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Ani-Idol

Ani-Idol Rules

The deadline has been extended! Entries can now be submitted until May 14th, 2016

What Is Ani-Idol?

Ani-Idol is a karaoke-style competition based on the famous show seen on TV. However, unlike the famous TV show, no one will be critical of their singing abilities on-the-spot. People sign up for this event to sing songs which must be primarily in Japanese in front of professional judges and a live audience. There are three rounds total. Participants are rated on vocal/singing performance, showmanship / presentation and stage appeal.

General Rules

  1. The contest is open to all registered convention attendees. You must have a valid member badge for the days of the contest. There is no additional cost to register for the contest.

  2. No professional vocalists/actors may enter the Ani-Idol competition. If you are found out to be a professional, you will be disqualified. A “professional” is monetarily compensated for his or her work as a performer in any form.

  3. Ani-Idol is split into two competition Divisions: Traditional and Advanced.
    • Traditional: This Division is for contestants who have never competed before or have never placed at any previous Ani-Idol events.
    • Advanced: This Division is for contestants who have placed 1st through 3rd at any previous Ani-Idol contest. Contestants who have not placed but wish to compete in the Advanced Division may do so.

      All contestants will be judged according to their Division.

  4. The contest will be split into three parts for both Divisions: Audition, Second Round, and Finals. In order to compete, you must be able to attend the second and final rounds at the convention if you advance past auditions. If you are involved in multiple events or panels, we will try our best to work with you. Contestants are not required to stay the entire time, and are welcome to leave if they need to run to another event. We will also shift the order of contestants if they need to be somewhere else at a certain time or arrive late. The rounds will be scheduled as follows.

    • Audition: Must be submitted by 11:59PM on May 14th, 2016
    • Second Round: Saturday (June 4th) Time & Location TBA
    • Finals: Saturday (June 4th) Time & Location TBA

  5. Contestants must be at least 13 years old.

  6. Cosplay is allowed at the event but is not required.

  7. Contestants who advance to the second and final rounds will be required to bring their own music for the contest. Music must be on a flashdrive/USB drive. We no longer accept CDs due to computer compatibility. Please do not bring your iPod/Cell Phone as your source of music as they will not be accepted.

  8. Duets/groups may perform together; however, understand that prizes are picked for an individual winner, so we might not have prizes for each person in a group. Also, there may be a limited number of microphones, so groups will need to adjust. If the duet/group makes it past the Audition round, they MUST attend the other rounds with the same partner/group members.

    Duets/Groups which contain members from both Divisions must compete in the Advanced Division.

Audition Rules

  1. All auditions must be emailed to MEK@a-kon.com by 11:59PM on May 14th, 2016

  2. Auditions for Ani-Idol will be sent in prior to the convention. There will be no on-site auditions.

  3. Song choices for this round must be from an anime or video game that originates from Japan. Opening, ending, insert and ‘image’ songs are allowed.

  4. Song choices should be between 30 seconds to 1 minute in length for the audition. While you may start singing from the beginning of your song, it is suggested you CUT the song to showcase your voice as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to use a part of the song that is the following: verse/chorus or verse/chorus/verse; however, you may use whatever part of the song you wish. These rules were made to help you, so please keep that in mind.

  5. Contestants must record themselves on film and upload their audition to YouTube or similar video website. Please do not make the video private as judges will not be able to access your audition and you may be disqualified.

    Contestants may also submit their video via email if they do not want the video available to the public.

    Duets/Groups must feature all members in the video.

  6. Songs for this round must be sung a capella only. The recording must be ‘raw’. Do not add special effects, use auto-tune, or any other editing magic. Auditions must be fresh. This means you may not submit something recorded weeks or months ago. You may not submit anything used at a previous convention.

  7. Each video must be slated (text added or spoken) with the following information:
    • Contestant Name(s)
    • Convention Name & Year
    • Competition Division
    • Name of Song
    • Origin of Song

    Contestants will be disqualified if they fail to provide this information in their recording.

    When emailing your audition, contestants must put the following in the subject line: A-Kon 27 Ani-Idol Contest

  8. Songs may be in any language for this round.

  9. For Advanced Division Contestants Only: In the event there are less than five contestants for this round, the Advanced Division competition will be cancelled.

  10. Contestants may submit their audition only once. Make sure you are 100% happy with your work before you submit it.

  11. Judges understand not everyone owns top of the line equipment. As long as your voice can be heard clearly, it will be accepted.

