyone will also enter in one of these skill level categories.

  • Novice: Cosplayers with no prior awards
  • Journeyman: Cosplayers with 1-5 awards
  • Master: Cosplayers with 6 or more awards
  • Youth: Cosplayers age 12 and under
  • Staff: Youmacon staff members

Categories are based on any type of previous major award, craftsmanship or presentation. Division qualifications are subject to change to ensure even award distribution. Honorable Mention awards do not count toward your skill level category.


  • During skit approval, our staff will evaluate skits for time and content. MP3s and CDs with dialogue and/or music to use during the Masquerade will also be used and collected at this point.
  • You will need to perform your skit in front of our approvers. They are not judges, they are simply checking for time and content. So, if your performance is not perfect, don’t worry about it. Our approvers can also give you advice to improve your skit.
  • It is okay if one of the people in your skit group can’t make it to approval. We will use our imagination.
  • You DO NOT have to be in costume for skit approval.
  • If you also want to get judged for craftsmanship, we can do one longer appointment —subject to availability— instead of two separate appointments. These will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • If your skit is NOT approved, we WILL give you time to correct it. We love skits, and we want to give everyone a chance to participate.
  • Please make note of any cues or stage directions when submitting your skit approval form. There may not be time prior to the show to determine these cues


1 to 2 people = 2 minutes
3 to 4 people = 3 minutes
5 to 8 people = 4 minutes

Please note that these are guidelines and there is room for reasonable accommodation. If you have a question about your skit length please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Groups with three or more participants are highly recommended to pre-record audio to ensure being heard by the audience and judges. Handheld microphone availability is not guaranteed.

  • We accept submissions on CD or MP3.
  • You must bring your audio file to your skit approval
  • If you are using an MP3 file, you need to bring your submission on a flash drive or CD. We will extract the file and return your device to you immediately.
  • All of your audio must be fully edited and prepared before being submitted to us. We CANNOT edit audio in any way and what you give us is what we play.
  • We cannot “just play a youtube video”. Don’t ask us.
  • Please label the file CLEARLY with your skit title, group name, and series.

In addition to a huge dealer's room at Cobo, epic video game and tabletop rooms, amazing special guest panels, and live events planned by our attendees, Youmacon also hosts an array of signature events each year, such as our Live Action Mario Party, Guests Against Humanity, and much, much more. Interested? Keep reading to get a taste of our special event offerings.

Anime Name That Tune

This classic, brought to you by Zephyr Game Shows, takes eight audience members and enters them into a single-elimination tournament where quick knowledge of anime music (and the occasional video game piece) makes or breaks your chances for big prizes. Audience members will also be eligible for prizes and Super Cool whenever the contestants get stumped like a nun in our hentai game show!

Charity Cosplay Ball

You are cordially invited for a grand evening of music and dancing. Dress in your classiest attire or a formal cosplay creation and ballroom dance for Detroit's Cornerstone Schools. Patrons are encouraged to wear masks and have the most regal Youmacon ever!

To be admitted to the ball, you must purchase a ticket for $10 (don't panic, it's for charity) or in exchange for a Platinum event ticket.

The Charity Cosplay Ball requires all attendees to wear formal outfits or formal cosplay. Clothing and cosplay of the opposite gender are permitted, as long as the attendee's appearance and behavior is formal and tasteful.

The following items exemplify what is appropriate for the ball:

  • Tuxedos
  • Dark suits
  • Ball gowns
  • Cocktail dresses
  • Evening gowns
  • Prom dresses
  • Dinner suits
  • Respectable military attire
  • Kimonos and other foreign formal outfits
  • Gothic Lolita fashion

The following items exemplify what is not appropriate:

  • Shirts with the absence of both jacket and tie
  • T-shirts
  • Jeans
  • Dresses and skirts that fall excessively high on the body
  • Sneakers
  • Western sandals and flip-flops
  • School uniforms
  • Costumes that could be considered offensive
  • Large props and costume appendages
  • Clothing that disregards the general cosplay rules

If you're unsure whether your outfit follows the dress code, e-mail programming or ask the cosplay signup staff at the convention.


The Youmacon dance blows the doors off the ballroom. Bright lights, killer sound, and the musical stylings of our DJs will leave you yearning for more.


Join us to sing your favorite anime themes or other Japanese songs! Sing alone or with a group of friends to show your talent or lack thereof! Bringing your own CD is encouraged for a sure opportunity to sing the song you want.

Maid Cafe

This otaku attraction commonly seen in anime and J-dramas such as "Densha Otoko" has been brought to the States by Youmacon! Be welcomed into a cafe-style setting Friday evening of the con and be served in style by our very own maids, where you can munch on pastries and drinks with our guests.

Interested?  Check out the Youmacon Maid Cafe on Facebook!


Ever wanted to meet one of Youmacon's fantastic guests face to face and have the opportunity to get their photo and autograph? This is your chance!

Autograph Rules

A maximum of four items per attendee may be signed. If you wish for more, you may return to the end of the line and have one additional item signed upon each return to the front, time permitting. Only one photograph per guest may be taken during autograph sessions. Platinum registrants must notify a guest relations staffer of their presence in the first 30 minutes of a session to be granted autograph priority.

Guests will not sign pirated/bootlegged materials. Ask guest relations staff if you are not certain whether an item is legitimate.

Do not request phone calls and voice mail recordings during autograph sessions.

Use common sense if you choose to give a gift to a guest.

Due to time constraints, the line length may be limited, and attendees near the end may not receive autographs.

Remember to expedite your time spent at the autograph table so that the line can proceed.

Do you have a great idea for a panel at Youmacon? Would you and your friends like to host your very own block of content? Well, you’re in the right place. Click on the button below to submit your very own panel to Youmacon staff.

Youmacon 2017 Panel Sign-Up