It is my supreme pleasure to announce the return of AnimeNEXT Karaoke! 2016 was a fantastic year for us. We were amazed by your enthusiasm and positivity and we hope to make 2017 even better. We will be running a contest again this year in addition to Open Mic.

Registration for the Karaoke Contest is now closed.

AnimeNEXT Karaoke Contest Rules:

1.) Professional singers and AnimeNext staff are not permitted to compete.  A professional singer is defined as one who is paid to perform or has been represented at any time by any record label.

2.) All performers must sing to music. You may not lip synch. You may not sing a capella. All submitted music tracks must have the main vocals removed. You will be asked to provide your music at the time you register.  We will not be taking at-door registrations this year. Alternatively, you, or a friend, may accompany your voice with a non-percussive, acoustic instrument but you are responsible for your own equipment and you do not gain any advantage over a singer who brings an mp3.

3.) All songs not from an anime or Japanese video game MUST be in an Asian language. This includes Vocaloid songs. Multilingual songs with no anime or video game ties must favor Asian languages by at least 75%.

Songs MAY be sung in a non-Asian language if it is BOTH:

a.) an opening or ending theme from an anime or Japanese video game; and b.) from the official Japanese release


An anime/video game image song released for Asian audiences.


A song that an anime/video game character sings within the show. The song MUST be from the official Japanese release and appear in the show/game in its entirety. Not as a shoutout or reference.

Alternate language examples of what would be allowed this year includes:

  • “Walk Like an Egyptian” (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders) – Original Anime ED
  • “Red Fraction” (Black Lagoon) – Original Anime OP
  • “Blumenkranz” (Kill la Kill) – Original Anime Image Song
  • “I’ve Got A Feeling” (Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad) – A character performs the entire song in the original anime broadcast.

Alternate language examples of what is NOT allowed include:

Any dub version of an anime/game theme. Any new music produced for a non-Asian audience. (“Pokemon Theme” from Pokemon: Indigo League, “Rock the Dragon,” from Dragonball Z) “Simple and Clean” (Kingdom Hearts) – Not from the original Japanese release.

The Beat Crusaders’ cover of “Give A Little Whistle” (Pinocchio) – Not an anime OP, ED, image song, performance, or video game theme.

4.) As per tradition, there is no Rule 4.

5.) We have a hard time limit of 8 minutes. Songs over 5 minutes will be reviewed by the staff for content. Six minute ballads are welcome. Six minute guitar solos are not. If Rule 3 got you pumped because now you can finally sing “Roundabout”, we recommend using a radio edit.

6.) All songs must be memorized.

7.) I repeat there will be NO at-door registration this year. All entrants must register ahead of time and must provide their music at the time of registration. Entrants will be accepted first come first served. The first 20 signups will have a spot in the contest. The next 3 will be put on a waitlist.

8.) The contest, in its entirety, is to be kept at a PG-13 level. The staff, at their discretion, may decide that some songs can be performed only once during the show or not at all.

9.) While we make every effort to make sure all rules are followed, it is possible to have something slip through the cracks. If an oversight gets as far as the contest itself we will still allow you to perform your song in its entirety if you wish, but you will be ineligible for prizes. You are responsible for reading the rules and adhering to them.

10.) The AnimeNext Karaoke Staff reserves the right to further change these rules as necessary. All decisions made by the Head of Karaoke are final.

Open Mic Rules and Etiquette

The rules for open mic are more relaxed than the contest. You are welcome to sing with lyric sheets, to music that retains the original vocals, and in any language you like. This year we will have a library of anime/game/Jpop/Jrock songs that you can choose from with select songs compatible with a lyrics screen; however, you should still bring your favorite tunes to sing to just in case we don’t have it.

Due to the popularity of open mic, final call for signups will be 1 hour before closing time. No new signups will be taken 30 minutes before closing time. We cannot guarantee anyone who signs up in the final hour of an open mic block will have a chance to sing.

*NEW* Every year there are a few attendees who would like to sing a song that contains stronger language because it is relevant to their cosplay, or their fandom, or they composed it themselves. Rather than impose a prohibition on explicit language during open mic, we will attempt to reach a middle ground this year. We will relax things during the evening hours and accept signups, at our discretion, for songs with more explicit lyrics starting at 8pm. The staff still reserves the right to postpone, or reject, any song request during the entirety of the open mic block. All decisions made by the Head of Karaoke are final.

Singers will be placed in the order of first come, first served. You may only have one song in the queue at any time during open mic. You must sing your first song before you can get in line to sing a second. Singers who miss their first call will be bumped back to the third slot in the queue for a second chance. If they miss their second call, they will be removed from the queue.

Last but not least, be an encouraging presence to all singers and have fun. We can’t wait to see all of you!

Questions? Suggestions? Email us at karaoke@animenext.org