  12. Any entries received after 11:59pm on May 14th, 2016 will not be considered. Do not wait until the very last minute to submit your audition!

  13. Winners of this round will be announced on the A-Kon website/Facebook page within two weeks of the end of the submission date. Those who advance will also be notified via email. Those who advance must be prepared to compete at the convention.

Second Round Rules

  1. Contestants who advance to the Second Round may check in 15 minutes before the Second Round begins. Contestants must be prepared to make a final decision on song choice when they check in. Check in will take place inside or near the panel room where the Second Round will be held. Please refer to the A-Kon Schedule for location and time. Contestants must be checked in by the official start time of the panel. If you know you will be arriving late, please inform the judges and/or MEK staff ahead of time so you do not get disqualified. If you arrive late, wait until a break between performers before letting a judge or MEK staff member know and you will be added to the end of the list.

  2. Song choices for this round must be from media that originates from Japan. Along with anime and video game music, songs from J-Dramas, Japanese live action movies and TV shows, live stage versions of anime, as well as J-Pop, J-Rock, VKei, and Enka songs are also acceptable for this round. Anime opening, ending, insert and ‘image’ songs are allowed. Vocaloid songs will be allowed for this round. Disney songs will ONLY be permitted if they use the official Japanese lyrics. K-Pop/C-Pop/etc. is not allowed. Bands that do not originate from Japan, but have Japanese songs, are allowed.

    Songs cannot be from the same anime/game or artist as chosen for auditions.

    Songs must be in any language other than English for this round. Songs may have English phrases, but the song must be at least 50% in a different language. To clarify, if an official anime song uses Latin, Spanish, French, etc. it would fit the “50% in a different language” rule.


  3. Songs for this round must be a minute to a minute and thirty seconds (TV size) in length. At the minute and thirty second mark music will be faded out and/or a MEK staff member will politely inform the contestant of the end of their turn.

  4. All second round contestants (Traditional & Advanced) are required to use karaoke/instrumental tracks for this round. A capella will not be permitted for the second round.

  5. Contestants competing in the Traditional Division may use lyric sheets for this round if they so choose. Points will not be deducted for use of lyrics. However, those with memorized songs may receive more points.

    Contestants competing in the Advanced Division must have their song memorized for this round. Points will be deducted for the use of lyric sheets.


  6. For Advanced Division Contestants Only: All Advanced Division contestants MUST have at least TWO types of visual aid for this round. The visual aid can be stage movements/dance, costume, props, audience interaction, etc. Bottom line – Don’t just stand on stage and not move. Not sure if your idea would be ok? Email judges in advance (before the convention) to make sure!

    For Traditional Division contestants only: All Traditional Division contestants are welcome to use visual aids, but they are not required. Contestants may receive additional points for stage appeal, but they will not be penalized.


  7. Second Round will be open to the convention public which means there WILL be an audience. Contestants are encouraged to bring in family or friends for moral support. Traditional Division contestants will perform first. Advanced Division contestants will perform once all other contestants have finished.

  8. Winners for this round will be announced at the end of the event as well as posted at the Mu Epsilon Kappa booth.

  9. Judges will have score and comment sheets for you available for pick-up after the contest at the Mu Epsilon Kappa Booth.

Final Round Rules

  1. Contestants who advance to the Final Round should check in 15 minutes before the Final Round begins. Contestants must be prepared to make a final decision on song choice when they check in. Check in will take place inside or near the panel room where the Final Round will be held. Please refer to the A-Kon Schedule for location and time. Contestants must be checked in by the official start time of the panel. If you know you will be arriving late, please inform the judges and/or MEK staff ahead of time so you do not get disqualified. If you arrive late, wait until a break between performers before letting a judge or MEK staff member know and you will be added to the end of the list.

  2. Contestants may choose any song for this round that is not from the same anime/game/show/etc. or artist used in their previous rounds.

  3. Contestants will be required to sing the entire song.

  4. All final round contestants (Traditional & Advanced) are required to use karaoke/instrumental tracks for this round. A capella will not be permitted for the final round.

  5. Songs must be memorized for this round for both Traditional and Advanced Divisions.

  6. Song choices for this round must be from media that originates in Japan. Along with anime and video game music, songs from J-Dramas, Japanese live action movies and TV shows, live stage versions of anime, as well as J-Pop, J-Rock, VKei, and Enka songs are also acceptable for this round. Anime opening, ending, insert and ‘image’ songs are allowed. Vocaloid songs will be allowed for this round. Disney songs will ONLY be permitted if they use the official Japanese lyrics as well as the Japanese karaoke track. K-Pop/C-Pop/etc. is not allowed. Bands that do not originate from Japan, but have Japanese songs, are allowed.

    Songs cannot be from the same anime/game or artist as chosen for auditions or second rounds.

    Songs must be in any language other than English for this round. Songs may have English phrases, but the song must be at least 75% in a different language. To clarify, if an official anime song uses Latin, Spanish, French, etc. it would fit the “75% in a different language” rule.


  7. For Advanced Division contestants only: All Advanced Division contestants MUST have at least THREE types of visual aids for this round. The visual aid can be stage movements/dance, costume, props, audience interaction, etc. Bottom line – Don’t just stand on stage and not move. Backup dancers and other theatrical visual aids will be allowed for this round. Get creative. Make a show. The possibilities are endless. Not sure if your idea would be ok? Email judges in advance (before the convention) to make sure!

    For Traditional Division contestants only: All Traditional Division contestants are welcome to use visual aids, but they are not required. Contestants may receive additional points for stage appeal, but they will not be penalized.


  8. In the event of a tie, contestants will have a ‘sing-off’ if time allows. Contestants will choose a new song, either a song sung in a previous round or a new song, and perform for the judges. If time has run out, judges will choose a winner based on overall vocal score.

  9. The Final Round will be open to the convention public, which means there WILL be an audience. Contestants are encouraged to bring in family or friends if required for moral support. Traditional Division contestants will perform first. Advanced Division contestants will perform once all other contestants have finished.

  10. The winners of this round will be crowned Ani-Idols of their respective Divisions.

  11. The top three of each Division will receive prizes and trophies.

    The top winners of each Division will also be invited to perform during the cosplay half-time show on Saturday night if they so choose.


  12. Judges will have score and comment sheets available for pick-up after the contest at the Mu Epsilon Kappa Booth.

Judges and Judging

Judges for Ani-Idol are chosen from a pool of people who have an extensive history or career in music and/or theatre arts. Japanese professors have been brought in to judge for language proficiency. In some cases, judges may be musical guests of the convention.

Contestants will be assigned a numerical score from 1-10 by each judge based on vocal/singing performance, showmanship/presentation and stage appeal. The scores from each judge are then tallied to come up with a total score for the contestant. The winners will be determined by the total sum of their scores.

All decisions made by the judges are final.

In each round judges will receive a judge sheet for each contestant. Along with scoring area, there will be areas for judges to write down constructive criticism/suggestions, and anything else they feel is helpful. After each round is over and judging is complete, contestants can pick up their sheets at the Mu Epsilon Kappa booth to keep.

Additional Information

First place winners of the Advanced Division may not compete in an Idol contest run by Mu Epsilon Kappa for two years. For example, if you win at A-Kon 27, you may not compete at A-Kon 28 or AnimeFEST 2017, but you may compete at A-Kon 29. The top three winners in the Traditional Division may compete again the next year; however, they must compete in the Advanced Division.

The top three winners for both Divisions will be invited to join the Ani-Idol All Stars group. This group often gets special invites to perform in concerts at conventions and events around Texas.

During the contest, Contestants may not touch or approach the judges’ table. Contestants may go into the audience or use an audience member in their act. Actions that encourage general audience participation as a whole (such as asking the crowd to clap) are okay. Contestants in the Traditional Division will not be allowed to use “backup dancers”.

All aspects of the act, including but not limited to costume, conduct on stage, and song lyrics, may not exceed a PG-13 rating.

The only persons allowed in the performing area are the MC, convention staff, Mu Epsilon Kappa staff, convention special guests, judges, and contestants.

Decisions made by Mu Epsilon Kappa or the convention are final and non-negotiable.

All rules for the Ani-Idol Contest are subject to change without notice. While we attempt to keep you up to date of any changes via the convention website, these changes may occur at any time.

For ALL questions, suggestions, issues and/or requests for confirmation regarding Ani-Idol, please email MEK@a-kon.com

Ani Idol Icon
Presented by:
Mu Epsilon Kappa Society

Venue Info

Fort Worth Convention Center
A-Kon® 28 at the Fort Worth Convention Center

The Fort Worth Convention Center is within walking distance of thousands of downtown Fort Worth hotel rooms, a variety of delicious restaurants and fabulous shopping. It offers more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, nearly 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, an impressive 28,160 square-foot ballroom, a 13,500 person events arena, and a 55,000 square foot events plaza that connects to the one-of-a-kind Fort Worth Water Gardens.

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